Cape Gazette

Fitness Friday:  Get your forest therapy

By Rachel Swick Mavity | Mar 29, 2013
Source: images Focus your mind and your body by taking a walk in the woods.

It is no secret that work, home life and children all drain our patience and fray our nerves, but what can we do to relax and find our centers, so to speak?

The answer is get back to nature with forest therapy.

It's not just our families and kids - it's the world. Manmade images bombard us everywhere we turn. Parenting magazines shout at us to buy this product, or try this app, while billboards tell us to go to this doctor or read that newspaper. It's visually exhausting.

For years, Japanese healers have taught forest therapy, called shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing.

Doesn't that just sound relaxing and enlightening?

While forest bathing, people are told to take a leisurely walk and inhale all of nature's essence. It's a down-to-earth (literally) form of aromatherapy.

The smells of wood and moss and leaves soothes the brain and can improve your focus later when you leave the woods.

Being outdoors also boosts your immune system, according to some researchers. It follows the same path as having your children outside playing in the dirt - natural bacteria are good for us.

Check out this recent article about how nature soothes our brains by The Atlantic:

Now, we just need to find the time to spend a few hours wandering in the wilderness!


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