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Welcome summer! The health benefits associated with the activities you love

The nicer weather is a great excuse to get outdoors and enjoy what mother nature has to offer. It is also a great time to do more of the activities you love, like walking, swimming, gardening and exercises like tai chi that can be done outdoors. If the weather wasn’t enough of a motivator to get outside, did you know that there are also several health benefits associated with many outdoor activities?

Aquatic exercise:

Research evidence suggests that moderate to high intensity aquatic exercise is at least as effective as land-based exercise for improving strength, endurance, flexibility and physical function.

Blog Post: Why aquatic exercise is making a splash with health conscious adults

Gardening

There are many evidence-based benefits of gardening, including helping to maintain physical fitness, improve flexibility, coordination and strength, enhance relaxation, improve self-esteem and depression symptoms, encourage creativity, and create social bonds (and even intergenerational relationships).

Blog Post: Cultivating health and well-being

Yoga and tai chi

Warmer weather makes it more enjoyable to get outside and practice yoga or tai chi. A park, or your own backyard can make for the perfect backdrop for your practice. Did you know that meditative practices such as yoga and tai chi can help alleviate stress and reduce depressive symptoms? Yoga can also help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index. Tai chi may help reduce fasting blood sugar levels and BMI and improve certain aspects of quality of life.

While you enjoy the many benefits of the outdoors, including more vitamin D, remember to be ‘sun smart’ to avoid skin cancer!


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DISCLAIMER: Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website

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