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Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”- John Muir

I’ve always felt that a hike through the forest was rejuvenating however I just discovered that In Japan a restorative walk in the forest is known as “forest bathing’ and is actually prescribed by some doctors for preventative health care and healing.

The Japanese call it “Shinrin-Yoku”, coined by a Japanese forester with reference to the benefits of being in lush forests.  Scientifically there is more to it than merely experiencing the fresh air and exercise. Yoshifumi Miyazaki of Chiba University has carried out studies that show forest bathing can significantly lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Trees, in particular conifers such as red cedar and fir, release chemicals known as phytoncides and exposure to these ‘tree emissions’ lower blood pressure, heart rates and stress hormones and  research points out that walking in the woods can boost the body’s immune system by increasing anti-cancer proteins and enhancing the so-called natural killer activity of certain cells.

In this case, it’s believed humans benefit from breathing in phytoncides, the chemicals plants emit to protect themselves from rotting and insects.IMG_0175

 

 

So, If you want to feel rejuvenated in both body and soul go on a hike and while you are enjoying a lovely trek in the forest the trees are actually providing you with a shot of “Timber Tonic”

Note:  Phytoncides are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds derived from plants. The word, which means “exterminated by the plant”, was coined in 1928 by Dr. Boris P. Tokin, a Russian biochemist from Leningrad University.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2016 in Bits & Bites

 

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Take a Hike!

Take a Hike!

“You cannot travel the path until you become the path itself”
Ancient Buddhist saying

What’s the best way to enjoy a day outdoors?

HIKING, of course!

Mt. Tzhouhalem

Cairns on Mt. Tzhouhalem

Samsun Narrows Bluff Hike

Samsun Narrows Bluff Hike

Besides being healthy and invigorating for me it’s always been a pleasurable way to spend time outside. Hiking provides a physical challenge as well as a break from today’s hectic living and offers the tranquility of the forest as well as the thrill of connecting with nature.
Vancouver Island is rich with hiking trails and a moderate climate, allowing for year round opportunities of hiking where we can observe unique ecosystems and an abundance of wildlife and wildflowers. The pleasures promised by a hike on one of the many trails never fail to tempt me to strap on a pack and lace up my hiking boots. The scenery at the top of a mountain is without a doubt well worth the effort it sometimes takes to climb there. Rock outcroppings offer rest spots with breathtaking vistas, eagles soar overhead and birdsong fills the clear, brisk air. The rewards are immeasurable.

There are no guarantees that the wilderness you’re hiking today will still be there tomorrow, therefore when it comes to sharing and enjoying nature a little consideration is crucial. More people are finding pleasure in the outdoors and the evidence of public recreation and the effect on the environment is becoming increasingly apparent. Even one hiker can have an impact on the fragile wilderness and hopefully we can retain the essence of the outdoors by using good ethics and practicing ‘no-trace hiking’. Carrying out everything we bring into the forest, treating the forest and the trails with respect and leaving “only our footprints behind”.

Genoa Bay HikeCairns on Mt TzhouhalemMaple Mountain View of Maple Bay

So strap on a packsack, lace up your boots and hit the trails.

But before you head out here are a few significant points to keep in mind.
• Insure that you are physically prepared
Carry a fully stocked backpack
• Break in your boots before the hike
• Wear wicking socks
• Research your hike and be familiar with the area
• Leave a detailed note as to where you are hiking and when you are expecting to return
• Carry the ten basic essentials

TEN BASIC ESSENTIALS

1. Water and plenty of it
2. Food including high energy snacks
3. Rain gear and change of socks
4. Hat and sun block
5. First aid kit
6. Waterproof matches or lighter
7. An extra layer of clothes
8. Whistle
9. Pocket knife
10. Compass and map of area

Once you are on the trail you will experience the inspirational rewards of embracing the wilderness, just watch your footing, respect the environment and enjoy the moment.

Happy Hiking!

When did you last go on a Hike?

What are your thoughts on development versus green spaces?

Interested in more hiking tips?

Click on this link to review a hiking book called:  Hiking With Marianne

Hiking Book Hiking with Marianne

Hiking Book
Hiking with Marianne

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Open for Discussion

 

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