How Camping Can Make You a Healthier Person

Like most outdoor activities, camping can provide a host of healthy benefits for both the body and mind. Here are just a few.

November 13, 2015
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Camping has long been a favorite pastime for outdoor enthusiasts. Not only is it a great way to escape the demands of day-to-day life, it is also a wonderful way to interact with friends and family too. But did you know that camping can also be good for your health? Yep, that’s right. Sitting around a campfire, sleeping under the stars, and immersing yourself in nature can have some surprising benefits to your well being. Here are just some of the ways that your next campout could prove beneficial.

Better Sleep

Many people say that one of the best parts of camping is sleeping outdoors in a tent. There are even those who feel that they get their best rest ever while on a camping trip. That might be because being outside helps to reset our circadian rhythms, which are often disrupted by artificial light sources and the screens from our electronic devices. Exposures to the natural day-night cycle while on a camping trip can put your internal clock back on schedule, however, which not only helps you sleep better in the wild but when you get back home too.

Good Exercise

You don’t typically think of camping as a great form of exercise, but it turns out you can burn a lot of calories while in the outdoors. Hiking to the campsite, setting up camp, preparing meals, collecting wood for the fire, and generally just staying active while outside will have you working up quite an appetite in no time at all. So even if you skip the gym for a day or two while you’re out camping, you shouldn’t stress about it too much. You’re still getting a decent workout.

Unplug, Literally

Our modern life is filled with all kinds of conveniences, including smartphones and tablets that help to keep us connected at all times. But those devices can also be a major distraction as well, keeping us from focusing on what is happening around us, and causing us to disconnect from the people we’re actually spending time with. Visit a remote camping site, however, and you may find that you don’t have any cell or data service at all. This will help to keep you more grounded and present, and give you a break from the stream of media content that constantly vies for our attention. You may be amazed at how freeing that can make you feel.

Get an Injection of Vitamin D

Of course, one of the best side effects of being outside is exposure to the sun, which results in increased production of vitamin D. This has all kinds of benefits for your health, including strengthening your bones and teeth, as well as improving your overall immune system. In fact, vitamin D has been shown to be effective in fighting certain types of cancer, staving off type 1 diabetes, and preventing multiple sclerosis. Who would have thought that a little sunshine could be so good for us?

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Another benefit of spending time outside is the dramatic impact that it can have on your mood. Not only does camping help to lower your stress levels, it’ll also stimulate the production of serotonin, a chemical within your body that naturally makes you feel happier. Better yet, those feeling tend to continue for a while, even after you’ve gone home. That means that some of the benefits of a good camping trip will continue to pay dividends for days afterwards.

Camping is Social

Few things in life can make you happier and more satisfied than spending time with friends and family. Camping is the perfect excuse for doing just that, as few things are as social as preparing meals together, relaxing around the campfire, and sharing a tent after a busy day. If you’re looking to bond with the important people in your life, camping is a healthy way to accomplish that goal. And when you head home, chances are that close connection will continue.

At the end of the day, camping is just another good excuse to get outside, which almost always leads to some positive health benefits for both the body and mind.  So why not dust off your tent, dig out your sleeping bag, and plan a camping trip of your own soon?

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