How amazing is it to wake up in the great outdoors or let the campfire warm your face?
Besides being an ideal way to spend a vacation, camping comes with lots of benefits that are good for both mental and physical health. Check out some of the perks that this unique outdoor experience can bring.
Once you’ve put up your tent, take a moment and breathe in the natural, outdoor air. All that clean air is good for your immunity and brain activity — improved levels of oxygen cause the release of serotonin, which makes you happy.
Research has even shown that being in “green space” can decrease symptoms of depression, PTSD and anxiety by up to 71 percent.
Being in the fresh, open air helps you relax and feel stronger and calmer. Plus, being out in the sunshine helps boost those vitamin D levels!
Count those ZZZZs
City life, and all the electricity and bright lights that come with it, has contributed greatly towards altering our body’s circadian clock. Camping, on the other hand, exposes you to the natural light patterns of day and night and can be effective in resetting your body’s clock, improving your sleep. Keeping your body in sync with the sunset and sunrise patterns helps improve mental activity, keeping your brain sharp.
Cooking with a camp fire
Packing pre-prepared meals makes mealtimes stress-free, but there are better — and healthier — alternatives. Imagine making camping meals from the plants around you, or cooking freshly caught fish from your trip to the river. Get the campfire roaring and prepare some real camping food — all it takes is a little pre-planning to make sure you have what you need with you. Cooking outdoors will also give your body a break from fast food and processed food. Think about healthy alternatives such as meat and veggies on a skewer, or sweet potatoes cooked in foil.
Use those muscles
It’s practically impossible for a camping trip to not include physical activity. This can be great for your health! We all know exercise is good for our heart and lungs and makes us strong. Feel those muscles stretch as you put up your tent and gather wood for a campfire. Plan an excursion walking or hiking, or pack your bicycle to take advantage of some mountain biking. If you’re camping near a body of water, rent a canoe or kayak and spend a few hours paddling.
Get to know one another
Socialization in today’s world usually means emails, texts and interacting on Facebook or Instagram. Camping gives you a chance to put aside the gadgets and enjoy the time with your friends and family. Studies have also shown that socializing with others can extend your lifespan, as well as improve brain function and prevent memory loss. Pull out a deck of cards, try a game of charades by firelight and sing some old-fashioned camp songs.