Spending time in the forest has a whole host of benefits for you and your body. For example, you lower stress and blood pressure, and you improve your mood to become happier. You don't even have to spend much time among the trees to notice the effect
At Icebug, we spend a lot of time in the forest. So do our friends Cecilia and Peppe, who run Holistic Training, an inspirational company for training and health with a holistic focus. Together we have put together an 8-point list of ways you can get the most out of your time in the forest. These are things that just about everyone can do.
Being an adult often means that you forget how to play. Does it have to be that way? We don’t think so, especially not in the woods where no one else sees you. Hang on branches, climb trees, skip over logs, and do whatever you want. The forest is the most fun, best, and biggest gym that will ever be built.
Take off your shoes for a while. Let the water from a small stream seep between your toes. Put your hands on a prickly stem, eat a blueberry, breathe. Everyday life is filled with must do's and sometimes it is difficult to think about how you feel or what you want. Fifteen minutes of peace and quiet may not solve everything, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Have you ever thought that the fluffy moss looked inviting? Then test it! Lying down in the woods is something quite different from lying on the couch. You hear the wind, the birds, see the crowns of the trees and the rays of the sun. Just lie there and breathe, listen, and feel.
That all food tastes better outdoors is a truth. Make some sandwiches and bring the kids, the dog, or just yourself out in the lush green scenery. Set the table on a stone and enjoy the fresh air!
We humans must learn to just be again. Our advice is to go out into the woods and sit on a stump and just sit there and gaze. Be still without a phone or any other distractions. Peppe and Cecilia say the same thing. It may feel difficult at first, but once you've got the hang of it, you will long for the silence and to your own uninterrupted thoughts that take place while sitting there.
Yoga is a common practice. We say go wild with it. The inner calm and strength you get from yoga takes on a new dimension with the help of the forest. Take your favorite positions with you and just simply go to the woods.
Walking is something that most people engage in to varying degrees. But no walk is as fantastic as the one done in the forest. Here you can also take the opportunity to pick something edible or to learn a few things. Choose an area and see what trees you can find. Maybe you spot spruce, pine, and birch - but can you distinguish ash, elm, and oak?
Why wind around on asphalt among cars, exhaust and red lights when there's a whole green world to put your feet in? And why just run or walk where there is a path? Put your feet in the moss, among the fir needles and explore there instead. Good for both balance and strength.
In our busy, technology-driven world, spending time in nature is sure to bring us more balance. Do you have a tip for first-time forest bathers?