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9 reasons to take a forest bath regularly

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If you want to enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors, you should definitely add forest bathing to your to-do list. And don’t worry, you don’t have to live in a heavily forested area to benefit from this natural therapy. In fact, there are even many forest bathing sites in cities along with parks. The concept of forest bathing, which consists of exposing yourself to nature for physical, mental and emotional benefits, is quite timeless, but it is certainly very fashionable in recent years. It’s not hard to find a forest bathing book online or in bookstores, and you can even find youtube videos of forest bathing. One of the most impressive effects of forest bathing is its ability to promote relaxation and reduce stress, which is huge since stress plays a role in many acute and chronic illnesses.

What are forest bathing?

Forest bathing is also called shinrin-yoku. In Japanese, shinrin means “forest” and yoku means “bath.” So if you put all of that together, shinrin plus yoku equals forest bathing or bathing in a forest setting enjoying your surroundings using all your senses. What is tree bath? Some people also call forest bathing “tree bathing” or “natural therapy.” Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing is said to have officially started in the early 1980s in Japan, where it is still a form of preventative medicine and natural treatment today. From an anthropological point of view (study of humanity), forest bathing or natural therapy have been practiced by various tribes and cultures since the dawn of time.

When you practice forest bathing, you’re not trying to get in a workout that will make you break a sweat or get to the end of a long road. Rather, you are simply connecting with the nature around you. Today, nature therapy is practiced all over the world, in all kinds of beautiful forests. Japan remains one of the regions of the world that unsurprisingly appreciates forest bathing. It is a country that currently has more than 60 forest therapy camps. To take a forest bath, you immerse yourself in a naturally beautiful and healthy forest environment, using your different senses (sight, hearing, smell, etc.). It is a very peaceful and positive experience with scientifically proven health benefits, which I am about to share with you.

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It’s known as Japanese forest bathing, but other ancient medical systems are no doubt fans of the practice, including traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views humans as inseparable from nature and places great importance on staying in touch with our natural environment. Many TCM practitioners consider our bodies to be a reflection of the natural world. Forest bathing or natural therapy is a popular method of maintaining homeostasis in the body, as are other traditional Chinese medicine practices, such as acupuncture.

Ayurvedic medicine emphasizes universal interconnectedness, or the idea of ​​a connection between people, their health, and the universe. Yoga is one of the many natural ways Ayurveda uses to maintain this interconnectedness, and today yoga is associated with forest bathing. While some people choose to walk or sit in their forest surroundings, others choose to give their forest bathing an Ayurvedic twist and practice yoga in the forest.

health benefits

1. Boost immune function

Forest bathing is definitely on the list of weird ways to stop an infection and boost the immune system. A scientific study published in 2010, titled “Effect of Forest Bathing Trips on Human Immune Function,” reveals that spending time in nature can significantly stimulate the activity of blood cells called Natural Killer (NK) cells. This is huge because NK cells help fight viruses and tumor cells.

The study reveals that three days of bathing in the forest increased the subjects’ NK activity, NK cell count, and intracellular levels of cancer-fighting proteins. These positive effects of forest bathing are attributed to phytoncides, which are essentially antimicrobial wood essential oils from trees such as alpha-pinene and limonene.

Previous scientific research in humans has also shown that phytoncide exposure can significantly increase NK cell activity, while reducing stress hormone levels and increasing the expression of cancer-fighting proteins. It is not uncommon to find cancer patients taking forest baths, as being in the forest can not only decrease stress and anxiety associated with cancer.

2. Lower blood pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is not a condition to ignore. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to control high blood pressure. Shinrin yoku forest bathing has been shown to help lower blood pressure. Researchers who published a study on forest bathing in 2011 already knew that forest settings are known to reduce stress hormones such as adrenaline and norepinephrine and produce an overall relaxing effect, but they wanted to know more.

