We all know that getting out in the great outdoors can make us feel better and lighten our mood; even if it’s just for a short walk. Spending a few days camping and exploring is a hobby for many but did you realise it can help you live a longer and healthier life? Here are the health benefits of the outdoors:
For most people, stress is unavoidable in daily life. This can lead to many health problems like increased blood pressure and risk of heart disease. Taking a short walk can decrease cortisol (the stress hormone). Rhythmic exercise has a calming effect alongside the physiological effects, which makes walking or hiking great for reducing stress.
Due to the connected nature of the world today, we are always available and constantly being bombarded with information. This has a detrimental effect on our ability to concentrate! It becomes harder to focus for a prolonged period of time and when we do, we easily become fatigued. It has been proven that time in the outdoors improves our ability to concentrate for prolonged periods of time, in both our personal and professional lives.
Most of the time, being outdoors involves being active. Whether that’s hiking, canoeing or biking, it gets your heart rate up which reaps multiple health benefits. An increase in daily activity, over time, leads to overall better health as the heart becomes healthier. Muscles and joints also become more resilient, supporting a more active lifestyle. Your mental health benefits from being active outdoors, as it has been shown to improve your body image and self-esteem.
Camping has also been shown to help improve sleep patterns – waking up with natural light at sunrise has been proven to be a key factor in resetting your internal body clock, leading to healthier sleep patterns. Our body clock is a basic part of our health and wellbeing, which when disrupted, due to jet lag, for example, can cause severe long-term health consequences.
Another great benefit of being outdoors is being away from your smartphone and all of the distractions associated with it. Constantly being connected has been shown to have severe negative effects on your well-being, like poor sleep, depression and anxiety. Spending the weekend without your phone will allow you to detox both digitally and mentally, allowing you to enjoy your adventures without any annoying distractions.
Turn your phone off and leave it in the bottom of your bag in case of an emergency, if you don’t feel like leaving it behind completely.
Being out in the sunshine greatly improves your mood and well-being. Our bodies absorb Vitamin D from the sun which has multiple health benefits. Exposing your skin for 10-15 minutes a day provides adequate levels of Vitamin D, leading to better overall physical and mental health. Be mindful to still apply sunscreen when you are out in the sun and avoid the midday sun where possible.
Camping and being active outdoors are excellent hobbies for anyone to enjoy regardless of gender, age or ability. Starting your journey in the outdoors, specifically, your camping journey can seem scary and complicated. We have compiled a Family Camping Guide and Wild Camping Guide to help you kick start your adventures.
Choosing the right outdoor equipment and tent can feel like navigating a minefield, but do not worry. Not sure which tent to go for? Then check out our guide to choosing the right tent or check out our extensive tent range.