ICYMI, on August 1, kicked off the Healthy Parks Healthy People 30×30 Challenge!
All you need to do is get outdoors for 30 minutes for 30 days to experience the many benefits nature has to offer!
There is a lot of research on how spending time outdoors is good for us. But how can we go out safely this summer, especially when we follow public health guidelines and avoid large gatherings or crowded areas?
Here are five tips for tackling the 30×30 Challenge while staying safe and healthy:
1. Go alone
Plan activities that you can do on your own or within your social bubble.
An early morning walk in a local park or a bike ride on an urban or rural trail are great options to get out and avoid the crowds.
2. Aim for off-peak visits
Plan an outdoor adventure on a weekday, morning, or evening for a less crowded experience.
Southern provincial parks and local beaches are experiencing high numbers of visitors on weekends; everyone is craving a dose of nature right now.
We have implemented measures to address overcrowding and promote physical distancing in our park spaces and buildings during peak visitation hours, limiting occupancy for day use in select provincial parks. This includes limiting the number of daily vehicle permits sold.
Many parks reach capacity on weekends, so it’s a good idea to check for updates online before taking a long trip.
3. Get off the beaten path (but stay on the path!)
There are plenty of green spaces to explore in Ontario, including quiet ravine trails, scenic and lush conservation areas, and more than 300 provincial parks.
Do some research online or ask neighbors and friends what their favorite local outdoor adventure spot is and check it out!
Lesser-known places will most likely be less crowded.
4. Mix it up!
The goal of the 30×30 Challenge is to be in nature constantly. However, your activities can be very varied!
Try outdoor yoga one day and a bike ride the next. Take a walk through a local park and count how many different species you see, or plan a mini trip to one of Ontario’s 250,000 lakes or 500,000 km of rivers and streams.
Challenge your family or friends online to a nature photography contest and take a photo walk through green spaces.
Combining your activities will allow you to choose options where physical distancing is easier.
5. Be flexible
Maybe you’ve arrived at your destination and found there’s too much movement for comfort. Alright!
Be prepared with a backup plan to avoid disappointment.
There is still time to participate.
There are countless ways to get outdoors this month and these are just a few ways to make the 30×30 Challenge less… challenging!
Enjoy and don’t forget to tag us on your outdoor adventures! #HPHP #30x30Challenge