If you’re like me, that urge to get myself and my children out into nature has never felt stronger. Science now proves that walking in a natural environment is good for us- maybe even essential for our mental well-being. Walking through green spaces gives us a calm time to reflect, to reset ourselves in reality, to get ourselves into perspective and bring us into the present. When walking amongst nature we are surrounded by sensual experiences and every sense is revitalised. Walking can lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate and blood pressure. Trees naturally give off something called ‘phytoncides’ or ‘wood’ essential oils, which have a beneficial effect on our nervous systems.
Walking is free and we have a wealth of parks, farmland, moorland and woodland around us and we know now that walking boosts our energy levels- fresh air reawakens our brains and lift our spirits. The Japanese have been practising SHINRIN-YOKU, ‘Forest Bathing’, for years, gentle walks for two hours or more involving sensory immersion in a natural environment. Forest Bathing has become a popular preventative healthcare and healing method in Japanese medicine.
Just a walk in the beautiful, great outdoors. No rush, no pressure, just togetherness and nature. That’s enough.