11 Reasons Why You Should Go on More Outdoor Vacations
Discover Nature, Discover Yourself
Getting away is something we all need from time to time. A break from work and daily commitments is something each of us needs and it turns out vacations are beneficial for your mental and physical health. While most of us think of beautiful beaches, exotic hotels and those colorful cocktails with tiny umbrellas, there is something to be said for going on outdoor vacations.
Science has proven that an outdoorsy getaway can do more to improve your quality of life than just sitting by a pool sipping drinks.
1. Improve Your Health
Our recent obsession with staying clean and our over-reliance on disinfectants and hand sanitizers is actually increasing our risks of health problems. Allergies, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease are just some of the health complications that are linked to being too clean.
One of the benefits of spending time in nature is that getting outdoors and dirty can actually help you develop a stronger immune system which ultimately makes you healthy. Doctors are even prescribing the great outdoors for those with certain heart conditions such as heart disease and attention deficit disorder.
2. Enhanced Physical Health
Extreme outdoor activities like rock climbing, kayaking and mountain biking can upgrade your health at a major level. Any exertion, including a run along a forest trail, improves your balance and cardiovascular system. Your muscles get a better workout hiking a rugged trail than running on a gym treadmill in the hotel.
Enhance your overall physical health while on vacation and you can also reduce your risk of heart disease and untimely death because outdoor activities have been shown to help extend your life.
3. Enhanced Brain Health
One of the reasons adventure is important in our life is because research has shown that activities such as hiking and walking contribute to brain growth. As you get older, your hippocampus starts to shrink which leads to memory loss, but studies show that walking 40 minutes a day helps to grow this area of the brain by 2%.
Hiking exotic trails can therefore keep you mentally sharp. Not only can you prevent brain shrinkage, but you can even reverse it.
4. Strengthen Family Bonds
Most family vacations involve kids and parents going their separate ways to enjoy different activities. Hiking to the top of a waterfall is one adventure that will bring the family closer together.
Group activities that are part and parcel in family adventure vacations help encourage bonding between family members by fostering open communication, encouraging solidarity and creating a strong sense of shared memories.
5. Better Equipped for Change
One of the many advantages of adventure is that you will find yourself in situations where things do not go as planned, which helps you learn to deal with uncertainty. Life is known for throwing the occasional curve ball, and these trips can help you prepare and handle them better. Adventurous vacations are also linked to improving quality of life because they help you gain strength.
By navigating risks and challenges, you become better prepared for life and enhance your resilience. These active vacations help you release stress better than relaxing, allowing you to better recuperate from your daily worries. Ultimately, by staying active on vacation you end up more relaxed and stress-free.
6. Try Something New
The best part of an adventure is that you get to leave the comforts of your normal life behind. You also get to leave your comfort zone behind and explore new things. Visiting an exotic location and exploring the natural terrain can help you feel like a different person, which allows you to try alternative lifestyles safely.
Additionally, trips that keep you active increase your energy reserves so you can put even more into your work when you return. Studies show that increased activity while on vacation leads to a more productive job performance upon return.
7. Increase Happiness Levels
By trying new things and exploring new territories, you experience a real adrenaline rush that only further inspires you to step outside the box. The more experiences you try, the more positive emotions you retain as compared to the negative ones that are often seen in those who suffer through a lifetime of routine.
The more adventure you have in your life, the better able you are to fend off anxiety and depression, keeping you in a positive frame of mind for life.
8. Foster Reflectiveness
Reflectiveness is a mental skill that many people are short on these days and exciting trips can be the perfect cure. Adventures give you pleasant memories that are easy to recall when we feel like reminiscing. Since the majority of us are so busy that life tends to just fly by without focusing, these trips and memories allow for images and experiences to marinate in our minds.
There is a real meaning attached to it so we can relive them anytime and learn from them.
9. Builds Confidence
Trips that challenge us allow us to plan and, once completed, a sense of accomplishment sets in. These active trips also become addictive and you desire more challenges and more adventure. You set goals for yourself and experience increased confidence as you set out on more and more adventurous vacations.
The completion of difficult goals instills confidence in any person so those who take on adventures are more self-actualized than those who do not.
10. Improved Sleep
Physical activity of course, makes you more tired, but staying active while on vacation helps improve your sleep once you return. Studies show that those returning from active trips averaged an increase of an hour more of quality sleep upon returning home. It is thought that staying active improves your sleep schedule rather than getting your body used to sluggishness.
11. Remedy Wanderlust
Children today are deprived of adventure in the real world because of the adventures available on the screens in front of them. There is a real epidemic today: the loss of the adventurous childhood. Parents also become overly involved in activities, causing kids’ natural sense of wanderlust to disappear.
Active vacations are a great way to restore this and let children (and yourself) feel young, adventurous and inspired again.
Are you ready to get started? For tips and ideas, check out Mommy Hiker.