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In their small clinical study, these researchers examined how walking in a forest setting affected cardiovascular and metabolic parameters in 16 healthy male subjects. The results were very positive: habitual walking in a forest environment appears to lower blood pressure by decreasing sympathetic nerve activity. Forest bathing also had positive effects on stress hormone levels.

3. Improves the health of the nervous system

Forest bathing is also known to have a positive effect on heart rate variability. This effect is very important for the health of the nervous system, since heart rate variability (the variation in the time interval between heartbeats) is an indicator of the health of the balance between the sympathetic nervous system (whose main function is to activate the physiological system changes that occur during the fight or flight response) and the parasympathetic system (also called the “rest and digest system” or “recovery system” because it lowers blood pressure and heart rate). Maintaining a balance between the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic system is key to avoiding a constant state of fight-or-flight stress, and it’s not surprising that forest bathing seems to help maintain this healthy balance of the nervous system.

4. Reduce stress

Trees are known to infuse the air with compounds that can have very positive effects on humans. These compounds are called phytoncides, and a study published in 2009 found that they can effectively reduce stress hormone levels in both men and women. How to get phytoncide by taking a forest bath? Just breathe the good forest air!

5. Improves mental health

A review published in 2015 démontre une fois de plus that nous ne pouvons vraiment pas orublier de passer du temps à l’extérieur, d’autant plus that de plus en plus de personnes vivent dans des zones urbanes et se sentent déconnectées de la nature de our days. This study found that participants who took a 90-minute nature walk reported “lower levels of rumination and showed reduced neural activity in an area of ​​the brain linked to mental illness risk compared to those who walked in an environment urban”. . Nature can be good for mental health. Reduces cognitive fatigue and stress and may be helpful for depression and anxiety. Do you want a mental boost? It may be time to take a bath (without soap and water) in your local forest.

6. Strengthen cognitive functions and be more creative

It probably won’t surprise you (or it might surprise you) that spending more time in nature can really boost your creativity. A study by psychologists at the University of Utah and the University of Kansas found that backpackers’ creativity test scores were 50% better after spending four days in nature, disconnected from electronic devices. This study published in 2012 was “the first to document systematic changes in high-level cognitive function associated with immersion in nature.

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7. Grounding

Being outdoors also gives you an opportunity to practice grounding, a method of connecting with the earth’s natural energy by walking barefoot. Known benefits of grounding include the reduction of free radicals in the body when they come into contact with “free electrons,” whether they come from the earth or from food derived from the earth.

8. Fight seasonal depression

You can combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) by spending time outdoors. Researchers believe that this disorder may be related to a lack of sunlight and vitamin D. When you spend time outdoors, you can get more of both, and the benefits of vitamin D are important to many aspects of our health.

9. Breathe clean air

Let’s also not forget that it is very nice to escape indoor air pollution and breathe fresh air outdoors.

how to practice

The steps of the forest bath are quite simple:

go to a forest
Walk slowly
Breathe
open all your senses

Basically, bathing in the forest is spending time among trees and nature, without distractions. You won’t bother anyone, because you certainly won’t be using technology during your forest bath. The idea is to be very present, not to capture the moment for social media. You’re also not trying to reach a final destination like you would on a hike, you’re just in the woods, very present and taking it all in with your different senses to see the surrounding beauty, breathe in fresh air, smell the bark of a nearby tree. The act of bathing in the forest is certainly somewhat meditative, but there are no hard and fast rules of approach or discipline.

If you are wondering if it is possible to take a forest bath near me, you should ask yourself the following question. You can bathe in the forest anywhere you are surrounded by trees. It can be a small park in a city or a large national park. Wherever you are, just have the intention of connecting with nature in a healing way.

* HealthKey strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO EVENT can the information provided replace the opinion of a health professional.

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Well Being

here are 14 types of easy cardio exercises

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Presse Santé

When most people think of cardiovascular exercise (cardio), the first activities that come to mind are running, biking, or swimming. Yes, these are great ways to get your heart rate up, but not everyone enjoys them. Cardio should be a key part of your healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

If you want to incorporate more cardio into your exercise routine, don’t be intimidated by the experienced marathon runners you see in your neighborhood. Heart-healthy workouts don’t have to mean spending hours on the treadmill. There are many fun and creative ways to do cardio while having fun.

