We all know camping can be fun, but did you know there are also some surprising health benefits of camping as well? It’s true! In fact a recent study Scientist now have a term for our longing to be in nature and the health benefits associated with it, Biophilia.
In today’s world it seems we are always rushing around, stressed out from work and our daily tasks and becoming less and less healthy all the time. Camping will not only get you outdoors and enjoy nature, but it also has some awesome impacts on your health.
Below are 7 of the best health benefits of camping.
Health Benefit of Camping #1:
Reset your Biological Clock
Humans have a natural Circadian Rhythm that controls our sleep cycles and determines when we go to sleep and when we wake up. Artificial lighting and the glow of electronics can greatly affect our Circadian clocks and force us into a different sleep pattern.
Camping can help you reset you natural sleeping rhythm be allowing you to synchronize your internal clock with the light-dark cycle. This basically means that if you avoid artificial light while camping, your body will reset to go to sleep shortly after the sun goes down and wake up at sunrise. This natural sleep cycle will allow you to feel more rested for a long day of hiking and exploring!
Health Benefit of Camping #2
We all want to be more happy! Serotonin is the chemical that our body produces that affects our brains and makes us feel happy. Camping can actually increase serotonin levels by increased Oxygen intake, Increased sunlight exposure and increased physical activity. Want to be happier? Get outside and go camping and boost your production of the happy producer, Serotonin.
Health Benefit of Camping #3
Increased Problem Solving Skills
Let’s face it, there are going to be some problems associated with your camping trips that you are going to have to work out. Where to set up camp, what to make for dinner and building a camp-fire are some of the issues you are going to face just to name a few.
Camping jump starts the brain and forces us to figure these problems out and use our cognitive thinking skills to figure out how best to solve the issues at hand. These problem solving skills utilized while camping will train your mind to think for yourself and solve sometimes complex problems.
Health Benefit of Camping #4
Decreased Intake of Preservatives and Bad Fats
As hard as we all try to eat healthy, McDonald’s is always so tempting. The good thing about camping is it forces you to remove temptations like these from your meal options. Now, Hot Dogs and S’mores excluded, camping can lead to some really healthy food intake. Granola, oat meal, fish, natural berries and fruits are all standard camping fare for most campers.
Bringing along low fat options along on your camping trip like fresh vegetables and fresh chicken or beef allow you to cook healthy meals for dinner over the campfire. Recipes like Campfire Chicken Fajitas allows your family to enjoy a awesome meal while still being able to enjoy the benefits of eating healthy.
Health Benefit of Camping #5
Lots of Exercise
Most of the major health problems facing us today stems from the issue that we do not exercise enough. Our ancient ancestors (the ones who invented camping….or as they would call it, living) didn’t have the option of sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day. Nowadays, most of us are on our feet very little.
Gathering wood for a campfire, setting up a tent, hiking, fishing and exploring are all great ways camping can get you on your feet and exercising. You do not have to be in a gym on the treadmill to exercise! Just getting outdoors and hauling your gear to the campsite and setting up camp will get the blood pumping and calories burning! Couple this with the fact that you are taking in fresh air and eating healthier, and you have a great way to shed some pounds while camping!
Health Benefit of Camping #6
Increased Vitamin D Production
Health Benefit of Camping #7
Strengthened Family Bonds
Some of the greatest memories that most of us have were made while sitting around the campfire or hiking a mountain trail. Camping forces the family to work together, to communicate and to put down the iPods and iPhones for a few day and reconnect with each other.
There are five “L’s” to remember for a strong and successful family unit: Learning, Loyalty, Love, Laughter and Leadership. In a weekend camping trip, all 5 of these will undoubtedly be increased. Laugh at your dad for forgetting to stake down the tent as you watch it roll across to the next campsite. Allow your kids to Lead the hike and the plan for the day. Learn how to make new campfire meals or how to use that fly rod that’s been sitting in your garage for the past 2 years.
These are the best 7 Health benefits of camping, but they are surely not all of them! The main thing to remember is that just getting out and enjoying nature can truly produce some awesome memories along with the added health benefits. What other activity do you know of that can get you off your butt and bring the family closer together than camping?
What are your best tips to increase the health benefits of camping? Share them in the comments below!