Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy is supporting a new campaign from SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and sportscotland to encourage people to take up physical activity to help them feel the best they can.
Sir Chris has been SAMH’s ambassador for more than 10 years and has lent his support to the new ‘Feel Your Personal Best’ campaign.
The campaign aims to encourage people to get moving and do whatever it is that helps them feel healthy and well. Organisers hope people will use the hashtag #FeelYourPersonalBest on social media to share their experiences of using physical activity to feel better.
During the pandemic, with restrictions in place and many people being isolated from family and friends, it has been harder than ever to look after wellbeing.
To support the launch of the campaign, new research conducted by ScotPulse reveals that 81% of people said that being more active positively impacted their wellbeing by helping them to get outside more. More than half said it helped to relax or switch off; and over a third found that it made them feel less anxious.
Sir Chris commented: “Physical activity is central to good mental health, and small changes – like a daily walk with a friend – can be transformational. The activity doesn’t need to be strenuous to be effective. Feel Your Personal Best is not about clocking steps, miles or the fastest times; it’s about people finding their own way to get moving.”
Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “Clearly everyone in Scotland and beyond has experienced very difficult circumstances over the past 15 months. Looking after our own physical and mental wellbeing has been challenging during that time but with the success of the vaccination programme there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“We all have to remain aware of what we can and can’t do in our local authority areas. But as restrictions ease, staying physically active and connected to friends and family is becoming easier.
“Keeping the body and mind active is crucial to our overall health and we hope the Feel Your Personal Best campaign will give people across Scotland a platform to get out and do whatever sport or physical activity helps them to feel better.”
Chief Executive of SAMH, Billy Watson, added: “The pandemic has been, and continues to be, a hugely challenging time for us all, and the mental health and wellbeing of the entire nation has suffered.
“However, we also know that lots of people found being active to be a great coping mechanism; and it’s really important to remember that as restrictions start to ease. You might choose to go for a daily walk, meet friends for a cycle, take up yoga, or even try out a new team sport – whatever it is that makes you Feel Your Personal Best. We hope this new campaign will inspire even more people to get moving for their mental health.”