Vitamin Sea and Vitamin Tree: Forest bathing and the rise of the blue gym

We all know that we need to take ‘me time.’ For our own sanity and the those around us.

We need to unplug, away from phones, monitors and other sources of anxiety, yet our ‘always on’ lifestyle constantly reminds us that switching off is time wasted.

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st michaels mount cornwall

St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall. Not a bad Blue Gym

Medical research is showing that being in nature, whether at the beach on the river or even your local park reduces blood pressure, increase our feel-good hormones such as serotonin, and aids recovery from stress and fatigue as well as increasing community spirit.

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A new wave of research suggests that blue spaces (such as the sea) offer more of these restorative effects. This meditative state can also be seen in green spaces which has been echoed in the historical Japanese concept of Shinrin-yoku or ‘forest bathing’ which  promotes health and wellbeing.

surfing town

Research suggests that blue spaces (such as the sea) offer restorative effects.

A meditative state might sound a little hippy-dippy and rather surreal but the human minds does it easily when offered the opportunity. Don’t believe it?  Try wandering to a piece of nature, sit down and watch the world go by. You will be amazed how quickly your stressful thoughts get derailed and the mind begins to calm.

If you’re struggling with anxiety, stress or other concerns see your GP but also look out for green and blue space initiatives in your area. Projects such as One WaveNHS Forest initiatives, and MIND organise activities year round for all ages and abilities everything from surf lessons to group hikes to community gardening.

So get out there and chill.

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