Yesterday while hiking with my dog, it inspired me to share the many benefits of a fall walk in the forest. With a crisp coolness in the air the fallen leaves crunched under my feet. I looked up in wonder at the variety of colors and shades of green still on the trees. Fall is here. A lovely time of year. How I will miss the leaves but it made me appreciate them all the more while they are still here. Which leads me to some benefits that popped into my head.
Gratitude and Appreciation
With winter following fall, in a month all the beautiful leaves of varying shapes and sizes will disappear. I know it’s a part of the cycle of the seasons and life yet I will miss the full trees. However, when walking through a forest on a cool fall day gratitude and appreciation wash over as you contemplate the current season and the one to follow. We all need more gratitude in our lives.
Reduces Stress and Worry
When you have things on your mind does it help to sit and stew on it? No, of course not. A forest walk quickly takes your mind off of worries or cares. Sometimes solutions may even come as you journey along. If not, time away from the problems of life may put your mind at ease.
Studies have shown walking helps various systems of the body including the cardio and nervous system. It’s also great for your lungs. Remember trees are the ultimate pollution removers on our planet. Taking in our waste product of CO2 and giving us valuable O2 back.
Moving Meditation & Connection
When one spends time in a forest you may find yourself in a moving meditation. With nothing to distract it’s easy to immerse yourself. This means leaving our phone at home or place it on silent while enjoying nature. Each moment is a treasure under the canopy of giants.
Clarity, Creativity, and it’s Free
The clarity of mind I get while enjoying the fresh forest air is liberating. Not to mention creative ideas that come to mind. After a hike I come back refreshed and ready to tackle a creative project. Don’t forget this activity is free unless you use a state or national park. I am lucky in that respect because I live in a forest, among the trees.
Great for Your Pet
Not only do humans enjoy a walk in the forest but so does our closest companions. My dog has a shear look of joy on her face when I mention the word hike. Once in the forest she sniffs the ground, chases animals, and loves her time among the trees.
Pulling it all Together
Anytime you need a break from the day to day consider taking a walk in a forest or in a natural setting. I can promise you will feel better in some way. Either less stressed, more creative, clear-headed, connected to nature or your whole body alive from the exercise. Any of the above benefits can be yours by taking the time to get out and enjoy a forest near you.