Posted in Health

The Benefits of Forest-Bathing

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week. We went on a quick vacation to Tahquamenon Falls and had a good time. We hiked along the river and got some great pictures. I love getting out into nature, it’s so calming and good for you, too! Experts are calling it Forest bathing.

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I mentioned it last week in a post and I thought I’d dig a little deeper. Forest bathing originated in Japan where it is called Shinrin-Yoku. Why is walking through a forest beneficial for us?

That is a very good question. The reason traipsing through the woods is good for us is because we inhale phytoncides when we breathe in the forest. These are antimicrobial volatile compounds derived from trees.

 

Photo via Visual Hunt

These phytoncides are released by the trees and plants as a defense mechanism against fungus, bacteria, and even animals. These compounds are good for humans as well. According to one study, they enhanced the destructive mechanism in our cells that kill the cell when its time has run out. It also enhanced the anti-cancer proteins production.  Now that is good news.

To put this in layman’s terms, breathing in phytoncides enhances our own natural defenses.  I think this is incredible. It supports the theory that we’re all connected, with each other, and with nature. Wouldn’t you agree?

Not only is forest bathing physically healthy it’s also psychologically good for us, too. It has been found to be advantageous to people who are dealing with chronic stress. I can attest to the stress-relieving benefits of walking through nature, but now I have scientific proof. Yay Me! For more info about this, check out this post from Huffington Post.

Huffington Post

It’s important in our hustle and bustle world that we teach our kids how to take care of themselves, and one of the things we need to teach them is how to decompress. Not only is forest bathing a great way to relieve stress, it’s a great way to reconnect with your family. It’s important to reconnect with our loved ones. It’s vital to everyone’s psychological health.

 

Photo via VisualHunt.com

So get out into the forest and get moving! It’s good for your body and your soul. Thanks for stopping by, I’d love to hear your thoughts on forest bathing so leave a comment. Or maybe you have other stress relieving habits you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Posted in Literacy, Reading

The Benefits of Reading

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another post about Reading. Since reading for pleasure is on the decline, I thought I’d write about the benefits of picking up a book. There are many, let me tell you.

We already know that there’s a link between Reading and Empathy. ( For more information on that topic, click here https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/the-link-between-reading-and-empathy/  )

But did you know that reading reduces stress? It’s true. Since I’ve had kids, I’ve put reading on the backburner. It’s only within the last couple of years that I’ve picked it back up again. I’m so glad I did! I enjoy reading immensely, especially when I’m stressed. Studies show that by picking up a book and reading for just six minutes you can decrease your stress level by sixty eight percent. It’s a great way to deal with the stressors of everyday life.  For more information about the effect of reading on stress click this link. http://www.sound-mind.org/reading-reduces-stress.html#.V0njK5ErLIU

Photo credit: CRC, University of Edinburgh via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

I must add here that fostering a love of reading in your child is an excellent coping mechanism when they have to deal with stressful situations. They can forget about the problem for a while and come back to it when they’ve calmed down. Something to think about my friends. 🙂

Photo credit: r.nial.bradshaw via VisualHunt / CC BY

Did you know reading makes you smarter? It does! It improves your memory. You’re exercising your brain when you read. You’re training it to retain information every time you pick up a book.

It also improves your vocabulary which goes hand in hand with improving your ability to communicate with others. Being able to communicate is incredibly important in today’s business world.  You appear more polished in a job interview and you’ll be able to communicate to your future employer more effectively.

Did you know reading also improves analytical skills? This is important. According to this article, http://examinedexistence.com/does-reading-make-you-smarter/, readers have a greater general knowledge and are able to spot patterns quicker.

What are analytical skills? I’m so glad you asked. Here’s the definition: Analytical skill is the ability to visualize, articulate, conceptualize, or solve both complex and uncomplicated problems by making decisions with the available information. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytical_skill

We all need analytical skills wouldn’t you agree? Reading is a great way to strengthen your analytical muscles.

Reading also improves your ability to focus. Fostering a love of reading in your kids will help them focus and retain information at school.

Photo credit: Internet Archive Book Images via Visual Hunt / No known copyright restrictions

With all the great benefits of reading, why are people getting away from it? My guess is all the new technology that’s available to everyone these days. There’s too many distractions. We need to make a conscious effort to keep reading alive.

My boys read twenty minutes a day, and this summer they’ll have to read before they turn on their computers. I’m going to read right along with them. After all, it’s good for me, too. 😉

And if you’re looking for some great books to engage your kids over the summer, I know where you can find some! 😉

What are your thoughts on the benefits of reading? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!