Alice Liveing shares her favourite winter wellness activity - and it's free

alice liveing forest bathing wellness
Alice Liveing shares her love for forest bathing Instagram / @AliceLiveing

Alice Liveing has been reaping the rewards of a very small change she’s made to her daily routine - and anyone can do it.

During the bleak 31 days of January, many of us are looking for new inexpensive activities to try or ways to ease back into our fitness routines after the indulgences of the festive season - and Alice has found something that ticks both boxes.

Speaking to Women’s Health at a 24-hour recharge event hosted by Volvo, Alice shared one small daily change she has made to her routine which has had a hugely positive impact on her wellbeing - and it doesn’t cost a penny.

She said: ‘Getting daylight into your eyes in the first hour of waking, particularly in the winter, helps regulate our body’s circadian rhythms and can help us feel less sluggish. In the winter, a lot of us will wake up, go to work and not actually see daylight, which means that we can feel really tired and a little bit foggy all day.

‘But by getting outside and getting natural sunlight into our eyes, it allows the body to wake up. Even if it's 10 minutes of walking outdoors, looking at the horizon, not looking at the sun or the sky, but just the horizon, allowing your eyes to draw in that light, has been shown to help people feel more energised and alert during the day. It’s amazing, really good.’

Acknowledging that loneliness is just as much a threat to our emotional and physical health as inactivity or even - according to some studies - smoking, Alice suggests squeezing in another short outing during the day with a pal. Double wellness goals, we’re in.

She said: ‘Social connection is a huge part of our well-being. If we look at the things that we know make us feel good, social connection is a huge part of that - and loneliness is a real problem. We live in a world where people are so disconnected, despite all the tech and social networks. We think we're the most connected we've ever been, but actually we're the most disconnected. That’s something that plays on my mind a lot.’

While we are familiar with seeing Alice in a studio or kitchen setting, the 29-year-old revealed to us that she is also a huge fan of forest bathing, the ancient Japanese practice of combatting the stress of modern life with purposeful immersion in a natural environment - which fits perfectly with her new found interest in early morning walks.

‘During the winter we spend a lot of time staring at screens, so getting outside for running, walking, cycling, whatever, is great, but being in nature in general offers massive mental health benefits, particularly at a time when I feel a lot of us are challenged in terms of current climate and how stressed we feel.

‘Personally, I know that if I get outdoors during my day I am more productive, and I feel more alive and alert.’

A beginner’s guide to forest bathing

woman in forest
StudioMikara - Getty Images
  1. You don’t need a forest, your local green space will do

  2. Try and slow down your pace - and your mind

  3. Take some deep breaths and be as present as possible in the current moment

  4. Make an effort to focus on your surroundings - admire the colours and textures

  5. If you’re feeling brave, hug a tree and marvel at its strength and resilience

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