Making nature time an essential part of your lifestyle is one of the best choices you can make for your health. Backed by hundreds of scientific studies over several decades, increasing your green time can have a wide range of positive effects, from a healthier heart and immune system and reduced stress in adults, to better eyesight and brain power in kids. Learn more about the specific health benefits of nature here.
Not only that, but you can win prizes! Every patient who fills a nature prescription from their health-care provider will be entered into monthly draws for swag from the BC Parks Foundation and our sponsors.
Aim to spend at least 2 hours a week in nature, 20+ minutes at a time.
Research shows that people who spend at least 2 hours per week in nature report significantly better health and wellbeing. If you want to maximize the stress-busting effects of nature, one study showed that the most efficient drop in cortisol happens between the 20-to-30-minute mark. Hence our 20-minute rule.
Make easy green tweaks to your routine.
Book a lunchtime walk in the park with a coworker. Do your next cardio workout on a trail instead of at the gym. Choose an active commute to work or school along a greenway—and take a break along the way. Plan a weekend getaway around an outdoor experience. There are so many ways to add more nature to your life without adding extra hours and effort.
Write nature into your schedule.
Schedule and prioritize green time like you would a doctor’s appointment or a dinner date. That means entering it in your day planner. Science tells us that when we write something down it’s more likely to happen.
Phone a friend (or family member).
Sometimes we need a little extra help to establish a good habit. Getting your loved ones involved increases the chances that you’ll meet your nature goals—and they can win prizes too!
Respect nature—and yourself.
Dress for the weather. Stay on the trail and avoid risky detours. Always pack out what you pack in and don’t litter. Treating nature with respect keeps our parks safe and accessible for everyone. For more on how to get outside safely and responsibly, visit our friends at AdventureSmart.
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