health & fitness
Dedicated campers need little to no encouragement to pack their bags, load up the car, and head out to their favorite spot for a few days.
However, for the rest of us, why should you choose camping vacations over others? Aside from the fun of the outdoor lifestyle, camping actually offers several benefits for your physical and mental health.
Here are just a few …
You’ll Feel Happier and Less Stressed
Ever seen a friend or relative come back from a camping trip with a lighter step and a sunnier disposition?
Spending hours outside, in the fresh air and sunlight, can hep to increase your serotonin levels. This hormone is known to lift your mood and encourage feelings of calm and focus.
Likewise, darker settings activate the release of melatonin, another hormone. This is responsible for making you feel sleepy and ready to get some shut-eye.
As you’re outdoors when camping, you’ll spend more time soaking up the sunlight. Without the bright glow of streetlights or excessive artificial lighting, your melatonin levels may well help you enjoy longer, better sleep.
You can Get Away from Your Everyday Life
Camping lets you get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Whether you’re under pressure at work, fed up with college, or having relationship issues, just taking a few days to leave that behind can work wonders. For the most part, you’ll have no signal or internet when in the great outdoors, preventing you taking bothersome work-related calls or checking social media every few minutes.
You can use this time to reduce your stress levels, get some exercise, and consider your life without the ongoing distractions of ‘the real world’.
You’ll Get More Exercise
Too many of us live sedentary lifestyles. This isn’t new, of course, but actually finding the motivation to get some exercise is hard. Especially when there’s so much outstanding entertainment to keep us inside nowadays.
Well, with camping vacations, you’ll find yourself surrounded by so many picturesque views and gorgeous landmarks, you’ll genuinely want to get out there and explore.
Even walking can work your muscles, get your blood pumping, and burn calories, so you’ll get much-needed exercise while enjoying some leisurely sightseeing.
You might be able to go even further, too: some campsites offer various activities, such as canoeing, swimming, and more.
While camping, you may discover a love for exercise or specific activities you never knew before – and carry them back home with you.
You’ll Connect with Friends, Family, and Yourself
Whether you go camping with friends or family, it’s a fantastic way to reinforce your relationships.
When you’re out in the woods, walking the hills, or just sitting around the campfire, you’ll have more time and less distractions than in ‘real life’. This gives you plenty of time and freedom to just … talk. You’ll form stronger bonds and feel closer for years to come.
Going solo? This applies to yourself, as well. Maybe not the talking part, but you can use the time alone to think about who you are, where you’re going, and other aspects of life you may have neglected at home.
You may well leave that campsite with a renewed love for yourself, your friends, or your family.
Feeling inspired? There are countless gorgeous campgrounds across the USA, catering to campers of different kinds. Make sure you take the right gear to stay dry, safe, and happy!
Unless you’re lucky enough to work from home, commuting is a necessary evil.
Whether you spend hours stuck in traffic, struggle to find a seat on the subway, or have to run for the bus every morning, the end result is usually the same:
Commuting just isn’t fun.
Of course, modern technology makes it a little more bearable. Being able to watch an episode of your favorite sitcom or part of a movie helps to pass the time, but isn’t there a way to bypass that long, frustrating journey?
Yes – cycling!
Riding your bike to work offers numerous benefits, both physical and mental. As long as you live within a comfortable range of your workplace, cycling to your job could transform your daily life.
Even if you can’t ride in every day, a few times each week makes all the difference.
You’ll Have More Fun
Riding a bike is always going to be more interactive, more engaging, and more fun than sitting on a train or bus.
Remember how much fun you used to have cycling as a kid? The sense of freedom you had with those two wheels under you?
Well, you can rediscover that now, as you ride past all of those unfortunate people trapped in their cars and buses, weaving between traffic as you cut minutes off your commute.
You can use any extra time you make to stop in at a bakery and pick up a snack, or just stay in bed a little longer.
