6 Ways Traveling Can Boost Your Health and Overall Well-Being
Seeing the world can improve your mood and perspective.
Who doesn’t love a good trip? It’s a chance to unwind, meet new people, learn and experience new things, and check another one off the bucket list. From pursuing favorites hobbies such as skydiving in Switzerland or strolling through Parisian museums, to getting wonderfully lost on a drive between Santa Fe and San Diego or trying Mamma’s pizza in Florence, travel opens us up and heightens our experience of being alive. Did you know that it also boosts health, nourishes the immune system and mental state, and can increase your life expectancy? After reading this, you may find yourself booking a ticket or packing the car!
Here are some interesting ways traveling boosts your health and well-being all backed by science.
You’ve probably been in a situation where you had a problem and couldn’t get away from it, no matter how hard you tried. Stepping away from a problem is often the best way to find a solution and there’s no better way to step away that to take a vacation. Time and distance can bring a new perspective on your problem. Most likely, you’ll return with an answer in hand or maybe with the realization that your problem wasn’t such a big deal after all. Problems often shrink while traveling to new environments since we are presented with new situations to navigate and have to more understanding of our lives by stepping away from them.
Catch Some ZZZ’s
Most people are sleep deprived. Although it’s recommended to get eight or more hours each night, many survive on less than seven hours. Getting adequate sleep boosts immune function, makes it easier to lose weight and helps with mental clarity and health. A vacation is a time when you can leave the alarm clock at home and regain all of the health benefits of getting those extra zzz’s.
Say Goodbye to Stress
Stress is an all too common word today. From taxing jobs and the day-to-day stresses of balancing work, family and home, many people aren’t even aware of this culprit until it compromises their immune system and steals their health. And, whoa, does it ever. It is now common knowledge that many health ailments and diseases are the byproduct of too much stress. Taking a vacation can take you out of the very environment that keeps you unable to relax and give you the healing, peaceful oasis that can calm your nerves and ease your worries. Vacations give you time to do all the stress-free activities that your heart desires: reading a book while lying on the beach, going for a long, leisure walk, or taking time to watch the sun disappear on the horizon.
Say Bye-Bye To the Blues
Traveling can be a wonderful cure for depression. The Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies did a study on how traveling affects depression. They found that people who travel experience less sadness and stress. Got the blues? Start looking a cities you’d like to visit.
Your Daily Dose of Exercise
Whether you’re climbing Kilimanjaro, walking around ancient ruins and museums, or hiking down the Pacific coast, chances are you’ll get more exercise than usual when you’re on vacation. Add to that the addition vitamin D from extra sun exposure and you can look forward to your next health-boosting trip, and maybe fitting back into those skinny jeans.
Science has proven that making time for a vacation means expanding your potential lifespan. A 2013 study of Americans showed just that: travel leads to a longer life. For women, two vacations per year lowered their risk of heart attack, compared with those who only got away every six years. And by not taking a yearly break, men increased their chances of heart disease by 30% and had a 20% higher risk of death. Now, if that doesn’t motivate you to look at plane tickets today…