Why do you need cardio in the first place?

Cardio is defined as any type of exercise that increases your heart rate and keeps it at a high level for an extended period of time. Your respiratory system begins to work harder as you begin to breathe faster and deeper. Your blood vessels expand to bring more oxygen to your muscles, and your body releases natural pain relievers (endorphins).

The physical and mental benefits of this type of exercise seem endless.

Control your weight: There is a lot of scientific evidence that 150 to 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio a week will help you maintain your weight over time.

Long-term:

Prevent Heart Disease: Research has shown that increasing your heart rate through regular cardiovascular exercises helps prevent heart disease.

Mood Enhancement: It probably won’t surprise you, but research supports the role cardiovascular exercise plays in improving your mood and increasing your happiness. Cardio increases the production of those feel-good painkillers called endorphins.

You will live longer: People who do regular cardio exercises live longer.

14 Fun Cardio Exercise Options

Think outside the box and try something new with these fun cardio options. The key to any successful training program is finding an activity that you enjoy. Once you find an exercise you love, you’ll have so much fun that you’ll have to remember that you’re also improving your health.

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1. Jump

Chances are you haven’t jump rope since fourth grade recess. If so, get yourself a jump rope today! This form of cardio can be done almost anywhere. Put on your favorite playlist and jump to the beat. By slipping the jump rope into your backpack, suitcase, or purse, you can get in your 150 minutes of exercise per week as soon as you have some free time.

2. Dance

Whether you think you have two left feet or not, dancing is a great way to blow off steam while getting some physical exercise. You may think dancing is limited to Zumba classes, but what’s stopping you from dancing in your bedroom? Turn up the music volume and dance like crazy.

3. Organized sports

You may not consider yourself a “jock,” but there are tons of adult sports leagues out there that are full of people just like you, people who want to have fun and stay healthy. Sign up for soccer, basketball, or any other sport that interests you. Running around a field or court is guaranteed to get your heart rate up. Look for non-competitive sports leagues in your municipality. You might even make a new friend while you’re there!

4. Walking briskly

You don’t have to look like one of those walkers to experience the benefits of this type of cardio. Get outside (or stay on the treadmill if the weather is bad) and pick up the pace.

5. swim

This low-impact form of cardio is a great way to get your heart rate up while protecting your joints. If you’re not confident in your swimming abilities, grab a board and swim a few lengths. This will not only work your legs, but also your abs.

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6. Boxing

We can’t all be Rocky Balboa, but everyone can use boxing to stay healthy. 30 minutes of boxing can help you burn around 400 calories.

7. Take a trampoline

If you have a huge, bouncy trampoline in your backyard, great. Jumping and playing is not only good for your health, it’s also fun! If you do not have a huge trampoline, do not deprive yourself of this possibility. You can get a compact trampoline to keep in your apartment. Putting on your favorite songs and running or jumping in the same place can be just as effective.

8. The bike

There are many ways to incorporate this type of cardio into your day. Replace your car with a bike on your next grocery shopping trip. Replace the treadmill with an exercise bike the next time you visit the gym. Take a bite of the action and try the indoor cycling studio you’ve been looking for for six months, or buy a training bike so you can ride your road bike right in your home or garage.

9. Hiking

Do you like the outdoors? Hiking can be the perfect way to improve your heart health. Being active outdoors will not only increase your cardiovascular capacity, but also your emotional well-being.

10. Rower

Do you think rowing is for those who want pumped up biceps? Think again! Incorporating the rowing machine into your gym routine can give you an extra cardiovascular boost, while also strengthening your abdominal and back muscles. If you have never tried it, challenge yourself.

11. Hula Hoop

Sure, you probably haven’t since the last kids’ birthday party you went to, but why not? By swinging, you’ll increase your heart rate and improve your core strength. And don’t worry, they come in adult sizes.