You’ll Lose Weight
If you start cycling to work, even just a couple of times a week, you’ll be burning more calories than usual.
How many exactly? This varies for everyone, based on your weight etc. However, on average, someone weighing around 180lb burns close to 650 calories for every hour they cycle at a moderate speed.
While hopping onto the saddle first thing in the morning can feel like a chore, that exercise at the end of a long, hard day will also start to be a relief. You’ll get to loosen up, go home feeling more limber, and possibly have more energy for your evening.
Your Brain will Get a Workout too
We know cycling to work will keep you feeling energized and encourage weight-loss, but what about the cognitive benefits?
Exercise has been shown to give you a sharper memory, enhance your learning capabilities, and boost your general cerebral performance.
This is a great way to start the day, and will help to set you up for whatever tasks lie ahead.
You’ll Save Money
Not only can biking to work improve your fitness and brain-power, it can also save you money.
Even if your bike has a significant price attached to it, this is only a one-off investment. Sure, you may have to buy a new tire once in a while, but think how much cash you’ll save without having to pay for gas and insurance week after week.
You’ll also have no need to buy subway tickets or pay for bus fares.
Even just a few times a week, riding your bike to work can make a significant impact on your wallet.
Feeling convinced? Good. Cycling to work could help to bring more joy, activity, and free time to your daily life.
At Adamant Gear, we stock exceptional bikes made with only the finest components, guaranteeing outstanding performance – perfect for all commutes, whether you’re just riding a few blocks or crossing the city at rush-hour.
Playing sports, either indoors or in the great outdoors, offers numerous benefits beyond the obvious physical perks.
We all know taking part in cycling, competitive running, football, basketball, swimming, baseball, and more helps develop more muscular definition, increase endurance, and lose weight. Obviously, if you're playing outside, you'll get to enjoy fresh air, soak up sunlight (to produce more vitamin D), and play on varied terrain.
Yet what else do sports do for you?
Join us as we take a look at the various benefits of getting yourself out there …
You can Improve your Social Skills
Socializing is a major aspect of most sports. At any age, from kindergarten to adulthood, taking part in sport requires you to play as part of a team or against at least one other opponent.
For example, on a basketball team, you have to figure out who will play which position, who will mark which opposing player etc. This demands you be able to decide which role suits you best, which will suit others best, and generally be willing to compromise to maintain a fluid, effective team.
Even if you’re playing one-on-one, you have to be willing to admit to mistakes, accept losing, and maintain a friendly atmosphere.
The more you spend time with people on your own team and your opponent’s side, the better your social skills will be.
This is especially helpful if you need to meet new people or want to work on your communication skills.
You can Combat Stress and Depression
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), seven in 10 adults across the USA suffer from stress or anxiety on a daily basis.
They go on to point out that exercise can help to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. How? It produces endorphins, those all-important feel-good chemicals, which helps to lift your mood.
This also helps to improve your quality of sleep, which in turn leads to feeling better overall. Their research also indicates that as little as five minutes’ worth of aerobic exercise has the power to generate anti-anxiety effects.
As anyone who experiences stress, anxiety, and/or depression on a regular basis will know, these have an incredibly powerful effect on your ability to live. Playing sports is not a cure, but it has been shown to at least help.
You can Improve your Self-Confidence
Just as playing sports has the power to improve your social skills and lift your mood, it also gives you a confidence boost.
As you develop in your chosen sport (or sports), you’ll start to learn new skills, discover abilities you never thought yourself capable of, and realize that you’re able to accomplish goals you might have thought beyond your reach. You may find yourself leading a team as you never have, or proving to be more useful than ever before.
You’re also likely to find yourself growing as a person, and having a better outlook on your own capabilities. This can carry outside of the sports hall and into your daily life, helping to improve your performance at work and your personal pursuits.
Learning a new sport can be daunting, as can getting involved in exercise following a period of inactivity. You’re likely to feel self-conscious or intimidated. However, the important thing is to remember that everyone has to start somewhere, even world-class athletes.
