How A Walk in the Forest can Help Cure What Ails You

Lauren Richmond 791700 Unsplash

We’ve been hearing more and more about how getting out into nature can help to improve mood, reduce stress and promote overall good health. It makes a fair bit of sense that as humans have evolved with nature, and therefore our nervous systems may feel most ‘at home’ when we are amongst nature. But it seems that there is more to it than that. Studies are now showing that some of the compounds produced by the trees in the forests we walk in have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, neuroprotective and antitumor effects. These compounds (forest aerosols) are excreted by our trees (in particular, conifer and camphor laurel trees) and we can be said to be ‘showering in them’ when we take a forest walk. Forest aerosols are being shown to have many beneficial effects on health in laboratory testing and may be the reason that walking in the forest has been shown to benefit asthma, atopic dermatitis, immune health, cancer and nervous system health (Cho KS, 2017).  It is not only conifers and camphors but other plants such as lavender, citrus, hops, peppermint and chamomile that also contain these beneficial compounds. If anyone needed a reason to go for a walk in a lavender or chamomile field, here it is!

Other health benefits can be attributed to the production of a compound called brain- derived neurotrophic factor (or BDNF) when we exercise. BDNF promotes what we call ‘neuroplasticity’ which basically refers to the ability of brain cells to heal and create new connections as is seen in learning and healing from damage due to stress, depression or trauma. A reduction in BDNF is seen in neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia and has also been linked to major depression, stress, obesity and cardiovascular disease. In the case of BNDF, we do not need to be walking in the forest to promote its production – any exercise will do (but a forest walk is a great option if available). Studies show that moderate to high-intensity physical activity are the most effective in achieving the desired increase in BDNF (Phillips, 2017).

So why not make a regular walk in the forest part of your health regime? When you breathe in those delicious foresty smells you are taking your aerosol shower and providing your body with many healing agents. If you are sick, it may assist your healing process, and if you are not, it will certainly provide protection against some long-term health complaints.

So, get a map, pack a lunch, get a buddy and get out there!

Evi Km Cropped

Katherine Maslen

Author

Hey, I’m Katherine Maslen, naturopath, nutritionist, host of The Shift podcast, author and renegade for health.
Since completing 2 bachelor degrees in health science over 12 years ago, I’ve been helping peeps just like you to be their best through awesome health. I’ve spent most of this time one on one in clinical practice – in the trenches with my clients to navigate them through the minefield that is imperfect health.

Book Your Massage Appointment Online

Book Your Osteopathy Appointment Online

Book Your Holographic Kinetics Appointment Online

Book Your Kinesiology Appointment Online

Book Your Hypnotherapy Appointment Online

For more information on our hypnotherapy treatments for smoking, anxiety, or depression, contact our Brisbane clinic today on 07 3186 5605.

Book Your Naturopathy Appointment Online

Current wait time for a naturopathy appointment is approximately 2-3 weeks – be sure to check the next few weeks for availability if your search results come up blank. If you have an urgent concern that cannot wait, please call us on 07 3186 5605 and we will do our best to fit you in earlier.

Please note you will need to ‘make a profile’ to book an appointment – this will then send us your personal details and create a client file for you. If you’d prefer to call then go through this process then please do!

Book Your IVF Acupuncture Appointment Online

Book Your Acupuncture Appointment Online

Download our cycle tracking guide!
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Mind Shift Img2
Your gut is the centre of everything!

Your ability to digest food and absorb nutrients determines your health, and your microbiome (the bacteria that live inside you) are so important for preventing disease.

Take the quiz now to discover.
  1. How well you are digesting food
  2. If you’re eating the right things for a healthy gut
  3. The state of your microbiome
  4. Your overall gut health score
Fai Content Img F 2@2x

Share This

Select your desired option below to share a direct link to this page. Your friends or family will thank you later.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on skype
Share on pinterest
Share on email