Health benefits of backcountry camping

Today’s post comes from Sarah McMichael, Ontario Parks’ Healthy Parks Healthy People Coordinator.

Backcountry camping is known for being a way to experience beautiful, serene landscapes. But a backcountry trip also provides an opportunity to challenge yourself physically and mentally.

The combination of paddling, portaging, and hiking through the backcountry is a great all-over workout. Plus, you will experience a ton of health benefits simply by being outdoors.

Hit the backcountry for a killer total-body workout this summer. Let’s do this!

Continue reading Health benefits of backcountry camping

Health benefits of cross-country skiing

Staying active in the winter isn’t always easy. For some of us, it’s tempting to stay in, cuddle up, and spend the long winter months binging Netflix and unhealthy snacks.

Cross-country skiing boasts a wide array of benefits for your physical and mental health. Here’s why you should strap on some skis and spend your winter gliding through frozen forests and snow-covered trails:

Continue reading Health benefits of cross-country skiing

Mental health benefits of the outdoors

Do you ever find yourself feeling calmer, more relaxed, or more focused after spending time in nature? That’s because time outside has studied and proven benefits for your mental health.

Mental illness affects one in five Canadians in any given year. Let’s talk about what some Vitamin N (nature) can do for your mental health:

Continue reading Mental health benefits of the outdoors

Why it’s important for children to play outside in winter

Every winter, as the temperatures drop, so does the amount of time we spend outside. This is especially true for children — playtime can become limited to the indoors.

It may be tempting to hide inside until the weather warms up, but outdoor play is essential for your children’s well-being all year long.

Here are some of the top reasons why you should get our kids outside and active this winter:

Continue reading Why it’s important for children to play outside in winter

5 walks through winter woods

The health benefits of hiking are head-to-toe. A walk in the woods can help alleviate mental fatigue, and improve creative thinking. Hiking is also great for cardiovascular health and muscle tone.

But is hiking an option in the winter?

Absolutely. We’ve collected a list of five parks with stellar options for winter rambles:

Continue reading 5 walks through winter woods

4 ways camping helps us slow down and enjoy life

Today’s post comes from Connor Oke, an Ontario Parks marketing intern. 

We live in a world that demands a lot of us.

Canadians work overtime at higher rates than they did 25 years ago. At the same time, we spend more hours in front of screens and on social media, which are linked to increased anxiety and distractedness. We also get less sleep than we did 15 years ago.

Continue reading 4 ways camping helps us slow down and enjoy life

Healthy resolutions for a new year

The research is clear: spending time in nature improves our physical, mental and social well-being.

Yes. Even when it’s cold outside.

Ready for a healthier 2020? We chatted with parks planner Will Kershaw to find out how he stays fit and healthy during the winter months. These are his top tips:

Continue reading Healthy resolutions for a new year

How to dress for your winter adventure

When it comes to an outdoor excursion during the winter months, clothing can make or break your experience.

If you’re cold or wet it’s going to be much more difficult for you to enjoy your time in the outdoors. Making sure you’re properly outfitted for whatever weather comes your way is crucial.

Luckily, our friends over at SAIL have some great tips for staying warm and cozy on your foray into winter.

Continue reading How to dress for your winter adventure

First Day Hike destinations

New Year’s Day is coming up fast — have you picked out a park for your First Day Hike?

This 10-park list rounds up some top options for your first foray into 2020:

Continue reading First Day Hike destinations