We all know that the idea of taking a walk for a ‘breath of fresh air’ when we are feeling stressed is a good thing. Just taking that break from what it is that is stressing us out or causing us anxiety can do us the world of good and help to calm our nerves and soothe our mind.
But walking, not just in the countryside or at the beach, but in the woods specifically has many proven health benefits. In fact, ‘wood walking’ even has a specific name in Japan.
Shinrin-yoku is the art of forest bathing and is something that the Japanese have been practising for many years and have been studying for its holistic, spiritual and physical benefits since the 1980s.
Forest bathing doesn’t involve any bubble bath, washcloths or nakedness! It’s simply about taking that time to reconnect with nature in a forest environment.
Just 15 minutes spent in the forest has been proven1 to:
- lower blood pressure and heart rate
- lower cortisol levels (the hormone that is made when we are stressed)
- help trigger our relaxing parasympathetic nervous system
- switch off our ‘fight or flight’ nervous system
It has also been shown to be effective in helping with depression, boosting energy levels, improving our immune system and helping to improve our breathing and lung function.
This is just one example of alternative, but scientifically-proven approaches to improving your health that are discussed at Adio. We believe that we all have so much to learn from other cultures and their ways of treating common medical issues. The Adio hub covers many alternative health approaches, giving Adio subscribers the widest approach to taking care of their wellbeing.
- Yau KK, Loke AY. Effects of forest bathing on pre-hypertensive and hypertensive adults: a review of the literature. Environ Health Prev Med. 2020 Jun 22;25(1):23. doi: 10.1186/s12199-020-00856-7. PMID: 32571202; PMCID: PMC7310560.