Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is the term used in Japan to refer to the practice of immersing yourself in a wooded area and taking time to take in the trees through your senses. While there are many reasons why spending time in a forest makes sense, here are four that make it a particularly perfect way to help replenish ourselves.

Forest Bathing Can Lower Stress

Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone. Like a built-in security system, it is what triggers your body’s fight or flight system. During times of high stress, having too much cortisol flowing through your system for too long can lead to a number of other health problems, including anxiety, depression, headaches, weight gain and sleep issues. Here’s the good news: research in Japan suggests that, compared to urban walks, leisurely forest walks yield a 12.4 per cent decrease in cortisol.

Give some tree time a try: Find a wooded trail to explore at one of Hamilton Halton Brant’s many conservation areas.

Forest Bathing Can Boost Your Body’s Immunity

Phytoncides are airborne chemicals emitted by plants and trees as protection against insects. When we spend time in nature, we breathe in Phytoncides. The antibacterial and antifungal qualities these compounds have that help plants fight disease also have an effect on our bodies. These chemicals send a message to our bodies to increase the number of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells. These natural killer cells help fight tumour- and virus-infected cells in our bodies. In one study, participants who had gone on a 3-day forest bathing trip had increased activity in their body’s natural killer cells for over a month!

Give some tree time a try: The Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, stretches through our region from Stoney Creek to beyond Georgetown, offering miles of tree-lined trail to explore.

Forest Bathing Can Improve The Quality of Your Sleep

If working from home, homeschooling, and the general stress of adapting to life during a global pandemic has wreaked havoc on your sleep patterns, time amongst the trees can help with that too. In one Japanese study, stressed-out Tokyo office workers who tended to struggle with sleep found that when they took a workday walk for the same amount of time in a forest instead of their usual non-forest walk, they slept better and longer.

Give some tree time a try: Forest areas represent about one-third of the property at Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens. There are 65 different tree species on the grounds, including Red and White Oak, Black Cherry, Red Maple and White Cedar.

Forest Bathing Is An Easy and Affordable Activity

The economic uncertainty driven by a global pandemic means many people are watching their pennies a little more carefully these days. If you’ve downsized your spending for leisure activities, forest bathing is an excellent way to spend a few hours without spending a lot of money.

Give some tree time a try: The Six Nations of the Grand River Territory is home to Canada’s largest stand of Carolinian forest. The Six Nations Nature Trail has been carefully designed to allow visitors to experience this special place for themselves.

Chiefswood National Historic Site

How to Take A Forest Bath

  • To take in the full benefits of all the trees have to offer, aim to spend about two hours amongst the trees. If your local park doesn’t have an extensive wooded area, consider visiting one of Conservation Halton, Hamilton Conservation Authority or Grand River Conservation Authority’s.
  • Turn off your smartphone. Forest bathing is about taking in the woods with your senses, not taking pictures of the experience.
  • Your forest bathing experience doesn’t have to involve walking or hiking. You may choose to walk for a while and then simply sit quietly and soak in the forest through all your senses. Look at the trees, their leaves and branches and the wildlife in the woods. Touch the rough tree bark, the prickly needles and the soft leaves. Smell the scents of the woods. Take long, slow, deep breaths and notice how all of these details you may have overlooked in the past make you feel when you slow down and soak them all in.

Take your forest bathing a little farther afield this summer by pairing your time in the trees with an overnight escape.

 

Find more ways to stay and play in Hamilton Halton Brant – explore available experiences, take advantage of special offers and discover the amazing events that will be taking place while you’re in town.

Travel Deals View All >>

Experiences & Tours View All >>

March 16 - 24

Ultimate VIP Tour of Maple Syrup in the Park at Terra Cotta Conservation Area

Terra Cotta Conservation Area

14452 Winston Churchill Boulevard, Halton Hills, ON, L0P 1N0

Dates: Mar 16th & 17th, 23rd & 24th Times: 9:30am to 12:30pm Event Price: $45.00...

March 12

March Break Kids Gnome Bunny Clay Workshop

Pottery N Paint Cafe, 3513 Wyecroft Road Oakville

Date & Time: Mar 12th, 9:30am to 12:00pm Workshop Price: $45.00 + Taxes Suited for...

