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Camping is a great and enjoyable outdoor activity, which you can do alone, or with friends and family, depending on your preferences. One of the best things about camping is that you can do it anywhere any time, whether it’s in between the week, over the weekend, during summer or even during winter. Apart from the adventure that it offers, camping outdoors also comes with numerous health benefits. Whether you are going on a hiking trip, or you simply want to spend the weekend away from home, here are some of the health benefits that you will get from camping outdoors.
According to a survey conducted by the American Institute of Stress, more than 60% of the respondents claimed that work-related stress had taken a huge toll on their lives. Regardless of whether you like your job or not, going for a camping trip and removing yourself from your daily schedule can help to reduce stress significantly. When you are out there in the woods, you will your focus will shift from the thousands of calls and emails that you have to process every day to something different. Furthermore, following the same routine from Monday to Friday, January to December is not only boring but it can also lead to a heavy amount of mental strain. On the other hand, when you go camping, you experience a different environment from what you are used to. Instead of waking up to the hooting of cars, you will wake up to the chirping of birds, which is extremely relaxing and therapeutic. And when you resume your daily grind, your stress will have reduced completely and you will even be more productive.
Unplug From Technology
From the moment you wake up until you retire to sleep, you will have spent much of your time interacting with electronic devices in one way or the other. For instance, you may use your phone to check your emails when you wake up, prepare breakfast using electronic devices, go to work using a car and spend the entire day in front of a computer. As much as technology makes our lives easier in various ways, it also has its bad side. Studies show that blue lights emitted by screens can interrupt with your circadian rhythm, making it hard to sleep well at night. When you go on a camping trip, you should leave the laptop and the computer at home. When you do that, you will have an opportunity to unplug yourself from electronics, and then enjoy the simplicity that nature offers. If you have to check in with your family, answer a call or keep tabs on your work emails, you should do it for 20 minutes or less, once per day, and then put the phone away.
Most of the health problems that human beings face today arise from lack of enough exercise. There is a high chance that you wake up, prepare yourself, and take a ride to work. After work, you will then take a ride home, which means you will rarely exercise your body. And as you might probably know, lack of enough exercise can lead to various problems like obesity and diabetes, among others. Camping, on the other hand, will take you away from the comfort of your sofa and force your body to be active. From hiking to biking, swimming to fishing, setting up a campsite to building fires, you will remain physically active during your camping trip. On average, a normal-sized adult burns approximately 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day. But when you are on a camping trip, you will burn approximately 2,000 to 2,500 per day, through the various activities that you will be engaged in. Even if you will spend the entire trip fishing from a kayak, you will definitely burn more calories than someone who will spend the day sitting in an office. And the good news is that you will burn those calories without having to pay for a gym subscription or investing in fancy gym equipment.
Enjoy Fresh Air
Whether you live in the city or in the suburbs, the chances are high that the air you are breathing every day is not 100% fresh. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air pollution is one of the leading causes of asthma as well as numerous other breathing-related issues. As much as the Clean Air Act has tremendously helped to reduce the emission of harmful gases and improve air pollution especially in the large urban areas, the air in the city and even the suburban areas still has some pollutants. When you go for a camping trip, you will enjoy cleaner, fresher air, which has highly saturated with oxygen. Breathing air with a high oxygen level has been shown to help the brain to produce a hormone known as serotonin. Serotonin affects social behavior, sleep, digestion, mood, sexual desire as well as memory. When your serotonin levels are low, you will experience stress, depression and other negative feelings. Therefore, whenever you feel depressed, anxious, fatigued or bogged down, a weekend camping trip at your favorite campground or camping site will be enough to lift your spirits and cheer you up.
Increase Your Intake of Vitamin D
Research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that more than 40% of Americans have a vitamin D deficiency. If you live in an area that doesn’t experience plenty of sunshine, there is a high chance that you might be among this group. Vitamin D plays an important role in your body. For instance, it helps the body to absorb calcium and promotes strong bone growth, while helping the body to maintain healthy cells. It’s important to note that your body will only make enough vitamin D, once your skin has absorbed adequate amounts of sunlight. When you are out there camping, your skin is absorbing large amounts of vitamin D, which will then help the body to absorb phosphorus and calcium from the foods you eat.
Socialize With Friends and Family
Most interactions between friends and family today, take place via social media. For example, if you want to discuss an issue with a cousin or a friend, you will simply schedule a video call, and discuss the matter over the phone. In short, personal or face to face interactions rarely happen these days. But when you go camping with your family and friends, you can share stories as you keep yourselves warm around a campfire, roast meat, or catch up and unwind. It also gives you an opportunity to repair some broken bonds and strengthen those ties. And when you are out there camping in the wilderness, there are no distractions. In short, you will enjoy quality time with family and friends, which will go a long way in strengthening your ties.
Reconnect with Your Inner Self
Whether you admit it or not, we all need time and space to focus on own thoughts, reflect on our experiences and explore our emotions. Unfortunately, such opportunities are rare in our modern world, and that’s why you should make it habit of going for solo camping trips regularly. Furthermore, being alone in the wilderness teaches you how to enjoy your own company. For instance, if you have recently gone through a painful break-up with your loved one, going for a camping trip will give you an opportunity to refresh your mind, avoid negative thoughts, and take time out of social media, TV, phone and other stresses of life. As you spend time in the wilderness, you will experience beautiful sunsets, the chirping of birds, and splashing waterfalls. All these experiences will help to calm your thoughts and help you to reflect on your life.
Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills
When you are out there camping, you will definitely leave behind most of your daily luxuries and conveniences. For instance, you will not have your electric cooker, your coffee-making machine or your instant shower. Instead, you will be forced to do all these things manually. You will have to set up a campfire and cook all your meals. The same case will apply to your beverages. If you want to have some coffee or tea, you will first have to set up a fire. On the other hand, if you were at home, you will just need to switch on your coffee maker and you will have some coffee in a jiffy. Unexpected events can happen at any time when you are camping outdoors. For example, your firewood might be rained on, which means you will have to figure out how to light a fire when the wood is wet. Doing all these things manually and figuring how to solve these problems when you are out there will significantly enhance your problem solving and survival skills.
According to health experts, adults should get approximately 7 hours of quality sleep every night. Failure to get adequate sleep can lead to a wide range of health issues like relationship stress, impaired memory, lack of alertness, lowered quality of life, weight gain, a higher risk for diabetes and low sex drive. Sleep deprivation can also increase the risk of heart disease, as well as weakened immunity. Unfortunately, most people don’t get adequate sleep at night, and this can be attributed to various factors. One of the leading causes of sleep deprivation is the use of electronic devices like mobile phones just before bedtime. Camping outdoors gives you an opportunity to untether yourself from all your electronic devices and enjoy fresh air, serenity, and calmness. After spending several days in this environment without phone calls, alarms, emails as well as other common distractions, you will start enjoying an improved circadian rhythm, which translates to better sleep quality. You just need to ensure that you carry proper sleeping gear.
The health benefits that come with an outdoor camping trip are almost endless. You will get the opportunity to reconnect with your inner self, exercise, enjoy the fresh air and improve your circadian rhythm. If you are looking for a means of rejuvenating and refreshing your body, mind, and soul, you just need to grab your camping essentials and head out for a camping adventure.