6 Ways Camping Is Essential For Good Health
If you're anything like us modern life definitely makes us sluggish. Everything seems to move faster than we can keep up with nowadays and our health seems to always come second. It's no wonder that physicians are starting to prescribe outdoor activities such as camping as a remedy for problems such as stress and our mental wellbeing. Here are 6 ways camping is so essential to maintain good health.
Improved Immune System
There has been a massive breakthrough in recent decades regarding how pivotal gut health is to our overall physical health and we're only just on the cusp of really understanding how this relationship works. Our gut health is dependent on a varied ecosystem of microbiota.
The problem we're facing in our modern environments is that antibiotics and over sanitised living are preventing our guts from being exposed to the microbiota it needs. Fortunately for us one way of getting exposed to those microbiota we need is a camping trip away. The natural environments are brimming with diverse gut friendly bacteria that is beneficial for us to be exposed to. There are a wide range of benefits of this.
Do you find yourself having allergies you never had when you were younger? Maybe those around you are becoming more allergy prone? Studies have shown that in children, those exposed more often to the outdoors were much less likely to develop allergies versus those kids who spent more time in a sanitised environment. Get outside more, you might find yourself sneezing less.
One of the little known discoveries regarding gut bacteria is how there is a correlation with weight regulations. Studies conducted on mice have found that in obese mice, by transplanting a part of the gut of another mouse with a healthy and diverse gut ecosystem resulted in weight loss of the obese mice. Although we're only beginning to see how the gut can influence such aspects of our body, there is unanimous agreement that keeping our gut diverse key to maintaining a healthy weight.
Resistance to Disease
If there's one more reason you should be getting outside and exposed to that microbiota it's to stave away disease. One of the most well known benefits of good gut bacteria is that a healthy and diverse gut can reduce the chance of developing a wide range of diseases and prepare your immune system the next time you have a infection or virus. As if you needed another reason.
Getting More Exercise
One of the more obvious benefits of camping outdoors is the degree of physical activity that comes with it. Regular exercise has been heralded as the one of the best ways to improve life expectancy and stave off disease.
With camping usually coming with an abundance of hiking, climbing and the carrying of equipment you can be sure to get an amazing workout. There are many benefits to the exercise you get during camping trip.
The physical activity you go through whilst camping can require a degree of endurance and sometimes this can deter people from camping if they're out of shape or aren't used to that level of exertion. This should not at all turn people off camping, in fact it should be an incentive to want to go even more.
After a few trips your body will start to grow stronger and your stamina will increase. Suddenly the trail you first hiked down 4 months ago doesn't seem as winding anymore. This will translate to how you feel in your daily life back home as well.
It goes without saying that exercise is one of the key ingredients to maintaining a healthy weight and in this case it is no exception. As already mentioned camping can be physically exhausting at times and we are burning through a lot of internal chemical energy to fuel this. Your muscles will also be repairing days after the camping trip which will require further energy from your fuel stores. This in turn (with a good diet to accompany it) can lead to incredible weight loss.
Our busy lives and blue light gadgets can sometimes leave us short on quantity and quality of sleep but with camping you'll definitely be in store for some good shut eye. After a long day of trekking your body needs rest and you'll usually find yourself falling asleep quite quickly once you rest your head. There are some great benefits to sleeping in the outdoors after your busy day.
Being away from society you're not going to be woken up in the early hours of the morning by the dustman or probably not by your alarm for work. You can usually get a good lie in interrupted. This is the perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep that you've lost out on waking up for school, work and errands.
Deeper, Better Quality Sleep
Lots of exercise the day before is going to send you into a deeper state of sleep so your body can regenerate. Depending one where you chose to camp it will most likely be quite and free of any stimuli that may disturb you during your sleep (unless you get rain of course). You may wake up feeling well rested and that you're feeling a lot more switched on and energetic during the day. This can be refreshing and is great to charge the battery for another week being back home.
There has been documented rise in people reporting feelings of stress and it seems to be growing every year. Society has become very accustomed to accepting the fact that stress is now a fact of life. It shouldn't be like that though.
Yes, people and children are under a lot more pressure now to succeed and stay afloat than their previous generation and it can lead to more serious mental illness if the stress becomes chronic. Although we can't sometimes change our circumstances and triggers that lead to stress we can try relieve some of those stressful thoughts. To the rescue we prescribe camping.
Getting Away From It All
Sometimes stress comes from worrisome thoughts that have been lingering in our minds for a period of time and it can become quite claustrophobic at times that there is no escape from your problems.
That's where camping can be quite beneficial. Getting outside is getting you away from whatever stressed you have back home and if even for one day you can take your mind off your problems and perhaps more often than not put everything into perspective
Returning to the Basics
We can live very superficial lives and this can make our stresses a lot of the time very artificial. Heading back to the basic and natural environments has been shown in studies to be quite therapeutic. Not only is the exercise you do stimulating hormones that make you feel good, just the act of the scenery alone can be incredibly stimulating and calming. This is why camping is a must for anyone looking to de-stress.
Better Air Quality
More people are becoming concerned with air pollution than every before and although our air quality isn't as bad as some countries such as China the air quality in cities such as London is nonetheless bad for our health.
It can be taken for granted much of the time because it's just air and we can't really see what we're breathing in but really we're breathing in some very poisonous air pollutants that can over the long term can cause some very serious respiratory problems.
Going camping in areas where the air pollution is low is great to expose your lungs to some fresh and relatively unpolluted air. You can see every day where the air pollution is highest by visiting the UK Air Information Resource.
The more time you spend away from the busy cities the better, you may even decide that the country life is for you and permanently move into an area with better air quality.
There is something inherently spiritual about being in the outdoors and as studies have shown that it is a perfect relief for stress it can also be majorly beneficial to our mental wellbeing.
As I've mentioned before our mindsets have become very artificial and as a species we have strayed away from our natural hunter-gatherer frame of mind. Returning to our raw environment it can help to put things into perspective. Those artificial worries suddenly are exposed for what they really are and it can really help to shed clarity on a problem when you return back to the basic frame of mind.
Food for Thought
A bit like when you take a walk after a long day, you may find yourself coming up with solutions for problems you've pondering over for a while back home. The change in environment, the change in stimuli, it can all change our mentality and shift you into a paradigm of looking at something perhaps in a way you hadn't been able to grasp before. Who knows what you may dream up the next time you venture out.
In a nutshell it's obvious, camping and getting outdoors is key for not only our physical health but also our mental health. Getting back to basics is sometimes what we need to untangle the heavy complexes of our every day lives. So maybe you're heading out with some Raitex gear this weekend, have a good time and remember how great the outdoors can be for us!
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