Forest Bathing: A New Health and Fitness Routine for Outdoor Lovers

Taking a regular walk among the trees could improve your health.

There's a health and wellness practice that's starting to get attention in America that the Japanese have practiced since the 1980s called Shinrin-yoku—or forest bathing.

The premise is simple; take a relaxed walk in the woods and reap the benefits both physically and physiologically. The Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, or ANFT, delved into the science of forest bathing to find that the rewards of even a 40-minute stroll in a serene forest setting reduce stress and strengthen the immune system.

While forest bathing can happen in any almost forest worldwide, there are places across the country that specialize in forest bathing, with only two certified by the ANFT: The Lodge at Woodloch and L'Auberge de Sedona

The Lodge at Woodloch spa resort in Pennsylvania's Poconos has been offering forest bathing since 2014. Try its "forest bathing exploration class" every week that takes guided walks deep into its forest, teaching techniques for deep breathing and mind-body awareness.

L'Auberge de Sedona in Arizona has 60- and 90-minute "Connecting With Nature" sessions on its grounds that promise an abundance of wildlife and the soothing sounds of Oak Creek sheltered by a wide variety of tree life.

Resort lodge among trees with moutains in the background