Getting outdoors in Ontario this winter may be brisk, but it comes with a whole host of benefits for your mood and health.
The winter season notoriously brings cold weather, shorter days, and too much time cooped up indoors. It can even trigger a form of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
All the more reason not to hibernate!
Let’s look at some of the very real mental health benefits of the outdoors during the winter season:
Continue reading Mental health benefits of getting outside this winter
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 under a warm blanket.
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
Are you ready to start a new tradition for the new year?
We’ve got the secret to starting 2023 on the right foot.
Continue reading Hit the trails for a First Day Hike
Today’s post comes from Cortney LeGros, the Healthy Parks Healthy People coordinator at Ontario Parks.
The holiday season is steeped in tradition.
No matter how you celebrate, there’s one scientific tradition that’s been around for over 120 years to help mark the holidays.
For me, the holidays would not be complete without participating in at least one Christmas Bird Count.
Continue reading Christmas Bird Count — keep the community science tradition going!
Brrr! Temperatures are dropping, and winter’s icy grip is almost upon us.
We bet you’re feeling just about ready to tuck into a nice, long winter’s hibernation. Not so fast! Outdoor activity is important for our mental and physical health all year long. Getting outside is good for you even when the weather is not ideal.
Ontario Parks has 31 parks open in the winter. Each park offers plenty of ways for you to get active in the chilly months.
Here are some great ways to stay healthy, and enjoy winter!
Continue reading 5 ways to stay active in the cold
Today’s blog comes from Dr. Romola Porchuk from the Global Institute of Forest Therapy and Nature Connection, and Cortney LeGros, the Healthy Parks Healthy People coordinator at Ontario Parks.
Forest therapy is much more than just a walk in the woods.
It’s all about the journey, not the destination, or the number of steps you track.
As you move your way through a forest therapy trail you might start with a deep breath, close your eyes for a moment, and allow your senses to guide you.
Continue reading Introducing MacGregor Point’s new Forest Therapy Trail!
What is it that you love most about camping?
The smell of campfire, the sound of the birds chirping in the forest, or that food just tastes better cooked outside?
There’s something about nature that calls to us, beckoning us to return to our favourite parks year after year.
But what if you don’t have a favourite park yet?
What if you’ve never visited a park at all, felt the fall leaves crush beneath your boots, or heard the enchanting call of the loon?
Before this summer, that was the case for just over 150 Ukrainian refugee children and their families.
Thanks to our partners and generous donors, these families experienced their first ever trip to Ontario Parks this season.
Continue reading Fun in the sun: bringing Ukrainian families to parks
Today’s blog comes from Megan Picknell, a customer service assistant for Ontario Parks. Her love for nature and educational background in fine arts has created wonderful synchronicity in her parks career.
Oftentimes, when someone thinks of art and Ontario Parks, they think of the Group of Seven.
You know, the group of artists that were inspired by the Canadian landscape and made famous the windswept trees in Killbear Provincial Park or the many landscapes painted in Algonquin Provincial Park?
Your art education may have even dabbled in recreating their art, like mine did in high school!
However, there are SO many artists that visit our beautiful parks to this day, to create masterpieces from their experience in nature.
Art is therapy, and so is nature! What a fantastic combination the two make.
Continue reading Painting the picturesque: a guide to art in nature
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