When you hear the words "dream vacation," what do you think of? An ocean cruise? Beach chairs on a tropical island?
These old standbys are by no means losing their appeal, but in a world where we do more sitting in front of screens than ever—for both work and play—many people are looking to spend their treasured vacation time 1) being more active and 2) in more remote locations.
Hatch’s white water rafting trips deliver on both! We’ll take you through the rapids of the Colorado River, up the canyons of the tributaries that feed it, and into the swimming holes and waterfalls you can only find at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Not only that, but it will be good for you!
The National Park Service recently held "Park Rx" events across the country pointing out that "A growing number of public health officials now prescribe time in parks for the overall well-being of their patients."1 That’s right, going outside is good for you!
With that in mind, here are 5 ways an active vacation with Hatch benefits your health:
WALKING EXTENDS YOUR LIFE
Walking and other moderate exercise has been shown to decrease rates of death from heart disease when done regularly. Other benefits of regular moderate exercise include: reduced cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, joint stress, and mental disorders like depression and dementia, as well as improved mood, sleep, energy, and breathing—and that’s the short list!
Every day on your trip with Hatch, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the treasures of the Grand Canyon on foot, experiencing something few people have while doing a service to your body and your brain.
SUNLIGHT AND FRESH AIR AID YOUR BODILY PROCESSES
These days, we are constantly warned to be careful about how much time we spend in the sun. It’s true that prolonged and repeated over exposure to the sun can have negative effects including sunburn and malignant melanoma, so it’s a good idea to take precautions against getting too much sun (like wearing long-sleeves, hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen). But, it turns out that blocking the sun out altogether is also not ideal. Sun exposure provides us with vitamin D which helps with calcium metabolizing and immune system functioning, and UVR exposure increases the levels of endorphins in our blood.
Don’t forget about sunlight’s cousin, fresh air, which provides the body and brain with oxygen for improved processing abilities. You’ll get plenty of both spending your days and nights with Hatch in the open air of the Canyon.
LESS NIGHTTIME SCREEN USE HELPS YOU SLEEP BETTER
It’s easy to get caught up in the digital world. We use computers and smart phones to get our news, to stay in touch with friends and family, to stay organized, to work, and to entertain ourselves. But, our increased screen usage also correlates with higher rates of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and obesity, and even affects our sleep. The short wavelength blue light emitted by screens can suppress your melatonin levels and delay your REM sleep if you use them before bed. In the Canyon, there is no wifi and no cell service, so you won’t have much use for all those screened devices of your normal life.
Trust us—you won’t miss them. There is so much to see and do on a Hatch River Expedition that you won’t be thinking about status updates or emails, and you’ll sleep better because of it.
BEING OUTDOORS IMPROVES YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Did you know that city dwellers are 20% more likely to have anxiety and 40% more likely to have a mood disorder than people in rural areas?
While walking and other kinds of moderate exercise in themselves can provide an endorphin boost to your brain and improve your mood, recent studies are showing that walking IN NATURE is even better! According to Bratman et al, walking in natural environments reduces rumination—focus on those repetitive negative thoughts you have when depressed or anxious—and keeps activity in the part of the brain associated with depression down.
Just a 90 minute walk in this study was enough to show a significant difference—imagine what a whole week (or even longer!) at the bottom of the Grand Canyon could do!
EXPERIENCES MAKE US HAPPIER THAN THINGS DO
If the improved mental health you gain just from being in the outdoors isn’t enough, how about the satisfaction that comes from experience? It turns out that although we do have an initial burst of happiness when we finally purchase that TV/car/new dining room table, our happiness with the purchase fades over time as we adjust to having that material thing around. Our experiences, on the other hand, make us happier for longer. Why? Experiences become a part of our identities in a way that things just don’t, and our memories of our travel adventures don’t wear out or become obsolete the way material things do.
When you reserve a trip with Hatch, you aren’t just booking an amazing vacation, you’re signing up for an experience that will become a part of who you are.
So, book a river trip with Hatch Today. It’ll be good for you!