Just focus on what you want to achieve from taking part, and take it one session at a time.
While some of us love to get outdoors during winter, snuggling under scarves and gloves, others retreat inside instead.
There’s no denying that going for a run at dawn takes a little more willpower in winter than it does in warmer months, and hiking endless trails is certainly tougher. But there’s no reason to let winter put you off the outdoors activities you love.
In fact, it might even do you the world of good: research shows that exposure to cold weather offers various health benefits. Let’s take a closer look …
Cold Could Be Key to a Speedier Metabolism
Being outside in cold weather gives you a faster metabolism. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Well, it’s complicated. You may not be able to burn off those Christmas treats by simply standing in your back yard for 10 minutes, or adopt an all-chocolate diet because you ice-skate for an hour a day.
Still, while cold weather’s not a cure for storing fat, it has been shown to increase the speed of your metabolism. The reason? It activates the body’s ‘brown’ fat, which then generates heat through burning calories.
So, you can burn more calories by spending time outdoors, but be careful not to over-expose yourself to low temperatures. A hike on a snowy trail, building a snowman, or going for a run in chilly weather can lead to positive effects.
Your Heart will Get Stronger
If you have a heart condition or any other cardiovascular issues, prolonged exposure to the cold can be a danger, due to the extra effort your heart makes in lower temperatures. The additional stress of pumping blood around the body should be avoided for certain people.
However, for those in good health, regular exercise in cold weather can make the heart even stronger. This may help it cope with tougher workouts as you increase your distance run or weight lifted.
Combat Low Moods and Stress
While plenty of us love winter, Christmas, and everything the season brings, others struggle.
This is understandable. Low temperatures, rainfall (increasing flood risks in certain areas), strong winds (potentially damaging properties), and the financial demands of Christmas can all get too much for even the jolliest person.
Getting outside for a run, a walk, a hike, a bike ride, a spot of skiing, or even just playing in the snow with your kids or pets can release much-needed endorphins. These are the body’s feel-good chemicals, and even just a little exercise will lift your mood.
Exercise is often recommended for people struggling with stress and depression, so give it a try if you’re facing difficulties.
Exercising outdoors is good for you throughout the year, but getting out in the fresh air during winter might just be better for you than you imagine. Consider taking up a new sport, get into hiking to explore your nearest beauty-sports, or just spend time playing outside with the family.
It’s very easy to stay on the couch in the colder months, watching movies and snacking, but this isn’t ideal for your health. Even the smallest, briefest activity can help your body stay in good condition during winter. Give it a go – you may just love it.
For anyone who travels on a regular basis, staying in shape can be difficult.
Many professionals in various areas of business go from one city to another week in, week out. You may not stay in hotels with their own gyms, and you may not want to work out in your room when there’s a new place to explore.
Luckily, running allows you to get all the exercise you need in a hassle-free, cost-effective way – while also letting you see the sights.
America has plenty of fantastic cities for runners. Let’s look at five of the best …
New York, New York
New York is an incredible place for runners. To start with, Central Park offers a six-mile loop that lets you take in the gorgeous surroundings as you get your blood pumping.
You won’t be alone, either. There are around 60,000 members in the New York Road Runners club, guaranteeing you’ll see many of other people working up a sweat on those iconic streets. Especially as the five-borough marathon nears – as the biggest in the States, this event attracts new and seasoned runners alike.
Like New York and America’s other major cities, Chicago sees countless business-travelers come and go during the week. It’s a great city for anyone looking to stretch their legs while in town, with an 18-mile path following Lake Michigan.
Chicago has more tan its fair share of amazing views, and there are numerous water fountains set up to keep runners hydrated. You’ll also find restrooms in abundance – always helpful if you’re stopping at each of those fountains!
San Francisco, California
One of America’s most famous cities, San Francisco is a running hotspot, with 16 clubs and well over 250 races this year alone. It’s easy to see why, too, with Kezar Stadium offering a public track that’s kept thousands satisfied for almost a century.
