Sleeping under the stars, waking up in the great outdoors, delighting on some delicious camp food, and spending quality time with family, friends, and kids are all the most common reasons why people choose to go camping. But, there is much more to this outdoor activity than what many campers or to-be campers know! In addition to getting you out of your otherwise complicated, busy and stressful life, being in the outdoors camping also offers a lot of real health benefits. No matter what kind of activities you like to take part in while camping, it will prove to be an excellent way to rejuvenate yourself both physically and mentally.
Time and time again researches have revealed that camping greatly helps in attaining a healthy sleep pattern. As a matter of fact, just a weekend of camping will provide you with better hormone levels, which in turn leads to good sleep. One particular study on the human circadian clock shows that “electric lighting and reduced exposure to sunlight delays circadian timing in humans”. Combine this with the stresses you face in your daily life and the use of electronic devices, your sleep cycle will certainly not be normal or the way it should be.
When you sleep in the outdoors with no smartphone, TV, and other electronic gadgets to disturb you, you are most likely to go to sleep early and wake up early, and your clock gets adjusted rapidly. Also, after a long day’s hike or other physical activities, it is an undeniable fact that you will sleep like a baby at night. Achieving a proper sleep cycle will keep your body functioning properly, leaving you completely rejuvenated after your camping trip.
This is an obvious health benefit you enjoy from camping. Most of you, though maybe fitness conscious, may not have enough time to hit the gym or to even go for a run. When you go camping, your physical activities start right from the moment you walk from your vehicle to the campsite (unless you’re RV camping!).
Camping is a time you allot for yourself and your well-being; therefore, there’s no holding back from exercising. Regardless of the type of physical activity you like to engage in, hiking, running, walking, swimming, fishing, kayaking, biking, or anything else, you will realize that your body indulges in the activity naturally, and you will start burning some good calories. In addition, even regular activities like walking to your bathroom site, setting up your tent, fetching water, etc. also contribute to the calories you burn.
When was the last time you had a decent amount of sunlight fall on your body? Most of you may not even remember it vaguely! Because, all of us now work in fully air-conditioned office spaces, everything available to us right inside the building. Therefore, the amount of time we spend under the sun has significantly lowered.
Spending long hours outdoors, under the sun, gives you the opportunity to get more vitamin D naturally and directly from the sun, which is great for strengthening your bones, thus preventing the risk of osteoporosis. And yes, don’t forget about that tan you can get! However, spending too much time in direct sunlight is also not advisable. The sun’s rays are considered to be harmful between 9 AM and 3 PM. Therefore, use the rest of the time to get as much vitamin D, and of course tan, as possible.
Of course, you will pack your favorite snacks and candy for the trip, not to forget the most important ingredients for making s’ mores! After all, no camping is complete without s’ mores. However, when you think about it, most of your meals while camping will involve some real, good food that you can cook over the campfire. Whether it is meat, vegetables, or both, you are most likely to grill them directly, cook in a foil, or skewer, all of which are indeed healthy cooking methods. Also, you will not have the opportunity to order from a local fast-food chain or just heat up a pre-cooked meal in the microwave.
While packing for camping, be sure to throw in a few packets of granola bars and trail mix, so you can munch on a healthier snack during hikes, walks, or other activities. In addition, after exerting so much energy doing whatever you like to do outdoors, you will have a completely healthy appetite and start craving for food items that are nourishing.
When it comes to the real health benefits of camping, you cannot ignore the ability of nature to enhance your state of mind, or in simple words, improve your mood. Yes, spending time in the outdoors is highly important not just for your physical health, but also for your mental health, especially if you live in the city. Stress and depression are two commonly found states in people who live in urban locations. But, when you do something as simple as taking a walk in nature, it can significantly reduce the level of stress and depression symptoms that you are facing, thus improving your mental well-being to a great extent.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be stress and depression; even if you are just in a bad mood, reaching your campsite, settling down, and getting one with nature can instantly change your mood and help gain a whole new perspective to life. Who knows, you may even realize that you have been juggling with all those thoughts for nothing!
Camping is definitely a great way to socialize. Yes, you will meet up with your friends and colleagues often, spend time with your family members, kids, and relatives regularly; however, spending time with them while not being engaged or distracted with your office work or other duties will be much more beneficial for both parties. For couples, this would be the best opportunity to rekindle their romance without any sort of distractions.
On the other hand, if you’ve been experiencing too much stress lately and in need of an easy and efficient way to refresh your body, mind, and soul, you may choose to savor solitude while camping. Being surrounded by people all the time in your daily life, it is certainly not wrong to want some alone time, and there can never be a better way to isolate yourself in the wilderness, away from all the commotion, than solo camping.
Now that you know the real health benefits of camping, be sure to get the most out of your time outdoors! We know this is a difficult time and camping outdoors is not a possibility for most of us. So, if you can’t wait to experience camping firsthand then you can try indoor camping or try camping in your backyard for the time being. It might be just what you need right now.