person paddling in canoe

Meeting the 30×30 Challenge during challenging times

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:

1. Go solo

Plan activities you can do on your own or within your social bubble.

person fishing

An early morning walk in a local park or a bike ride on an urban/rural trail are great options for getting outside while avoiding crowds.

2. Aim for off-peak visits

Plan an outdoor adventure on a weekday, in the morning, or in the evening to enjoy a less crowded experience.

two people playing cards at beach

Southern provincial parks and local beaches are experiencing a high number of visitors on weekends — everybody is craving a nature fix right now.

We have implemented measures to address overcrowding and promote physical distancing in our park spaces and buildings during busy visitation times by limiting occupancy for day-use in select provincial parks. This includes limiting the number of daily vehicle permits sold.

Many parks reach capacity during weekends, so it’s a good idea to check online for updates before making a long drive.

3. Go off the beaten track (but stay on-trail!)

There’s lots of green space to explore in Ontario, including quiet ravine trails, scenic and leafy conservation areas, and over 300 provincial parks.

person walking with dog

Do some research online or ask neighbours and friends for their favourite local outdoor adventure spot and check it out!

Chances are that lesser known locales will be less crowded.

4. Mix it up!

The point of the 30×30 Challenge is to get in nature consistently. However, your activities can be vastly varied!

person flying a kite

Try outdoor yoga one day and a bike ride the next. Take a stroll in a local park and count how many different species you see, or plan a mini trip to one of Ontario’s 250,000 lakes or 500,000 km of rivers and streams.

Challenge your family members or online friends to a nature photo contest and take a photo walk in green space.

Mixing up your activities will allow you to choose options where physical distancing is easier.

5. Be flexible

Perhaps you’ve arrived to your destination and find it’s too busy for you to feel comfortable. That’s okay!

couple sitting on stairs

Be prepared with a back-up plan to avoid disappointment.

There’s still time to participate

There are countless ways to get outside this month and these are just a few ways to make the 30×30 Challenge less…challenging!

Enjoy and don’t forget to tag us in your outdoor adventures! #HPHP #30x30Challenge