Forest Bathing and Other Ways to Stay Fit Among the Trees


In Japanese, it is called shinrin-yoku. In English, it is called forest bathing. Forest bathing is a health-promoting practice that allows you to slow down, immerse yourself in a forest, and mindfully use all your senses. You may not exert as much energy as cycling or jogging through the woods, but it still yields some comparable health benefits, such as reducing your blood pressure and boosting your mood. It is also a fantastic activity for the whole family. If you prefer something more rigorous, consider doing cardio among the trees. Running or jogging on the softer forest floor does not put as much strain on the joints, in contrast to urban asphalt or concrete. Bodyweight training is also possible – For example, tree trunks can be used as a step stool, down logs can be used for ski jumps, or a strong tree branch can be used for pull-ups. Exercising in nature exposes us to natural light, which can help us better regulate our sleep patterns. Whatever you decide to do, make forests part of your 2024 fitness plans.


Photo: (Blackbird State Forest, Smyrna, DE) Provided by Kent County Tourism.