Everyone knows that vacations are good for the soul. Time away from the rat race of everyday life gives you ample time to relax and recharge your batteries. However, vacations, and especially trips into nature, actually have many practical health benefits.
1- Many Trips Have Built-in Workouts
Just about anything you do outdoors requires some sort of physical effort. Whether you’re pitching a tent, kayaking down a river, or touring the landmarks at a national park, you’re guaranteed to break a sweat.
You don’t need to do something as extreme as trekking through the mountains carrying a heavy pack to get a good workout. Even salmon fishing, while mostly relaxing, has a certain physical component to it. Those fish are much stronger and pull much harder than you’d expect. Reeling one in is quite the accomplishment.
Getting exercise in nature is easier for most people than going to the gym. Hiking through the woods gives you plenty to experience, making walking on the treadmill look bland by comparison. You might even be inspired to get in better shape to hike further and see more the next time you can venture out into the wilderness.
2- You Need Fresh Air and Sunlight
In a recent survey done by the EPA, it was determined that people spend around 90% of their lives indoors. All that time inside means that just about everyone is missing out on the health benefits of sunshine and fresh air.
Sunlight is the body’s best source of vitamin D, and this vitamin is responsible for many things in the body. It supports bone health, improves brain health, and may even help lower the risk of cancer.
Stepping outside and breathing fresh air has its own health benefits. It can aid in digestion, help lower blood pressure, and improve your immune system.
Constantly breathing indoor air is also connected to many health issues. Inside air contains a higher concentration of pollutants than outside air, which can lead to bronchitis and asthma.
Fortunately, the air outside has much fewer pollutants, and the air in a remote area will be virtually pollution-free.
3- Nature Can Improve Your Attention Span and Mood
It’s incredibly tough to keep your focus in this high-speed digital age. If you suspect that smartphones and social media apps are ruining our attention spans and driving the increase in depression, you’d be correct.
Fortunately, the remedy may be as simple as taking a walk in nature. One study found that a walk through the woods corresponded to a natural recalibration of attention span. While the woods are full of things to marvel at, they capture attention in a more gentle way. This gives your brain the ability to slowly refresh.
Time in nature can also improve your mood. It reduces feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger. Researchers even performed brain scans of individuals who had recently taken a short walk in nature and unearthed some surprising results. The nature walks reduced neural activity in the part of the brain responsible for negative emotions.
Vacations are good, but taking a vacation in nature is even better. Surprisingly, there’s even a host of scientific research that backs this conclusion.