The Resiliency Institute is hosting free introductory Shinrin-yoku walks led by Certified Forest Therapy guides beginning April 6th from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the Naperville Riverwalk. Free one hour walks will be offered on the first Friday of each month.
Shinrin-yoku is a practice of spending time in nature and forested areas for the purpose of enhancing health, wellness, and happiness. There is a specific intention to connect with nature for healing by mindfully moving through the landscape in ways that cultivate presence, open all the senses, and create opportunities for nature communication.
Science has been able to identify specific physiological benefits that are generated from engaging in Shinrin-yoku. These benefits have been found to endure 7-30 days after a Shinrin-yoku walk!
- Reduced blood pressure and heart rate
- Reduced cortisol levels lower stress, risks for heart disease, anxiety, depression, weight problems, and impairment in memory and concentration.
- Improved immune system, including increased Natural Killer (NK) cells
- Improved parasympathetic nerve activity leading to better sleep
- Reduced sympathetic nerve activity
- Reduced impacts of stressful events
- Improved sense of wellbeing
- Improved engagement and accessibility in physical activity
- Improved attention and focus
- Reduced anger and hostility
Walks will travel less than a mile at a slow pace on nature trails. Participants should be comfortable walking on uneven terrain. Dress appropriately for the weather. Restrooms are available at the beginning and end of the walk. Cell phones and other electronic devices are to be left in your car. You are welcome to bring a water bottle, insect repellant, hat, walking stick, and portable chair if standing for an hour is difficult.