Mazda CX-50 Minute Challenge: Reconnect with Nature

During the month of August, Mazda Canada and ParticipACTION are encouraging Canadians to reconnect with nature three times per week for 50 minutes. Spending time in nature can improve our mood, mental health and emotional well-being.

We were invited to kick off the Mazda CX-50 Minute Challenge in Whispering Springs Wilderness Retreat in Grafton, Ontario. Our journey started in Toronto, we got the key to the all-new 2023 Mazda CX-50 in eye-catching Soul Red Crystal Metallic.

The first-ever Mazda CX-50 has been designed for an active and outdoor lifestyle and engineered to handle more rugged terrain with i-Activ AWD and Mi-Drive off-road mode. Our vehicle was the top trim GT TURBO model with a SKYACTIV-G 2.5 T engine producing 256 hp & 320 lb-ft torque. It was quiet, comfortable and responsive during the scenic drive.

While it’s purpose-built for the outdoor, the Mazda CX-50 GT TURBO has a refined, spacious cabin with soft, leather-trimmed upholstery and high-quality materials. The ergonomic Kodo interior layout is focused on the driver for an engaging drive.

We stayed at Whispering Springs for a glamping getaway, a very luxurious way of experiencing the great outdoors. The Safari Tent is furnished with a comfy, king-size bed, en-suite bathroom with bath hub, refrigerator, air conditioner unit and cozy lounge area.

Join the Mazda CX-50 Minute Challenge! From August 1 to 31, every 50 active minutes tracked in the ParticipACTION app will give you a chance to win prizes. More than $30,000 in prizes are available, with weekly rewards of gift cards from Sporting Life and Atmosphere and two $5,000 grand prize gift cards from MEC (Mountain Equipment Company). You can download the ParticipACTION app directly from Google Play or the App Store and get active in nature.

Our first Mazda CX-50 Minute Challenge activity was to go on a Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing). Shinrin-Yoku was coined by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in 1982. It is the practice of immersing oneself in the forest and study shows that spending time in the forest can lower blood pressure and help you sleep better.

Afterwards, we had a Japanese tea ceremony to enhance well-being and mindfulness.

One of most memorable experience was the 6-course Japanese-inspired dinner by Chef Christopher Ranco, Executive Chef of Blandino Brasserie and Pancho Bar. Each course was beautifully plated, featuring elevated Japanese street food. My favourites are hamachi & scallop sashimi, wagyu & foie gras nigiri and duck & eggplant ramen.

After 2 days in nature, I felt relaxed, recharged, refreshed and rejuvenated. To take part in the CX-50 Minute Challenge and win weekly prizes, visit

James Chung

Vancouver Lifestyle, Cool Tech & Travel Adventure. Email:

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