Camping can have many health benefits
Camping offers many health benefits.

When we first created this site, we focused on two things we love: whiskey and the wilderness. We love sitting down and sipping a new whiskey or enjoying a pour or two while we hang with our friends and share stories by the campfire. However, being in the wilderness is a far more critical part of our lifestyle, helping us maintain our physical and mental health.

Maintaining our physical and mental health is incredibly important. It is part of the reason we have begun to focus more of our content on outdoor adventures. Alie and I have strenuous full-time jobs and rely on outdoor time to center ourselves. Our time outdoors allows us to disconnect from the constant connectivity of today’s society and focus on wellness. We hope to share our knowledge with others to make it easier to get outside.

As we proceed deeper into the spring, now is an excellent time to remember that the good weather days outnumber the bad weather days. It makes it the perfect time to commit to getting outside more. Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of getting outside.

Why Go Outside?

It should be no surprise that going outside provides several health benefits. Outdoor activities have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and benefit overall health. Whether you take advantage of the improving springtime weather to get some exercise or want to take in the rays, going outside should be a part of your routine.

We enjoy camping because it forces us to be outside. When we are home, there is always something to do that keeps us inside. Camping gives us access to trails and rivers, encouraging us to hike, bike, and fish. Even if camping isn’t your idea of a good time, you can find local parks and trails to enjoy, all while improving your health.

Here are a few of the ways getting outside can benefit your health.

Vitamin D

Many Americans don’t get enough Vitamin D. Although a few foods contain small amounts of Vitamin D, most of us do not get enough through our daily diets. Even if you take a supplement, sun exposure is the best way to get Vitamin D.

According to Dr. Ashley from UCLA Health, 8-10 minutes of sun exposure around noon to our hands, arms, face, and neck should be enough to get the daily recommended dose of vitamin D. One important caveat is that your latitude can impact the length of time you need to be outside to get the full dose of Vitamin D. Dr. Ashley mentions that a person in Boston would need about 23 minutes of exposure, while someone in Miami might only need 3 minutes.

Reduce Stress. Improve Focus.

Living in the modern world is stressful. Our systems constantly respond to various stimuli, ranging from the sounds of traffic to constant notifications from email and phones. Even the hum from your refrigerator is probably stressing you out. It is no wonder people today constantly feel overwhelmed. Luckily, getting outside can help reduce our stress and improve our focus and concentration.

We notice many benefits to being outside. I take in the scenery and listen to the sounds of nature, which makes me feel refreshed and relaxed. Alie often jokes with co-workers about needing her dose of camping to help her reset. The American Heart Association indicated that spending 120 minutes per week outside leads to a 50% increase in problem-solving, a decline in negative thinking, and reduced stress.

Numerous studies indicate that spending time in nature reduces stress and improves attention spans. Much of the wellness industry is focused on helping people feel better, but it often comes at a very high cost. The easiest and cheapest way to reduce stress and give yourself a mental edge is to walk outside and spend more time in nature.

Exercise for Better Health

Exercise provides several health benefits, including better overall health, less risk for disease, and more energy. People don’t necessarily need to spend much on a pricey gym membership. Getting outside can help you get the exercise you need to be healthy. People who spend more time outdoors generally get more exercise.

According to the CDC, adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. Strength training is also recommended at least twice weekly to support health. Getting outside is an easy way to get more exercise. Whether walking your dog around your neighborhood, working in your garden, or taking a strenuous hike up a mountainside, every minute of each activity counts towards the 150-minute recommendation. These outdoor activities are so engaging that you probably won’t even feel like you are exercising.

Closing Thoughts

Spending more time outdoors is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to support your mental and physical health. Current research continues to identify several health benefits in people who spend more time outdoors. Whether you are looking to combat the general work and life stress that we all face or just trying to help yourself feel the best you can, the research is clear: The best thing we can do is spend more time outside.

Happy Exploring!