Chris Hoy supports new campaign for mental health

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OLYMPIC legend Sir Chris Hoy is supporting a new campaign encouraging people to take up physical activity and sport to help them feel their personal best.

The campaign is from SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and sportscotland.

New research has revealed that 60% of Scots who were active throughout the pandemic said it had a positive impact on their wellbeing.

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Photo by Fitsum Admasu on Unsplash. More than half said exercising helped to relax or switch off.

Sir Chris, who is Great Britain’s joint-most successful Olympic athlete of all time, has been SAMH’s Ambassador for over ten years, and has lent his support to the new Feel Your Personal Best campaign.

During the pandemic, with restrictions in place and many people being isolated from family and friends, it’s been harder than ever to look after our own wellbeing.

As restrictions start to ease across the country, sportscotland and SAMH are working together to change that with the launch of the Feel Your Personal Best campaign.

New research, conducted by ScotPulse, to support the launch of the campaign reveals that 81% of people said that being more active positively impacted their wellbeing by helping them to get outside more.

yoga - Health News Scotland
Photo by kike vega on Unsplash. Over a third found that physical activity 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.”

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Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash. Organisers hope people will use the hashtag #FeelYourPersonalBest to share their experiences.

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.”

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Photo by Eugene Lim on Unsplash. The campaign will aim to encourage people to do whatever it is that helps them feel their personal best.

Chief Executive of SAMH, Billy Watson, said: “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.”