New poll suggests Canadians are spending more time outdoors
Greater Sudbury has extended the hours of the skate path on Ramsey Lake. (Photo from Facebook)
SUDBURY -- For pandemic-weary Canadians, nature is a relief.
A new poll put out by the Nature Conservancy of Canada suggests more than 90 per cent of people are crediting time spent outdoors for helping them through the pandemic.
“We’re spending more time around our homes and neighbourhoods,” said spokesperson Andrew Holland. "We’re trying to clear our heads, and rejuvenate and boost our moods.
“Spending time outdoors in nature has really been a catalyst in that, and given us some much-needed sunshine over the past several months.”
In northern Ontario, Sudbury’s skate path on Ramsey Lake is open and the city extended its hours of operation Friday, saying, in a release:
“The shutdown has been hard for all of us, and we understand getting the family out for some fresh air is one way to get through these challenging times.”
The skate path was originally open from 4-8 p.m. but now operates 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
CTV News spoke with skaters on the path, and many responses we received were from people wanting to spend time outside.
“Just trying to get out of the house, and do something other than watching Netflix all day," said Jenna Sequin. "Get some physical activity and see some friends in a safe way.”
“I think it’s just a great way to get some fresh air, really, (and it's) good for mental health and your well being in general,” said Veronica Klassen.
The Nature Conservancy said the trend is especially prevalent among women and young families. Since the start of the pandemic, Canadians are reporting a greater awareness of nature in their lives.
For northerners, the organization is encouraging people to bundle up and embrace what nature has to offer.
“We’re really lucky this time of year, add a layer and you can make the most of it,” said Holland.
“Get out and walk, hike, snowshoe. It can improve your mood, it can also improve your mental and physical well-being, which is so important these days.”