Tag Archives: Health

Stressed? Anxious? A Little Blue? Go Forth and Forest Bathe…

“When was the last time you strolled in a forest or walked through woodland so beautiful it made you stop and marvel? When did you last notice the spring buds unfurling or look closely at the frost patterns on a winter leaf? I wonder, instead, how many hours you spent looking at a screen today…”  —  Dr. Qing Li

Dr. Li, Associate Professor at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo and Chairman of the Japanese Society for Forest Medicine, has recently authored Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness, a charming book that details Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing, which in Japan has become a widespread preventative therapy to assist in promoting one’s optimal health.

The human, regardless of nationality, is becoming increasingly disconnected from nature and more involved with technology, as indicated by the following statistics mentioned in Forest Bathing:

     ‣ “The urban population worldwide grew from just 746 million in 1950 to 3.9 billion in 2014…”

     ‣ “By 2050, 75 percent of the world’s projected 9 billion population will live in cities.”

     ‣ “…the average American now spends 93 percent of their time indoors…That makes only one half of one day spent outdoors in a week.”

     ‣ “…people in the US spend as much as ten hours and thirty-nine minutes a day consuming media.”

In reaction to these trends, Dr. Li sets before the reader the case for increasing one’s exposure to and time within a forest and includes scientific and well-documented research on the benefits of forest bathing that includes, among other things, a reduction of blood pressure, increased energy, the strengthening of the immune system, and heightened concentration.

And one need not spend countless hours in a forest; rather, an excursion of as little as two hours is sufficient time to reap some health benefits, which is welcome news considering the hectic nature of everyday life in the world today.

Interspersed among the book’s pages are wonderful pictures depicting beautiful trees and forest scenes, an addition that adds considerably to the beauty and appeal of this book.

The following is a selection of titles owned by the Louisville Free Public Library that provides ideas of where one might go locally and in the region to enjoy forest bathing:

Formats Available:  Book, eBook

Reviewed by Rob, Crescent Hill

Living the Good Long Life by Martha Stewart

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I love a good piece of non-fiction that makes learning easy and understandable, and Ms. Martha Stewart has never let me down in putting out quality material, in an easy to understand format.  She’s really on her editing game as of the last few titles, especially Living the Good Long Life.

The subject of this book is how to live the best life you can after 40 and through retirement.  It has great tips for physical and mental health, finances, eating, organizing, and how to care for older relatives.  The book was written for those who are retired, and those who take care of retirees.  It is a great go-to for referencing anything that could happen to those 40 and older.

The layout is clean and simple, with chapter breakdowns that are easy to flip through, and an index in the back for specific look ups.  This is a great resource to have in the house, and is a great title to include in any family library.  In fact, it’s quite a cheery looking book, with all kinds of muted oranges and white…kind of like a Creamsicle.

You probably won’t need to read this cover to cover; and might only find yourself looking at certain sections that apply to you and your family – and that’s what it’s set up for.  You can look at each chapter independently, and still get all the information you need, without having to read the entire book – and it’s a bigger one; coming in around 400 pages.  The text is clear and easy to read, but do expect you may have to read it to retirees with bad eyesight – as there is no large print version.  If you’re over 40, or have a family member over 40, I highly recommend reading and referencing Living the Good Long Life.

Formats Available:  Book (Regular Type), eBook

Reviewed by Lynette, Newburg Branch