camping relieves stress and builds relationships.Camping tent interior with open tent door

7 Surprising Health Benefits of Camping That Have You Planning a Trip

why family camping may be the best for your family

Updated for 2023: Camping has been a big part of my life for a very long time. Those family memories are what has inspired me to start camping with my family. I’m always amazed though at how many people I run across that either have zero interest in going camping or simply don’t know where to start. But did you know camping can boost your overall health? In this article we’ll go over 7 surprising health benefits of camping.

Camping and getting outdoors can be a good bonding for your family, especially after the few years we’ve all endured. As we head into a 2023 and beyond, it is a great time to remember that camping’s health benefits are unmatched when it comes to almost all activities you can do indoors. Camping can improve your physical health, mental wellness and it can even rejuvenate your tired soul.

Here’s how going camping at a KOA or State Park near you can benefit you. Even it you’ve never been camping. You can read about a recent KOA visit I took with a first-timer — my mom.

1. Health Benefit: Camping Reduces Stress

Stress has been shown to have numerous negative effects on you and your family’s health. We are still dealing with diseases and economic downturns that have really squeezed the old wallet. For a relatively inexpensive price, you can find campgrounds near you and camp, even if you don’t have a tent or are not sure what you are doing. You can get outside, walk, take in the scenery and unplug from doom scrolling.

Our daily lives provide stressors and increase anxiety within. Changing the scenery and going camping can have a positive effect on your mood and reduce that stress. A few days in nature relaxing away from your daily routine may be the very best thing for your family.

2. Being Outside Boosts Vitamin D

  First off lets talk about the the basics. Getting outside will expose you to Vitamin D, one of the most important vitamins available to the human body and the very best thing for your family.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is also produced by the body when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. I supposed you could just go out in your backyard for 20 minutes, or take a dietary supplement, but it’s way more fun to explore the natural beauty around you by camping.

Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, foods, and supplements is biologically inert and must undergo two hydroxylations in the body for activation. The first hydroxylation, which occurs in the liver, converts vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], also known as “calcidiol.” The second hydroxylation occurs primarily in the kidney and forms the physiologically active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D], also known as “calcitriol” [1].

Spurring energy and aiding in weight loss , getting outside has numerous health benefits. Wear sunscreen and protect yourself, but get outside and soak in some sun.

3. Forest Bathing is Fun

Camping can relieve stress. photo of trees

Just be with trees. No hiking, no counting steps on a Fitbit. There are documented health benefits for just existing in nature.

Explore the detail of the trees and the ecosystem within. You are peering into history, with the trees being some of the oldest living things in this world. If you don’t have a forest nearby simply getting outside near plants has shown benefits as well.

4. Health Benefit of Camping: Strengthen Your Relationships

Studies have shown that investing in our relationships has lasting effects on our health. Going on camping adventures and sharing new experiences with others can lower our stress levels and improve our endorphin levels.

I have friends that I camped with many years ago due to the bonds we formed out in the woods. A strong support system is key to a long and healthy life. Time bonding may be the very best thing for your family , and what better way to leave everlasting memories.

5. Campfires Lower Blood Pressure

Watching a fire lowers blood pressure, according to new University of Alabama research. Researchers noted that the singular focus of the fire easing anxiety and relaxing the participants. Going back to humans early existence fire had had a powerful benefit and may be one of the best things for your health. Gathering firewood and kindling promotes teamwork and bonding moments. Assigning camp duties to each member of the family reinforces that notion of everyone has a part.

6. Great Exercise That Doesn’t Feel Like a Workout

The American Heart Association recommends at least at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week.

By getting to your campsite and taking a walk around you’ll be amazed how easy it is to meet this requirement and exceed it quickly as well. The scenery surrounding you and the opportunity to explore outside will be the very best thing for your family. A healthy family is a happy family.

7. You’ll Get More Sleep

With the right gear and preparation , you’ll get some of the best sleep of your life while camping. According to a 2013 study by the University of Colorado Boulder, the more you abide by the sun’s schedule the more likely you are to go to bed and wake up at a reasonable time.

Researchers examined campers for a week and found that sleeping away from artificial light helped reset their circadian rhythms and made them less groggy.

Final Thoughts

Let’s face it. The New Year and 2021 is a time for changing things up. Healthier habits, deciding what is important and spending more time with loved ones probably tops your list of 2021 goals. Camping can help you achieve all of that, plus you don’t have to rough it. There are cabins, teepees, yurts and other cool shelters you can try.