The benefits of forest bathing and why you should try it this fall

This is not your average walk through the forest! Forest bathing is about rejuvenating yourself and cleansing your mind as you walk through the woods. It may sound simple enough, but in the video below, we show you how to do it correctly in order to get the most out of your stroll.

This ancient Japanese practice is all about slowing down and feeling the “awe” of the forest. In Japanese it’s called “Shinrin-Yoku”.

Forest bathing graphic

How do I know if I’m actually forest bathing?

Forest medicine experts emphasize the importance of slowing down and really absorbing the forest. You should be using all your senses as you walk through the forest.

Ben Porchuck from Gift of the Forest suggests that these things may start to happen once you really start to forest bathe:

  • Heart rate slows

  • Shoulders will naturally drop

  • Breathing gets deeper

  • Worries and anxiety subside

  • Cortisol production slows down and you enter into calmness

How long should I forest bathe?

It can be a time investment if you really want to get the most out of your forest bathing session. Patricia Baldwin, who is a member of INFOM suggests, “two hours over a 2.5-kilometre distance. Or if you have some more time, double that up to 4 hours over a 5-kilometre distance.”

Watch the video above as Health and Weather host Rachel Schoutsen takes you on a walk through the forest and reveals some interesting studies showcasing how the forest can really work as your therapist.