Add nature to your self-care toolkit

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.

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Accessible locations to view fall colours

As the cold weather hits, opportunities to view a stunning array of fall colours are popping up around the province.

Ontario Parks is committed to making our parks as accessible as possible for visitors. If you’re planning a trip, we’ve rounded up a list of parks with accessibility features that are perfect for viewing the beauty of fall.

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Nature on the brain

Today’s blog comes from Kelsey Fenwick, senior park naturalist at Blue Lake Provincial Park

Growing up in small town Ontario, I’ve always loved and appreciated the natural world.

Interestingly, I spent most of my life appreciating nature from a distance.

Although my hometown of Dryden is surrounded by the beautiful boreal forest, for most of my life I was content to stick to the familiarity of the paved streets and the “safety” that I perceived as being within city limits.

I was always nervous to stray “off the beaten path” — you’d never catch me backcountry camping or hiking on a trail more than a kilometre in length.

This all changed for me after high school when I scored a summer job working outdoors. The idea of having to venture from that familiar beaten path was really intimidating, but I’m so glad I took the chance because it changed the course of my life and career.

I realized how good I felt after coming home from work.

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Waldeinsamkeit: solitude in the forest

Picture this: you’re alone, deep into a forested trail. Your only companions are the birds fluttering from branch to branch around you. As you walk, you follow a corridor made of pillars of ancient trees, and smell the earthy aroma of moss and damp leaves.

How do you feel? It’s hard to describe, but the words which immediately come to mind are calm, peaceful, and contemplative. You feel a deep-rooted connection to the world around you, and you are reminded of the importance of our natural environment.

There’s a word for that feeling: waldeinsamkeit.

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Take the 30×30 Challenge this August

Do you want to get a better night sleep? Be more creative? Have more focus and attention?

What about a higher level of job satisfaction, or a general feeling of being restored?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then the 30×30 Challenge might be for you!

Studies show that time spent in nature makes us happier, healthier, and less stressed. As little as 30 minutes per day can lower your blood pressure, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and boost your mood!

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Introducing MacGregor Point’s new Forest Therapy Trail!

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.

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Healthy Parks Healthy People Day 2023

We know that spending time in nature is good for us.

Sometimes, we just need a little push to get outside and feel the effects!

That’s why on July 21, we are offering a variety of activities in parks across the province in celebration of Healthy Parks Healthy People Day.

All parks that normally charge a day-use fee will be offering free entry so you can enjoy the benefits of being in nature.

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Health benefits of fishing

Fishing is an iconic Canadian pastime. There’s nothing like spending the day by the water with your friends and family, casting a line and enjoying the great outdoors.

But did you know you can get more than a killer catch from a day of fishing? Fishing actually has benefits for your physical and mental health.

Here are a few ways fishing can improve your overall well-being.

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The healing power of nature for seniors

Getting outdoors is important for people of all ages and walks of life.

Getting outside is a great way to relax and soak up the beauty of nature that surrounds us.

Best of all, there are real benefits to enjoying the outdoors, especially for seniors.

Studies are continuously reporting the benefits gained by seniors who spend time in nature. These are some of the top reasons older adults should make time to get outside each day:

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6 health benefits of cycling

If you’ve ever pedalled up a hill before, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to hear that cycling is great for working the lower body, but did you know the health benefits reach far beyond your quads and hamstrings?

Check out these brain and body benefits of cycling:

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