6 Fabulous Health Benefits of Going Camping

6 Fabulous Health Benefits of Going Camping - Naturopathic Family Health

Camping is one of the most rewarding activities to embark upon.

Options range from car and RV camping to backpacking depending on personal preference, and all provide wonderful health benefits.

The following are some positive impacts from spending extended time living outdoors:

Circadian rhythm alignment

Getting a break from artificial light allows your body to reconnect with the natural daily light/dark cycle of the sun. Following this pattern recalibrates our internal clock and supports the natural hormonal rhythms in the body. If sleep disturbance is an issue, resetting the body’s internal clock this way can be very therapeutic.

Healthy movement

Camping typically requires extra movement for simple tasks: a fire may be needed for cooking food or providing warmth, tents require setup, and drinking water may need to be collected and filtered or treated. Moving the body in different ways is helpful for building strength and endurance. It also supports digestion, mood, and overall health.

Breaking routines

Camping involves a completely different daily routine. This change from the norm offers a great opportunity to break habits that aren’t beneficial and carve a new path moving forward. Changes may be noticed in personal use of electronics, sleep patterns, or eating habits that can be maintained upon return if desired.

Time away from electronics

Camping destinations often have limited electricity, reception, and internet access. This creates space from phones and computers, allowing for a slower pace and being more present with the immediate surroundings. 

Witnessing the beauty of nature

There is so much natural beauty on this planet to perceive and take in. Camping destinations may offer access to mountains, lakes, rivers, the ocean, and sightings of wildlife, sunrises, sunsets, the moon, and stars. The sense of awe and wonder that comes with being in magical places is one of the most therapeutic and grounding phenomena to experience. 

Enhanced gratitude for the comforts of home

Upon returning from a wilderness experience, new-found gratitude for simple pleasures is found. Commodities such as a comfortable bed, clean shower, and accessible drinking water can be so easily taken for granted. The comforts of home feel extra special after being away. 

Whether it’s a one night escape in the family tent or RV, or a multi-day backpacking trip, living outside for an extended period of time is an incredibly therapeutic experience on a physical, mental, and emotional level.

Dr. Caitlan Gignac
Naturopathic Doctor San Jose


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