Monday, June 12, 2017

(Another) Why I Live Here: 'Forest Bathing' With The Moose

At my check up last week the doctor asked for a routine blood test, but I had eaten, so I had to come back on an empty stomach.  That was today.  I was in and out in ten minutes.  It was gray out and I could either ride back straight home or get in a real ride.  So I headed toward the Campbell Creek bike trail.

Besides the physical benefits of riding the bike, there's also a lot to be said for the mental benefits of being in the woods.  And as I stopped to google for some back up on that statement, I got this (among many other hits): 
"Numerous studies in the U.S. and around the world are exploring the health benefits of spending time outside in nature, green spaces, and, specifically, forests. Recognizing those benefits, in 1982, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries even coined a term for it: shinrin-yoku. It means taking in the forest atmosphere or "forest bathing," and the ministry encourages people to visit forests to relieve stress and improve health." (emphasis added)
It goes on to detail eight specific health benefits:
  • Boosts immune system
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves mood
  • Increases ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
  • Accelerates recovery from surgery or illness
  • Increases energy level
  • Improves sleep
I know that I feel much better after a bike ride, and even better after a ride that was mostly on the wooded bike trail.  Today I noticed a brown mass out of the corner of my eye as I road along the creek and stopped to check out the moose across the water.  

And then I noticed there was another, little one.  Note, the moose didn't want their faces to appear on the blog.

Even on a gray day, I can take a delicious visual bite of the creek and the intense green of the trees and undergrowth. 

At Taku Lake I could see the rain drops' ripples.  But it didn't come down hard enough to even wet the trail.  

On my way back I stopped to see if the moose were still there.  All I could see were two ears.

I don't have a lot of posts called why I live here, and surely this is the first time I have two in a row.  But it's how I felt as I rode along.  This is what keeps me here in Anchorage, this easy access to all this beauty.  

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