It’s no secret that spending time outdoors has many beneficial effects on our physical and mental health.
But between work, errands, chores at home and living in the city, most of us don’t spend as much time in nature as we should.
And yet, spending 50 minutes outside, three times a week, is all it takes to get all these benefits. Not so unattainable, right?
To encourage people to spend more time in nature and to celebrate the launch of the CX-50, Mazda Canada and ParticipACTION are hosting the CX-50 Minutes Challenge from August 1 to 31, 2022 .
How to participate in the CX-50 Minutes Challenge?
To participate in the CX-50 Minutes Challenge:
- Visit the CX-50 Minutes Challenge page or download the ParticipACTION app directly from Google Play or the App Store.
- Log every 50 minutes of activity to be automatically entered into weekly prize drawings.
From August 1 to 31, for every 50 minutes of activity logged in the ParticipACTION app, Canadians will have a chance to win over $30,000 in prizes, with weekly draws and a grand prize at the end of August.
The importance of nature at Mazda
While Mazda’s interest in the outdoors benefits may come as a surprise to some, it is a natural fit with the company’s Japanese roots.
“As a Japanese company, the well-being that nature brings has a long history. Shinrin-yoku, or Forest Bathing, is based on ancient Shinto and Buddhist practices with a belief that immersion in nature is not only good for our souls, but good for our bodies. At Mazda, we couldn’t agree more,” said David Klan, President and CEO, Mazda Canada Inc.
With this in mind, Mazda also commissioned a survey to learn more about how Canadians feel about nature. Among the results1 it is interesting to note that:
- Canadians tend to overestimate the amount of time they need to be outdoors to enjoy the benefits of nature;
- 2 out of 5 Canadians feel that they do not have enough time in their day to recharge.
- 70% of Canadians say they would like to spend more time in nature.
Do you recognize yourself in these figures? Then the CX-50 Minute Challenge is for you!
Immersive nature stay and forest bath (Shinrin-Yoku)
When Mazda Canada invited me to participate in a stay at the beautiful Whispering Springs site to experience the benefits of being immersed in nature and to take a break from technology and connectivity, I quickly accepted.
Among other things, this gave me the opportunity to learn about Shinrin-Yoku, which is called forest bathing or forest therapy here.
To complete the CX-50 minutes challenge, you must do three 50-minute sessions per week in nature during the month of August.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean doing a physical activity like a long hike, biking or paddle boarding. You can take the opportunity to simply to be outside, surrounded by trees, flowers or be on the edge of a river.
And this is where the Shinrin-Yoku comes into play. Originating in Japan, these forest baths are a response to the omnipresence of technology.
And good news for those who live in the city, no need to go very deep into the forest.
A session consists of walking slowly, sitting on a bench or a rock, or alternating between the two to fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the forest.
It’s a bit like meditation, in motion or still. Let yourself be in the present moment and let your senses perceive what surrounds you.
During a Shinrin-Yoku session, you’ll pay attention to the sound of the wind in the trees, observe a drop of rain on a leaf, smell pine needles or experience the differents textures of plants… It is very relaxing.
And it’s not so easy to walk very slowly if you usually have a fast pace. We experienced this during the forest bath and it was fascinating to see how much we had to fight the urge to hurry before our heart rate would drop and walk calmly.
The benefits of forest therapy are numerous. It is said to reduce stress and anxiety, lower the heart rate, increase creativity and well-being
To reproduce the experience, here are some rules:
- Choose a location that suits you: large park, small woodland, forest, etc.
- Leave your phone at home or turn it off during the session.
- If you are doing the forest bath in a group, avoid sharing your impressions or talking during the session.
- Take your time, walk slowly or sit somewhere.
- Use your 5 senses to listen to the sounds of the forest, breathe in the scents of the plants, observe the light and perceive the textures of the elements around you.
About the Mazda CX-50
The Mazda CX-50 is Mazda’s first vehicle designed specifically for unpaved roads.
And it is also designed for outdoor use. The low, slender roofline was designed to make it easy to install racks and place outdoor items on it.
A roof tent, specially created for this car model, is also available.
The interior is also spacious, really comfortable with a sleek dashboard. The cargo area at the rear has also been designed to accommodate a lot of equipment.
I must say that the panoramic sunroof was also a favorite. Once opened, it makes the interior of the vehicle so bright, it was a real pleasure to sit in the back and enjoy the view.
The CX-50 Minutes ChallengeParticipate in the Challenge and download the application
1 Source: Mazda Canada