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Want Another National Holiday And Long Weekend?

07/05/2015 10:41 EDT | Updated 07/05/2016 05:59 EDT

Want Another National Holiday And Long Weekend?

Whether you're a child or an adult, living a healthy lifestyle is so important -- but getting outside and being active isn't just about the exercise, it's also about the experiences we share with family and friends. As a doctor, I've seen first-hand how the constant stress and demands of day-to-day life can negatively impact people's emotional and physical health.

Recently, I stumbled across a study that said 63 per cent of Canadians spend less than two hours per week outside doing recreational activities. Truth is, spending time outdoors offers enumerable benefits to our overall wellbeing and I'm concerned people aren't finding the time to get outside. I strongly encourage you to put down your TV remote, phone or ipad, and get out there!

Like many of you I have kids and I never want them to grow up not knowing what it feels like to cannonball into the deep end. Maybe you can relate, but when I was growing up, kids were sent outside to play and some would even argue that spending time outdoors makes children more resilient. As Canadians, playing in the great outdoors is an integral part of not only growing up, but of our national identity. For example, have you ever played street hockey or heard the echo of kids yelling "Car!" as you drive down the street? One kid picks up the net, the others run off to the side to let the car pass, and within seconds of the car driving by the nets are back up and play resumes ('Wayne's World' anyone? And Mike Myers is Canadian too!).

Maybe the problem is that we don't have enough time? Friday, July 17th National Get Outside Day -- a national holiday to provide Canadians with a little time to get outdoors with friends and family. As a doctor and a mother, it's a cause I really believe in.

Truth is, spending time outdoors offers enumerable benefits to our overall wellbeing and I'm concerned people aren't finding the time to get outside.

So, this summer, I challenge you to make the time to get outside. Want to get outside, but don't know what to do? Check out www.getoutsidecanada.com for fun ideas and lists of the best places to swim, hike, fish, and more. You can also sign the petition to make Get Outside Day a holiday!