Three uniquely Canadian activities to get you into the ‘discomfort zone’

Canada Day kicks off July and it’s the perfect opportunity to share some appreciation for the things that make our country great. We’re lucky to live in one of the most geographically diverse countries in the world, so this summer let’s celebrate by enjoying our great Canadian outdoors. 

Getting active in nature has amazing benefits—more than just lowering your blood pressure and boosting your mood, trying a new outdoor activity can be tremendously rewarding. By stepping out of your comfort zone and into your ‘discomfort zone’ we can also see big personal growth. 

Are you ready to take a step into the unfamiliar? 

Try one or all of the activities below that come with a uniquely Canadian spin: 

  1. Noodle hockey. Take the all-Canadian sport of road hockey but replace the shin-splintering sticks with flexible, foam pool noodles, and the hard, plastic ball with a soft, bouncy beach ball and you’ve got noodle hockey! This sport is adaptable, just like us Canadians. It can be played in a grassy yard or a sandy beach, with lawn chairs or coolers marking the goals; teams can be any size and rules can vary. Bonus, noodle hockey offers intense bursts of physical exertion, which boosts our heart health, which in turn extends our lives according to the Journal of the American Heart Association

  2. Paddle a canoe. Canoeing is as Canadian as the voyageurs. There’s no better time to dip your paddle into the water than our country’s birth month.  If you don’t have a canoe, you can rent one for as little as $15/day (prices vary depending on outfitter and location), and you can often get package deals that include life jackets and for first-timers, a short lesson. If you’re an experienced canoeist, consider shaking up your route with a different waterway or make it your mission to introduce canoeing to someone who’s never tried it before.
  3. Model Terry Fox. He’s a Canadian hero and an icon. Terry Fox, who attempted to run across Canada on a prosthetic leg to raise money for cancer research in 1980, was born in this month, July 28, 1958. To celebrate his birthday and his achievements, pick a point along Terry’s route and get out there to run, walk, bike, hike or roll. While you’re at it, set a goal for yourself to achieve the recommended 150 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity every week for this entire month. The official Terry Fox runs take place in September, but why wait?