Canada is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Our country is the second largest natural playground in the world! Home to 42 National Parks and plenty natural wonders; our country boasts ample recreational space for just about any outdoor Canadian pastime.
This time of year’s colder weather and shorter days makes us more likely to stay cozy inside which decreases our overall level of activity. Jogging, skating, hiking, cycling and skiing are just some of the few seasonal activities that can make getting outdoors fun!
Being outside in nature does your body, mind and soul good! Studies show that the closer you live to nature, the healthier you’re likely to be. One particular Dutch study showed people who live within 1 kilometre of a park or a wooded area experienced less anxiety and depression than those who lived farther away from green space.
Live in a city with no green space nearby? No worries! Other studies by researchers in England and Sweden have found that joggers who exercise in a natural green setting with trees, foliage and landscape views, feel more restored and less anxious, angry and depressed than those runners who burn the same amount of calories in gyms or other urban settings. So even if you have to drive a few kilometres to find a little green, it’s worth it!
Being outside can actually offer relief for everything from depression to negativity. Here are a few more reasons to take an extra-long lunch today or a walk after dinner.
It can ease depression
According to a study from the University of Michigan, group walks in green space are linked to enhanced mental health and positivity, as well as significantly lower levels of depression and feelings of stress. Had a particularly hard day? Grab a friend or your family for a post-work mood booster.
It may improve your outlook
If you’re dreading the thought of spending another repetitive workout on the treadmill, run outdoors instead for a quick burst of happiness. A study from Glasgow University showed that people who walked, biked, or ran in nature had a lower risk of poor mental health than people who worked out indoors.
It could improve your focus
Can’t decide where to go on your next weekend getaway? You might want to consider a trip to any of our surrounding Provincial Parks. According to a study published in Psychological Science, interacting with nature gives your brain a break from everyday overstimulation, which can have a restorative effect on your attention levels.
It can strengthen your immunity
The latest get-healthy pill isn’t found it in your medicine cabinet—it’s in your backyard. Research form the University of Illinois found that when people spend more time outside, the body enters the “rest and digest” mode as opposed to the stressful “fight or flight” mode. The “rest and digest” mode allows the body to relax, heal and invest more resources into maintaining the immune system.
This season, tackle the fall and winter blues with a time tested remedy that is sure to brighten your day. Nature is a remedy like no other. It’s a multivitamin that provides us with all sorts of the health benefits we need. Nature can protect us from cardiovascular, respiratory, mental health, musculoskeletal disease and it doesn’t come from a bottle. So get dressed and get outside!