In normal times, at least 40 million Americans take part in hiking and camping every year, making the two some of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the US. While some people do this purely for fun, others do it to enjoy the numerous benefits associated with these outdoor activities. Here’s a look at the top four benefits of hiking and camping.
Improves Mental health
According to the US National Park Service (NPS), hiking, camping, or generally spending time outdoors can help relax your mind and boost your mood. In turn, this helps to reduce stress, lower the risk of depression, calm anxiety, and generally enhance your mental health. This is especially due to the exposure to fresh air, having fun in sporting activities, and being surrounded by your family and peers.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Generally, hiking is a form of moderate aerobic exercise that contributes a great deal to your heart health. Specifically, it improves blood circulation and this leads to reduced blood pressure. While camping does not increase your heart rate, it relaxes your mind, causing your heart to pump more efficiently. This calms you down, lowers stress levels, and eventually lowers blood pressure.
Promotes Healthy Body Weight
Being a form of low-intensity cardio workout, hiking can help you burn calories, according to researchers at the University of California,. As you get rid of unwanted fat, you will be able to achieve a healthy weight and tone your muscles. This results in amazing health benefits in your body, including, among others, reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, improved mood, and enhanced self-confidence.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in improving memory, as per the Medical News Today. In other words, having high serotonin levels means that you will most likely have a good memory as well as overall improved cognitive ability. Thankfully, interaction with nature during camping and hiking exposes you to fresh air and a calm atmosphere, which stimulate the release of serotonin, hence, enhancing your memory.
These are some of the health benefits associated with hiking and camping. For a good hiking and camping experience, ensure you plan adequately and carry all the safety gears you need. This is because accidents can also occur during hiking and camping, and so, you should ensure that safety comes first. Additionally, tagging your friends or family along can give you much-needed motivation during your outdoor activities.