3 out of 5 stars

Modern lives with the never-ending distractions, endless notifications from social media, 24 / 7 email and becoming pallid from the white glare of LEDs from screens. This adds to our stress, blood pressure and the lack of exercise is detrimental to our health too. And yet there is a cure; the evidence is growing that shows that our physical and mental health can be positively enhanced by going outdoors and re-connecting to nature. The same instincts that teach us flight or flight are possibly responsible for this fundamental connection.

Beginning with some scientific facts and stats about how the just taking a walk in the natural world can help us, she takes us through the seasons and the things to look for, activities to try such as wild swimming, taking a walk in the rain and benefits of taking a walk on a crisp winter day. There are suggestions on how to get the family away from the X-Box, ways of becoming closer as a couple, foodie suggestions and even natural beauty therapies.

Natural history books and memoirs are on the rise at the moment and there are a number of books coming out that are looking to give people suggestions on how to reconnect with the natural world. I have three of them to read this week but first is Sarah Ivens. In her book she is tapping into the connections to the wider world that other cultures have, from the Japanese shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing”) to the Scandinavia friluftsliv (“open-air life”) and has written Forest Therapy (a much nicer phrase that Forest Bathing…) as a way of sharing how nature helped her after a hectic life in New York and a messy divorce.

There was the odd thing in the book that didn’t necessarily appeal to me, there is a good number of ideas in here for people to try and more importantly to build on, as suits them, their partners and families. The important thing in here though is the message; go outside, live, breathe, absorb. It is going to do you a lot of good.

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