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Achieve mindful wellbeing through nature – the benefits of hiking and camping for your mental health

Achieve mindful wellbeing through nature – the benefits of hiking and camping for your mental health

It’s no secret that spending time in nature is good for your mental health. Whether it’s taking a stroll through the park, going for a swim, or setting up camp in the mountains, engaging with nature can have a powerful effect on your wellbeing. Read on to discover the benefits of two specific activities – hiking and camping – and see how they can improve your health.

The benefits of hiking

The physical benefits of hiking are well-known; from improved cardiovascular health to increased muscle strength and endurance. However, it’s the mental benefits that often get overlooked. Studies have shown that walking in nature can reduce stress and anxiety levels, increase self-confidence, and improve cognitive functioning. Even just 30 minutes of exercise outdoors has been proven to reduce feelings of depression and boost overall happiness levels. If you’re feeling down or overwhelmed, lace up your boots and hit the trails! There are hundreds of incredible trails to discover all around Australia.

The benefits of camping

Camping offers all the same mental wellbeing benefits as hiking (and more!) but with added cosiness factors. Spending time in nature can be incredibly therapeutic; it allows you to reconnect with yourself while also allowing you to disconnect from technology, at least temporarily. Being away from society can be a great source of relief; whether it’s spending an evening alone around the campfire or gathering with friends for an adventure-filled weekend away. Studies have found that camping can help reduce cortisol levels (the hormone associated with stress) which in turn leads to improved sleep patterns and higher energy levels throughout the day.

Get outside! Whether it’s a short hike on the weekend or an overnight camping trip – any amount of time spent outdoors can have positive effects on both your physical and mental wellbeing. Grab your backpack, pack some snacks, slip on your sneakers – and go enjoy some mindful relaxation out in nature. You will discover so much of the beauty that our country offers.

By Sarah Panther

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