An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
New Year’s resolutions: they’re a lot to live up to. Challenging yourself to enact positive change in your life is always daunting – whether it’s resolving to lose weight or to embrace a dream. But what if you could adopt one activity into your life that would help you achieve all your goals for the New Year? That’s right, just one – this year, we want you to get outdoors! Step outside. Breathe in the air. Feel the cool breeze. Take a walk. Ski. Skate. Hike. Explore nature. Experience the wonders of Canada in the wintertime. Let Mother Nature be the voice encouraging you to stick to your resolution.
Make the pledge
This year, resolve to:
- Live a little leaner. According to Health Canada guidelines, one in four Canadians are obese. It’s not just holiday feasts causing the problem, it’s a lifestyle issue. Thankfully, there are simple things you can do to have immediate impact on your physical health. Take a walk for example. A 160-pound person walking at a quick pace of 3.5 mph can easily burn 277 calories an hour. If you want to step it up a notch, hit the trails; hiking will burn 438 calories per hour. An incentive to get outside, why not track the wildlife you see using our iNaturalist app.
- Motivate your children to be active. Only 7% of Canadian youth and children meet their daily physical activity requirements. The result: record rates of children with asthma, obesity and ADHD. Lead by example! This winter, try snowshoeing, skiing or searching for wildlife tracks in the snow. A great way to encourage your children to enjoy natural experiences is through our Wild Family Nature Club program.
- Love yourself a little more. One U.K. study found that when people got out into the fresh air and enjoyed green spaces during exercise, 60% of them felt more confident during the first five minutes of their workout. That confidence lasted the entire duration of their sweat-a-thon. People who exercised outdoors also have a lower risk of poor mental health. You can always take a Walk For Wildlife.
- Keep your cool when deadlines loom. Stressed out at work? A University of Essex study found that doing physical activity outside can drive down tension, anger and anxiety. Try to do more of your regular activity outside. Get outside on your lunch break. Take your laptop out to the picnic table to finish your report or hold a “moving meeting” and chat about a project while walking with your co-worker. When all else fails, we recommend you try gardening to ease the stress.
- Heart your heart. Between the vitamin D you get from the sun’s rays to the huffing and puffing from walking outside, you’ll lower bad cholesterol, amp up good cholesterol, keep your blood pressure in check and potentially reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes by as much as 50%. Moreover, a study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association found that women who walked for two or more hours a week or women who had a quick pace had lower risk of stroke than women who were sedentary and walked at a slower pace. If you need something to inspire you to get outside, bring a camera and enter our Reflections of Nature photo contest.
- Give the Energizer Bunny a run for its money. Getting outside during the day can help to reset your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock that tells it to wake and sleep according to the rising and setting of the sun), helping to keep your energy up. Perhaps you can try to match the daily distance travelled by one of the leatherback turtles we’re tracking in our Great Canadian Turtle Race. Good luck with that!