How good is active outdoor travel for your health and wellbeing? It’s so essential that doctors in Canada can now prescribe a ‘dose’ of nature to their patients.
“PaRx” is Canada’s first, national nature prescription program. It started in 2020 and has since won over a lot of supporters, including an award from the Canadian Medical Association, and over 1000 registered prescribers.
Doctors, nurses, and other licensed health care professionals can help their patients improve their health by prescribing time in Canada’s great outdoors.
Now, thanks to a new partnership with Parks Canada, PaRx lets Canadians ‘fill a prescription’ to get moving in natural outdoor spaces from coast to coast to coast.
PaRx-registered health care professionals can now prescribe a Parks Canada Discovery Pass that provides patients access to hundreds of national parks, historic sites and national marine conservation areas.
You know how good you feel when you travel – near or far – to spend time in Nature? It’s not your imagination. The benefits are real, and PaRx says “nature is a powerful way to improve your health.”
According to the organization, plenty of evidence attributes connecting with Nature with significantly better health and wellbeing.
· It helps patients with diabetes, heart disease, and pain reduction
· It gives people increased energy, reduced stress, anxiety and depression, better mood, and longer lives. Plus
· Kids who play in green spaces have better focus, move more, and have better motor skills
“This exciting collaboration with PaRx is a breakthrough for how we treat mental and physical health challenges, and couldn’t come at a better time as we continue to grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our daily lives,” said Canada’s minister responsible for Parks Canada.
“I am confident this program will quickly show its enormous value to the well-being of patients as it continues to expand throughout the country.”
Canada isn’t the only place where the healing power of nature is just what the doctor ordered.
According to the Global Wellness Summit, nature ‘prescriptions’ were one of the top wellness trends in 2019 and the pandemic has only accelerated peoples’ appreciation of getting out into – and preserving – Nature.
As one prescribing physician says, “I like to think that every time one of my colleagues writes a nature prescription, we’re making the planet healthier too.”
Trips to the Great Outdoors have no single formula. Rustic or luxurious? Intensively athletic for the super fit, or accessible to those who just want to enjoy the fresh air, glorious scenery and moving? They can involve equipment like kayaks or snowshoes, expert guides, or simply sensible shoes and a signed trail.
Your travel advisor can’t prescribe you a dose of Nature. But they can help you design and plan the perfect outdoor vacation - in Canada or another natural destination on your travel bucket list.
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