Doctors in parts of Canada have another tool in their nature prescription kit. They can now prescribe Parks Canada’s Discovery Pass to patients as it joins an existing initiative designed to get more people outside.

Park Prescriptions (PaRx) is a BC Parks Foundation initiative that began in 2020 as Canada’s first national nature prescription program. It has since expanded to Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The new agreement means doctors can prescribe a national park pass that grants access to more than 80 locations including national parks, national historic sites and national marine preserves.

“I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2022 than being able to give the gift of nature to my patients,” says Dr. Melissa Lam, a family physician and director of PaRx. “There’s a strong body of evidence on the health benefits of nature time, from better immune function and life expectancy to reduced risk of heart disease, depression and anxiety.”

Studies have shown that people who spend at least two hours a week in nature report better health and well-being. A dose of nature for one, please.

Two hours in nature each week boosts health and well-being.

Source: Scientfic Reports

Try shifting the spotlight to a route in nature, like a riverside pathway or a trail. More nature exposure can lead to more satisfaction on a run.


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