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.
7 Amazing Health Benefits of Walking in the Woods You Probably Don’t Know
- It may help prevent cancer – Dr. Li of the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo
- Scents of the forest may reduce stress- researchers at Kyoto University
- It may help with depression – The study, Londoners living near trees
- It can make your brain work better – Scientific Journal Review of Japanese forest bathing
- A forest walk can help lower blood pressure – CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in America are promoting National Trails Day they know the importance of getting in nature
- It can help overweight people get back in shape – GP encourages people to walk in the woods over going to the gym
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.
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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