Camping is one of my favourite ways to be physically active at this time of year. The kids love it and are outside, even in the pouring rain not realising that everything they do is improving their health. Technology is kept to a minimum, for those meltdown moments when they are exhausted after hours in the fresh air or for the early mornings when the sun has woken them up (after all grumpy mum still wants her sleep). We talk to one another without the distraction of the internet and social media (well most of the time), and we play games and make new friends. Best of all we hear giggling (one of the best ways to exercise your diaphragm), lots of it (and a few tears when things don’t quite go the right way during a game).
You don’t really think about camping as a form of exercise unless you are using your tent as a temporary home whilst undertaking a long hike, however it increases your physical activity level without much effort.
First you pitch your tent, which can be a stressful event (as most couples will admit – no one else does it correctly). You are constantly walking around, lifting and bending, hammering pegs in, adjusting the guys again, a bit more hammering, setting up the beds, the camp kitchen (more bending and lifting). Then finally you think about sitting down to enjoy a cold drink when those kids come demanding food and water, so off to the water tap, lugging back the water carrier, off to the loos with the youngest and back again with the oldest (they didn’t need it when you suggested it the first time), oh the joy when the kids are old enough to do these tasks.
Inevitably the kids want you to join in their games, so flying kites, football, rounders, hockey, frisbee, rough and tumble ensue, and yes there are normally a few minor injuries and teaks of muscles (just remember to book an osteopath appointment for when you get back). Of course when you are camping you use your body in a way that you won’t when you are sitting in an office or a sedentary job and whilst you may ache after all of that,
a good nights sleep (sometime challenging with all the snoring and animal noises you can hear outside of your tent) will help to resolve those aches and pains.
The sound of the kids enjoying themselves as they play with their new friends is fantastic, but best of all is relaxing in the evening once the kids are in bed, watching the sunset and the flames of the fire, and drinking a cold cider. The following days you may try the sea out – swimming, body boarding or just paddling, climbing up to the parapet of the castle, or down into the depths of caves, each time increasing your levels of activity for the week, and working towards a healthier body.
Camping – No gym required.
You don’t need to go to the gym when you are camping, you can do all the exercise you need to just by enjoying the full camping experience, and you can supplement with more traditional exercise such as cycling or hill walking. However if you are missing the gym there are always other campers who would be delighted if you collected their water for them or helped them repack their tent away at the end of the holiday.
Osteopathic MOT before you go?
Of course if you do want to minimise the aches and pains of camping it is worth visiting an osteopath to ensure that your bodies structure is fit for the function it is going to be required to perform. If it is time for an MOT then give us a call and we will ensure your body wont respond like a poorly pitched tent that rips and strains under the tensions placed upon it. #osteopathyworks