‘Forest Bathing’ Is Great for Your Health.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    ‘Forest Bathing’ Is Great for Your Health.

    I think this is something most of us can relate to and one of the things we love about mountain biking.

    In Japan, we practice something called forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.

    But the good news is that even a small amount of time in nature can have an impact on our health. A two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you. Numerous studies I’ve conducted have shown that shinrin-yoku has real health benefits.


    Although the author states that you need trees, I imagine that is due to the landscape of Japan. I think it is really about "nature bathing".

    So don't forget to slow down, soak in your surroundings with all of your senses, and get your bath.

    The Benefits of 'Forest Bathing' | Time
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  2. #2
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    I love the woods. Always have. Riding, walking, or just sitting quietly while the critters start to move about again. I wonder of forest bathing in the nude would be more effective?
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    I love the woods. Always have. Riding, walking, or just sitting quietly while the critters start to move about again. I wonder of forest bathing in the nude would be more effective?
    Try it and report back with your results.
    No moss...

  4. #4
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    It's been proven to be beneficial for anyone's health but if you live in a neighborhood like this it's vitally important.


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    I love the woods. Always have. Riding, walking, or just sitting quietly while the critters start to move about again. I wonder of forest bathing in the nude would be more effective?
    I am thinking that nude would not be best, at least here in New England too many mosquitoes, black flies and don't even get me started about the ticks, but your results may vary! Good luck!
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  6. #6
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    That certainly puts it into perspective. Those of us who get out in nature regularly are quite lucky!
    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    It's been proven to be beneficial for anyone's health but if you live in a neighborhood like this it's vitally important.


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  7. #7
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    "Although the author states that you need trees, I imagine that is due to the landscape of Japan."

    I think he may be right about needing trees. After a few glorious days in Moab, I started missing trees and found myself looking a forested trail.

    Also, I love my 4 MTB vacations in Utah (untreed), but felt more euphoric after riding in Bravard/Pisgah, NC (treed).

    YMMV

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmf032 View Post
    That certainly puts it into perspective. Those of us who get out in nature regularly are quite lucky!

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    I have a friend who's wife is Taiwanese. He has a nice house on a lake. His wife's family was visiting and they took them on a tour of the East Coast, Washington DC, etc. Toward the end of their visit they were sitting out in his backyard by the lake. He asked them which place they liked best. They said, "right here".

    My friend just moved back from Taiwan the end of last year after living there 2 or 3 years. He also very much appreciates what he has. It's something we can easily take for granted.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddoh View Post
    "Although the author states that you need trees, I imagine that is due to the landscape of Japan."

    I think he may be right about needing trees. After a few glorious days in Moab, I started missing trees and found myself looking a forested trail.

    Also, I love my 4 MTB vacations in Utah (untreed), but felt more euphoric after riding in Bravard/Pisgah, NC (treed).

    YMMV
    I'm the same as you but I've wondered if that is more just what we grew up with. I love visiting the desert but I can't imagine living there. I need my trees!
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  10. #10
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    I love the outdoors, and from previously camping/backpacking I knew MTB would be for me, almost nothing beats being with nature.. and now with my bike!

    I just didn't think I was going to eat so much nature in the process but WTH!
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    I love the woods. Always have. Riding, walking, or just sitting quietly while the critters start to move about again. I wonder of forest bathing in the nude would be more effective?
    This is me to a tee, except the nude part of course. Now I’m wondering what I’ve been missing out on all these years.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  12. #12
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    "Forest bathing" sounds so much nicer than "trail exfoliating."
    Beware the old man in a profession where men die young.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by the one ring View Post
    "Forest bathing" sounds so much nicer than "trail exfoliating."
    Lol

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  14. #14
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    I wonder of forest bathing in the nude would be more effective?
    The leaves are limiting visibility In my mountains,
    It's warm and some sun gets through,
    Soon as I'm 50 yards away from civilization my shirt and shorts go In my Camelbak Palos 4. I then swing the thing around my neck and shoulder.

