Most people go camping to get away from the stress of the office and to wake up in a new place away from the rush of modern life. Camping is a form of escapism where adventures are more than just a possibility but are a certainty. Whether you love biking, hunting, water sports or other outdoor activities, camping is an excuse to get away and focus on a new hobby without the distractions of normal life.
What you might not realize is that camping offers amazing physical and mental health benefits which will leave you refreshed, recharged and healthier.
If you are a regular camper, you enjoy significant heath benefits from:
What are the health benefits of camping?
This is the most obvious benefit of camping. Typically, you are engaged in outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, cycling and much more. This will help you burn calories and aides weight loss and muscle growth. The basic equation is the more you exercise, the more calories you burn and if you burn more than you consume (eat) you will lose weight. Cardiovascular exercise has other added benefits such as keeping your heart and lungs healthy. Typically, hikers will burn between 120-500 calories per hour, bikes 300-500 calories per hour and kayaking will burn up to 500 calories per hour. By the time you’ve finished you will have earned that extra smore over the campfire. If you want to know how many calories you could burn click here.
2). The Fresh Air
Ever heard the saying: ‘the fresh air will do you good’. Well, it is not just an old tale – it is rooted in scientific reality. The fresh air in the wilderness contains more oxygen and less toxins that the air found in cities. This increase in oxygen intake helps to release serotonin which boosts your mood and happiness. Furthermore, your body functions better (more efficiently) when there is plenty of oxygen. Research shows that time outdoors improves your blood pressure, improve digestion and gives your immune system a boost.
3). Connecting with people
Campers belong to a fraternity and whether you are camping alone or as a group you are sure to meet new people. These connections are great for combating loneliness and there is significant research that socializing can extend your lifespan and delay memory problems. Furthermore, connecting with new people can develop into lasting friendships which make life more fun and can lead to new adventures and opportunities.
4). Become Happier
Exposure to sunlight and fresh air can even out the melatonin in the brain. Melatonin is the chemical that makes you feel tired and can induce depression. Evening this out lead to short term boosts in moods and long-term satisfaction. If you are finding that life is getting too much and is passing you by then camping is a great way to reflect and move forward in a better state of mind.
Camping also allows you to cope with stress. Stress can affect your health in every way possible from putting on weight to depression. The lack of stress whilst camping is down to the rise in oxygen levels and the affects this has on your serotonin and melatonin levels. Furthermore, when you are out in the wilderness you are breaking the routine which has led to you being stressed. By doing something new, something you enjoy, you can help but feel less stressed and happier about the world.
5). Good Food and Great Sleep
When you are away camping you will find yourself filling the days with loads of activities. To fuel this newfound adventure, you will be eating like a king or queen. If you are fond of fishing or hunting, you will be eating plenty of good proteins and healthy fats on your trip. Furthermore, on your trip you will be getting away from the daily food truck or pre-packaged sandwich which are full of preservatives and unnatural ingredients.
Having played all day, eaten a hearty meal and enjoyed a refreshing beverage of your choice you will be ready for a great night’s sleep. Provided you have good camping gear – this is assured. Sleep is the body’s pit stop – it aides’ recovery and growth whilst helping to making all your body functions run like clockwork. All of this benefits the body and mind helping you feel alert and fresh to seize the day.
6). New drive
Who doesn’t love a new challenge? No two camping trips are the same – this is what we love about it. Research shows that new challenges help keep the brain active and healthy. Camping is both physically and intellectually stimulating and helps stave off memory loss and keeps you in tip-top shape. A new challenge can increase your mood and drive; giving you a new perspective on life. Camping can truly be a life changing experience.
7). Last but not least, Meditation
When you get out into the wild, turn off your cell. Leave the tablet or laptop at home. Disconnect for a few days and just enjoy being out in the open. The simplicity of camping and the joy of an experience will help you feel at one with nature. Without the outside distractions you can focus on your own wellbeing. This can lead to a longer and happier life. This isn’t just a general tip. If you are willing to do this, you could see loads of health benefits.
If you suffer from depression, fatigue, stress, heart disease or other illnesses studies show that camping can help improve your overall health. To get the maximum benefits though you need to really immerse yourself into the experience.
Camping is a wonderful pursuit. It is not just a few days away. It is your way of reconnecting with nature, taking stock of your life and finding a new hobby which could stimulate you for the rest of your life. You will meet great people and find new adventures. Camping can be a life-affirming and life-changing experience. With all of that going on, it is often forgotten that this great journey comes with loads of added health benefits.