Health benefits of cross-country skiing

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:

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5 ways to beat the winter blues

January’s been a looong month.

The holidays have come and gone, and significant snowfall has just begun around the province.

It’s no surprise that January’s also seen as a “blue” month, with short days, little sunshine, and very cold weather making it difficult to prioritize time outside.

Feeling a bit… off? Fear not!

We’ve collected a few tips to try to help you beat the blues and make your winter feel a bit brighter:

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A beginner’s guide to snowshoeing

This winter, outdoor activities are a great option to keep you happy and healthy. It’s the perfect time to try something new – like snowshoeing!

For any winter activity, planning ahead and a bit of research can go a long way to make sure your day is safe and fun!

So what does a beginner snowshoer need to know?

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Mental health benefits of getting outside this winter

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:

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Christmas Bird Count — keep the community science tradition going!

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.

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Why it’s important for children to play outside in winter

Every winter, as the temperatures drop, so does the amount of time we spend outside. This is especially true for children — playtime can become limited to the indoors.

It may be tempting to hide inside until the weather warms up, but outdoor play is essential for your children’s well-being all year long.

Here are some of the top reasons why you should get your kids outside and active this winter:

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5 ways to stay active in the cold

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! We’ve partnered with our snow-loving friends at Subaru Canada to share some great ways to stay active and enjoy winter.

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 30+ parks open in the winter. Each park offers plenty of ways for you to get active in the chilly months.

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Health benefits of dark skies

Today’s blog comes from Senior Marketing Specialist Sarah McMichael-Chen. 

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.

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Painting the picturesque: a guide to art in nature

Today’s blog comes from Megan Callahan, 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.

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5 ways to practice fall mindfulness

Can you believe we’re already well into fall?

If your day-to-day is anything like ours, your summer flew by, leaving you wondering where the time went. It’s amazing how quickly summer comes and goes, year after year.

But that’s nothing to worry about — fall at Ontario Parks is a favourite time of year for many, and for good reason!

So if you’re feeling stressed from fleeting summer, back-to-school routines, or the impending winter, this blog is sure to help you take a step back, relax, and enjoy the best time of year.

We’ve partnered with our friends at Subaru Canada to share 5 ways to practice fall mindfulness in parks:

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