Healthy Parks Healthy People Day 2020

Spending time in nature is good for our mind and body. We sleep better and think more clearly. Stress and anxiety slip away.

Research shows being outside can lower blood pressure, strengthen our immune system, and helps us relax.

To celebrate how great nature makes us feel, Ontario Parks is offering free day-use on Friday July 17 to celebrate Healthy Parks Healthy People Day!

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8 ways paddling can improve your health

Just when we thought nothing could top the “good for you” news about chocolate…

…research shows that paddling is good not only for our physical health, but for our mental health as well!

Here are some of the benefits that will have you reaching for your paddle:

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How to use your senses to experience nature at home

Today’s post comes from Rachel Gagnon, Ontario Parks’ Healthy Parks Healthy People Coordinator.

Did you know that nature can touch all our senses: sound, smell, sight, touch, and taste?

During these times when we can’t visit our favourite natural spaces, bringing pieces of nature home can help us experience some of its benefits.

So few things in the world stimulate our minds and bodies like nature does. It can soothe us, alleviate our stress, and put us in a better mood.

Here are some ways you can incorporate nature into your daily life through connecting to your five senses:

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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!

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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Health benefits of dark skies

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.

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