A new app has been developed by Ramblers Scotland to encourage people to be more active in their daily lives – by walking.
Walking is acclaimed as one of the most accessible and easy-to-achieve activities yet physical inactivity results in 2,500 premature deaths in Scotland every year. So walking more will help individuals and the general health of a nation.
It’s no coincidence that the free Medal Routes App was launched exactly 100 days after the acclaimed Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014.
The app is part of a wider Games legacy programme.
The Medal Routes App offers easy, one-stop access to 400 new walks. Medal Routes are short circular walks that start and finish within local communities and are all less than three miles long.
Routes are split into three groups:
Bronze: 15 minute walks
Silver: 30 minute walks
Gold: 60 minute walks.
The app also allows walkers to set goals and track their progress, keeping people motivated to be active.
Rob Burns, project officer of Ramblers Scotland Medal Routes, said: “It ‘s clear we need to find innovative ways to get more people active in a way that fits easily into their daily lives. Medal Routes does exactly that.
“It allows people to find walking routes near them that they can walk at their convenience. The routes are circular and have three different levels, allowing people to choose how long they want to walk for. Of course, this is perfect for a lunchtime stroll or post-work walk as well as at weekends for longer walks.”
The App also allows people to set targets, which is a proven way to keep people motivated.
You could choose, for example, a target to walk the length of the West Highland Way or to burn off the calories of a slice of cake.
Rob added: “The Medal Routes App is a starting point on the path to a fitter, healthier lifestyle. We want to see as many people as possible using the App to walk towards a happier nation.”
The Medal Routes App is also a winner in the Ordnance Survey GeoVation Challenge.
Viv Alexander, of GeoVation, said: “The Medal Routes App is a winner because we were excited by its potential to encourage people to take up walking and make it a regular habit.
“It’s a great App that already has hundreds of routes for people to choose from, all of which are displayed using Ordnance Survey mapping.
“We are looking forward to seeing many people in Scotland using the app to lead healthier active lifestyles”.
Walking app: What’s more
The Medal Routes App also allows users to develop their own routes and share these with other users. This means you can add a bit of competition into your walking.
Each time you walk a route you gain a medal and points. These points then contribute to an overall score on the Medal Routes leader board.
This means that walkers can challenge friends and family and track each other’s scores to see who is in the lead.
Where to find the app
The Medal Routes App is free to download on all Apple and Android devices and can be found through the App Store or by downloading online.
For people without smartphones, the Medal Routes are also available to download online.
See Ramblers Scotland to download the app or search app stores.