June 17, 2016 12:36
Many people find that the summer heat leaves them low on energy. Cold drinks and healthy meals can help, but there is another way to revitalize yourself in summer: going for a walk in a forest.
The plants and trees in forests emit substances known as phytoncides, which we generally experience as the aroma of the forest. These substances, which protect trees from harmful insects and germs, peak around June. That is why early summer is the best time for "forest bathing," as they are believed to be good for human health.
Phytoncides reportedly reduce stress levels, promote relaxation, lower blood pressure and improve cardiopulmonary and intestinal function. They have also been found to alleviate headaches and sleep disorders.
As phytoncide emission tends to increase with the temperature, forest walks are more effective in the middle of the day than in the early morning or late evening. To maximize the therapeutic effects of forest bathing, walk slowly for at least two hours wearing airy cotton clothes.
Halfway up a mountain, rather than at its base or summit, is considered the best place for forest bathing, as the wind conditions there are optimal.
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