Outdoor physical activity, or outdoor recreation, has been found to improve the quality of sleep and refresh the mind. Furthermore, outdoor recreation builds up balance and muscular strength. Natural environments and urban green areas also offer enjoyment and diverse sensory experiences. Indeed, outdoor recreation has a long tradition in Finland, and most Finns spend some of their leisure time outdoors. You can find a wide variety of materials about outdoor recreation online, which you can use to search for tips about outdoor sports and exercise facilities and activities or keep track of your own activity, etc.

Metsähallitus, the state-owned enterprise governing the use of state-owned land, maintains an online map service (Excursionmap.fi), where you can find state-owned nature conservation areas, national parks and hiking areas with details of their services, as well as the outdoor recreation areas of over 2,600 municipalities. The excursion map also includes state-owned fishing and hunting areas. The ‘Go outdoors!’ guide and the Nationalparks.fi website provide tips for people looking for outdoor recreational opportunities. The ‘Go fish!’ guide, in turn, provides basic information about fishing licences and equipment and how to handle your catch.

You can also combine the benefits of outdoor recreation and physical activity with your daily commute. Physically active commutes on foot or by bicycle enhance your physical fitness while also reducing your carbon footprint. The Fiksustitoihin.fi website provides employers with tips for smart commuting in Finnish. The Fit for Life Program has developed an ‘active commuting card’ that helps you keep track of your physical activity during commutes. A convenient way for older people to keep track of their outdoor recreation is the ‘outdoor buddy card’.

Text by: HEPA facilities group

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