Courtesy of BIG4.com.au
We all know camping is a fantastic activity, providing hours of enjoyment and a welcome opportunity to connect with loved ones, as well as nature.
But that’s just the start. Did you also know that a whole range of wonderful health benefits result from camping? From physical and mental aids to those that are tailor made for children, these benefits ensure there’s even more reason why you should spend a night under the stars. ✨
Check out the many reasons why camping is good for your health.
1. Camping helps with problem solving
Sometimes camping and its associated activities present you with challenges (and some that not even Professor Google can reliably solve). Often these are challenges that you don’t deal with on a daily basis: where and how to set up your tent; or how to deal with scenarios where you aren’t armed with all your mod-cons or items of familiarity.
In addition, camping introduces you to new experiences – perhaps an activity you’d always wanted to try but never found time for. Whatever the case, new challenges and experiences keep your brain healthy, as they force you to think for yourself.
2. Camping is great for children’s education
Following the above point, spending the night in a tent has a clear benefit for children. This is especially so in the modern age where many kids are more confident navigating their way around an iPad than they are navigating the inside of a tent.
Camping introduces children to a whole new world and asks of them an ability to overcome new problems and challenges – particularly if it’s raining while camping. Having exposure to a different set of challenges not only keeps kids’ brains healthy but leads to increased learning opportunities. A 2015 UK study from the Institute of Education at Plymouth University found an overwhelming majority of parents believed that camping had a positive impact on a child’s education.
3. Camping helps you sleep better
There’s another important reason why camping is good for your health, and if you suffer from lack of sleep you should be paying particular attention. Research in 2013 from the University of Colorado Boulder found that camping can re-set our biological clocks and help those of us who find it tough to get to sleep and/or wake up in the morning.
It’s all to do with the increased use of artificial light in our daily lives and the fact that camping can help us to adjust to the natural light-dark cycle if we’re given that chance. Receiving adequate sleep has long been touted as critical to our overall health and wellbeing. Plus, aren’t our partners and family members much easier to deal with when they’re not tired and grumpy?
4. Camping increases your vitamin D intake
Camping provides you with the chance to spend more time in the sun (as long as your timing is right). And more time catching those rays means extra vitamin D, which has benefits for you. While much research exists to say that some benefits remain inconclusive, there appears to be agreement that it does aid bone health. Furthermore, the Medical Journal of Australia states that exposure to sunlight is the main source of vitamin D for Australian residents.
Sun exposure has also been linked to mental health benefits, such as improved moods. However, direct sun exposure should be taken in moderation and adequate protection should be used to minimise the risk of skin cancer.
5. Camping leads to increased exercise
If your daily routine entails slaving away in an office or at home with the kids, chances are your opportunities to exercise are limited. The solution? Go camping. While camping, you will likely explore new surrounds; perhaps wandering through a nearby national park or even mountain climbing.
This increased exercise has been well-documented – from the Heart Foundation to the Department of Health – as having myriad physical and mental benefits, including combatting health problems and disease and improving your mood and energy levels. This point is not limited to camping: simply escape the daily grind and hit the great outdoors.
6. Camping makes you happier
That’s right – camping goes a long way to improving your mood. It’s all to do with serotonin, that wonderful chemical our body produces that helps to make us happy. We’ve already touched on some factors that help the body create serotonin: more sunlight, more oxygen, and increased physical activity. And when you’re camping, you’re likely to tick all these boxes. Happy days!