Walking, skipping, wheeling, or rolling along a trail through the woods, also known as forest bathing or shinrin-yoku, offers numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being. Here are five benefits that all people deserve:
- Stress Reduction – Numerous studies have shown that being surrounded by nature can significantly decrease cortisol levels in the body and therefore lower stress. A 1991 study in the US found that hospital patients with views of nature outside their windows had shorter hospital stays compared to patients with views of a brick wall. (Just to name one).
- Improved Mental Health – Nature offers a rich sensory experience that draws attention to the present moment. This can help reduce rumination and is linked to reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. Additionally, exposure to sunlight helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm and promotes the production of Vitamin D which is important for mood regulation.
- Enhanced Immune Function – Spending time around trees has been shown to boost the immune system. Phytoncides, organic compounds emitted by trees, have antimicrobial properties that can strengthen the body’s immune response and increase the production of natural disease-fighting cells.
- Increased Physical Activity – Exercise releases endorphins and contributes to improved physical fitness and overall health. Whether leisurely or strenuous, exercise strengthens muscles and improves cardiovascular health.
- Connection with Nature: Walking in the woods allows individuals to connect with the natural world and experience a sense of awe and wonder. This connection can foster a greater appreciation for the environment, promote mindfulness, and encourage feelings of interconnectedness with the world around us.
Overall, spending time in the woods offers a holistic approach to well-being, benefiting both body and mind. People with disabilities often have less opportunities for time in nature and physical activity. Waypoint Adventure is here to change that.
Check out Your Brain On Nature for more info. http://www.yourbrainonnature.com/