For the herd — the great outdoors

Get outside while the weather is still warm

It’s called the “great” outdoors for a reason — it’s great for your physical and mental health. So, while the Winnipeg summer is still hot and before the chaos of fall semester back-to-school scheduling, grab some fresh air (air quality permitting, of course).

If you’re on campus, Kings Park is only a 20-minute walk away. There you can find a nice place to sit or walk around, as well as a pagoda to check out. There is also an off-leash dog area if you want to hang out with some dogs, and there’s the easily navigable Carol Shields Memorial Labyrinth to explore.

If you’re downtown, through the end of August the Exchange District Biz and Sport Manitoba Fitness Centre are offering free “Yoga in the Park” classes. Yoga instructor Philip Rosario will lead these classes from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. in Stephen Juba Park at 130 Galt Avenue on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

And of course, if you do find yourself downtown and just want to be out in nature for a while, the Forks is always a nice place to be. Not only are there nice river trails to walk, but you can always just chill by the water and watch the ducks swim.

Heading west from the Forks, you can check out Assiniboine Park where you can freely roam the 400 acres for exercise, or explore the Gardens at the Leaf. From the Sensory Garden to the Johnston Family Seasonal Garden, there is something for everyone. There are also a couple of guided tour dates left for the outdoor gardens at the Leaf, though that will cost you $20 plus tax.

While less accessible for those who do not have a ride, FortWhyte Alive in the southwest corner of the city is worth the trek. There are many a walking and cycling trail at FortWhyte Alive and a host of events, including everything from a Bison Safari to canoe Paddle Nights.

If you can hitch a ride out of town, just northeast of the city, Birds Hill Provincial Park hosts plenty of nearby hiking trails for every skill set. There’s even a self-guided white-tailed deer trail if you want to seek out wildlife. And of course, if you’re a bicycle lover, there is plenty of space to spend the afternoon cycling.

Even if these destinations are a bit too far out of your reach, find a green space nearby, watch some birds, soak up the sun and enjoy the nice weather while you can. Being outdoors is proven to help combat depression and stress, so even if you can’t muster the energy for a nice walk, just being outdoors is a great benefit for anyone going through the stress of university.

Stay well, Bisons.