/ Opinion

The benefits of escaping into the woods: hiking and fishing

When you are going fishing in order to escape the city routine, just a good walk through a closed forest or in the middle of a woods to be sure of the well-being and the tranquility that the airs and odors of the green can bring us.

Scientists at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo have objectively confirmed what our body tells us: feeling the scent of nature can dramatically decrease the pressure of the human body and even stimulate molecules that fight against diseases such as cancer.


According to the study, as soon as the odors of the forest enter our organism, the levels of stress and irritation diminish immediately. Longer and more intense exposure to the smell of green can, therefore, reduce blood pressure and strengthen body immunity. This can explain why activities such as fishing can make people feel so relaxed.

In fact, the study demonstrates that trees truly do have healing powers. For one thing, they discharge antimicrobial fundamental oils, called phytoncides, that shield trees from germs and have a large group of medical advantages for individuals. These oils can boost people's mood as well as the immune system; improve blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety; enhance sleeping habits; helps fight cancer and depression, and may even help people to boost their creativity!


Qing Li has created within the school the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine research center, which aims to apply odor-based aromatherapy as alternative treatments. A similar effect occurs when we simply look at the forests - even in photographs - but the Li study shows a particularly efficient effect when using the odors. So, if you needed a good excuse to go fishing more often, you got it!

If science is often key to discovering and inventing improvements to our lives, other times its task is only to confirm what popular and ancestral wisdom already knows: walking around in the green and breathing deeply does a huge good for our bodies. It becomes more evident that saving nature is an immediate public health issue.


On an interviewed for a program on BBC Radio called ‘The Secret Power of Trees’, Qing Li explained that there is a new movement called “forest bathing trip” which is a recognized relaxation and/or stress management activity in Japan and that some companies have been holding team training on the outdoors in order to provide to their employees more time to experience nature. Indeed, it is known that fishing, for example, can be a great activity for team buildings.

Qing Li is very optimistic about the benefits of this type of therapy can bring to the human body: “Imagine a new medical science that could let you know how to be more active, more relaxed and healthier with reduced stress and reduced risk of lifestyle-related disease and cancer by visiting forests.”


According to the scientist, working men and women take a three-day trip to forests for obtaining the better benefits. However, a longer trip will be better for senior citizens.

This study finally proofs what all anglers already know for years: being out in contact with nature can help you not only scape the crazy daily routine and keep your mind at ease but can also bring lasting benefits for your body.