How to Forest Bathe and Best Places in Colorado to Do It
Have you heard about taking a bath in the woods? It's not a bath with water or soap, but rather a nature bath. It's called Forest Bathing.
The roots of forest bathing go back to 1982, "the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries created the term shinrin-yoku, which translates to “forest bathing” or “absorbing the forest atmosphere" according to Kaiser Permanente. The goal is to immerse yourself and your senses in nature.
We have lots of opportunities in Northern Colorado to enjoy nature. In Fort Collins, there are nearly 50 natural areas, with over 36,000 conserved acres according to Visit Fort Collins. In Loveland, there are 20 soft trails most of which go through natural areas.
In the State of Colorado, there is so much nature it doesn't matter if you're hiking in one of the 11 national forests, bird watching in Rocky Mountain National Park, gazing at the incredible Garden of the Gods, checking out one of the 21 state parks, or taking a walk through a park getting that forest bath experience is easy.
Experts say to receive the benefits of forest bathing, you should try to spend 20 minutes per day, just taking in nature. It doesn't even have to happen in a forest, just in nature. The sounds of birds, the smell of flowers, and the clouds moving all count as long as you're really taking it in.
The benefits of forest bathing are lower blood pressure and lowered stress levels. It has the power to put you in a calm, relaxed state. Studies show it can lead to increased well-being and happiness.