If you're like me, you're interested in quality of life and how to enjoy life more. Maybe you've heard about forest bathing and wondered if it's something for you.
Forest bathing is for everyone, but there are certain types of people who especially benefit from it (e.g. people who don't have easy access to nature in their daily lives, people with high stress levels, and more). In this article, we'll look at who benefits the most and for whom Shinrin Yoku might not be for.
Before we get started, I want to give you a brief overview of this relatively new health therapy. If you already know it, you can of course skip it.
Forest bathing, also known as shinrin-yoku, is a term coined in 1982 by the director of the Department of Field Research at the National Institute of Environmental Studies in Japan. It refers to walking in the forest for recreation and health. Forest bathing has been shown to improve mood, lower stress levels and strengthen the immune system. For these reasons and more, forest bathing is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. So grab your water bottle, your sneakers and your sense of adventure and go exploring!
Types of people who particularly benefit from forest bathing
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of people who particularly benefit from forest bathing. Below I will give you an overview of these four main groups. Please note that forest bathing is something you should do frequently. This article is about how often you should do it and what shorter or less frequent sessions are still sufficient.
Those who live in the city and have little access to nature
If you live in a city, you probably don't have much opportunity to connect with nature on a daily basis. This can lead to feelings of isolation and stress. Swimming in the woods is a great way to reconnect with nature and relieve stress. Those who have a hectic lifestyle. We all know the feeling of being too busy to even take a break. If you're always on the go, a forest swim can be a great way to slow down and recharge your batteries. It's important to take some time for yourself every now and then, and there's no better way to do that than spending time in nature.
People who are stressed or suffer from anxiety
Bathing in the forest can be very helpful for people suffering from anxiety or depression. The calming effects of nature can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. If you are looking for a natural way to relieve stress, forest bathing is a great option. Let's take a look at why that is.
People who suffer from insomnia or have difficulty sleeping
If you're having trouble sleeping, a forest bath can help. The calming effects of nature can help lull you into a deep sleep. Plus, the fresh air and exercise you get from a walk in the woods can help improve your sleep quality.
People who are looking for ways to strengthen their immune system
Forest bathing has been shown to improve immune function. If you're looking for a natural way to boost your immune system, forest bathing is for you. It's also great for those who are prone to seasonal allergies or colds and flu.
Forest bathing has numerous health benefits, such as reducing stress levels, boosting your immune system, and improving your mood. If you're looking for a way to improve your overall health, forest bathing is a great option.
Whatever the reason you want to try forest bathing, it's a great activity for people of all ages and fitness levels. So grab your water bottle, your sneakers and your sense of adventure and head to the nearest forest, unless you're one of the following groups of people....
For whom forest bathing is not good
There are types of people for whom forest bathing is not suitable for various reasons. In this part of the article we will look at these cases.
People who have a strong aversion to nature
If you are someone who really dislikes nature, then forest bathing is probably not for you. It's important to do what makes you happy, and if spending time in nature doesn't make you happy, there's no reason to force it.
If you decide to do it anyway, you will benefit from the phytoncides and terpenes in the air. If you want to learn more about what terpenes are and do, this article is for you.
Those who are afraid of insects or animals
If you are someone who is afraid of insects or animals, you may want to avoid forest bathing. There is no reason to put yourself in a situation where you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
In the colder seasons and if you stay on the trails, you usually don't encounter much wildlife (unfortunately from an ecological standpoint, but that's another story).
People who are allergic to pollen or have asthma
If you are allergic to pollen or have asthma, you should be careful when spending time in nature. Trees and flowers release pollen into the air that can trigger allergies or asthma attacks. If you suffer from severe allergies or asthma, be sure to consult your doctor before spending time in nature.
If you avoid high pollen times or take your inhaler with you, you should be fine.
There are good websites to get a good pollen forecast:
People looking for an intense workout
Forest bathing is a great way to exercise, but it's not an intense workout. If you're looking for a strenuous hike or a challenging bike ride, you may be disappointed. But if you're looking for a leisurely walk through the woods, forest bathing is perfect.
And did you know there's a lot to do when forest bathing? This article will give you plenty of ideas.
And you can also do a forest bathing session and continue with your sport afterwards (if you do it before forest bathing, you may get cold and sweaty).
If you have concerns about whether forest bathing is right for you, please consult your health care provider. Now that we have answered the question "Who is forest bathing suitable for?", let's take a closer look at some of the benefits of this activity.
Health benefits of forest bathing
When you get out into nature, you may feel a sense of calm and relaxation. This is due to the many health benefits of being in contact with nature. Studies have shown that nature can help:
- lower blood pressure
- Reduces the level of stress
- Lift your mood
- Improve your sleep quality
- Increase your energy level
- Gives you a feeling of peace and relaxation
So if you're feeling stressed, anxious, or just plain tired, a forest swim might be just what you need!
Forest bathing is also a great way to get some exercise. Walking is a gentle form of exercise that has many health benefits, for example:
- Improve your cardiovascular health
- Strengthening your bones and muscles
- Improve your balance and coordination
- Increase your endurance
So put on your hiking boots and explore the great outdoors!
If you're looking for a way to improve your overall health, forest bathing is a great option. With its many benefits, there's no reason not to try it!