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12. Walking

You may be wondering if walking counts as cardiovascular exercise. Clear ! This is a great starting point for people who have never exercised before. Even a 10-minute walk can put you on the path to better heart health. Experienced people also benefit from it.

13. Bungee jumping

If you haven’t since high school gym class, you’re missing out! This no-equipment activity can get your heart rate up in no time. Plus, it’s easy to do, wherever you are. Start skipping first thing in the morning, when you need a break from your desk, or while you’re waiting for your dinner to finish cooking.

14. Stairs

Climbing stairs is a fantastic way to get your heart pumping and your body sweating. Find a park with a long flight of stairs, or just a stairway in a nearby building. Any escalation will do.

to retain

There is no denying that cardiovascular exercise is a key part of a long and healthy life. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to make cardio a regular routine. Just remember that if you keep an open mind and get creative, there are plenty of ways to get your heart pumping. You don’t have to feel confined to the treadmill.
The most important part of any fitness program is finding what appeals to you. You’ll be much more likely to stick with a program if you really like it. So experiment, try new things, and find ways to break a sweat.

* HealthKey strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO EVENT can the information provided replace the opinion of a health professional.

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Well Being

try this specific full workout

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Presse Santé

For many people, squats are a staple exercise for building strong glutes. Squats are a great functional movement, which means they can make everyday movements like bending over and lifting easier. Plus, they’re a great way to build lower-body muscle and strength. That being said, many people find that squats target the quadriceps (front of the thighs) more than the glutes. To remedy this, it’s important to understand form and range of motion, as well as variations that can help you target your glutes more effectively. This article tells you everything you need to know about squats for glute strengthening and offers you four exercises you can try.

What muscles do traditional squats work?

Squats are a great all-around lower body exercise because of the variety of muscles used. The main muscles used during a squat are the quadriceps, gluteals (primarily gluteus maximus), hamstrings, calves, abdominal muscles, and spinal erectors. The degree to which the quadriceps are used compared to the glutes is highly dependent on position, anatomy, movement pattern, and range of motion. For example, if you bring your knees forward during a squat, the movement is dominated by your quads. On the other hand, rocking the hips back during a deep squat makes the movement more glute-dominated.

How to promote gluteal muscle activation

As we mentioned earlier, glute activation during a squat is highly dependent on your posture, movement pattern, range of motion, and anatomy. Although a traditional squat activates your glutes to a certain degree, you can make small changes to target them even more.

squatting posture

Each person will have a slightly different squat depending on their anatomy and what is comfortable for them. Getting into a standard stance (feet just shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly out) rotates your hips outward and allows you to squat deeper for better glute activation. You may also benefit from a wider stance (commonly known as the “sumo” stance), which keeps your hips in external rotation and allows you to lift heavier loads. The position of the feet can also vary, but generally they should be between the two extremes of facing forward and facing out at around 45 degrees. Ideally, your feet should be symmetrical.

squat depth

The depth of your squats largely depends on your body’s range of motion (flexibility, previous injuries, etc.) and your anatomy (length of your legs in relation to your torso). For better glute activation, try squatting until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. If you can go deep without compromising your form or feeling discomfort, then you can achieve even greater glute activation.

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movement diagram

When you squat, you want to rock your hips back instead of pushing your knees forward, which works your quads instead of your glutes. To do this, push your butt back as you lower yourself, as if you were sitting in a chair, making sure your hip crease is lower than your knees at the bottom of the squat. This will allow you to get a greater range of motion and activate your glutes.

Also pay attention to the position of your knees. As you descend and ascend, be careful that your knees do not sink inward (known as knee valgus). Instead, try to push your knees out slightly, which targets your glutes and reduces the chance of knee pain.

Contract your glutes

If you’re still having trouble feeling your glutes, try squeezing them when you rise from a squat, which can help increase glute activation. However, be careful not to push your pelvis forward or overextend your hips at the top of the squat, which would compromise your form.

