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Enjoy the Outdoors and Keep Active This Summer

Archived News Release

Enjoy the Outdoors and Keep Active This Summer

Tips to Help Families and Kids of All Ages Stay Fit in the Summer Heat

Ministry of Health

With school out for the summer and temperatures rising, it's the perfect time for families to get outdoors, keep fit and have fun.

It is important for everyone -- especially kids -- to exercise and stay healthy year round. Engaging in outdoor physical activities keeps you healthy by boosting the immune system, helping maintain a healthy weight and contributing to a good night's rest.

The Ontario Children's Outdoor Charter and the Best of Ontario magazine offer a diverse range of summer outing ideas, such as:

  • exploring a park and observing plants and wildlife
  •  playing shinny or ball hockey with your neighbours
  •  swimming in a pool or playing water sports in a lake
  •  visiting a farm and picking some fruit
  • camping under the stars.
Ontarians are encouraged to stay safe outdoors by applying sunscreen, keeping hydrated, and wearing appropriate equipment such as helmets or life jackets.

Building healthy, active communities is a key component of Ontario's Healthy Kids Strategy and Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care. It also supports the government's economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • A 2011 University of Essex study shows that participating in outdoor activities improves children’s mental health, increases physical activity and boosts self-esteem.
  • Ontario is the first province in Canada to develop an outdoor charter for children and youth.
  • An increase in “screen-time” means that Canadian children now spend on average 8.6 hours or 62 per cent of their waking hours a day being inactive.
  • In 2009, the economic costs associated with chronic diseases linked to unhealthy weight in Ontario was $4.5 billion.

Additional Resources


“Staying physically active is important for everyone’s health. From swimming to hiking and camping, there is no shortage of places in Ontario to be active this summer.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“There are so many fun outdoor activities to enjoy across Ontario this summer. Whether it’s playing a game of soccer or swimming in a lake — outdoor sports are the perfect way to get exercise and stay active during the summer months.”

Michael Coteau

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport and Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

“Our government was the first in Canada to develop a children’s outdoor charter. By encouraging kids to play and explore outdoors all year round, we’re helping to establish healthy habits and a lifetime of appreciation for Ontario’s biodiversity.”

Bill Mauro

Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

Media Contacts



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