To be honest it’s a new term to me as well, but it’s a concept I’ve known to be true for a long time. Forest bathing is the act of going into the forest to take in nature in a way that is therapeutic. The term comes from a Japanese tradition called “Shinrinyoku” which literally means “taking in the forest”.
As a native to the Northwest I know how rejuvenating and invigorating a day in the woods can be!
In addition to my personal opinion on the healing powers of the forest, research shows that being in nature can reduce stress hormones, decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression and anger and increase immunity.
A study in Japan found that spending 3 days/ 2 nights in the forest can increase your Natural Killer (NK) cells, a type of white blood cell involved in fighting disease and tumors. They found that this increase in NK cells was still around 30 days later.
So literally, just 3 days in the forest can increase your immunity, decrease stress, and increase feelings of Vigor! Sure, we don’t all have time to go spend every weekend in the woods, but the research has also found that just one day in the forest can have positive effects that last up to a week.
What does this have to do with fitness?
Well, for us this has everything to do with fitness. We are not the kind of gym focused on counting and burning calories. Instead we focus on improving your sense of vitality and well being. Strength and movement are an important part of your health and well-being but they are not the whole picture - and we support the whole self!
So get outside and experience the benefits of the forest!