it’s time to take a bath

Recently, we learned about an element of the national public health program in Japan that got us very excited – calmly excited. It’s called “forest bathing.”

Forest bathing is simple and elegant: being in the presence of trees. An article from World Economic Forum suggests, “Just be with trees. No hiking, no counting steps on a Fitbit. You can sit or meander, but the point is to relax rather than accomplish anything.”

We heartily support this idea! Each vivaNext project involves adding trees and greenery to the streetscape because it creates a more livable community. In addition, there’s evidence to show that this actually does help to create a healthier environment for the community’s citizens.

The experiments conducted by Japan’s Chiba University studied the effects of forest environments on the body. Field experiments in 24 forests on young 20somethings found that, “Forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, [and] lower blood pressure… than do city environments.”

There’s an abundance of parks, trails and forests in York Region for you to explore or simply *be* in. But we are also pleased that the Viva rapidways also offer you the opportunity to “forest bathe” as well. So the next time you’re feeling too rushed and too stressed, consider taking a forest bath!

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