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Physical Activity in Nature

Why is Nature Time Important?

Being outside in nature has many benefits:

  • Less anxiety, stress and depression as nature helps calm the brain
  • A healthy body as people tend to sit less and move more and longer
  • Kids become stronger, more coordinated and have better balance
  • Improved focus, concentration and creativity, as the sights, smells and sounds of nature help restore balance in our body. For more information on nature and brain development explore eMental Health
  • Improved sleep as the sun helps to regulate our sleep patterns

Watch the Nature 4 Life video, where local Leeds, Grenville and Lanark experts talk about the powerful role of nature!

Getting Outside

The positive effects of physical activity are increased when it is done outdoors in nature. Here are a few resources you may find helpful in getting you active in nature.

Looking for a FUN and FREE idea to get outside in nature? All public library branches throughout Leeds and Grenville offer MAPsacks (Movement and Play sacks). These come in 40 different themes, ranging in topics such as ants, reptiles and camping. Each sack is filled with information guides, books, outdoor gadgets and free passes to local parks and conservation areas. Some Library’s also have lending kits for children and families to borrow to be outside in nature including games, sports and nature equipment. Check your local library to see what is available near you! *Funded in part by the province of Ontario

Dress for the Weather

It is important to dress for the weather while enjoying your time out in nature.

  • Dress in layers (wear something waterproof for your top layer and remove the inside layers first).
  • Wear appropriate footwear for the weather, such as something warm, waterproof, and long boots if there is deep snow with good tread for slippery days.
  • Wear a scarf, hat and mitts.
  • Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30+. Sunlight reflects off of snow and ice. You can still get a sunburn and cause damage to your skin in the winter.
  • Replace your wet clothes with dry ones. This will keep you warm and comfortable.
  • Check out the Winter Safety Tip Sheet
  • Be Seen – It is darker in the morning and end of day during the winter months. Remember to wear bright and reflective clothing, and carry a flashlight if going out at these times.