You can also explore a terrific three-mile Lands End Coastal Trail, which brings you to Sutro Baths (saltwater pools). This is just one of many routes, and the city’s a gorgeous place to explore whichever you choose.
As with New York, you’ll also feel like you’re running through one movie-location after another. Especially when you cross that amazing Golden Gate Bridge.
While Seattle is known for its drizzly weather, it’s nevertheless a terrific place for runners. There are countless runs throughout the year, with some of those themed around Christmas and other holidays incredibly entertaining for all.
No matter what your preferences, you have a massive range of trails to choose from, providing miles upon miles of path to explore.
For example, the Burke-Gilman Trail offers 27 miles, and covers flat terrain and helpful mile-markers to help you keep track. Another highlight is Green Lake, and Lake Union (offering a full 10K circuit all the way around).
You also won’t struggle to find a nice cup of coffee when you’re done, either.
For runners touching down in Boston, one of the most obvious routes is the path along the Charles River. This crosses 18 miles, and is a popular spot with locals and visitors alike.
There’s also the Emerald Necklace, which is more than 1000 acres covering nine interlinked parks.
Before you set out on any long-distance urban run, you need to make sure you have comfortable sneakers that will offer your feet the right support. You should also wear several layers, so you can peel one off at a time as your temperature continues to rise.
Struggling to get up, out, and busy during the cold days? You’re not alone. Staying active is essential for good health all the year round, but getting the exercise we need in winter demands more motivation than some of us can muster.
For families especially, staying fit together takes effort – especially if you have warring siblings who struggle to co-operate at any time, let alone when exercising.
Still, just because there’s snow on the ground, a chill in the air, and ice on our lakes doesn’t mean you can’t get out there. In fact, that opens up new, exciting possibilities.
Here are just a few winter outdoors exercise ideas for families …
First and foremost, snowshoeing is one of the most healthy winter activities you can enjoy. For families, this is the perfect way to burn off all those calories consumed over the holiday period. For example, walking on flat terrain burns around 370 calories per hour (for someone weighing 120Ibs).
Meanwhile, trekking hilly areas covered with packed snow offers more than 1000 calories’ worth of exercise (for people weighing in at 180Ibs).
Now, we’re not suggesting you should send your kids walking for hours at a time with snowshoes on their feet, but trying this activity as a family is a fun way to kick-start your metabolism.
Nature Walks in National Parks
America’s national parks are beautiful all year round, and are an ideal site for a little nature-tour during winter. Take your kids on one of the many trails and see how many different types of flora and fauna you can spot, with incentives. For example, you might want to offer them a treat if they can identify five different kinds of bird, trees, etc.
Not only will going on a nature walk for an hour or more burn calories and work your muscles, it’ll also educate you all at the same time.
One of the great winter traditions: building a snowman.
Big fun? Absolutely. But there are actually various benefits to building a snowman, snowcastle, or any other snow-sculpture.
First, if you do this as a family, you’ll be working together to achieve a set goal, encouraging collaboration and communication. You’ll also be working your muscles as you scoop up snow, pack it in place, run around – building a snowman can burn around 285 calories per hour.
Once you’re done, you’ll get to stand back and appreciate what you’ve all accomplished together as a unit. It’s a fantastic way to get valuable exercise, bond as a family, and explore your creativity.
Sledding can burn around 450 calories per hour on average, mostly through stomping back uphill with your sled behind you. As anyone who does this on a regular basis will know, this does have a major impact on your thighs, at least!
Sledding can be enjoyed as part of a day of winter activities, such as hiking, ice skating, and building snowmen. Make the most of the crisp, snowy days while they’re here.
If you plan to play in the snow, go hiking, or sled, you’ll need to take drinks, spare clothes, and snacks with you. Carry your supplies in a waterproof backpack to keep them dry.