Camping, Hiking & Spending Time in Nature is Good for Your Health
Happy and Heathy
You probably noticed that the first time you go hiking or camping for the first time, or after a long break, you feel happy, relaxed, refreshed, and just... good. It is the kind of feeling that makes you want to go every chance you get. It is the same reason just about any outdoor hobby or sport quickly becomes a passion for those who do them. Have you ever wondered why this happens though? The answer is actually quite simple! Being out in nature is proven to be good for both your mental and physical health, and overall wellbeing is what your body craves.
The Research and Health Benefits
The number of studies determining how nature improves our wellbeing has drastically increased since 2005 after author Richard Louv coined the term “Nature Deficit Disorder.” It has now been proven that spending time in natural environments is necessary for our wellbeing. Some of the health benefits include:
- Reduced levels of stress and anxiety
- Lowers your risk for risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature death
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves creativity and productivity
- Leads to a more positive outlook on life and promotes a calm, uplifting mood
- Improves the immune system
- Leads to increased levels of physical activity
- Reduces feelings of isolation or loneliness
How Much Time Should We Spend in Nature?
While you may notice some of the above mentioned health benefits immediately after spending time in nature, a recent study discovered the exact amount of time that is needed to experience optimal wellbeing. This study, led by Mathew White of the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter, included nearly 20,000 participants and focused on the amount of time they spent in green spaces. Optimal feelings of mental and physical health peaked between 200-300 minutes per week.
The study determined that individuals must spend at least 120 minutes per week in natural environments. Surprisingly, it didn’t matter how this time is accumulated over the week. It could be in bouts of 5 minutes, 20 minutes, or even the entire 120 minutes in one day. This is great news for our fellow campers and outdoor enthusiasts! If you like us and wait all week to get out and enjoy the outdoors on the weekends, you are still receiving the optimal amount of time out in nature.
Just in case you needed an excuse to be outside every weekend, now you have it! It is necessary for your health! So what are you waiting for? Grab your GO-KOT and head out to your favorite camping spot, go hit the trails, or spend some time doing your favorite outdoor activity!