FITS Series: Waterloo & Kitchener Park

Although the weather has been pretty gloomy and rainy lately, the little bouts of sunshine here and there still provide opportunities to get out and have some fun in the sun (FITS).

This is the first post in my FITS series, which hopefully will encourage you to get out and enjoy more sunshine this summer. A good read on Vitamin D at the Elephant Journal:

Seasonal mood disturbances and feeling low in the winter months is often found to have a connection with low serotonin levels, which may be related to lack of sunlight.

During the summer months, the UVB rays are the strongest between 10am—2pm. For most people, 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight on unprotected skin during these hours will be enough to manufacture about 10,000—20,000 IUs of vitamin D3. Get just enough sun to turn your skin slightly pink. Darker-skinned people will have to get more sun to optimize their vitamin D levels.

It takes about an hour for the cholesterol on your skin to convert to D3 and then to be absorbed. So, if you work out in the sun and then take a shower, you might be washing off all that precious vitamin D you just manufactured on your skin.

For the past 25 years, sunscreens have only blocked out the skin-protecting UVB rays, but not the UVA rays. It was mistakenly thought that the UVB rays were the rays that potentially caused abnormal cell division in the skin cells, so sunscreens were designed with SPF factors that reflect the effectiveness of blocking only UVB rays. As it turns out, UVA rays are more abundant and penetrate deeper into the skin, making them more harmful than the UVB rays.

Additionally, twenty years ago, SPF ratings were only at 10, but today they have risen up to 100 in the effort to make the sunscreens more protective against abnormal cell growth. Sadly, all this time sunscreens have been blocking the good, protective UVB rays while letting in the harmful UVA rays.

When in doubt as to where to enjoy a nice afternoon, always default to our two beautiful parks in KW.

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Waterloo Park

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The Laurel trail cuts through Waterloo park and it takes less than 20 minutes to get from the University of Waterloo to the Waterloo Town Square.

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I love picnics in the park, but I love that little zoo more.

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Do not feed the animals though.

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Victoria Park

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Kitchener Park holds numerous summer events including the Multicultural Festival and Ribfest (YUM!).

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I wonder if they decided to continue or halt the canoe rentals. It was on a 45 day trial period.

The trial will allow council to glean information regarding further operations of the rentals in the park and council will be looking at how well the public receives the service and if the operation will work from a business point of view. Rentals will be available for a half and hour from 11am until 4pm daily.

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Splash pad yeeeeehah! Lions Lagoon in Waterloo Park recently opened as well – free to the public for some serious water fun.

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A nearly fatal fight between two male swans in Kitchener’s Victoria Park Lake has led to the pair being split up. They were competing for public attention and food. It got to the point where it was so bad that the newcomer swan tried to drown the remaining swan that has been with us for several years.

Evil swans… probably will never happen in children books.

A trip to the Kitchener Market on Saturday morning then a picnic in Victoria Park… Ahhhh, Summer I love you.

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