RV camping promotes healthy, personalized adventures.

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September 17, 2010

By Paula Loehr, R.N. & RVer

Campground SceneAll modes of travel are not created equally. Just ask someone who’s enduring a sleepless night in a noisy airport or whose legs are wedged against the next seat forward on a crowded minibus tour. Free thinkers who are masters of their own travel destinies tend to wave goodbye to routine forms of transportation – planes, trains and automobiles – and say hello to the gold standard – a self-styled adventure in a recreational vehicle.

Those of us who have embraced RV camping are certainly in good company. Consider the 2005 University of Michigan study that tallied more than eight million recreational vehicles rolling on American roadways. With such incredible numbers, it’s not surprising that high-profile individuals like Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson, country music icon Dolly Parton, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, Olympic skier Bode Miller, and actor Robert DeNiro are enthusiastic RV travelers.

Let’s talk about some of the health-related reasons for the surging interest in RV camping.

Getting Back to Nature

The universal appeal of the great outdoors is the essence of RV camping. Depending on their chosen destinations, RV travelers are likely to have forests,beaches, mountains or meadows just a few strides from their doorsteps.

In addition to the general health benefits of fresh air and wide open spaces, there are plenty of prospects for aerobic exercise, too. Thousands of reasonably priced RV resorts and campgrounds offer everything from hiking trails, fishing lakes, whitewater rafting runs and wildlife preserves to swimming pools, tennis courts and 18-hole golf courses. Snowmobilers, surfers, hunters, mountain bikers and kayakers find perfect lifestyle matches in RVs, where they can store and haul their favorite sports gear, then retreat to customized homes on wheels after active days of extreme play.

Mobilizing the Comforts of Home Sweet Home

You’re guaranteed a readymade comfort zone when you opt for RV travel. You can expect cozy beds plus a fully appointed galley, dining area and bathroom. And after you stow your clothes and supplies in your RV’s handy storage spaces, there’s a stress-free feeling that comes with never needing to pack or unpack a suitcase as you move to new locations on your itinerary.

Controlling Cuisine

As an RV traveler, personal menu choices are yours and yours alone. You can patronize local restaurants or stock your galley with familiar foods and fresh ingredients from nearby farms or markets. Whichever way you choose to approach mealtimes, prescribed dietary restrictions and individual preferences are readily accommodated in a recreational vehicle.

Chilling Out and Warming Up Together

Medical Social Worker Nanette Smith treasures the action-packed camping trips she shares with her husband Lee and their two children. “Olivia and Jake love to explore wooded surroundings, create new games while splashing in the water, and pretend to be in another part of the world during nightly bonfires,” says Smith. “Being outdoors always puts me in a carefree, relaxed state which is such a mental benefit, especially after a hectic week. RV camping draws our family closer together.”

Physical Therapist Elizabeth Oreo reserves one weekend each month for getaways with her husband and three daughters in an RV she describes as “bigger and nicer than my first apartment.” “The freedom that comes from having two days without any schedule is restorative to my soul. I love my career as a physical therapist, but in the end it is just a way to pay for my real life, which is with my family. Camping helps me remember that,” remarks Oreo. “Most of the family health benefits fall in the relationship and mental health category,” she says,”although it is certainly a physically active experience.”

No matter where you venture and no matter what you do after you get there, you can’t go wrong when you choose RV camping. It’s a healthy, action-oriented, yet ultimately relaxing pastime… simply the most agreeable way to travel.

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