The Japanese call it shinrin-yoku which means “forest bathing”. In French, we say “sylvothérapie”.The idea’s the same with both – walk in the woods and you’ll feel better.
Not many people doubt that exercise in a natural environment is beneficial for your health and morale. Air in the undergrowth is milder, more humid and richer in oxygen, and generally considered better quality unless you suffer from hay fever. Several scientists have measured exactly how this affects us and their findings have brought some interesting benefits to light.
How it affects our bodies
One example is the following relatively simple exercise – two groups of young twenty-somethings had to walk for 15 minutes then rest for 15 minutes. One group walked in the forest and the other in a heavily built-up urban area, near a main road. Every day the groups switched over. Each group’s participants were examined 3 times a day, every day and 7 different indicators (blood pressure, heartbeat, etc.) were recorded when they woke up, after their walk and after their rest.
It became immediately clear that blood pressure and heartbeat didn’t rise anywhere near as high when they walked in the forest. The other remarkable thing was that it was still apparent after the rest period. The well-known cardio-protective benefits of walking are substantially improved when you walk in the woods.
There are different theories that explain these results but what’s generally noted is the low level of stress, revealed amongst other things by the level of cortisol found in the guinea pig’s saliva. Cortisol is a hormone that’s particularly sensitive to alpha-pinene and beta-pinene found in the air, natural essences produced by … maritime pines. An immense blanket of this remarkable tree covers the majority of the Landes forest, 2.5 million acres in all.
Since 1932, DRT has been established in the heart of this region. Their expertise in plant extraction lead them naturally to create a range of suppléments and cosmetics based on pine tree bark, that way, you too can benefit from the forest each and every day.
If you can’t get to the forest, the forest will come to you!
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