Special events are happening from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland and from Baffin Island to Point Pelee (Canada’s most southern point) on Saturday July 18 (Canada Parks Day). Many events are also happening at US National Parks all month celebrating National Recreation and Parks Month.
Frequently going to a park and being active can reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, help ward off obesity and decrease feelings of depression. The US National Recreation and Parks website states that:
- Active users of public parks have a lower body mass index
- People who visit parks for longer periods of time (one hour or more) have significantly lower systolic blood pressures
- Park users who are more physically active and who make frequent contact with friends during their leisure are less likely to report feeling depressed
- Citizens who have better access to parks, visit parks more frequently, and engage in physically-active park behaviors also make fewer visits to their doctor
- Playing in parks also helps children build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints, improve self-esteem
Beverly’s Hot Tips for celebrating National Recreation And Parks Month:
- US park fees are frozen and/or are free and Canadian National Parks fees are frozen at 2008 prices so take a look at what is available near you for a relatively low entertainment fee
- From camping overnight to enjoying the day at the beach our parks can provide an opportunity to enjoy some of the best views and activities our countries have to offer. If you are camping overnight, plan for both the good weather and bad. This year I am printing off some great fireside ghost stories that will be sure to entertain regardless of the weather. Check out http://www.ghostsandstories.com/short-campfire-ghost-stories.html
- Let go of your everyday worries and be in the moment. Enjoy the sights and sounds that only our parks can provide
- Leave your technology at home or at least turn it off. There is nothing like cooking outdoors or sitting beside the fire. Resist the urge to bring modern conveniences with you. Check in for messages only when absolutely necessary
- Try something new. Check out the visitor’s centre for some ideas on hiking, bird watching, fishing or kayaking in the park.
Our parks are one of our national treasures that many of us don’t take the time to enjoy. However, they can provide us with an opportunity to relax and get connected with ourselves, our family and friends and to nature itself.
Wishing you a moment to discover the awesome,
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!