Bid to get Scots moving as appetite for exercise dwindles

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Fitness guru Mr Motivator is inviting people on Arran and across Scotland to get moving in 2021 at the Royal Voluntary Service Virtual Village Hall.

Exercise makes just over 50 per cent of physically active over 50s in Scotland surveyed feel healthier – 52 per cent – and more positive – 51 per cent – but the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns are hampering the motivation to be active.

According to new research by the Royal Voluntary Service and People’s Postcode Lottery, one in three people aged over 50 in Scotland surveyed have exercised rarely or not at all during the pandemic. More than one in six – 17 per cent – said their enthusiasm to exercise at the pandemic’s outset has waned as time has gone on. Colder weather, the inability to think positively during the pandemic and being out of a normal routine were most commonly to blame.

Just over seven in ten – 71 per cent – of people aged 50 and over in Scotland surveyed said they would like to be more physically active in 2021, with one in five – 20 per cent – keen to try something new to motivate themselves to exercise.

Limbering up to kickstart healthy New Year resolutions is fitness and wellbeing coach Mr Motivator who will be launching Get Moving Week at the Royal Voluntary Service Virtual Village Hall with a live, free ‘resolution workout’ on Monday January 18 at 11am.

Get Moving Week takes place at the Virtual Village Hall from January 18 to January 22 and features free daily exercise and dance classes, including Mr Motivator’s live launch workout and a live dance class hosted by Strictly Come Dancing performers Michael and Jowita, the 2020 winners of BBC TV’s The Greatest Dancer.

Mr Motivator, 68, said: ‘Whatever age or stage of life we’re at, being physically active makes us feel stronger, more positive and energetic and better able to face life’s challenges – and there sure are a lot of those at the moment. I’m looking forward to starting 2021 at the Virtual Village Hall with a fun workout that I guarantee will put a smile on people’s faces and get the blood pumping. Exercise is vital to our health and wellbeing, so why not start some new healthy habits right now by joining in with Get Moving Week.’

With community exercise classes and village hall workouts closed by Covid, the Royal Voluntary Service Virtual Village Hall offers the next best thing – a wide, ever-growing range of free online exercise, dance and activity classes. From beginners’ ballet, Salsa Fit and Pilates to Zumba, chair-based routines and Bollywood dancing, there’s something for everyone to try all year round, including those new to exercise.

All classes take place on the Virtual Village Hall Facebook page ( and are completely free. A Facebook account is not required to join in. The classes can also be found on the Royal Voluntary Service website and on YouTube.

Sam Ward, director of services and deputy chief executive at Royal Voluntary Service, said: ‘We all know exercise is good for our minds and bodies, but motivating ourselves to move more can be challenging, particularly at this time of year and as we re-enter a new lockdown. With exercise classes and venues closed, we wanted to provide a place for people to come together to exercise, dance, be active and have fun. The Virtual Village Hall is free, open to all, with expert tutors, friendly chat and a wide range of activities to try. Whether you join in with one of our Get Moving Week live classes or catch up with a session on-demand to fit your schedule, I’m sure you’ll feel better for taking part.’

The Virtual Village Hall is a free online activity hub, designed by Royal Voluntary Service and supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, to help people stay physically and mentally active, connected, occupied and having fun during the Covid-19 pandemic. There are hundreds of themed sessions and classes to join in with, from exercise and dance, music and crafts, to singalongs, gardening and cookery demonstrations. Activities are available seven days a week and are updated regularly. Thousands of people have taken part in the Virtual Village Hall’s classes and activities which are free to join.

To find out more about the Virtual Village Hall, visit:

Dancers Michael and Jowita will be hosting a Salsa class on Wednesday.


Fitness guru Mr Motivator who will be launching Get Moving Week. NO_B03motivate01

Dancers Michael and Jowita will be hosting a Salsa class on Wednesday. NO_B03motivate02



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