If you have ever heard people talking about forest bathing, you may have wondered – what on earth are they talking about? So here is Roots for the Future’s quick guide to forest bathing, what it is and how to do it.
Forest bathing, put simply, is a mindful walk amongst trees. Rather than going to the woods for exercise, the idea is you deliberately take in your surroundings and connect with the nature around you.
In Japan forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) is a national health programme. In the 1980s scientific studies there showed that a couple of hours of exploring the woods proved to reduce blood pressure, lower cortisol levels, improve concentration and memory, and boost the immune system.
Research shows that it isn’t just about getting fresh, clean air. It turns out that trees emit oils called phytonicides, and it is these oils that boost our immune systems, reduce heart rates, blood pressure, and stress levels. In addition, forest bathing reduces depression and boosts energy levels.
Don’t just take our word for it. The World Economic Forum loves forest bathing too.
Taking time out from our fast-paced lives and putting away our screens to reconnect with nature is therapy most of us can fit in relatively easily. And bar perhaps some travel costs to get to your nearest woods or forest, it’s free!
Shinrin-yoku directly translated means “spending more time with trees”. As many people have found a renewed sense of who and what is important post-lockdown, perhaps you could add spending more time with trees to the list.
Get in touch to find out more about Roots for the Future’s forest bathing and tree walk schemes.