Fitness Friday:  Get your forest therapy

March 29, 2013
Focus your mind and your body by taking a walk in the woods. SOURCE IMAGES

It is no secret that work, home life and children all drain our patience and fray our nerves, but what can we do to relax and find our centers, so to speak?

The answer is get back to nature with forest therapy.

It's not just our families and kids - it's the world. Manmade images bombard us everywhere we turn. Parenting magazines shout at us to buy this product, or try this app, while billboards tell us to go to this doctor or read that newspaper. It's visually exhausting.

For years, Japanese healers have taught forest therapy, called shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing.

Doesn't that just sound relaxing and enlightening?

While forest bathing, people are told to take a leisurely walk and inhale all of nature's essence. It's a down-to-earth (literally) form of aromatherapy.

The smells of wood and moss and leaves soothes the brain and can improve your focus later when you leave the woods.

Being outdoors also boosts your immune system, according to some researchers. It follows the same path as having your children outside playing in the dirt - natural bacteria are good for us.

Check out this recent article about how nature soothes our brains by The Atlantic:

Now, we just need to find the time to spend a few hours wandering in the wilderness!


  • Real Parents. Real Food. Real Fun.

    Welcome to Adventures in Drool! Talking about green living, getting rid of plastics and toxic chemicals in our homes and raising happy kids on a budget. Join the conversation ( and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!

    Rachel Swick Mavity, author of the blog, lives with a reformed drooler (Droolface), who at age 3 loves to get muddy, drink homemade smoothies, giggle and flirt with old ladies. Her current drooler (Birdy) enjoys spitting up on work clothes and leaving drool trails as a way of showing her love.

    Mavity previously worked as a journalist for seven years at newspapers from Pennsylvania to Maryland and Delaware. In Sussex County she worked for several newspapers, including the Cape Gazette. She lives in Lewes with her husband, Ryan Mavity, their son, "Droolface," and daughter, "Birdy."