    -camelbak-palos-6654-1500x877.jpg

    Wear clothes In these conditions ? are you kidding me ?
    Of course It's more effective :P
    I wouldn't take a bath or a shower clothed.....
    ,
    We Need nature, not concrete~
    “I seek only the Flow”,
    Climbing Is Supposed To Be Hard,
    Shut Up Legs :P

  15. #15
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    Being in the great outdoors is the best. Forests and mountains with little to no other people, hiking, biking, backpacking, so lucky to live in an area that offers an abundance of it!

  16. #16
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    By MARKHAM HEID July 5, 2017

    At first, walking and hiking may sound like two words for the same form of exercise. The footwear and scenery may vary, but the lower-body mechanics seem the same.

    Surprisingly, though, they’re radically different. Research shows that your joints and your heart and muscles perform in distinct ways during a hike compared to what they do during a jaunt around the block.

    “When you walk on a level surface, your body does a really good job of what’s known as passive dynamics,” says Daniel Ferris, a professor of engineering and biomechanics at the University of Florida.
    Your walking stride, he says, is like the swing of a pendulum. “Thanks to gravitational and kinetic energy, if I start that pendulum swinging,
    it’s going to keep moving back and forth for a long time without any additional energy input,” he says.


    Like a pendulum, walking on flat terrain allows you to keep moving with little effort. “But when you walk on uneven terrain”—the type you’d encounter on nature trails, deep-sand beaches or other natural surfaces—“that knocks out a lot of that energy transfer,” Ferris says. “Your heart rate and metabolic rate go up, and you burn more calories.

    In fact, hiking on uneven terrain increases the amount of energy your body uses by 28% compared to walking on flat ground, Ferris found in a study he conducted at the University of Michigan.
    The varying ground slopes you encounter while hiking also make it different from flat-ground walking. Paths that go up, down and sideways require subtle shifts in the way your leg muscles lengthen or shorten while performing work, and those shifts increase the amount of energy you’re expending during your trek.

    But the benefits of hiking extend well beyond the extra calorie burn.

    Navigating uneven ground—whether you’re hiking or trail-running—recruits different muscles than you would use on flat, man-made surfaces. “You’re turning on and strengthening a lot of muscles in your hips and knees and ankles that you don’t normally use,” Ferris says.

    Pumping up those oft-neglected muscles may improve your balance and stability, which helps protect you from falls. Using those muscles may also knock down your risk for the kinds of overuse injuries—like knee or hip pains,
    or band issues—that can result from the repetitive nature of level-ground walking or running.
    Of course, hiking isn’t without its own risks. If you’re not careful (and sure-footed), missteps can lead to rolled ankles, sprained knees, or even tumbles.
    Just as a novice runner or weightlifter is asking for trouble by kicking off a new routine with an extended, arduous workout, Ferris says inexperienced hikers may be more likely to injure themselves if they tackle a long, rocky hike right off the bat. You need to give those little-used leg muscles time to build up strength.

    While variable terrain works your body into shape, the sights, sounds and smells of nature may be performing a similar kind of alchemy in your brain.
    A 2015 study from Stanford University found that time spent in natural environments (as opposed to busy city settings) calmed activity in a part of the brain that research has linked to mental illness.
    Hanging out with Mother Nature also seems to reduce your mind’s propensity
    to “ruminate”—a word psychologists use for negative, self-focused patterns of thought that are linked with anxiety and depression. “I’d say there’s mounting evidence that, for urbanites and suburbanites, nature experience increases positive mood and decreases negative mood,” says Greg Bratman, a Stanford research fellow and coauthor of that study.

    More research is needed to back up these benefits. But, Bratman adds,
    “the idea that nature helps our mental state goes back hundreds if not thousands of years.”

    For both your mind and body, a walk in the woods may be tough to beat.
    THE END..

