THIS January, NHS Borders joined people across the globe in recognising Walk Your Dog Month,  a month which encourages people to take advantage of the health benefits of walking and being outdoors.

As part of this month, they asked staff to share pictures of themselves kickstarting the new year by venturing out with their dogs and making the most of the fresh air.

READ MORE: Jim Clark museum to open on the weekend of February 18 & 19

And now, as we reach the ‘tail’ end of the month, they want to encourage people across the Borders, whether they are dog owners or not, to make time to get outdoors and move more this winter.

Walking can have a positive impact on your mental and physical health and is a very effective way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, which can reduce the risk of many different diseases.

READ MORE: A few familiar faces in Scotland Under 20 Six Nations squad

Also, with more people than ever working from home, it is important not to forget the importance of taking regular breaks away from the computer and our home office environments.

Often, going for a walk is the perfect way to spend time away from our screens.

NHS Borders say that they are aware that finding the motivation to go outside and exercise during the winter can be difficult, but the weather does not need to slow you down.

READ MORE: Update on burst pipe at Earlston Primary School

Dr Sohail Bhatti, Director of Public Health at NHS Borders, said: “Finding the motivation to get outside when it’s cold can be challenging, but the health benefits of going for regular walks, with or without a dog, are huge. 

“Walking fast enough to get yourself slightly out of breath brings the greatest benefit.

“Exposing ourselves to more fresh air and daylight can have a positive effect on our mental health and wellbeing, particularly during the darker months.”