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Is Nature the Ultimate Antidepressant?

Liz Lee
by Liz Lee

April 05, 2024

2 minute read

An interesting thing happened in 2022 – healthcare practitioners in four Canadian provinces were given the okay to offer patients a new type of prescription: passes to national parks. The new initiative, called PaRX, was founded by the British Columbia Parks Foundation in conjunction with a group of healthcare professionals who wanted to improve the overall well-being of their patients by connecting them with nature.

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According to the BC Parks Foundation, Parks Prescriptions began as a grassroots movement in the U.S. over a decade ago, based on a growing body of scientific evidence that spending time outside is a great way to improve our mental and physical health. Here are just a few facts:

  • Spending time in nature boosts memory, creativity, and work satisfaction.
  • Seniors who live closer to walkable green spaces live longer.
  • Spending time in nature decreases the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Ninety percent of us say we’re happier when we’re outside, and stress hormones drop significantly after just 15 minutes of sitting in a forest.
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Those are some pretty good excuses to start planning your next national park adventure, which, of course, is one of our specialities. On our National Parks of America tour, you can explore five of the most awe-inspiring outdoor spaces in the country, from the breathtaking Grand Canyon to the majesty of Yellowstone and many places in between. If you’d prefer to explore Utah’s Mighty 5 or the big sky country of Montana, we’ve got that, too.

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Of course, national parks aren’t the only way to experience the great outdoors. We offer tours all over the world that are designed specifically with nature lovers in mind, in places like Costa Rica, Finland, Hawaii, and the plains of Africa. Kind of makes you want to get outside, right? No prescription necessary.

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