Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Be a Healthy Camper!

by Emily Syer  
Algonquin College Library Technician Program
SIRC Intern

With Victoria Day fast approaching, many of you may be already airing out your camping gear. When you travel, keep in mind that there are plenty of ways to stay active during your weekends of campfires, sunshine and relaxation.

Paddling - Most campgrounds have canoes and/or kayaks available for rent. Paddling is a peaceful and great way to enjoy nature’s scenery, as well as an opportunity to take advantage of the many physical benefits:
  • Increased muscle strength, particularly in the arms, back, shoulders and chest from the repetitive stroke of the paddle in water 
  • Improves joint health and flexibility 
  • Improves balance 
 Tip: It’s helpful to warm up your muscles before/and after any physical activity
Hiking - Trail hiking and Nordic walking are also excellent options for staying active on your vacation - both provide numerous benefits to your health including:
  1. Weight management
  2. Reduction of cholesterol, blood pressure and stress levels 
  3. Prevention of diabetes as well as providing protection for your heart and lungs
Swimming - Who doesn’t love to jump into the lake for a refreshing swim on a hot day? While a long dip in the water can be great, there are plenty of group activities available that are good for splashing around in shallow water. Water tag, racing, water balloons, and volleyball are all great activities that can involve multiple families.  
Tip: It’s recommended that all water activities be supervised by an adult. 
Of course these are just a few ideas to think about as there are many summer activities to choose from. Camping is a great way for families to connect and enjoy each others' company whether it's by participating in group activities or just relaxing by the fire.

References from the SIRC Collection: 

1. GARST B, MARUGG M, THOMPSON S. Building a "Healthy Camp". Camping Magazine. March 2013;86(2):46-49.
2. Mitchell J, Fear G. Fundamentals Of Outdoor Enjoyment. Tacoma, Wash.; United States: Survival Education Assoc.; 1977.
3. SANTOS L, FERNANDEZ-RIO J. NORDIC WALKING. JOPERD: The Journal Of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. March 2013;84(3):28-29.
4. Spain V, Bialeschki M, Henderson K. Kids and Healthy Lifestyles. Camping Magazine. September 2005;78(5):1.

No comments: