Seven health benefits of camping – OurAuckland – OurAuckland
Summer is here and now is a great time to plan your next camping trip to one of Auckland Council’s 44 campgrounds.
Whether you’re a die-hard camping fan, looking for a low-cost break, or reliving childhood memories, camping is a great way to get outdoors and spend quality time with friends, family, or on your own.
Exploring the great outdoors and getting back in touch with nature brings some real health benefits too:
- Peace and Quiet
Unplug and enjoy the simplicity of nature. Forget charging your smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles, and instead recharge your own batteries. Your body and mind will thank you for it and you will return to work refreshed and energised. Turn off the internet, the emails and even the news. All you need is one charged phone for emergencies, kept turned off and packed away.
- More Exercise
Camping requires more physical exercise to gather, prepare and store food, get around a campsite and manage your shelter effectively. Go further by adding fishing, swimming, walking or bike riding into the mix and kick cardiovascular benefits and calorie burning off the charts.
- Reduced Stress
One of the important health benefits of camping is that it reduces stress by removing common triggers like work pressure, traffic and the rush of city life, replacing them with the calming effect of bird song, the sound of waves crashing on the beach and the wind in the trees. The real thing is much more therapeutic than anything you’ll find on your MP3.
- Better relationships
Do you sometimes feel like you never talk to your family and, when you look around you, everyone’s on a device of some sort? Being in close proximity to loved ones or good friends, without the interference of modern devices like smartphones and tablets can let you communicate more directly and give and receive eye contact. Having to depend on each other to prepare food and look after your campsite builds camaraderie, a sense of community and shared purpose that adds to your wellbeing.
- Improved memory
When you’re out camping and surrounded by trees and fresh air, your body releases higher levels of serotonin, a naturally-produced neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood, appetite, and sleep. Serotonin also improves cognitive functions such as memory and learning.
- Better sleep
Melatonin is a natural hormone helps control your sleep and wake cycles. When you’re stuck in an office for long periods, working in artificial light, your melatonin levels can be suppressed by the blue light in artificial sources like incandescent bulbs. Camping outside exposes you to melatonin-friendly yellow light, which can help you achieve a more natural alignment of the sleep-wake cycle with sunrise and sunset.
- Vitamin D boost
Being outside, your body absorbs huge quantities of sunlight. The sun provides a healthy outdoor glow to the skin, and internally the body uses it to synthesise Vitamin D which helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, two minerals essential for healthy bones and teeth.
Go camping this summer
Visit the Auckland Council website to find a campsite that suits you. Search by accommodation type, area, facilities and view our campsites on a map.