Forest Bathing and 2010 Sunscreen Guide

Phew. It's hot out there. If you're out enjoying the summer heat in a natural setting, you're probably also boosting your immune system. According to a recent New York times article, several scientific studies have shown that exposure to plants and trees seems to benefit health.

One of the cited studies focused on Japan, where "forest bathing" (roughly translated) is a popular therapeutic activity. Several good links in the article explore this phenomenon, as well as the featured scientific studies. Always good to have another reason to spend time outdoors!

But if you're out enjoying the outdoors, there's a good chance that you're not wearing sunscreen. According to a recent poll (subsequently picked up widely by the media), 4 out of 10 Americans never wear it when going outside. An additional 3 out 0f 10 use it only a few days a year.

If you care about your skin and health, however, you should really, really wear sunscreen. (For a quick primer and background on sunscreens in general, check out the 2008 AMC Outdoors article, Code Red.)

To find the best, most effective, most environmentally-friendly sunscreens, check out the recently released 2010 Sunscreen Guide from the Environmental Working Group (learn more in my May 10 post). For the first time, EWG also offers a free mobile version of it for the iPhone and iPod.

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.