Walking in forests (shinrin-yoku) may prevent the onset of chronic illnesses like cancers, reduce blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones (which may have a preventive effect on hypertension). It is also credited with creating calming psychological effects through changes observed in parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves.
Forest bathing appears to increase the level of serum adiponectin--a hormone that in lower concentrations is associated with obesity, type 2 DM (diabetes mellitus), cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome, among other metabolic disorders. A combined study found shinrin-yoku reduces anxiety, depression, anger, fatigue and feelings of emotional confusion.
For the full study findings, click here