I recently returned from a ten-day camping and hiking trip with my husband.
What a reminder that many times the best remedy for our health issues is to simply get out in nature and move our bodies!
Here is a list of the benefits I experienced – and you can too!
1. Get away from your busy routines and slow down
This is a big one. We’re all so busy these days, just trying to make ends meet. Taking a break away from the daily hectic schedule immediately lowers your stress levels. It doesn’t have to be a ten-day camping trip. Taking a 15-minute walk outside at lunch will break that routine, and give your body time to relax. You’ll find your mind clearing, and you’ll be able to attack problems easier when you return to your work.
2. Get away from electronic gadgets and clear your mind
We were fortunate that our trip took us into remote areas that didn’t even have any cell phone service. Forget wifi. We were forced to “unplug”. It didn’t take long to adjust to not answering emails everyday or posting on Social Media. It was amazing how much time we had in our days without those two distractions alone! We stopped thinking about what was going on “out there” and simply enjoyed the scenery and nature surrounding us —and being together. My mind started clearing of all the clutter and I was able to focus on some creative ideas I’ve needed to tackle.
Here’s more information on this topic: How Walking in Nature changes the Brain
3. Get away from city noise and relax
The first thing I notice when we leave the city, is the absence of traffic noise. I find my muscles relaxing as I listen to the sound of the wind in the trees, crickets chirping and birds singing. On this last trip, although we wanted to see three National Parks, we managed to camp in nearby smaller State Parks, where it was less crowded and more peaceful. State Parks tended to have better facilities and better maintained – which is a sad reminder that our national budget for our wonderful parks has been slashed too much! Smaller parks allowed us to stay off the grid and enjoy more quiet time. A peaceful evening sitting around a campfire did much to remove any remaining stress from our bodies and minds.
4. Get away from air pollution and take a deep breath
Most of us don’t even realize how much pollution we breathe in everyday, until we get out of the city and take a breath of fresh air. When you get away from the traffic, you also get away for its pollution. As the noise dissipates and you find yourself naturally relaxing, you’ll automatically take a deep, cleansing breath. Go on, breath deep! Relax!
5. Get away from the couch and move your body
I left for a camping trip while in back pain and came home pain free.
It was the day before our scheduled ten-day camping trip and I was worried. My lower back was in constant pain. I had taken a fall a month earlier when I slipped on water in a grocery store. I was relieved that after falling on concrete I had not broken anything, but my spine was suffering the trauma of the hard hit.
A funny thing happened on the way
Getting away from our busy routine, allowed me to relax for the first time in months. Being “off the grid” further forced me to relax and change up my attitude. Being immersed in nature 100% of every day gave me a new perspective. Within three days, my back had adjusted to sleeping in a tent on a 1-inch thick air mattress under my sleeping bag. Hiking an average of five miles every other day kept me moving and gaining muscle strength. My back pain lessened everyday. My hips stopped hurting when I hiked. I was ready for bed every night after exercising, slept soundly and awoke each day refreshed.
On the last day before driving back, we hiked 5 miles in rugged terrain, at over 7,000 ft. elevation in temperatures over 80 degrees. And I felt great afterward. No pain. What a change from the day we left for our trip! What does that say about my daily sitting at a computer all day?? So you can bet I’m making sure I’m doing a better job of getting up and moving around during the day – and a short break for swimming or walking does wonders!
Not enough reasons? Here are more: 11 scientifically proven reasons you should be spending less time in the office