As news around the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop and new cases are confirmed each hour, people throughout the world are starting to practice the art of social distancing. With restaurants, bars, public libraries and event venues closing down — and the majority of workplaces encouraging their employees to work from home — people are taking refuge within the four walls of home. But, as we’re all starting to realize, the best thing for our health might be to step away from the couch and CNN and practice the art of social distancing in nature, surrounding ourselves with the fresh air, open space, and Vitamin D found in our own backyard.
One of the benefits of hitting the road in a time of social distancing is that, in an RV, you can stay in your home and travel too. U.S. national parks remain open at this time and the majority of state parks remain open, so there’s plenty of ways to get outside and to do so smartly. You can find a list of current state park closures to be aware of here.
Maintain proper social distance etiquette by setting up camp on BLM land — most campsites are free, full of fresh air, and off the beaten path. Need help searching for a site? Our BLM park guides are here to map out your options.
Scotland doctors are the latest to back up the claim that nature is good for your mental and physical wellbeing—and RVing is the perfect way to get outside. Imagine planting your feet in the soft beach sand or hiking a pine-tree-lined trail at a local state park. No matter where you escape into nature, we can all feel the benefits of the outdoors in our daily lives.
Here are a few of the ways an RV trip can help you practice the art of social distancing — and fulfill doctor’s orders.
Turn off the technology
Our addiction to technology is changing us, and it’s got the majority of us in its grasp. So many of us feel obligated to answer emails and field phone calls 24/7. Those of us who struggle to fall asleep likely have read the recommendations to turn our devices off an hour or two before bed and avoid the light of a screen when we’re trying to sleep and recent research shows the benefit of cutting screen time for families.
All this is to say, make sure to turn off your devices to get the most benefit from your trek through nature.
Although the science hasn’t been fully proven, research suggests that being outdoors can be a mood booster. Being in the outdoors leads to mindfulness, which is a key piece of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Although getting outside can’t treat depression on its own, it’s a healthy part of self-care and a useful tool to pair with other methods of treatment.
Get your daily Vitamin D
The main ways to get vitamin D are through exposing your bare skin to sunlight and through supplementation. The former is more effective, although those in northern climates—and placed further from the equator—may not be able to get much or any vitamin D this way. Vitamin D deficiency contributes to a variety of conditions, which is one main reason the doctor prescribes nature.
Exercise in the outdoors
Exercise is so important, but it can be really tough to establish lasting habits around exercise. However, if you make exercise a part of your daily outdoor routine, it becomes easy to make time for, and that’s especially true when you’re on an RV trip. Most of us don’t purchase an RV to spend the day inside: we want to take an RV trip to get out in nature!
So find a hike, climb a tree or a mountain, kayak a river or catch some fish.
Taking an RV trip can be a major opportunity for self care. Get out in nature to exercise and see new places. Your blood pressure will drop (naturally). You’ll use muscles that sit unused while you’re at your desk. As a growing body of literature suggests, the outdoors are truly essential to your health.
So it’s time to hit the road and hit the trail: doctor’s orders!
If you need to find an RV rental, head here first.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy How To Plan An RV Road Trip.
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