5 Health Benefits of Camping
Reposted from the KOA blog:
Here are the top reasons why camping is good for your health.
If we tried to make a list of the reasons that you should go camping, you would be reading that list non-stop for weeks. There are a nearly endless number of benefits to camping, ranging from an escape from the busyness of life to exploring some new and exciting things.
The different types of camping can also bring different benefits. The pluses of camping in an RV are different, but no less important than the pluses of camping in a tent.
Rather than overwhelm you with a comprehensive list of all the reasons we are major advocates of all forms of camping, today, we are going to focus specifically on the health benefits of camping. We are going to share some key reasons why camping can be an incredible benefit to your health, and why you should seize the opportunity to take a camping trip whenever possible.
Trust us, your body and mind will thank you.
Even if you’re camping in an RV and not backpacking, you are still inevitably going to get more exercise than you would just sitting in your house.
When camping in an RV, there is exercise involved in getting everything prepared for your trip, as well as setting up your RV once you’ve arrived at your campsite.
Additionally, chances are good you’ll do at least a bit of exploring once you’ve set up camp.
Fishing is also a major part of camping for both RVers and backpackers, and that can be a low-key way to burn some extra calories as well.
If you’re going the backpacking route, or if you are just naturally more of an outdoor explorer, you will certainly be packing in a great deal of exercise.
From hiking, to canoeing, to biking, to swimming, and much more, exercise comes very naturally when in the outdoors and you will find yourself partaking in far more physical activity than on your average day back at home.
2. Healthier Food Options
The more exercise you find yourself engaging in while camping, the more you’ll crave healthy, nourishing food.
It is those lazy couch potato days at home that we end up craving pizza and ice cream. Rarely will you crave those things when you are exercising.
Also, meals while camping require at least a little bit of cooking. With no pizza delivery just a phone call away, you will be cooking more nutritionally fulfilling meals, and possibly even extremely highly natural and nutritious meals if you’ve had a successful day of fishing!
To reap even more benefits from healthy eating while camping, be sure to bring along with you only healthy snacks.
A chocolate bar or two is okay (because we don’t think camping is truly camping without at least one or two s’mores), but don’t buy yourself bags of candy and potato chips to snack on.
There can be quite a bit of downtime while camping if you aren’t constantly hiking, biking, etc. so don’t tempt yourself with too many sweets.
3. Stress Relief
In our modern technology-filled world, it is an incredible challenge to step away from all of the screens.
How many times have you tried to go even just a few hours without using your computer, a television, or your cell phone? And how many times have you actually been successful in doing so?
It is no easy feat.
However, when you go camping, you are essentially forced to be without all of those things.
So why is that a good thing?
Constantly being plugged into everything that is going on in the world can lead to a great deal of stress. Even if all you’re plugged into is Facebook, you may find yourself feeling like you should be doing something else; like your life isn’t as great as that person on your Instagram feed, etc.
Camping leaves no time or energy to be bothered by those things. Being out in nature will allow you to reconnect with yourself, sans the constant technological interruptions we battle every day.
You will immediately feel your levels of anxiety decrease, and simply feel more relaxed and able to fully enjoy what is right in front of you.
4. Natural Vitamin Intake
You could take all the Vitamin D supplements in the world, but nothing is quite the same as true Vitamin D is its raw form: sunlight.
Too much time in the sun can be detrimental to your health in terms of negative effects on your skin, but exposing yourself to the right amount of sunshine when camping can bring your body incredible benefits.
Vitamin D is great for helping you absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are two minerals that you need to keep your bones and teeth healthy.
Additionally, sunshine also causes your body to produce more serotonin — a chemical produced naturally in your brain.
You’ve likely heard of serotonin, but may not know exactly why it is so beneficial. Serotonin affects your mood, your digestion, your memory, and much more. If your serotonin levels dip too low, you are at risk of depression.
Find that sweet spot of the sunshine will camping, and you will definitely notice a positive change.
5. Better Sleep
You may feel as if it would be impossible for you to sleep better out in the wild than in your comfortable bed at home. However, the benefits your body receives from sleeping closer to nature are far greater than your plush bed could ever offer.
This is especially true if you’ve had a highly active day. The more exercise you took part in while camping, the more healthy and nutritious food you ate, which means your body will be ready for a solid night of sleep.
Additionally, since you will be free of most forms of technology, you will not be exposed to nearly as much unnatural light as on an average day at home.
The blue lights in phones, televisions, and computers are major disrupters of your sleep pattern, so just being without those blue lights alone will make a huge difference in your sleep.
We don’t advise expecting to get a great night’s sleep laying directly on the ground, but with the help of a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and a pillow, you will sleep like a happy, peaceful baby.
Just thinking about all the health benefits of camping has us feeling healthier already!
If you’re like us, it’s not as if you needed another reason to go camping, but we’ve given you 5 great ones, just in case.
And while we’re at it, we’re going to throw another bonus one in and give you another way to reap some great benefits of camping.
As a KOA Rewards Kard Member, you will save 10% every time to camp at a KOA, and you’ll earn points for camping as well that you can redeem for rewards at any KOA.
To see all the great benefits you’ll get as a VKR member, visit our website here.