Nature is calling – are you listening?

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.

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Take the 30×30 Challenge this August

Ready for your dose of nature?

This August, Ontario Parks and Healthy Parks Healthy People challenge you to make nature a priority and spend 30 minutes outside every day for 30 days.

Studies show that time spent in nature makes us happier, healthier, and less stressed. As little as 30 minutes a day can lower your blood pressure, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and boost your mood!

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Five outdoor activities to improve your health

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! Let’s take a look at a few fun outdoor activities that can improve your health.

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Open eyes, open mind: nature journaling with kids

In today’s post, Discovery Leader Carlin Thompson from Sandbanks Provincial Park shares her top tips for nature journaling with kids.

We did it, parents! We made it through another winter.

The struggle of tackling young children into layered outerwear and the scavenger hunts for matching mittens now seem like a distant memory. What sweet relief.

But before the unbridled joy of shucking the outerwear gives way to sunscreen-application-induced carpal tunnel and the din of summer boredom, let’s capitalize on our children’s excitement to be outside.

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Healthy Parks Healthy People Day 2021

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. With over 330 provincial parks, there is much to do and see in Ontario Parks.

To celebrate how great nature makes us feel, we’re partnering with SAIL to offer free day-use on Friday, July 16 to celebrate Healthy Parks Healthy People Day!

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Health benefits of fishing

Fishing is an iconic Canadian pastime. There’s nothing like spending the day by the water with your friends and family, casting a line and enjoying the great outdoors.

But did you know you can get more than a killer catch from a day of fishing? Fishing actually has benefits for your physical and mental health.

Here are a few ways fishing can improve your overall well-being.

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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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Birding with benefits: therapeutic benefits of bird watching

Birdwatching is a time-honoured tradition that many people enjoy today, offering the opportunity to switch off from the modern world and get back to nature.

Whether you’re simply investing in a bird feeder for your backyard or going for a walk in your local park, birding is beneficial to both your mind and body.

It is renowned for being a meditative exercise where you are fully present in the moment.

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Experience more of nature by journaling

Today’s blog post comes from Corina Brdar. When Corina’s not working at Ontario Parks, she is actively involved in the growing nature journaling and mindfulness community.

A different way to be mindful in nature is through nature journaling. Using  writing and sketching as tools can be a calming way to look more deeply and experience nature more fully.

Like our previous mindfulness exercises, this too is a judgment-free practice.  You’re not creating a piece of art. You’re using a notebook to help you pay attention and truly observe.

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