If hibernation is a pastime in your home, studies show you're not alone. According to the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, we spend less time outside than ever before as we juggle family and career commitments.
Think about it. At the end of a long day, it feels easier to kick up your feet and veg out in front of the tube instead of slipping outside for a walk around the block. But if that's your routine, you may be missing out. There are plenty of fun things to do outdoors and getting outside has been shown to regularly reduce stress and boost your energy.
So get out of the house and reconnect with nature. There are plenty of great ways to get started: you'll find camping advice, exciting ways to introduce your kids to nature, plus picnic ideas and Test Kitchen recipes, and much more.
• Camping in the great Canadian outdoors
Learn about all-inclusive campsites that make "roughing it" a thing of the past. Plus, find a campground where your family will have fun, not frustration, out in the woods.
• Campground checklist
Make sure you have everything you need for camping in Canada with this handy checklist.
• 7 ways to keep the bugs away
Bug spray, insect repellant or citronella candles? Find out how to tame mosquitos, avoid fly bites and protect your skin.
• How to be a green camper
Protect nature on your next camping trip with these great tips on how to be an eco-friendly camper.
• 7 great canoe trips
Ecotourism incorporates fun, preserving nature and discovering culture. Here are seven Canadian canoe trips for you and your family to enjoy – bring on the paddling!
• The great Canadian parks guide
Your guide to cross-country leisure and adventure.
• Quiz: Is your family suffering from nature deficit disorder?
Find out how being outdoors cuts stress, fights obesity and can help improve attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
• Get your family to have fun with nature
Show your loved ones that there's more to life than what's going on in your living room. Get great tips to get your family moving outside.
• Are your kids spending enough time outdoors?
Getting up close with nature opens a child's eyes to the wonders of the world, with a bounty of health benefits.
Have a perfect picnic with these Test Kitchen tips:
• Summer wines to dine with
Find smart advice on how to pick a terrific wine to accompany any summer meal.
• How to make layered sandwiches
These stylish sandwiches make delicious fare for afternoon tea -- or just for lunch.
• Menu: The perfect picnic
The original moveable feast, a picnic captures the culinary essence of summer: cool, informal and alfresco.
• Menu: Supreme sandwiches
Baloney-be-gone! Pack an excellent lunch with these easy sandwich recipes.
• Photo gallery: How to make your picnic greener
Who needs paper and plastic? Feel good about eating outdoors with these tips and tools for eco-friendlier picnics.
Tested Till Perfect recipes: Burgers, salads and sandwiches
• Photo gallery: 6 great Canadian cheeseburgers
Whatever the meat, burgers become upscale when they're accented with a flavourful Canadian cheese. So skip the drive-through and fire up the grill for these new looks at the familiar cheeseburger.
• Summer Vegetable Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette and Canadian Asiago Cheese
A great healthy recipe option when dining al fresco.
• Sausage and Pepper Sandwich Roll
This portable sandwich fills the bill for fun picnic fare. A make-ahead filling rolled up in easy no-rise dough is sliced into pretty pinwheel servings to enjoy warm or cool.
• Salmon Pitas with Celery Heart Salad
Grown-ups will love this salmon sandwich flavoured with a vinaigrette dressing.
• Stuffed Pork Sandwiches
Everyone will enjoy this filling pork sandwich.
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Let's get outside, Canada!
Getting out of the gym and get moving with outdoor fitness, fun activities for the whole family and great gardening tips. Your body and mind will thank you for it!
Outdoor exercise and family fun
• How to start your own walking or running regimen
Running and walking are among the best fitness programs around, plus they're efficient and inexpensive.
• How to start hiking
Blaze a trail to good health with hiking know-how from the experts.
• 17 ways to get active outside
Getting a good workout doesn't have to mean going to the gym.
• How to buy a bike
There are many options when it comes to buying a bike. Check our bicycle guide so you know your options and find the perfect fit.
• 8 great outdoor fitness dates
Up the romance as you stay active and fit.
Outdoor fun with the family
• 20 fun things to do with your kids this summer
Two months can drag on when trying to keep the kids entertained all summer. Check out our fun-guide for some great summer activity ideas.
• Sending the kids to summer camp: Tips and a checklist
Find out what to pack and how to ease their fears about being away from home.
• 20 fun family activities to do after dusk
Fill your summer with fireworks, ferris wheels and family fun. Here's our guide to great times after dark.
Great gardening tips
• How gardening with your kids helps them learn
Foster a love of gardening in your children and teach them where food comes from -- they might even start eating their greens!
• Get fit in the garden
Trade in your runners for gardening gloves and enjoy fitness among the flowers.
• Create a backyard nature habitat with your kids
Want to lure your children away from glowing screens and into the great outdoors? Follow these tips to create a wildlife sanctuary that they won't want to leave -- all in your own backyard.
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