Good Friends and Fresh Air

Spent the whole weekend in the woods, on a property set on a beautiful lake, surrounded by thousands of pine trees, the kind of place that you go too and that makes you let out a big *sigh*.  Top this with a bunch of good friends, lots of laugh and there you have it, one of my most favourite place to be, the ACC Hut at the Bon Echo Provincial Park. Needless to say, it felt pretty good to be back!

In the Ottawa region we are very lucky. Whether driving or biking, in only a few minutes one can access hundreds of acres of forest with kilometers of trails to walk on and cabins to get too. I had once heard an interview on CBC Radio about the beneficial effects of being in a forest. Diana Beresford-Kroeger, a botanist and biochemist based in Merrickville, Ontario, who also recently published “The Global Forest“, was saying that she had been conducting research and studies on the effects of breathing the air in a forest on humans.

She found that when walking in a pine forest on a warm day for example, trees release Alpha and Beta Pinene, volatile coumpounds that have a calming effect on the human’s nervous system. Research has also shown that simply looking out of the window at a green space is soothing. On the other hand, we can all agree that being stressed is not beneficial to our body and that it is the cause of many diseases and anger in the world. Based on fear of lacking, fear of not having, stress can be controlled and rationalized in many ways.

So get out there! Plan a day hike in the woods with friends or by yourself. Breath in this fresh air and release all that negativity and stress. It doesn’t have to be long, in fact studies show that a quick 20 minute walk in the woods is enough to have a relaxing effect. So breathe, smile and be happy!

Have a good day :)

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