This week the Kingdom of Fife saw the return of the clouds and some rain.
I have to admit that I was glad to break out my waterproofs after the recent hot spell.
The countryside of Fife has been in dire need of the rain and we weren’t disappointed when we where treated to some heavy showers. I enjoy walking in the rain especially in summer as it really brings out the smells of the plant and flowers which really brings another aspect to walking.
I took it a little easier this week as my right ankle, which is still a little weak from an injury I suffered some months ago, developed a slight painful twinge and I was keen to make sure that it didn’t develop into something more serious.
So to make sure I avoided any potential problems I headed out into the woodlands of Fife where the natural paths cushioned my feet as racked up my miles. Woodland walking is incredibly relaxing, mentally and physically refreshing and it seems to increase as you become more surrounded by greenery.
In Japan they refer to this experience as Shinrin-yoko or Forest Bathing and it is recognised for as being beneficial for healing as well as in preventative medicine.
Practitioners of Shinrin-yoko believe that the feelings experienced are a result of your body and mind connecting itself to the nature through your senses of hearing, taste, smell and touch.
Whatever the reason behind it, I have is no doubt that surrounding yourself in nature and escaping the stress and strains of modern day life has multiple benefits.This was highlighted to me further towards the end of the week when my wife and I decided to walk the 12 mile Loch Leven Heritage Trail.
The trail passes through different landscapes as it winds it’s way around the loch. In areas where we were more exposed we noticed that our pace was fairly quick and even but when we passed into the woodland sections of the path we found that we slowed down and felt more relaxed and chatted more and I think this is due to the forest effect.
Week 29 lessons
I was quite surprised by what we experienced when walking the heritage trail and I think that over the coming weeks I will encourage others to do the same to see if Shinrin-yoko really does have the beneficial effects that many believe.
Week 30 promises to be a good laugh as I meet up with friends I haven’t walked with for years and I am looking forward to catching up while we hit the trails.
If you have any questions about this challenge or anything Walk Fife related, then please drop me a email at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message me through my twitter account @SDMakin.
Catch up with you again next week.