A growing body of research confirms the health benefits of getting outside. Kids who spend time in nature every day are healthier, happier, more creative, less stressed and more alert than those who don't. As parents, grandparents, caregivers and educators, it's our responsibility to raise kids with healthy nature habits.
I love going on a day hike. Nothing is better than being out with friends enjoying nature and having a laugh. But from time to time, when I am on the trail I do see people who look distressed or uncomfortable. Day hikes are much more fun and enjoyable (and safe too!) when you have the top tips to make your outing great.
If one of your goals when you get outside to enjoy Canada's vast natural spaces this summer is to bring home some awe-inspiring photographs, you may be wondering where to start. We spoke with Bruce Kirkby, an award-winning wilderness writer and adventure photographer to get his take on what makes a great nature photo.
In 2010, our five-year-old daughter, Lily, was diagnosed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Whenever Lily was released from the hospital, and the weather cooperated, we headed outside. We really started to depend on these adventures, these outdoor excursions, to get us through the bad days and help Lily along her road to recovery. According to the National Environmental Educational Foundation, exposure to nature can reduce stress levels by as much as 28 per cent in children. Health benefits of nature may include reduced anxiety and depression, increased energy and immunity, decreased stress and improved mental health.
When I discovered the German word Waldensemkite -- the feeling of peace that one gets when being alone in the woods -- it made me wonder how real are these experiences? Did this invisible forest mist have an impact on me? As a scientist, I relish the experiment. So for one week, I would spend at least five minutes maximizing the human/tree interface, i.e. tree hugging.
A really good deck doesn't stop at the luxuriant lumber from which it is constructed. To bring any deck (patio or terrace) alive it needs subsequent "layers." In precisely the same manner in which décor and accessories will alternate interior "beat," so too can visual and physical tricks make your exterior scheme look "considered."
As spring finally heats up in the east, I'm reminded of all the reasons why I get outside and like to go wild and immerse myself in nature. Of course, exercise is important (for me and my dog Jimmy) and it's nice to clear my mind, but as I do it, it reminds me why protecting nature is an important daily responsibility.
Has all that outdoor fun left you spent? Maybe you're just sick of layers, static, and space heaters. Beat the winter blues at this Old Chelsea oasis. It's the biggest spa in North America! While they do offer indoor services such as massage and body treatments, the full experience includes taking a dip in the outdoor baths and warming up in seven different saunas.
Being outdoors and enjoying nature is one of the happiest parts of my life. Cross country skiing is in that category of happy experiences. In fact, it is probably at the very top of the list. It is an amazing way to be outside, get some fresh air and make friends. Best of all it is really easy to learn.