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 >>

July 20

Yoga with a View

Joseph Brant Museum

1240 North Shore Boulevard East, Burlington, ON, L7S 1C5

Date & Time: Jul 20th, 8:00am to 10:00am, Workshop Price: $42.00/person

Now thru December 31

A Taste of Paris – Sip, Savour & Shopping

Tasty Road Trips Food Tours

Paris, Ontario

Tour Details: This tour includes three tasting locations with timed stops to make your day...

Now thru October 29

Grand Experiences: 4-Hour Guided Tour

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113 Grand River Street North, Paris

Date & Times: Every day, starting at 9:30am Price: varies depending on choice of boat

July 10 - August 28

The Joy of Birding (Intermediate)

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Road West, Burlington, ON, L7T 4H4

Dates and Time: Jun 28th, Jul 8th, Jul 16th, Jul 20th, Jul 25th, Jul 30th,...

Now thru December 31

Home of #99 Taste Adventure

Tasty Road Trips Food Tours

Paris, Ontario

Tour Details: This tour is a five+ hour all-inclusive self-guided tour with all food, sips,...

Now thru December 7

Oakville Museum Guided Tour

Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate

8 Navy Street, Oakville, ON, L6J 2Y5

Tuesday to Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. General admission by donation (Suggested $7 per...

Now thru January 1

Museums Burlington Online Galleries

Joseph Brant Museum

1240 North Shore Boulevard East, Burlington, ON, L7S 1C5

Now thru October 2

New Moon Beach Yoga

Ontario Staycation Adventures

1100 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, ON L7S 1A7, Canada

Dates and Times: May 7th, Jun 6th, Jul 5th, Aug 4th, Sept 2nd, Oct 2nd...

Now thru January 1

Woodland Cultural Centre – Self Guided Museum Tour

Woodland Cultural Centre

184 Mohawk Street, Brantford, ON, N3T 5V6

Now thru December 31

Brant Eats

Brant Tourism

31 Mechanic St, Paris, ON N3L 1K1

For your enjoyment all-year round!

Now thru October 17

Full Moon Beach Yoga

Ontario Staycation Adventures

1100 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, ON L7S 1A7, Canada

Dates and Times: May 23rd, Jun 20th, Jul 21st, Aug 19th, Sept 17th, Oct 17th...

Similar Stories View All >>

This Art is Outside: Get an Outdoor Art Fix

Find creative ways to blend an art experience with some fresh air and sunshine.

Read More

It’s a date!

Creative summer date ideas!

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

Everyone Welcome!

Plan an inclusive and eclectic 2-day road trip!

Read More

Sunday Funday: 4 Relaxing Ways to Wrap Up The Week

Bringing back the concept of simple Sunday fun.

Read More

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

Family Fun 3 Ways

Read More

Legacy of the Grand River

A river that is Historically important, economically vital and socially significant.

Read More

Sustainability Excellence Hamilton & Brant

Discover a conscious travel journey in The Heart of Ontario’s Hamilton and Brant regions.

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 guide to fresh air forays.

Read More

Rural on the Ridge Explore the Upside

A Farm Fresh Day Trip on the Niagara Escarpment in Hamilton.

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.