This past weekend we took part of one of our favorite summertime activities, camping. We are an outdoorsy type family (when we can fit it in at least) and camping is something we all enjoy doing. Especially on the rare occasions like this past weekend where we were able to camp with a group of other families that we are close with. It was a weekend full of swimming, fishing, baseball, water balloons and fun in the sun.
Camping is a natural part of my children’s lives, just as is was for me growing up. Though I do understand people who don’t really enjoy camping, I am always shocked when I meet families with kids who never camp. They are missing out on some of the best family memory-making moments.
So while I am still a little sun burned and wind blown from our weekend in the mountains, I decided I’d write something up for those of you who don’t camp to explain why it’s so good for you. For those of you who are already campers here are just a few more reasons to love camping even more.
- Camping helps fight cancer and a lot of other things – Research has shown that forests (plus other natural, green settings) not only reduce stress and improve moods, but they reduce anger and aggressiveness. Being in nature also increase overall happiness. Camping (and just spending time in nature) has also been found to strengthen our immune system by increasing the activity and number of natural killer cells that destroy cancer cells. There is also research that shows effects of nature also help offset ADHD and other behavior disorders in children.
- “D” Time – The sun is one of the best ways to get lots of Vitamin D, which helps the body maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood. This of course keeps your bones strong and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Plus Vitamin D also alleviates depression, high blood pressure, heart attacks and even more forms of cancer.
- Dirt Makes You Happy – No, I don’t mean that in a whimsical philosophical kind of way. Studies suggest the bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae, found in dirt, increases the quality of life. Similar results were found in mice when the bacteria changed their behavior in a way similar to of antidepressant drugs, according to Neuroscience.
- Relieves Everyday Stress – These days we are stuck at desks, in cars, under bad lighting staring at iphones and computers. The strains of these activities wreak havoc on our back, our eyes, our head, etc. The natural light, time away from desks, computers, and cars on top of the 100% fresh air will do wonders for your stress level mentally AND physically.
- Family Time – Camping forces you to spend some real quality time with your family without the TV, video games, phones and computers. Whether it’s hiking, talking, fishing swimming, playing games or simply laying in a hammock and reading a book together. Camping forces you to get to know your family again and share some true quality time with them.
Are you a camping family?