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Benefits of Forest Bathing & Why You Should Try It

Looking for a way to relax and unwind? If so, then how about experiencing the sounds, feel, and sights of the forest, and taking it all in for its therapeutic value? Doesn’t forest bathing sound good?

Today, we all are more fascinated by screens, gadgets, and technology than ever before. That’s why we all are struggling to find a good healthy balance in our life. Several researchers and studies show that this way of life negatively affects our physical and mental health. The only reason why forest bathing seems to be so popular is that it relieves our stress and provides relaxation like your favorite bubble bath.

Have no clue about this? No worries!! Read on to find out!!

What Is Forest Bathing?

Whether you call it the latest fitness trend gong on or mindfulness practice (or a combination of both), what exactly is forest bathing all about? In the 1980s, the term emerged in Japan as a physiological and psychological exercise known as shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing” or “soaking in the atmosphere of forest”). The aim was twofold: to give tech-boom burnout an eco-antidote and encourage people to reconnect and conserve the nation’s forests.

Does It Work?

There is a reason why the world’s biggest cities have parks, flowers, and patches of nature woven all along their crowded streets. An International Journal of Environmental Health Studies analysis found that spending time in an urban park may significantly influence a person’s sense of well-being.

Aside from city parks, the more in-depth forest bath practice has been shown to decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of unhealthy hormones — like cortisol, which the body releases when stressed. This will assist you to be more relaxed and calmer.

The Benefits of Forest Bathing

forest-bathing

Forest bathing is not only for the wilderness lovers; the practice can be as easy as walking in any natural setting and interacting actively with what is around you.

Here are the benefits you can intake from the practice.

More Energy and Better Sleep

Many of us witness the revitalized feeling that we usually get from taking a deep breath in a natural place. It’s not just the imagination- it has been proven that forest bathing can boost vigor and fight fatigue. At the same time, it activates hormones in our body which improves sleep. It reduces dopamine and cortisol levels, which means it reduces stress and calms the body and mind.

Decreased Risk of Heart Attack with Forest Bathing

Several forest bathing studies have shown their potential to decrease blood pressure, stress levels, and heart rate dramatically. A walk through the woods also increases the rate of adiponectin in the body. These have an anti-inflammatory effect on the blood vessel cells, and the risk of heart disease is found to decrease.

Soothing Relief for Sore Muscles

About 40,000 known terpene structures exist, and they have a broad spectrum of beneficial effects on the body. Relief from osteoarthritis decreased joint pain and inflammation, and reduced neck and back pain are just some of the proven results:

Two groups with neck pain practiced forest bathing. Still, one group incorporated stretching and relaxing exercises of about four hours. The workout group had minimized painful and tight trigger points in the neck area more. However, the group that did not work out was almost as good at pain, inflammation, and motion range.

Protection Against Obesity and Diabetes with Forest Bathing

Increased adiponectin also has an inverse connection with obesity and insulin resistance. Fat cells secrete the material, which controls our fat metabolism, glucose levels, which gain weight. Forest bathing decreases blood glucose levels and is even useful for people with diabetes. One research study says a diabetic patient did a forest bathing walk every eight months for six years. While their time spent swimming in the forest was very spaced out, their blood glucose levels showed considerable change.

Clearer & More Comfortable Skin

Inflammation is the reason for many skin disorders. Those with eczema and psoriasis can have an advantage after forest bathing. Terpenes are some of the significant anti-inflammatory compounds released in forest air by plants and are present predominantly in conifers such as cypress, fir, and pine plants.

Mood-Boosting Influence

A research of 19 men showed that anxiety, depression, and confusion improved after a forest bathing experience. They compared the group of forest walkers to one traveling in an urban environment. While both groups have exercise’s health advantages, the forest bathing group won out; many other studies also analyze forest bathing effects boosting people’s moods.

Decreased Inflammation

Forest air is significantly fresher than city air, or even other natural environments because the forests are busy processing CO2 from our lungs into fresh oxygen. Not only is the air fresh, but the compounds released naturally by the trees also reduce inflammation. The D-limonene present in some forest air lowers inflammation in the lungs. Many respiratory problems such as asthma and COPD have demonstrated improvement as oxygen improves, and inflammation decreases after forest bathing.

Anti-inflammatory Terpenes

In order to maintain these essential organs healthy, various terpenes have also proved successful against inflammation in the brain, liver, and pancreas. The terpene borneol assists the brain and nervous system, which may help protect against inflammatory degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

As mentioned above, forest bathing helps suppress cancer cells’ growth, partially due to terpene D-limonene. This terpene has anti-tumor properties. Tests show it effectively against cancers of the breast, stomach, pancreas, liver, and colon.

Safety Tip of Forest Bathing:

Always pay attention to the climate, keep on designated trails, and wear suitable shoes. Often aware of any possible threats like animals or uneven ground. If possible, bring a friend or let others know where you are heading and for how long. A successful rule of thumb is to bathe in the rain for at least 20 minutes a day.

The Final Verdict

Have you ever done forest bathing before, or would you like to do it? Perhaps you’ve already reaped the benefits and didn’t realize that this was the hot new trend! So, what you are up to- explore, practice the forest bathing, and lead a healthy and balanced life.

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