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VIEWPOINT: Sleeping under the stars

For 2014, as a family, we decided to really give camping a go. Just wanting to do something different. Over the years we have collected gear but decided to stock up and offer camping the opportunity to prove itself. Even got a SUV for more space.

Honestly, it’s difficult to explain what camping does for you if you’ve never experienced it yourself. Spending time outdoors gives you new perspectives on your own lifestyle. One can think in the silence of nature.

Today’s world seems to be more rushed than ever, always stressed because of work and mundane daily routine. And technology seems to be making it worse.

Can camping bring answers to some of today’s challenges?

I did some research and found seven great benefits offered by camping:

•         Improved problem-solving skills: Camping brings challenges that need solutions – considering water, food, shade, safety, weather, etc. The brain is forced to focus on the problem and through cognitive thinking find answers.

•         Better diet: Meals are usually planned better due to space restrictions therefor less temptations. Food is simpler, has less additives and preservatives, as your food source sometimes is nature itself.

•         Increased Vitamin D production: Vitamin D – the result of sun exposure – is known to prevent heart attacks, some cancers, depression and high blood pressure. And you get up to 400 per cent more sun in the outdoors than usual.

•         Resetting your biological clock: Camping without artificial light helps you reset your sleeping rhythm by synchronising your internal clock. You’ll be asleep at sunset and awake at sunrise. More sleep = more happiness.

•         Added happiness: Endorphins in your brain are your body’s natural happy drug that relieves pain and enhances your mood. More sunlight and oxygen from physical activity contribute to higher levels of endorphins, which in turn make your happier.

•         Loads of exercise: Exercise is inherent to camping, as it involves exploring, walking, hiking, gathering wood and setting up tent. Increased exercise improves circulation stimulating better sleep boosting cardiovascular and bone health.

•         Reinforced family bonds: Quality time with family deepens bonds, facilitating improved social health.

It’s a no-brainer actually. We can feel the benefits. Don’t you want to experience it? See you under the stars if you dare. ❐

Author: Stanford Payne CA(SA) is an ICF Accredited Executive and Business Coach