Hiking and camping are great ways to reconnect with nature and explore the world, and also helps improve your overall health and wellbeing.
In this guest post, Mark from Home Health Living gives us a few tips for staying refreshed while camping and hiking in the great outdoors.
Six ways to stay healthy outdoors
Being outdoors helps to reduce stress, increase your exposure to Vitamin D and increases your fitness. But it also means you’re exposed to the elements! Sunburn, dry skin, dehydration, insect bites, lack of sleep and sore feet are some of the negatives of hiking and camping.
A little prior planning and preparation will give you the tools to help you stay healthy when you’re enjoying the outdoors. I’ve created a list of 6 ways to stay healthy while hiking and camping.
1. Stay hydrated
When you’re exercising, your body loses fluid. It’s important to stay hydrated when you’re hiking- take a water bottle with you and make sure you drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty. Your body is already dehydrated by the time your mouth feels dry.
If you’re camping in the warmer months, make sure you drink plenty of water even if you aren’t hiking.
2. Use sunscreen even when it isn’t sunny
Did you know you can get sunburnt on a cloudy day? Keep your skin protected from the harshness of the sun by applying high skin protection factor sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors. There are different sunscreens available, including those suitable for children or sensitive skin.
3. Track your fitness and eating goals using a free app
If you’re normally someone who stays fit and eats healthy when at home, you don’t need to stop doing this while you’re on a camping trip. Use a free app to record your eating habits and exercise, such as MyFitnessPal.
4. Use essential oils to improve sleep
To sleep better, spray some lavender oil on your own pillow as lavender oil helps you fall asleep easily. I also rub a lavender oil-based moisturiser on my feet at the end of a long day of hiking.
If you’re camping with someone who snores, you might not get much sleep (even if they’re sleeping in a different tent!). There are some natural ways to reduce snoring, such as using certain essential oils. The best essential oils to help with snoring include sweet marjoram, thyme, valor and eucalyptus oil.
5. Protect yourself from insects
Insects carry diseases and illnesses, and their bites can be painful. The best way to protect yourself from insect bites is to immunise yourself to prevent disease and illness. You can also keep insects away from you, by spraying yourself with insect repellent or using citronella oil (found in citronella candles), which disguises the scents that are attractive to mosquitoes.
6. Stretch your muscles
After a few nights of sleeping on the ground, you’re probably feeling sore and sorry for yourself. You might not be able to join a yoga class, but doing some basic stretches can help your body feel better. It’s also important to stretch your legs after a long day of hiking. You don’t need any equipment to do this, just use what you already have available- some camp rope, a nearby tree, or lean on each other!
These are some simple yet effective ways to keep yourself healthy while hiking and camping. Taking these precautions will help you have an enjoyable time outdoors, and you’ll return home feeling energised and refreshed!
What are your best tips for staying healthy on a camping trip? Let us know in the comments below.