Shinrin-yoku. No, it’s not a new hobby but a Japanese word which means “forest bathing”. Japan is a country known for its hard-work employers, but also for its healthy lifestyle (they even have a Health and Sports Day!) Well, shinrinyoku is the practice of walking through a forest and breathing the wood essential oils, which have a relaxing effect on the body.
Yes, hiking is similar to the “shinrinyoku” trips, as it involves a walking outdoors and obtaining the best from the environment. And has also a lot of advantages!
Physical exercise comes the first of the list, especially if we spend a lot of time sitting for too long. In effect, a lot of discomforts are linked to a sedentary lifestyle: joint pain, strained neck. heart problems… We are getting used to move to cars, subways, buses and our body does not move like before. Walking at a moderate pace involves health benefits as it helps us to be in shape, burn calories and get rid of those back pains! It also lower stress and anxiety, and stimulates the production of dopamine, the hormone of happiness :)
Contact with the Nature is obviously another great advantage – from time to time our body (and our mind!) needs a break from the rush and pollution of the big cities, the stress of mails and constant notifications; when that time comes go and find the nearest park/garden/forest and take a big deep breath of fresh air and refill your lungs. Hiking allows you to return to the Nature and relaxing in a peaceful environment with a steady rhythm. Seeing superb views and discovering species of animals or plants will put you in good spirits.
Most of hiking paths are suitable for kids and elderly, so you have no excuse for a familiar reunion!
What do you need to begin your trip? Plan the footpaths, wear a comfortable footwear, protecting against the sun/cold and keep yourself hydrated. Are you ready for the pursuit of happiness? ;)