The chirping of birds, the soft rustling of leaves in the trees and the babbling of brooks ... Consciously immersing yourself in a forest environment has a beneficial effect on body and mind.
The healing power of the forest is often underestimated: Due to the photosynthesis of the plants, the air is particularly clean and oxygen-rich. Breathing in the chemical messengers produced by the forest can lower blood pressure and heart rate. Microorganisms and compounds such as plant scents, fungi and bacteria strengthen the immune system. And hiking on forest trails and on forest floors is said to have a therapeutic effect.
Styria, the green heart of Austria, is the most densely wooded federal state in Austria. With almost 62 per cent forest area, there is plenty to discover while hiking. No wonder that the forest – as a source of strength and vitality – is also an essential part of Styria's Grünkraft formulas.
The hiking route "From Glacier to Wine" runs through magnificent stretches of forest and leads you through sections past natural jewels such as the gorge forest of the Deutschlandsberger Klause or the Waldheimat of Peter Rosegger in the Fischbach Alps.
On the loop through the Forest of the Senses in the Mürzer Oberland Nature Park, which is particularly popular with families, there are several power places where visitors can recharge their batteries.
In the fragrant stone pine forests around Zirbitzkogel, it is above all your sense of smell that will be sharpened. Both in the Mühlen area in the Zirbitzkogel-Grebenzen Nature Park and in Obdach in Zirbenland, there are several wonderful routes to explore. The area also boasts one of the most beautiful scenic viewpoints in the south of Austria: Zirbitzkogel.
Good to know: Swiss stone pine is said to have calming and antibacterial effects. A study by Joanneum Research shows that the relaxation factor in a room furnished with Swiss stone pine wood is comparatively higher than with other types of wood. Moreover, the antibacterial effect of Swiss stone pine was scientifically proven in a study by the University of Salzburg.
Forest bathing means consciously and mindfully taking in the atmosphere of the forest. It opens up new ways for us to get in touch with nature by making use of all our senses. The sight of the green trees, the intense, often spicy smell of the essential oils secreted by the plants and the feeling of the rough bark of the trees under your hands have a calming effect on the whole body.
Slow and deep breathing is also an important aspect of forest bathing. The pure forest air is good for the body and leads to an increased release of happiness hormones.
Although you feel much more relaxed after a short time in the forest, it takes a little longer for the body and mind to truly benefit from the full power of forest bathing. It is advisable to treat your body to several hours or even days in the relaxing atmosphere of the forest.