There’s no WiFi in the forest, but there is connection. The Japanese coined the term Shinrin-yoku in the ’80s to encourage healthier lifestyles by taking regular walks in forests. They dedicated a whole field of research to it, which together with many other studies, shows that immersing yourself in nature is good for you and can have positive effects on your immune system, blood pressure, stress levels and mental health. Even short walks in a park are more beneficial than wondering along busy urban streets.
Trees release phytoncides and these airborne antimicrobial chemicals help protect them and plants against germs and insects. Japanese scientists found that inhaling phytoncides lowers stress hormones and enhances natural killer cell activity.
Lose the shoes and walk barefoot to increase your awareness of your natural surroundings, listen to the sounds, feel its textures and smell the aromas. Spending time in nature will improve your general well-being and promote longevity.
Forest bathing is available at Six Senses Douro Valley in Portugal and forms an important part of holistic anti-aging programs.
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