I am sitting here facing the forest ūüĆ≥. There are plenty of trees in front of me. And there are many behind me.

I’m surrounded by beauty. Yet my mind has brought worldly thoughts.

And this is disturbing my peace to enjoy the moment. Now. Nature in front of me. And the ones behind me.

Until I become fully in control of my thoughts, I’m not free. Thus, I cannot fully live in my life.

There is hope… I can control my mind. The secret? As long as I am trying to replace repugnant thoughts to pleasant ones, I will succeed.

Axmed Bahjad


Why I’m Walking Every Single Street in Helsinki: Decision, Health and Conversation

We are living in an age when technology seems to be the answer to many challenges we face such as environmental issues, illnesses and the economic deficit. I believe that idea is wholly wrong. There is a better way to face the challenges we face as humans. Primarily, our crises are man made. And to assume that technology will sort things out is a good way of keeping the current direction. 

I believe walking will help us get back on track. We can be healthier, we can get well again if we walk more often and change our diet, we can contribute to the ecosystem which we are dependent on for our survival, and finally we can save money for not using public transportation and save money for the health service which can contribute to the economy

Feet Explained

I like simplicity. It is beautiful. And it is catchy. Accordingly, I will explain the foot, (in plural  feet). We have two methods of measuring the foot; namely, centimetre and inches. For example, I am in size 44 or 45 cm depending on the shoes. And in inches, I’m UK size 11 inches. 

Our feet size depends on our natural physique. Thus, we have people with small feet and some of us have big feet. Having said that, we all have the same bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. 

In every foot, there are: 

26 bones

30 joints

200 muscles, tendons and ligaments.

All these bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments are arranged to give us the support, balance and flexibility in order to move around.

In conclusion, they are designed by the Creator so we can walk more often apart from when we have conditions which will prevent us from it.

Essentially, the feet are for movement. If we don’t when we are capable of walking, then we’re undermining our God gift. 

Axmed Bahjad

How Walking Can Help Depression

For the past five years, Finland ranks the ‚Äúhappiest country.‚ÄĚ Yet depression has risen exponentially among elderly and young people.¬†

There are many factors. Among them are the workplace, lack of community and inactivities. 

The Duke University Medical Center study found that¬†“a brisk 30-minute walk or jog around the track three times a week may be just as effective in relieving the symptoms of major depression as the standard treatment of antidepressant medications.”


We are living in the age of speed. Almost everything is speeding up. Fast food. Fast cars; speed trains; quicker bicycles. Technology is the light of speed. Information is false which was true a few weeks ago. Postal package is late if it doesn’t arrive within three days. 

It’s been reported that the average adult in America spends less than an hour having intimicy with the spouse.  Dieticians advertise losing weight fast, educators say you’ll learn that language, music instrument, subject within 3 days. I even saw a marketer who said you can speak Chinese in 24 hours. And the title of a popular book is Learn Everything in 48 hours.

Doctors and the police reported that on the footpath bicycles electric scooters crash because of speeding. Why? Where are we rushing to?

This is the speed up age. Speed up the production. Speed up the food. And as a result of that, people are exhausted. They overworked and produced nothing. 

Axmed Bahjad


Tapanila, Helsinki, (29 May 2022).

Forest bathing has been a ritual practice by almost every culture on earth. It was in the 1980s when Japan, a tech nation, realised that there were benefits in nature for the human body, mind and emotions. In Japanese it is shinrin-yoku. It’s used as exercise.

It means walking in any natural environment and being aware of our surroundings. It requires turning off the smartphone. Relaxing, concentrating and enjoying is the key. Walking slowly is important. There is a relationship between slowness and mastery.

Finland is a beautiful country. Almost 50 percent of the country is covered by forest. Therefore, it is a forest bathing place. There are 7000 footpaths, 600 rivers, 56, 000 lakes, 5, 000 kilometres of coastlines. 80, 000 islands.

Even the capital city, each neighbourhood (60 of them) in Helsinki has its forest. Whether there are more walkers on the footpaths and forest paths is another question. 

I reached out to Qing Li, MD, PhD by email in May 2021 and got me back with these instructions. Followings are some tips to forest bathing:

You can practice forest bathing through your five senses as follows:

1. Sense of sight: forest landscape, green color, yellow color and red color, etc.

2. Sense of smell: special good smell, fragrance from trees,

3. Sense of hearing: forest sounds, bird song,

4. Sense of touch: Touching trees, put your whole body in the forest atmosphere,

5. Sense of taste: Eating foods and fruits from forests, taste the fresh air in forests.

I have ten tips for Shinrin-yoku:

1.    Make a plan based on your own physical abilities and avoid tiring yourself out.

2.    If you have an entire day, stay in the forest for about 4 hours and walk about 5 kilometres. If you have just a half day, stay in the forest for about 2 hours and walk about 2.5 kilometres.

3.    Take a rest whenever you are tired.

4.    Drink water/tea whenever you feel thirsty.

5.    Find a place you like, then sit for a while and read or enjoy the scenery.

6.    If possible, bathe in a hot spring after the forest trip.

7.    Select the forest bathing course based on your aims.

8.    If you want to boost your immunity (natural killer activity), a three-day/two-night trip is recommended.

9.    If you just want to relax and relieve stress, a day trip to a forested park near your home would be recommended.

10. Forest bathing is a preventive measure, so if you come down with an illness, see a doctor.

When do we see the health benefits of spending time with a forest? 

A two-night/three-day forest bathing may boost immune function and this effect may last for a month.

A day trip of forest bathing also may boost immune function and this effect may last for a week.

A 2-hour forest bathing may reduce negative emotions such anxiety, depression, anger, fatigue, confusion and increase positive feelings such as vigour. This effect starts from 20-minutes after forest bathing. However, the longer the forest bathing effect.

Walking is good. Where you walk matters. If you want to get the best out of your strides, walking in the forest paths. 

Axmed Bahjad


I keep a diary to measure my progress with walking. Accordingly, I record the day, date, distance, location, conversations (with another notebook if the talks are longer) I have with people on the footpaths and streets. In other words, it is where I log in my activities of walking. 

I also carry an A4 notebook to log in my ideas, thoughts and admiration and future plans from my walks.

I examine my life’s activities so I know where I’m, where to go and what to achieve.¬†


Axmed Bahjad


I want walking to become part of our everyday life activities. Accordingly, I suggest that the politicians, teachers and police officers walk around to have a normal conversation with people they represent, protect and teach. 

I trust that when police are connecting with communities as human beings, the crimes, drug usage in places like Malmi, Sörnäinen, and Kannelmäki will drastically drop. 

Politicians will be well-informed about the people they represent rather than reading them in surveys, polls and the news. 

Teachers can grasp how to deal with young minds by walking in different neighbourhoods and observing how the students act when they are with their peer groups, parents or playing. 

The thing is that the qualities I mentioned above can only be done by walking. Police can drive through neighbourhoods, politicians can address people at community halls and teachers may attend parties. While these are good, they cannot come close to walking.¬†It is walking that we see, observe, communicate, understand and change ourselves and our environment. For that reason, walking rules. And that is why I’m for walking.

Axmed Bahjad