    I'm tellin ya, Roadies need to sell them road bikes, stop gulping down poison car exhaust fumes and get out In the woods and get Naked !,,

    3rd paragraph,, passive dynamics,, Roadies, you paying attention ?
    Us Mountain bike riders already learned this one,
    “I seek only the Flow”,
    Climbing Is Supposed To Be Hard,
    Shut Up Legs :P

  17. #17
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    ^^Good read, thanks for posting.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osco View Post

    3rd paragraph,, passive dynamics,, Roadies, you paying attention ?

    No flat roads around here.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    I'm the same as you but I've wondered if that is more just what we grew up with. I love visiting the desert but I can't imagine living there. I need my trees!
    I think we talked about this before I'm just the opposite, too many trees make me feel claustrophobic, I need to see the horizon or some landmarks! I agree with the nature bathing part, time outside and away from the city life will do anyone some good, it's probably my favorite thing about mtb. Getting away.

    Osco so true, the wife is a pet sitter and walks a zillion miles on the flat ground for the pups and feels fine. Then we go for a hike and she's sore the next day!
    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    some weird crazed desert dweller.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for posting, Osco. I'd read about the benefits of using additional muscles on trails vs road but not about passive dynamics.

    I really struggle with running road, actually more psychologically, seeing the long distance ahead messes with my mind. Last week, I ran up the road to get my car from the shop. It was only 1-1/2 miles and flat and straight and I was struggling. But put me on a hilly, curvy trail and I can run for miles, no problem. Usually the only time I run pavement is in a race.

    I kind of feel the same way on a bike. I'm ok doing it on a road bike but on a mountain bike, I'm just really aware of the inefficiency, though I'm sure a most of it's in my mind. There's a road near me that a lot of people run and ride on. It's along a river so it's very flat and only a couple of miles long; nice low traffic road with bike lanes. A lot of people train on it, running and/or riding, back and forth, multiple loops. I enjoy riding (road bike) on it, but I continue onto a wide path along the river, through a park and out the other side where there is a multi-use path that has some hills and twists and is a lot more interesting. And when I run there, I'm on the trails that go up the hills away from the river instead of the flat road.

    Eugene, yep, I think we may have discussed that!
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osco View Post
    By MARKHAM HEID July 5, 2017

    Navigating uneven ground—whether you’re hiking or trail-running—recruits different muscles than you would use on flat, man-made surfaces. “You’re turning on and strengthening a lot of muscles in your hips and knees and ankles that you don’t normally use,” Ferris says.
    I can attest to this. And add that doing it at night with less light by your feet makes it more strenuous as each footfall may be less ideally placed. So staying balanced takes extra effort.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  22. #22
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    -juliablog-photo-791x1024.jpg

    I like seeing Eastern ideas written in their language for some reason.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
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    If I may translate:
    1. People dance inside house at wild party.
    2. People run outside as house shakes.
    3. Tree falls on house.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  24. #24
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    Walking or bike riding on a path in the trees by a lake or river is the trifecta. My sense is that cities with paths by river offer an amazing pressure relief valve for its citizens. My city has a pedestrian/bike path around Lady Bird Lake (technically the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake) and its an awesome 10-mile respite right in the heart of downtown Austin. I agree with the benefits of walking on natural surfaces being much more beneficial than pavement, which makes my feet hurt.

    This may be an additional part of the equation: Mycobacterium vaccae, a soil microbe, apparently stimulates serotonin release in humans.
    This article seems like a good overview, Dirt has a microbiome, and it may double as an antidepressant
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  25. #25
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    " Dirt has a microbiome, and it may double as an antidepressant"

    That! Also, whatever is in fallen leaves (esp. wet or slightly decaying) in the fall really kicks that up a notch.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    If I may translate:
    1. People dance inside house at wild party.
    2. People run outside as house shakes.
    3. Tree falls on house.
    hee, hee......

