Surprising Health Benefits of Going Camping as a Family

Some families head off on luxury beach breaks where the parents sit kick back on the beach sipping on a Swedish Paloma while the kids build sandcastles and frolic in the water. However, if you want to enjoy something healthier and more adventurous this year, one type of vacation that is definitely worth considering is a camping trip.

One of the key things that people love about camping is that it provides a welcome reprieve from screen time. Out in the wild, there is little access to the internet and a break from technology can actually help reduce your stress. Studies show that a break from your phone can help reduce anxiety, improve sleep and reduce neck and wrist injuries that occur from spending too much time on your computer.

Kids can look forward to having some fun, getting exercise, and enjoying the fresh air, all of which are things that kids do not get enough of these days.

A 2013 study by the University of Colorado Boulder found that campers tended to schedule their lives around daylight hours. This helped to reset their circadian rhythms which improved sleep quality and quantity.

Being in nature improves your mood. A study by the University of Michigan found that spending time in nature helped to reduce the symptoms of depression. Researchers at the University of Stanford found that time spent outdoors reduced rumination — the obsessive, negative thinking that can exacerbate feelings of depression or mental health issues.

Childhood obesity is on the rise, but hiking, swimming and canoeing in natural spaces can really help to burn calories while boosting feelings of well-being.

Spending time together helps to build strong families. Studies show that families that spend time together in shared activities build stronger bonds. Camping and hiking help to facilitate this by removing many of the distractions that prevent proper communications at home.

Scientists are just beginning to understand the vital role that microbes play in our health. Canadian microbiologist B. Brett Finlay, a professor at the University of British Columbia, and Marie-Claire Arrieta have released a study showing that dirt is beneficial for growing bodies called: Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World.

“The science is now telling us that [keeping kids clean] is actually not the best thing to do. These [germophobe] mothers need to ease off a bit and get over the ‘ew’ factor, and realize that kids are going to be kids, that they are going to put a lot of strange things in their mouth, and this is part of them experiencing the world, tasting the world we live in, as well as replenishing these microbes they need to develop.”

Camping is an excellent way to expose your family to the healthy microbes they need to create robust immune systems.

Camping provides a great choice for families who want to enjoy the beauty of nature, the adventure of the great outdoors, and the chance to enjoy some real family fun together.


Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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