Are you going for a walk in nature? Then this not only has a positive effect on your body, walking also has a positive effect on our mind. Because we concentrate better and it makes us more creative. In addition, it has been proven that nature makes us recover faster from stressful situations and reduces loneliness.
Besides a normal walk in nature, you can do certain activity, namely forest bathing, also called Shinrin-Yoku. Curious what this is? We explain this walk through nature. At the end of this blog we also give 5 tips of beautiful nature reserves in the Netherlands to take a lovely walk.
What is forest bathing – forest bathing
Forest bathing is a particular walk through nature, which creates a relaxation by immersing yourself in the atmosphere of the forest. During forest bathing, you consciously slow down your walking pace and take in the nature around you better. You do this by using your senses more consciously. By slowing down and looking more consciously at the colors and shapes of nature around you, our blood pressure drops and our creativity gets a boost. Multiple studies have confirmed that forest bathing has health benefits, as concluded in a publication of Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine.
Are you looking for a soothing activity? Then it is worth a chance to go forest bathing. This can be done by attending a forest bathing workshop or by diving into nature yourself and absorbing the sounds, shapes, smells and structures.
3 exercises to start with forest bathing
- Slow down your walking pace
During forest baths, slow down your walking pace and stop every now and then. Take the time to take in everything around you and go on the walk without a goal, so you walk a route through the nature reserve through your own instinct.
- Use your senses
Activate your senses and trust them. For example, chase a scent or focus on sounds you hear. Whistling birds, flowing streams or the creaking of trees. Tickle your eyes and see what's on the ground, what you see in the sky and among the trees.
Focus on your breathing. This can be done while sitting by a tree or while walking. Breathe in the air deeply and exhale slowly.
5 beautiful nature reserves in the Netherlands
Be amazed by the beautiful nature reserves in the Netherlands, such as in a forest or heath. Spread throughout the Netherlands, there are many areas in which you can take enough steps. We have selected 5 beautiful nature reserves for you to take a lovely walk, where you can of course also take a forest bath.
- De Hoge Veluwe National Park, Gelderland
Probably one of the most famous nature reserves in the Netherlands: De Hoge Veluwe National Park. Every season the landscape changes into a beautiful and colorful walking area. During your walk you can count on long avenues of trees, wild moors, wooded hills and don't be alarmed when animals appear between the forests. Wild boars, deer, foxes and much more have made the Veluwe their home.
- The Cape Forests, Utrecht
In the middle of the National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug you will find De Kaapse Bossen. Put on sturdy walking shoes for this, because you walk here in a hilly forest from wide beech avenues to winding forest paths. When you take in the sounds well, you will hear different animals such as woodpeckers, roe deer and squirrels. During the day, enjoy the many colors of trees, shrubs and walking paths or climb the lookout tower for a beautiful view.
- The Loonse and Drunense Dunes, North Brabant
One of the largest shifting sand areas in Western Europe? That is the National Park De Loonse en Drunense Duinen. The nature reserve has the characteristics of a desert and is also called the Brabant Sahara. Take a lovely walk along the extensive dunes to let your mind wander and enjoy the sand, heathland and woods.
- National Park South Kennemerland, North Holland
If you want to stroll for hours and embrace nature, the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park will certainly not disappoint you. The characteristic nature reserve is located against the North Sea, with densely wooded dunes with winding pines and beautiful dune lakes in between. While walking there is a good chance of spotting grazing Scottish highlanders.
- Meijendel, South Holland
In the astonishing dune area of Meijendel you walk along beautiful water features, forests and sandy paths. The area is part of the Hollandse Duinen National Park, where you can walk for hours and encounter various plant and animal species. In which season you visit Meijendel, you will be able to absorb a new shape, smell and structure of nature every time.
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