SURPRISING HEALTH BENEFITS OF CAMPING
Have you missed out on a trip to a camping site or pull out of plans with friends due to your hectic routine and never-ending tasks? Do you think of this only as an adventure or a getaway from city life only? If yes, then it’s time to change your lens - you might be missing out on considerable health benefits of camping as well.
Health benefits of camping
If you are wondering how camping and health are related, please read on:
Everyone is taking in oxygen, doing some sort of exercise during the course of the day and being exposed to bright lights one way or the other - then why bother with the pollution-free oxygen, labouring and the sunlight on a camping visit?
Actually, camping is deeply connected with your well-being through a mood stabiliser compound called Serotonin. While it is found everywhere in your body’s blood platelets and serum, activating it is the real trick.
America’s National Center for Biotechnology Information shared its flagship research in which it proved that camping improves serotonin levels. It helps us by improving our mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
Enhanced Brain Power
As cited in multiple researches, our instinct to belong and engage with others is a vital human need. Our social ties have a direct positive effect on our psychological well-being. Based on this very fact, a lot of people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases are advised to socialize more.
At the very least, camping with loved ones brings you the health benefit of de-stressing and putting things into perspective. At the most, we are releasing neurotransmitters, which improve our responses to anxiety and depression, such as dopamine (the chemical associated with pleasure).
A living example of this can be found in Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life. The book illustrated that socially connected people have lived longer lives in Japan. Though camping alone could also be fun, but next time, try to tag along with colleagues, friends or family during camping.
Camping inevitably demands physical activity. Be it engaging in your favourite hobby or participating in setting up the camp - you will be burning more calories during camping than on regular days.
Similarly, staying in a camp means that your body will exert more energy in maintaining its temperature, and more energy consumption translates into a caloric burn. Your core strength and cardio-vascular fitness also increase while camping as you will be challenging your body to engage in unfamiliar activities. Also, according to NHS recommendations, embracing uneven surfaces and winds count towards your recommended minimum weekly exercise of 150 minutes.
Improved Vitamin D Intake
Calcium and phosphorous are absorbed by using Vitamin D in your body. These are the very basis to keep our immune and bones system strong. UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition estimates that 1 in 5 among us have low Vitamin D levels.
Direct sunlight during camping is a huge source of producing Vitamin D (it is often referred to as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’). It is especially vital during winters and autumns in the UK when we tend to stay indoors and are less exposed to direct sunlight.
More sunshine during camping eventually translates into increased capabilities to fight common illnesses (like cold and flu) by using the Vitamin D produced in the body.
A good night’s sleep is guaranteed after a day out carrying out strenuous activities during camping. It is like a reward wherein your body treats inflammation and improves cardiovascular functions during sleep. This is made possible by Melatonin, a hormone that controls your sleeping cycles.
Melatonin is naturally produced in our brains according to exposure to darkness and light. When we expose our bodies to sunset and sunshine in camping, we are basically inadvertently helping Melatonin function. All you will need to ensure this is a decent pack of camping gear.
Health benefits of camping continue afterwards
Surprisingly, an improved sleep pattern continues even after your camping trip. You will notice that your sleeping cycles have improved after the trip. The Royal College of Psychiatrists suggests a sleep of 8 hours every night for us to remain healthy, and what better way than to camp to build our sleeping cycles naturally.
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Qurat-ul-Ain is a dedicated writer who likes to write anything and everything.