A Healthy Walk in the Woods: Good for Body, Mind, and Soul

Did you know the Japanese have a word for “forest bathing”? It is shinrin-yoku. As you can imagine from the translation, it just means losing yourself in the forest while enjoying the air, the scents, the vegetation and the sounds of birds and animals that live there. But did you know that there are some amazing health benefits as well? Apart from the obvious ones like getting fresh air and exercise, there are studies that show that a walk in the forest or a park with lots of trees may be the healthiest thing you can do. Outdoor education is becoming very popular in Europe and a growing ‘alternative education’ style in the U.S.

photo credit William Smith

7 Amazing Health Benefits of Walking in the Woods You Probably Don’t Know

Teaching our Children Outdoors

Outdoor education is becoming very popular in Europe. Germany has more than 450 schools and others are being developed throughout Great Britain and the UK.

WESSLING, GERMANY – JULY 31: A group of kindergarten children and their teachers hike in a forest kindergarten on July 31, 2017 in Wessling, Bavaria, Germany. The forest kindergarten is a preschool education which is held almost exclusively outdoors. Children between the ages of three and six are encouraged to play, explore and learn in a forest or natural environment. The adult supervision is meant to assist rather than lead.
(Photo by Alexandra Beier/Getty Images)

Wouldn’t it be AMAZING if more outdoor schools could be developed in the U.S.?

Local Boise schools such as Riverstone International and OneStone have programs for high schoolers that focus on outdoor education. Their programs allow students to learn beyond the four walls taking regular backpacking and extended camping trips to local forests.

Wild + Free homeschooling communities are located throughout the Northwest and are steadily growing. Wild + Free groups are for homeschoolers, nature lovers, with children a variety of ages.

Wild + Free even has a program for homeschooling mothers to spend a weekend refilling the heart, caring for the soul, nourishing the body, and inspiring the mind with daily wilderness walks and fellowship with like-minded teacher-mothers. (Learn More about Wild + Free at their Facebook Group)

An added benefit of Outdoor education, even if it is just a day out, children learn about the importance of forests, their maintenance and how they help the planet.

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