It’s called the Great Outdoors for a reason

Family hiking near the mountains (Photo courtesy ParticipACTION)

Family hiking near the mountains (Photo courtesy ParticipACTION)

August 11, 2014 | by ParticipACTION

Close your eyes and picture this: you are walking barefoot on the beach with your toes in the sand. Your kids are running ahead of you, and you can feel the warm sun on your face. In front of you is a big stretch of water. The wind is high and you can see a few happy faces out on the water in little sailboats. It’s finally quiet, no cars driving by, just the sound of the wind and the waves on the shore. This picture might look like a total cliché, but it certainly sounds nice—doesn’t it? We think you can get there. All it takes is a little planning.

By now, summer is almost in full swing, camps are booked for our kids, and our summer itineraries are creeping up. With our busy summer schedules planned, why not take a big deep breath, enjoy the warm weather, and set aside some time to explore the Great Outdoors?

Living in Canada, I think we often take our beautiful surroundings for granted. We are truly lucky to live in a country with a landscape as diverse as it is. It’s a fine idea to slow down and teach our kids to appreciate our unique setting. Plus, choosing to get active outdoors has more added health benefits than you may know. In a recent article from The Globe and Mail, Dr. Greg Wells says, “Walking in nature improves measures of revitalization, self-esteem, energy and pleasure, and decreases frustration, worry, confusion, depression, tension and tiredness.” Before things get so busy this summer, why not plan to get outside, relax a little and take a much deserved break? I think we can all enjoy the benefits.

To get you started with some local resources, check out our suggestions below:


The Nature Conservancy of Canada works to preserve some of Canada’s best natural treasures. Be a Conservation Explorer online and in person! Research a dedicated conservation area within your area and visit it yourself to see our beautiful landscape the way conservationists do. You can also check out the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association for ideas and links to a variety of provincial Parks and Recreation resources.

British Columbia:

By checking out BC Parks you can take a look at BC’s many park listings, make a reservation, or find out about local events.

New Brunswick:

Tourism New Brunswick has some great ideas to get you started; play a round of golf at Herring Cove, practice your nature photography at Murray Beach or hike scenic trails at Mount Carleton. Parks New Brunswick also allows you to reserve space so you can plan a great camping trip.

If you need more inspiration to get outside, the ParticipACTION Play List includes 24 fun things every child should do before they’re 12 – and hey, most of them happen to be outdoors!

This blog post was written by Georgia Barrington and originally appeared on the ParticipACTION blog on June 23rd, 2014


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ParticipACTION is the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in Canada

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