4 glute squats

If you’re looking to add some variety to your squat routine, here are four great squat variations to try.

1. The standing squat

To get familiar with the squat and get into good form, you can start by perfecting the standing squat to sit down, also known as the bench press.
What you need: A box or chair that is knee-high or slightly lower.

1 Stand with your feet slightly shoulder-width apart and with your back to the box or chair. Point your toes out at 45 degrees or less.
2 Slowly move your hips, push your butt back, and bend your knees to lower yourself until your butt touches the box (avoid sitting down completely).
3 Push through your heels and squeeze your buttocks to return to a standing position. This corresponds to one repetition.
4 Perform 2 or 3 series of 12 to 15 repetitions.

Focus on slow movements to learn proper form. Once you can perform this movement with ease, move on to more advanced squats.
Tip: If you don’t have a chair but have access to a low bench (lower than knee height), straddle the bench and perform the same movement.

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2. Resistance band squat

Using a resistance band can help you externally rotate your hips to further activate your glutes and prevent your knees from sinking. If you find this too difficult, remove the resistance band until you can easily perform a bodyweight squat.
What you need: a loop-shaped resistance band.

1 Place a loop resistance band above your knees. Stand with your feet slightly shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly out, and hands on hips or in front of you.
2 Rotate your hips and bring your butt back into a sitting position by bending your knees.
3 Continue lowering until your thighs are parallel to the floor or lower. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds.
4 Slowly come back up to the starting position by pushing through your heels and squeezing your buttocks together. This corresponds to one repetition.
5 Perform 2 or 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

3. Sumo squats

The sumo squat is excellent for working the glutes. A wider stance keeps the hips in external rotation to promote more glute activation.

1 Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly out, and hands outstretched in front of you.
2 Push your butt back, rock your hips, and bend your knees as you squat down. Your knees should move out to the sides with control.
3 Continue descending as low as you can without feeling uncomfortable.
4 Return to standing position by pushing heels in and squeezing buttocks to extend knees and hips with control. Continue to push your knees out through the entire movement until you return to the starting position. This represents 1 repetition.
5 Perform 2 or 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
Tip: Once you’ve perfected your form, you can introduce more load/resistance with a loop resistance band, dumbbell, or barbell.

4. Cup Leg Curl

The goblet squat is a fun and effective move that can help keep your knees from collapsing.
What you need: a dumbbell.

1 Stand with your feet slightly shoulder-width apart. Hold the head of a dumbbell with both hands at chest level, keeping your elbows tucked in.
2 Squat down by rotating your hips, pushing your butt back, and pushing your knees out. During this movement, keep the dumbbell tight against your chest and keep your elbows between your knees as you lower. This will prevent your knees from sinking.
3 Return to standing position by drawing your knees out, pushing through your heels, and squeezing your buttocks. This corresponds to one repetition.
4 Perform 2 or 3 series of 8 to 12 repetitions.
Tip: Keep the weight close to your body and your elbows tucked in throughout the movement.

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Tips for doing squats for the glutes

Here are some general tips to help you perfect your squat, activate your glutes more, and avoid injury.

1 Push through your heels. This helps you maintain good balance and put more stress on your glutes.
2 Pay attention to your buttocks. The mind-body connection can help you focus on using your glutes to better control the movement of the squat.
3 Keep your torso straight. Avoid leaning forward, slouching, or arching your back. Instead, maintain a neutral spine by working your core.
4 Maintain a neutral pelvic tilt. Avoid contracting your pelvis during the lowering of a squat, which can cause lower back injury.
5 Align your knees with your toes. When you bend your knees, keep them in line with your toes instead of pushing them in.
6 Look ahead. Avoid looking down, which can put undue pressure on your neck.
7 Prioritize good form. Before introducing a higher load/volume, make sure you can safely perform a correct squat. If your form is compromised, decrease the weight you use.
8 Start with a warm-up. Doing light glute activation exercises before doing squats can help to “wake up” your glutes.
For best results, take your time and focus on proper form before moving on to more difficult squat variations.

