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3 ways to boost your health with fresh air & outdoor activity

Here in Canada, we’re surrounded by fresh, clean air. It can be easy to forget how lucky we are, but according to a recent Fraser Institute study, Canada’s air quality ranks amongst the best in the world. We know that getting active in nature offers many benefits; including a boost to your immune system, your mood and it decreases levels of stress and anxiety. So, get out there, take some deep, cleansing breaths, and get moving with these fresh-air activities – even if it’s just in your own yard, driveway or at a nearby park.

Regardless of what’s happening in the world these days it’s important to still aim to get the recommended amount of daily physical activity (we just have to go about it in the right ways). Adults need 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week while children and youth need 60 minutes each day. Try to get active even a little bit each day.

GO FLY A KITE

On a beach, in a park or a vast field, flying a kite brings out the kid in us adults. Kid or adult, it’s a great way to get active. While winds of 10 to 40 kilometres an hour are best for leisure kite-flying, these conditions also challenge us, both physically and mentally. It’s called “resistance running,” according to Runner’s World and it’s a technique used by serious runners to improve stamina, power and technique. When training, some of these runners actually strap a parachute to their backs and run!

kit flying a kite

TRAMPOLINE TIME

Jumping on a trampoline is physical and fun rolled into one. According to Men’s Journal, “The low-impact antigravity cardio workout is easier on your joints than pavement-pounding. Plus, trampolining improves your balance, gets your heart rate up, and can boost cardio better than 33 minutes of running, according to research from NASA.”

You can jump into this trampolining both outdoors or inside. Backyard trampolines are a common sight across the country in warmer months – and they’re not just for kids!

woman walking in a forest

HIKE UP HIGH

A favourite way to get some fresh air is to hike to a viewpoint, take in the vista and simply inhale. Hiking is an activity that can be adapted to just about any skill level, thanks to a variety of hiking surfaces from paved paths to steep, rocky inclines, and everything in between.  This is why you’ll see parents pushing strollers, others in wheelchairs, little ones with less stamina, and teens and adults hiking alongside each other. According to Harvard Health, “Hiking is a good way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, particularly if your route includes some hills … and the slightly uneven surfaces engage core muscles in your torso.”

Your and your families’ safety is always of paramount importance, so be sure you are washing your hands regularly and adhering to healthcare practitioners recommendations.

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