If we are going to make an exhaustive list of why you should go camping, it would be an endless list. Instead, let’s breakdown this broad topic by covering the health benefits of camping first. So as not to bombard you or overwhelm you with information.
Of course, you know that camping is good for you physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. However, pinpointing what it can do to your overall health and wellbeing is a must.
Please know that different types of camping have their own benefits. But these are the reasons you should jump at the chance whenever possible.
Health benefits of camping
Cleans the lungs
Air quality in the city is already compromised with the extent of pollution. Quality of air in the wild is definitely different—it is always fresh. The moment you first breathe the campground air, serotonin is released. Serotonin is the happy hormone FYI.
It is because of the presence of trees and other flora, allowing you to take in more oxygen. And no purifier at home can match the freshness and, thus, the quality of air that nature brings.
Improves sleep quality
A full day of camping activities will let you sleep soundly at night. Don’t be surprised if you come back with better sleep cycles.
A good night’s sleep at the camp reduces inflammation, improves the cardiovascular system, and improves the natural circadian rhythm. The solitude that the outdoors bring can assert your inconsistent sleep patterns for much better sleep quality and quantity.
Reduces the stress levels
Work takes a toll on the person’s psyche. It won’t help when you ignore chronic stress due to mundane life commitments. Camping is an opportunity to destress even for a while because it takes your focus away from schedules and tasks.
When you do something that you enjoy, the oxygen and serotonin levels on your body increases. There is another chemical involved: melatonin. This is responsible for making you feel tired and even induces depressive moods. With enjoyment comes better overall feelings, so you can better manage the melatonin levels on your body.
Engages the muscles
You don’t lounge around at the campsite. If you do so, this defeats the purpose of camping, which should be a physical activity. Exploring the outdoors alone by walking, trekking, or biking is a form of exercise.
The more you engage with these activities while at the campsite, the better. A trail run breaks the monotony of stepping onto the treadmill; it adds variety to your exercise routine. As such, you will burn more calories outdoors than you would at the gym.
As already mentioned above, serotonin plays a significant role in improving your mood. If the serotonin levels dip too low, you are verging depression. Camping is scientifically proven to do one thing: reduce oxidative stress.
Being out in the sunlight makes you happier. You take that overall good mood with you wherever you go in the first few days after going on a camping trip. The more you do it, the better and faster your body will recover from various stress symptoms.
At the same time, the levels of inflammation will be reduced. Inflammation is basically caused by environmental pollutants that cause oxidative damages to the cell or what we commonly refer to as the development of free radicals.
Enhances the brain functions
Our dopamine receptors are necessary for developing and adapting habits. At times, these habits are not as healthy and helpful more so when you embrace a sedentary lifestyle. Changing habits also means altering how your dopamine receptors work.
Camping and the things you do at the site—from hiking to meditating to talking to new friends—can be seen as a way to retrain the neurotransmitters. Since the body craves movement, these activities are the answer.
Other than this, new experiences stimulate the brain and, thus, keep it healthy. This is especially true about new physical and mental activities—they have the greatest effects on the brain.
Increases energy levels
When you are constantly plugged into devices or gadgets, you feel physically drained all the time. Blue light from phones and computers sap your energy.
Camping encourages you to have a digital detox. On the other end, the surroundings inspire you to reconnect with yourself sans the technological interruptions. This also refreshes the capacity of your body to improve energy levels.
Not to mention, vitamin D gives you the energy that you need to tackle all your responsibilities when you’re back in the city. An increase in energy stabilizes your mind as well as the overall stress levels.
Stabilizes gut health
Gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms in the digestive tract. One good thing about camping is it requires you to eat healthier. This presents an opportunity to experiment with healthy meals.
When going camping, it is always advisable to buy fresh produce or forage your own food. Nature is a place to harvest and get in touch with nutritional values. The healthier the food, the more stabilized the gut health will become.
Develops positive psychological patterns
Self-awareness is also a secret to having optimal mental health. This is the reason why “me” time is crucial or the time to be more self-aware. The value of solitude is essential in the development of positive psychological patterns. Self-awareness also distinguishes and encourages you to be more aware of your environment.
Nonetheless, camping can also be considered as self-care. Being away from all the stressors in your life enables you to truly process and ponder on things that really matter to you as well as those things that weigh on your mind and body. This happens when you go on a meditative walk in the forest.
Reduces pollutant exposure
Exposure to environmental pollutants is not only damaging to the physical body but more so psychologically. Your goal is to expose yourself to cleaner environments where pollutants are kept at the lowest levels possible.
This is what you get with camping. With nature, everything seems fresher, cleaner.
Your mind and body will surely thank you for sure once you start reaping these health benefits of camping.