While North Americans are among the most productive people on the planet, we’re not very good about taking time to recharge our batteries. Sure, it’s not uncommon to sacrifice vacation days for working longer hours, but science has proven this isn’t the best way to get ahead.
Not only that, but emerging research suggests that this constant busyness is a large part of the reason younger adults in the Generation Z and millennial crowds are among the loneliest generations.
Now, you don’t have to tell RVers that traveling with a rig offers freedom, flexibility and the chance to get some much-needed fresh air. But did you know RV travel can promote a healthier, more balanced life? RVing by its very nature brings together myriad things that are all sorts of good for your health—from taking time off, to getting some distance between you and work to getting away from your screen and outdoors.
Below, we take a look at 5 ways the RV lifestyle can restore balance to your physical and mental health.
Boost your health by spending time in the great outdoors
With no house or offices to hide in, the outdoors becomes your new living room when you’re on the road—there’s a reason people crave features like power awnings, outdoor kitchens, showers, speakers and TVs. Plus, it’s a whole lot easier to put the phone, tablet or laptop down when there’s a lake or forest nearby to explore!
Spending extra time outdoors in general can work wonders for your health. One study revealed spending time in nature can help decrease your risk of mental illness, while other research showed that awe can enhance your wellbeing.
Additionally, research has shown that spending time near water can foster creativity, connectedness and encourage meditation. Forest environments, too, have been shown to “enhance stress recovery and restoration in a way in which urban scenes cannot,” according to the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
The fun—and calorie burning—is simply irresistible
No need to cite any studies here, burning calories is a good thing. And at the campground or park, you are surrounded by opportunities to do just that. You may take your kayaks with in your toy hauler or attach your mountain bikes to your small trailer, but temptations to try something different, an exciting new calorie-torching activity you might just fall in love with, are all around you. The ambassadors are too—people love encouraging other campers to join their hike, swim or climb.
Should the fun of the experience follow you back home, you may have just discovered a way to keep your workouts fresh, a crucial factor in maintaining long-term fitness.
Healthy eating is easier to maintain
Eating regimens are easier to maintain when fresh food is available. Thankfully with RV travel, cooking from scratch is relatively easy. Instead of falling back on takeout and comfort food, pick up some fresh produce – it’s better for you and more cost-effective.
From snacks to salads, creating tasty meals without blowing your daily calorie allotment just takes a little imagination. Whether you’re traveling in a model that comes with a fully-equipped kitchen or you’ve opted for a smaller pop-up trailer, there are more than a few travel and camp-friendly recipes that are family-friendly (and easy on your wallet).
It’s good for the kids
Studies have shown unstructured play can help build confidence, promote creativity and imagination, and teach responsibility.
Beyond that, outdoor play provides exercise (which can boost kids’ moods and is especially beneficial to kids with ADHD) and a different type of stimulation than indoor play and screen time. While it might not seem as stimulating as, say, a videogame, nature activates all of your senses, providing a richer overall experience.
You set the pace
RVing means you get complete control over your schedule and itinerary—which can eliminate a large amount of anxiety that’s par for the course with other types of travel. If you want to spend a few extra days somewhere? No problem. You can do just that without having to spend extra money switching departure times or airlines.
While international travel certainly has its own benefits, jet lag has been shown to increase the risk of certain diseases over time, including cancer. Conversely, RV travel means avoiding jet and the risk of picking up the cold or a flu bug in airports and train stations. With your rig, you have the luxury of making your way through different time zones at your own pace.
Plus, after a long day in a new place, you can return to your rig and sleep on your own pillow.
One of the beautiful things about RV travel is that you can make it your own. Whether it’s these or others, what about RVing makes you feel healthy and recharged? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.