For many of us, the Trans Canada Trail is an outdoor gym – a place to improve our physical fitness while discovering Canada’s incredible landscapes. But did you know that the Trail also offers opportunities to take care of our mental health?
Activities like mindful walking in the outdoors can help free our minds from “mental clutter” and everyday stress. For some, it helps to instill sense of inner calm; for others, it can offer solutions to problems that might have seemed daunting before.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments are advising people to stay safe and recreate responsibly. However, public health authorities in Canada still recommend taking short walks near your home, while maintaining a safe distance from others, as a means of staying active and managing stress levels.
Discover how you can responsibly reap the benefits of mindful walking with these tips.
1. Choose the right Trail section for you
Mindful walking is about getting back to nature, but that doesn’t mean you have to retreat to the wilderness.
Since we all need to stay close to home and practice physical distancing, it’s best to choose a circular trail that’s near you. If you live in an urban area, don’t worry – the Trail passes through many of Canada’s cities. Remember, 80% of Canadians live within 30 minutes of a Trail section!
To find out where you can access the Trail, visit our online map.
2. Check for updates from reliable sources
Before going out, make sure to check for any updates from reliable government sources. Public health advice can change based on current realities so it’s important to stay up-to-date. Visit the Government of Canada website, as well as the websites of your provincial/territorial government and municipality for the latest available information.
3. Take a break from tech
As tempting as it may be to tune in to a playlist or your favourite podcast, take an opportunity to spend some time away from technology! Consider putting your devices on vibrate for the duration of your walk.
4. Practice physical distancing
While a short break for some fresh air is good for us, remember your responsibility to those around you. As soon as you begin your walk, make sure to give other walkers space. It’s widely recommended that you keep a distance of at least two metres – that’s six feet – between you and others. But remember, physical distancing doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to smile at passers-by!
5. End with a moment of stillness
Once you’re ready to finish your walk, stand tall and still, pausing for another moment of awareness and peace.
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