Get out and enjoy nature: it’s great for healthy living

Get out and enjoy nature:  it’s great for healthy living

If you’re as sensitive to seasonal time change as I am, you may have noticed even a month ago, that the days are getting shorter, and evenings are cooler. While in my head, I’m thinking winter, ‘fabulous’ (I must admit, said with more than a hint of sarcasm).
At the same time, I see many benefits to the seasonal change.
A significant one, for those of you less fond of the humidity, is being able to take advantage of the comfortable weather to get outside and enjoy nature.
We often don’t realize that we do not have to go very far to do so. For readers with accessibility issues, if you can, try getting out with some great company, be they family or friends. The positive health effects to overall wellbeing abound, for everyone.
Bonus, the weather is comfortable, there are fewer mosquitos, the beautiful fall colors will paint a breathtaking picture, and the health benefits are evident.
Many researchers are finding clear evidence of the physical and psychological benefits of nature on wellbeing. For example, researcher, Dr. Lisa Nisbet notes that, “You can boost your mood just by walking in nature, even in urban nature…The sense of connection you have with the natural world seems to contribute to happiness…” I agree with her, I experience this all the time when I get out in nature.
There is a plethora of benefits. For me, I’ve always found it calming and a great de-stressor. Being in nature can help keep you healthy, mind and body.
When I say ‘nature’ I’m not necessarily referring to a wilderness-type environment, however, simply green, and blue spaces (the latter, where you have a river or ocean view, I also find this soothing). This can be found in a park or in your own neighborhood.
If you feel like getting out for a change of scenery, there are some beautiful areas right there in Montreal that come to mind. I’m thinking of the Lachine Canal, a national historic site practically in the heart of city, with lots of green and blue spaces; Angrignon Park; Mount Royal with its spectacular view; Parc Jean Drapeau; and Parc La Fontaine, to name only a few spectacular scenic areas, if you do not want to go too far.
In fact, my recent visit to Parc Omega, a wonderful, safari-like park located in Montebello, was the motivation behind this article. This place reminded me of the importance of being in nature. It’s a must visit – a wonderful day outing if you set off before noon. Adults and children will enjoy it.
The drive down is quite scenic. When you arrive, you feel as if you’re in a different part of the world, with the vast foliage, as well as seeing wildlife in their natural habitat. The landscape is remarkable and will be even more so with the cornucopia of vibrant autumn colors. You’re directly in the middle of nature.
While I’m not one for camping and the like, this place gives one a sense of calm and appreciation for the world around us. If you can, bring good walking shoes and dress comfortably if you want to get out of your car to check out the trails.
I would suggest that you opt for healthy food options, so bring a picnic lunch. There are picnic tables everywhere. Don’t forget to bring carrots. Not just for yourself, but also to feed the deer that may come up to you, and they will (if you forget the carrots, you can purchase a bag or two on site).
I must laugh, this seems like a great review for Parc Omega. That’s how impressed I was and how relaxed I felt after. It is certainly worth a visit. Grab your map and enjoy. You may find yourself back again and again.
As part of living a healthier lifestyle, if you can, take the opportunity to visit these places. If you do not want to go alone, grab a friend, bring the family and a friend. Even if it means simply sitting and enjoying the peace and tranquility of nature, it’s worth it. This is also an important part of healthy living.

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Marlene Roache is a Healthy Eating Coach, Owner, La Tropiqua, Healthy Living-For Life