Get outside and experience Shinrin Yoku


Amy RockwellToday, I'd like to introduce a new author!  Welcome Amy Rockwell to the SAS Life Blog team!  Amy shares her passion for the great outdoors with SAS Employees through the RFC's Outdoor Adventure programs.  In addition to finding Amy on the trails and teaching and working out at the RFC, she enjoys spending time with her husband, twin daughters, gardening, and listening to live music.


I recently received some very special feedback from a participant who attended one of my hiking/camping events..."Amy Rockwell is my Outdoor Life Coach."

get outside 2

Each year, I lead hundreds of people through miles and miles of our beautiful North Carolina trails.  It brings joy to my heart to see the countless smiles and hear laughter as we share nature’s beauty together.   Every time someone returns for another hike or a new family shows up to camp for the first time, because "they heard is was a wonderful time!" I consider it huge success. I must admit, I am proud of the positive, enthusiastic feedback I receive after one of my adventures. As much as I would love to take all the credit, I MUST and am HAPPY to share with Mother Nature herself.

So I asked myself ..."Why did this particular comment mean so much to me?" 

Two words for you:  Shinrin Yoku

Shinrin Yoku is Japanese for "Forest Bathing" – “A gentle path to wellness accessible to almost everybody.” I like to think of it as bathing in the full experience of nature.
You engage all of your senses and let the sights, sounds and aromas wash over you. Get outside 1The feeling of relaxation and calmness that I experience afterward is powerful and life changing.

Beside the mental benefits, researchers have found immediate and dramatic results in health benefits; blood pressure drops, stress levels decrease and most remarkably, the specialized cells that decrease and combat cancer increase.

The positive feedback I receive tells me that my participants are experiencing the benefits of Shinrin Yoku and I am their “coach”.Amy Hiking

So, what are you waiting for?  Get outside!  This is the perfect time to make the commitment, because 2016 marks the 100 year anniversary of the North Carolina State Parks and the National Park Service.  I am very excited to help celebrate this Centennial! After watching this beautiful, informative video, you won’t be able to stop yourself from joining in:

Right now, the great outdoors are waiting for you! Go play outside!

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About Author

Amanda Pack

Sr. Recreation and Fitness Program Coordinator

Amanda received her B.A. in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At SAS, she has shares her passion of wellness with SAS employees as a Senior Recreation and Fitness Program Coordinator. When she’s not teaching others how to squat, chaturanga, and run or coaching expecting moms and Ironmen-to-be, you’ll find her exploring the outdoors with her husband, two sons, and schnoodle, cooking, propagating succulents, and training for endurance events. She’s a 2x IRONMAN finisher and multi-marathoner who loves to be on the trails or on her yoga mat! Amanda is registered through Yoga Alliance as an Experienced 200 hour Yoga Teacher (E-RYT200), certified in personal training and group exercise instruction through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), an IRONMAN Certified Coach and has training in prenatal yoga, Cosmic Kid's Yoga, and as a postpartum doula.

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