KEEPING in shape has never been more important.
That's why local MP David Mundell has been encouraging constituents to join him in improving their fitness.
He took up an invitation from Baroness Tani Grey-Thompson, a double Paralympic champion and cross-bench Peer, to help promote the Great British Week of Sport which runs until Sunday.
She is chairwoman of ukactive, which is co-ordinating the week-long national campaign.
In particular, David was keen to support National Fitness Day on Wednesday and has talked openly about his own bid to become fitter.
The former UK Cabinet member admits a politician's hectic lifestyle, with an endless mix of meetings, events, dinners, commuting and visits, does not make it easy to exercise and keep to a sensible diet.
But since spending more time in his constituency during lockdown, and working remotely using digital platforms, he has launched his own personal drive to improve his fitness.
He said: "Tani's list of sporting achievements is inspiring but her current role as chairwoman of ukactive, which promotes fitness gyms and community leisure facilities, is particularly important just now.
"One of the anticipated negative longer term impacts of Covid-19 will not only be on physical fitness but also on the mental and social wellbeing of many people.
"That's where increasing physical activity by even a modest amount can make a difference and for those unfortunate enough to contract coronavirus a better level of health and fitness can greatly improve the outcome.
"My message to others would be, like me, look at your life and see where you can become more active whether it is going for a walk more often or activities such as gardening or going to a gym or a fitness class. A small step that can go a long way in health terms."
David's own serious quest to become fitter began during lockdown when greater use of digital and video technology meant he spent much more time working remotely from his home and office in Moffat.
He said: "I recognised I would greatly benefit from becoming fitter and took the opportunity to take extended walks in the fantastic countryside and over the scenic hills around the town.
"I've also watched what I eat and whilst not sticking to any particular diet try to balance my meals and snacks with exercise. I feel the better for it.
"I've so far lost around two stone but I'm not complacent and I realise avoiding putting weight back again can be an even bigger battle."
David, who has avoided setting strict targets for himself, has renewed his membership at The Gym at Moffat but admits finding the time to book regular slots still remains an issue for him.
He added: "It's a well-equipped and convenient facility and the team there are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. All being well I hope to spend more time there in the darker winter months when being outside doesn't seem so attractive."