In summary

Squats are a great lower body exercise that can help build strong glutes and legs. To maximize your glute gains during a squat, make sure your feet are at least shoulder-width apart, toes are pointed out, and you squat as low as possible out of the way. By practicing proper form, you can ensure that you effectively target your glutes and avoid injury. Once you’re comfortable with your squat, try adding weight or variations.
If you haven’t already added squats to your exercise routine, you’ll definitely want to give them a try.

* HealthKey strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO EVENT can the information provided replace the opinion of a health professional.

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Well Being

This anti-aging treatment allows you to have amazing results from the first session

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Presse Santé

Are you ready to make a noticeable change in the overall appearance of your skin? With High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) treatment, you can now experience deep skin rejuvenation, without downtime. With this innovative technology, people can achieve a full face lift and lift for firmer, younger looking skin. Think smoother wrinkles, reduced puffiness, and a contoured facial structure! That’s what we call next level skincare!

HIFU: what is it?

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a non-surgical, non-invasive procedure that uses focused ultrasound waves to focus and heat specific areas of the body. It works by directing sound waves into an area of ​​tissue to create small, localized lesions. These lesions cause alterations in the affected tissues, leading to a host of therapeutic benefits, such as increased collagen production, improved circulation, and improved skin texture. HIFUs can be used to treat wrinkles, acne scars, enlarged pores, age spots, and other conditions related to aging skin. In addition, they are being studied for their potential use in the treatment of certain types of cancer.

HIFUs are part of therapeutic medicine for their safety.

In terms of safety and efficacy, HIFUs have been shown to be highly effective with minimal risk. The energy of the sound waves is precisely directed to a specific area of ​​tissue, without affecting the surrounding tissue. This allows doctors to focus the correct amount of energy to achieve the desired results without damaging nearby tissue. Also, recovery time for HIFU treatments tends to be shorter than traditional surgical procedures due to their non-invasive nature; patients can return to their normal activities soon after treatment without the need for downtime or extended healing periods after each session.

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For a more natural effect and young skin without pain.

When used cosmetically on facial skin, HIFU treatments are generally considered a more natural option than more invasive surgical procedures like facelifts or injectables like Botox or fillers. Treatments also tend to last longer than those using injectables, since there is no need to repeat treatments over time.

Rather than having short-term effects that may require ongoing maintenance over the years, the effects of HIFU treatments tend to be more permanent due to their ability to stimulate collagen regeneration at deeper levels below the surface. of the skin in a single treatment session. .

Starting at age 40, you are entitled to a HIFU session to maintain a youthful appearance for years to come.

The main indications for anti-aging treatment with HIFU are:

  • Sagging facial skin.
  • visible wrinkles.
  • The jowls.
  • The marionette lines around the mouth.
  • Age spots.
  • Sun damage.

People with these types of signs of aging will usually see noticeable results after just one session. HIFUs can also be used to treat areas around the eyes, along the jawline, and neck, as well as other parts of the body affected by age-related changes, such as the arms, stomach, and thighs. .

HIFU: does this treatment have side effects?

Although there is no risk of surgical complications or long-term side effects associated with HIFU, some minor and temporary side effects may occur, such as: mild swelling, redness, irritation, and tenderness at the application site. These side effects usually last a few days or up to a week and should not pose significant health risks.

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In addition to these common minor side effects, more serious long-term side effects have been reported, such as numbness or tingling in the treated area, as well as discoloration or scarring in some cases. However, these effects are rare and the researchers concluded that the overall safety profile of HIFU is quite high compared to other cosmetic treatments such as dermabrasion or chemical peels.

Are all skin types eligible for HIFU ultrasound anti-aging treatment?

This procedure is safe to use on all skin types! So whether you have oily, combination or dry skin, HIFU treatments can be an ideal option to combat wrinkles or restore lost volume to your face.

* HealthKey strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO EVENT can the information provided replace the opinion of a health professional.

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