July 2 - August 16

Summer Camp with Centre Francophone Hamilton

Centre francophone Hamilton

3 Locations

Dates: Jul 2nd to Aug 16th Times: 8:30am to 3:30pm Extended Care House: 7:30am to...

Now thru June 26

Trivia Nights at Shawn & Ed Brewing Co.

Shawn & Ed Brewing Co.

65 Hatt Street, Dundas, ON, L9H 0C1

Dates & Times: Every Wednesday (Unless otherwise), 7:00pm - 8:30pm Free but reservations are recommended

Now thru May 29

Dance Fitness with Mindfulness & Movement

Dundas Museum & Archives

139 Park Street West, Dundas, ON, L9H 1X8

Dates: Every Wednesday and Saturday (Unless otherwise stated) Times: 7:00pm to 8:00pm Class Price: $10.00...

May 18 - October 13

Where Cultures Meet: Six Nations of the Grand River

Six Nations Tourism

2498 Chiefswood Road, Ohsweken, ON N0A 1M0

Season Dates: May 18th to Oct 13th $70.00/person for a group of less than 20;...

April 13

Sugarbush Wagon Rides At Terra Cotta Conservation

Terra Cotta Conservation Area

14452 Winston Churchill Boulevard, Halton Hills, ON, L0P 1N0

Date: Apr 13th Times: 4:30pm to 7:30pm with rides every half hour Price: $20.00 each...

March 12

March Break Paint and Plant Workshop at the Floral Collective

335 Kerr Street Oakville, ON L6K 3B7

Date & Time: Mar 12th, 10:00am to 12:00pm Price: $25.00

Now thru December 31

Music Bingo at Flux

Flux Brewing Company

185 Oakland Rd, Scotland, ON N0E 1R0

Date & Time: January 17th (1st bingo night of the year) $5 cover to join

Now thru March 24

GLODTO: Roseaux

144 Front Street, Oakville, ON, Canada

Dates: Mar 2nd to 24th Public Art Installation

May 14

Eliza’s Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea at Bell Homestead

Bell Homestead National Historic Site

94 Tutela Heights Road, Brantford, ON, N3T 1A1

Date & Time: May 14th, 1:00pm & 3:00pm Price: Adult - $45.00 + Tax Children...

March 29

Spring Floral Centerpiece Workshop at Steel Wheel Brewery

Steel Wheel Brewery

105 Powerline Rd, Brantford, ON N3T 5L8

Date & Time: Mar 29th, 7:00pm - 9:00pm Workshop Cost: $75.00 + Tax Cost includes...

Similar Stories View All >>

Birding in Hamilton Halton Brant

Why birdwatchers flock to these six hotspots.

Read More

Cross Country Trail Blazing

Conservation areas offer great access to the Niagara Escarpment during winter months.

Read More

Brrr-ing on big winter fun

Make a choice to bundle up and face winter head on.

Read More

Fall For Each Other: A Romantic Two-Day Road Trip Around Hamilton Halton Brant

Treat your fam to two days of non-stop fun!

Read More

A Fresh Fall Family Adventure in Hamilton Halton Brant

Treat your fam to two days of non-stop fun!

Read More

Plan a Couples Paddling Getaway You’ll BOTH Love

Plan A Paddling Escape For 2

Read More

The Getaway Gang 6 Ways To Plan An Amazing Last-Minute Camping Trip With Friends

Creative ways to find a campsite.

Read More

Water, Land, Air: Find Unexpected New Ways For Your Family To Play This Summer

Family Fun 3 Ways

Read More

Sunday Funday: 4 Relaxing Ways to Wrap Up The Week

Bringing back the concept of simple Sunday fun.

Read More

Sneaky Spring Savings

5 Ways to Do More & Spend Less On Family Fun This Weekend

Read More

The Best of Spring: Six Ways to Find a Fresh Air Fix

The definitive spring guide to fresh air forays.

Read More

Escape To The Country

6 Rural Retreats To Replenish Your Spirit This Spring

Read More

Get Travel OffersEvent Details and
Planning Ideas for Your Next Trip

Sign up to receive the latest Hamilton Halton Brant travel news delivered right to your inbox.