RV travelers do more than just hit the road in their vehicles. RVing families get outside and walk, bike, jog, rollerblade and hike—whether it’s down small-town streets, over miles of trails, or through landscaped campgrounds.
According to a Campfire Canvass survey taken by Dr. Robert Hitlin, president of Robert Hitlin Research Associates, Inc., 70% of RVers say they walk more when on RV trips than when they are at home. Not surprising. RVers are sociable people who walk throughout the campground to meet their "neighbors" and talk about the newest vehicle innovations. RVers also say they specifically travel by RV to participate in outdoor activities like hiking and nature walks. The most recent Campfire Canvass survey shows what activities top the list for RVers -- 53% like to hike/walk, while 32% enjoy biking. However you look at it, RVers are on the move.
But cardiovascular benefits are not the only health dividends to be had. According to an anthropological study of RV enthusiasts, RVers said they were both physically and mentally healthier and happier than their non-RVing counterparts. In fact, a study conducted by a health psychologist at SUNY Oswego found that taking vacations reduces the risk of heart disease, and, that spending quality time with a spouse or significant other actually lowers a person’s blood pressure. RV vacations are great pressure valves to let off the built-up steam of everyday life.
Increasing activity while on the road, escaping stress, recharging batteries, and bonding/reconnecting with family members all help to explain why RVers feel happier and healthier than if they didn’t RV. In addition to enjoying time with the family members they bring along, 60% of RVers report that they make trips to relax and catch up by visiting family and friends.
RVs reduce vacation stress by allowing travelers to control their own schedule and timetable, by keeping the family relaxed in familiar surroundings, and by making spur-of-the-moment getaways possible by leaving the RV packed with the staples needed to head out of town with little planning. And, since rest contributes to overall physical health, sleeping in a familiar, comfortable bed plays a major role in recharging the body’s batteries, something most travelers say they can’t obtain by staying in strange hotels along the way.
The fact that RVers can continue to adhere to their diets and solid nutritional habits may also be a factor in their healthier lifestyles. Maintaining everyday eating patterns is something not easily accomplished while waiting around airport terminals, staying in hotels, and eating in restaurants. RVs make mealtime decisions easy because not only are they equipped with on-board pantries and cabinets for non-perishable storage, ovens/stoves and microwaves for cooking, and refrigerators/freezers to store your favorite meal ingredients, but also, RVs boast ample power and storage for food processors, blenders, convection ovens and other preparation essentials.
So stock the RV pantry and frig, grab your gear, a pair of comfortable shoes and your favorite traveling companions, and hit the open road because good health can’t be found in a bottle, but it can be found in an RV campground.