  27. #27
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    When I was younger, I was somewhat ambivalence about trees but as I get older I really come to appreciate them. Every spring watching the whole landscape coming to life is always a sight of wonder for me. I can sense of the living energy around. Maybe because more keen of my own mortality as I get older. It's ironic because I love alpine climbing where it is so desolate.

  28. #28
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    I read the article in the OP's link. Absolutely incredible. All these years I thought that intentionally putting myself in highly stressful situations was the best way to relax, but apparently I was 100% wrong. Lucky for us, Dr. Qing Li has spent the better part of his life studying how to go out in the forest the "right" way. But that's not all, because he's such a selfless and kind person he knew he needed to share his wisdom with the world, so he wrote a whole book on the subject which can be your for only $29.95 in paperback.

    TLDR: Going in the forest is relaxing? Whodathunkit?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
    I read the article in the OP's link. Absolutely incredible. All these years I thought that intentionally putting myself in highly stressful situations was the best way to relax, but apparently I was 100% wrong. Lucky for us, Dr. Qing Li has spent the better part of his life studying how to go out in the forest the "right" way. But that's not all, because he's such a selfless and kind person he knew he needed to share his wisdom with the world, so he wrote a whole book on the subject which can be your for only $29.95 in paperback.

    TLDR: Going in the forest is relaxing? Whodathunkit?
    Hey, wait a minute, the author isn't even Japanese! We've been had!
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  30. #30
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    I guess I have an advantage. Wherever I bathe, I'm Forrest bathing.
    Don't let it get you down, but there's a good chance you were an accident.
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  31. #31
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    It works! My girlfriend has been stressed out lately due to balancing grad school, work, and interviews for internships. Last weekend, we decided to go for a hike, but it started raining not 5 min from the car. I looked at her and she said, "F it, let's keep going." By the time we got back, our feet were soaked, and it was a little chilly, but we had a great time! We got to see a Barred Owl fly through old growth pines!

    -20180506_140625.jpg

    -20180506_140812.jpg
    The cake is a lie.

  32. #32
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    If I had the “Map of the Whole Forest” it would make life much more enjoyable.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForrestJones View Post
    I guess I have an advantage. Wherever I bathe, I'm Forrest bathing.
    Took me a minute.....
    The best defense against bullsh*t is vigilance. If you smell something, say something.
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  34. #34
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    See the forest and the trees, they live, grow, and die, upon the land. They sprout where the seed, sucker, and sapling begin; on a patch of dirt, a rock crevice, a ledge, an eddie in the breeze.

    When you are old enough, and either revisit a place you spent some years in, or live in the same place as you were as a child, you can see how much the trees have grown, and how many have gone, if you are conscious of them. They really do grow, fall over, get replaced, built over, and sometimes majestically survive.

    There is a related note, called GROUNDING.

    In capital letters to get your attention. There are videos on the topic.

    While the "science" behind it may be crackpot, I definitely know that it does have an effect.

    The idea is to take off your shoes ( and in some cases your clothes ) and get your body into direct contact with the surface of the planet in order to electrially ground yourself.

    I'm not trying to convince anyone about this.

    This got me into the idea of walking barefoot, not in the sense of that book BORN TO RUN, but in the activity of just taking little walks barefoot in natural settings, or even just sitting with barefeet on the ground.

    It feels good, and is a part of forest bathing.

    As mountain bikes we have plenty of chances to experience these things. We are lucky.



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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by J[ATTACH=CONFIG
    1196456[/ATTACH]

    ...

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    It's been proven to be beneficial for anyone's health but if you live in a neighborhood like this it's vitally important.


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    What Hell might be like for me.

  37. #37
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    One thing that dense woods do is hide civilization from you. In wooded areas like the East Coast an PNW, you can can be in a patch of suburban woods a few acres in size and be immersed in the woods. In the wide open West, you're just in the middle of a dusty lot.
    Do the math.

  38. #38
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    Thought this thread would be about something like standing under a tree in the morning after a rain and shaking it for a hillbilly shower...

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