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
You’re all packed up and ready for another weekend outdoors.
You’ve got your sleeping bags, full cooler, sunscreen, and swimsuit.
Maybe you’ll fill your trailer’s water tank up once you arrive, a water container or two for the campsite, then head to the beach to cool off.
But have you ever stopped to think about how we keep the water safe for you to drink, take a warm shower in, or cool off in at the beach?
Environmental public health professionals do proactive, science-based work behind the scenes to ensure your environment is safe, so you don’t have to worry and can enjoy the moments that really matter.
Continue reading How environmental health professionals keep our water safe
Today’s blog comes from Senior Marketing Specialist 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
Ro Nwosu (WildRoga) is a yoga teacher, trainer, and fitness educator known for her infectious laugh and out-of-the-box thinking to get people moving.
August is when I usually arrange the last of my summer plans and start looking forward to fall.
This year I had a busy start to the summer, so I was craving a routine. Sometimes knowing where to start can be difficult, especially after moving to a new town and getting settled in.
Ontario Parks challenged me to make nature a habit this August by spending 30 minutes outside for 30 days for the Healthy Parks Healthy People 30×30 Challenge.
Continue reading How the 30×30 Challenge helped me find calmness and connection
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