Vacations are meant to be oh-so-therapeutic. Planning downtime to unwind and unplug away from work and everyday routines allows you to recharge your body and benefit from both physical and mental relaxation. Many people picture chilling on the sand on a remote island while listening to the waves crash on the shore when it comes to serene getaways. But there’s so much goodness that can be derived from camping, and once you check out the benefits, you’ll want to plan a camping or glamping trip for your next getaway. Keep reading for the camping habits that slow aging—this may very well be your new favorite way to travel!
Being in the great outdoors offers so much positivity to your overall well-being. For one thing, camping surrounds you with an abundance of nature. Taking in some fresh air rejuvenates your entire being. Not only does it stimulate your emotions and nervous system, but it also helps you relax and focus. You are sure to feel energized and uplifted while on a camping adventure, surrounded by the beauty of nature.
According to Elder Care Alliance, seniors who carve out time for the good old outdoors can experience decreased anxiety and stress. Being in nature can also help boost Vitamin D levels, which are commonly low among the senior crowd and can result in bone and muscle pain, inflammation, an increased risk of type 1 diabetes, and certain cancers. A study on older adults in the U.S. even shows that getting outdoors and being active are linked to better physical function (which was self-reported by the participants), a decreased fear of falling, and decreased depression.
Needless to say, going on a camping trip—and of course, following all the proper safety precautions—may be a wonderful way to maintain your independence and enjoy all of these health benefits.
Camping is also an amazing time to benefit from so much fun exercise, bringing us to yet another one of the camping habits that slow aging. Whether you choose to hike, white water raft, swim, walk around and explore, or even do some rock climbing, you can choose the fitness level you’d like and have a blast enjoying your workout with friends or loved ones at your own pace.
The fitness potential is extraordinary—just think about it! You can enjoy your morning coffee, then make a plan for the day. If you choose to go hiking, you will build cardiovascular endurance and strengthen your muscles, and swimming will provide a very solid aerobic workout. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), by performing two and a half hours of aerobic activity each week, you can lower your risk of developing chronic illnesses. In addition, doing water-based physical activity—like swimming—can help with balance, arthritis, and circulation in older individuals. It’s much gentler on the body than weight training, but still incredibly effective at sculpting muscle.
If you prefer a mountainous, rocky landscape, rock climbing is apparently an exercise that provides the highest calorie expenditure for your time. Not overly athletic? No problem! Choosing to walk and explore is chock-full of advantages, too. According to NIH News of Health, you can decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure; increase the strength of your bones and muscles; burn some calories; and lift your spirits just by getting in some steps.
The best thing about camping is that you can be as traditional as you’d like. If your thing is to pitch a tent in the wilderness, cook your meals over a campfire, and roast marshmallows for some serious s’mores, it will be an extraordinary time to do that while reconnecting with nature. After all, if this is something you’ve been doing for quite some time with friends, a loved one, or your entire family, it’s known that keeping up with traditions can have an incredible effect on your life and strengthen those bonds (via SelectHealth). Plus, getting social with your favorite people—and even forming new connections at the campgrounds—can improve your mental health, decrease your chances of developing dementia, and encourage a feeling of belonging.
If glamping is more your style, that’s another fine choice. You can search Pinterest for some DIY glamping inspiration and create your own unique set-up, or you can check out some of the coolest glamping destinations in the country:
Backland in Williams, Arizona
At Backland, a “luxury eco-resort in northern Arizona’s backcountry,” you can stay in a cozy tented suite and stargaze from the comfort of your bed through a glass skylight. As for activities, expect paddle boarding, kayaking, electric biking (which you can ride along the onsite trails or the neighboring national forest), horseback riding, spa services, yoga, and even geo-checking. Sounds like the best kind of wellness escape to us!
The Grace Airstream in Louisville, Kentucky
Glamp in a luxurious Airstream to have an experience for the books. This refurbished 1974 vintage Airstream trailer called The Grace is parked at Progress Park in Louisville, Kentucky. Not only will your accommodations be incredibly Instagram-worthy—just look at the trendy bed linens and coffee bar!—but you can also sip your morning brew in a personal hammock, and head out for some paddle-boarding, swimming, fishing, and hiking.
Under Canvas Acadia in Surry, Maine
Relax along the beautiful coast of Maine, all while soaking up a spectacular view of Acadia National Park. At Under Canvas Acadia, you’ll enjoy luxurious, organic bath items, locally sourced dining, sunrise yoga sessions, canvas painting, and a s’more roasting fire pit. Get some R&R in your safari-inspired canvas tent!
Zion Wildflower Resort in Virgin, Utah
This totally new glamping retreat is located mere minutes away from Zion National Park. Stay in one of the resort’s Single Pole Canvas tents for a getaway you won’t forget. Kick back in one of the rocking chairs on your private deck to stargaze, and cozy up in the tent’s plush bedding and rugs after a long day of hiking the trails of Zion Canyon. And for a truly unique experience, consider booking one of the Wildflower’s handcrafted covered wagons (which has AC and heat)!
Interestingly, in 2021, research revealed that over 93.8 million households in the country would classify themselves as campers, via the 2022 North American Camping Report, put together by Kampgrounds of America. The coronavirus pandemic brought back the ever-so-popular activity of glamping, a way to unplug from everyday life and embrace the cozy conveniences a hotel would offer, all while being right smack dab in the middle of nature. And we are so glad it did!
Have we convinced you to hit the road on a camping adventure? It’s about time you pack up your backpack, and head on over to just a handful of exceptional examples of the coolest glamping resorts in the U.S. You’ll be doing both your mind and body a major favor.