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Take a Forest Bath Today

Of course being outdoors in clean fresh air has been recognized as a healthy activity since the Victorian era, it’s just that no one has ever analyzed why that would be the case. But now Japanese scientists have started carrying out thorough studies on the subject, often using stressed Japanese executives and hospital employees as study subjects. They’ve discovered that while walking in an area filled with trees and shrubs we breath in volatile substances called phytoncides including a-pinene and limonene. These volatile organic compounds have a recognized antimicrobial effect and are now also believed to reduce stress. A forest bath two or three times a week is considered ideal for a healthy, stress-free lifestyle.

And where can you take your forest bath? Why, in one of Canada’s fabulous public gardens, of course. They are found throughout the country and there is probably one right near you. Not only will you be able to breathe in some truly fresh, invigorating air, but you’ll be astounded by the beauty of gardens in the fall: masses of flowers, brilliant fall leaves and colourful berries await you, along with the pleasurable – and oh so healthy – fall “leaves after a rain” scent which we now know is actually caused by those healthy phytoncides.

So take a forest bath today… and bring a friend or three for an enjoyable, healthy outing.

Larry Hodgson

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