Picture this: you’re alone, deep into a forested trail. Your only companions are the birds fluttering from branch to branch around you. As you walk, you follow a corridor made of pillars of ancient trees, and smell the earthy aroma of moss and damp leaves.
How do you feel? It’s hard to describe, but the words which immediately come to mind are calm, peaceful, and contemplative. You feel a deep-rooted connection to the world around you, and you are reminded of the importance of our natural environment.
There’s a word for that feeling: waldeinsamkeit.
Continue reading Waldeinsamkeit: solitude in the forest
As the days get shorter and the colder weather arrives, it’s time to talk self-care. Bubble baths and meditation are great options, but have you considered adding nature to your self-care toolkit?
October 10 is World Mental Health Day, and it’s the perfect time to think of ways we can take care of ourselves and our families.
Continue reading Add nature to your self-care toolkit
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
Let’s take a walk in the woods.
With no specific destination in mind, we will wander, observe and immerse ourselves in nature. Allow our senses to guide us.
When was the last time you walked into the woods with no plans? No final destination? Without a species to ID, hill to climb, or lookout to conquer?
This is exactly the experience offered by a forest bathing session.
Continue reading Healing in the forest: a guide to forest bathing
Today’s blog comes from our Healthy Parks Healthy People Coordinator Sarah McMichael.
My most memorable camping memory didn’t come from a crackling campfire, a panoramic lookout, or a stunning sandy beach.
It happened at 3:00 am at Lake Superior Provincial Park.
As I stumbled out of my tent for a late-night bathroom break, I noticed something different about the sky above me. There were stars.
A LOT of stars.
Continue reading Health benefits of dark skies
Today’s blog comes from Sarah Higginson, a market development specialist with Ontario Parks.
August is over and so is the Healthy Parks Healthy People 30×30 Challenge.
This was my first year taking on the challenge (not counting the year I did it for two days then got distracted) and it was a magical month-long adventure filled with scenery, sunshine, and even some self-awareness!
Continue reading The great outdoors are… great!
ICYMI, August 1 kicked off Healthy Parks Healthy People’s 30×30 Challenge!
All you need to do is get outside for 30 minutes for 30 days to experience the many benefits nature provides!
There’s lots of research about how spending time outside is good for us. But how do we get outside safely this summer especially when we’re following public health guidelines and avoiding large gatherings or crowded areas?
Here are five tips on tackling the 30×30 Challenge while staying safe and healthy:
Continue reading Meeting the 30×30 Challenge during challenging times
If you’ve ever pedalled up a hill before, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to hear that cycling is great for working the lower body, but did you know the health benefits reach far beyond your quads and hamstrings?
Check out these brain and body benefits of cycling:
Continue reading 6 health benefits of cycling
When’s the last time you really appreciated your surroundings?
This summer has flown by. It’s been difficult to make time to get outside and experience the rejuvenating effects of nature.
Luckily, Healthy Parks Healthy People’s 30×30 Challenge happens every August! It’s a month-long opportunity for you to get outside into nature for 30 minutes for 30 days in a row.
Continue reading Nature is calling – are you listening?
Who needs a gym membership when you have the outdoors?
Outdoor exercise has a stronger effect on blood pressure and mood than indoor exercise. Stress is relieved within minutes of exposure to nature as measured by muscle tension, blood pressure, and brain activity.
To put it simply, time spent outside is good for you! On World Health Day, let’s take a look at a few fun outdoor activities that can improve your health.
Continue reading Five outdoor activities to improve your health