Travel for mind, body, and spirit: Health benefits of taking a vacation

For some, travel is considered an occasional luxury, something that inevitably gets placed on the backburner of life. Pair this with our American work ethic and the next thing you know vacation days are left unused and the chance to form lifelong memories is delayed another year. But did you know that research links taking much-needed R&R with your health? By embracing some peace, solace, and love of family/friends, you’ll also reap the health benefits that stick around long after you return. Here are some of the top reasons why traveling boosts your mind, body, and spirit.

Lowers stress. Removing yourself from your normal routine to explore a new place gives you an immediate break from stress. It offers a chance to turn off the work emails, take a break from household chores and instead focus on activities you genuinely enjoy. This can help prevent headaches, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other stress-related issues. Lying on a beach listening to the ocean waves is bound to reduce stress levels, but studies also show lower stress and an improved sense of well-being sticks around even after heading home. And you don’t need to take a long getaway to reap the rewards. Even a short getaway can have a noticeable impact and the effects increase the longer your vacation lasts.

Promotes physical health. If you spend your workday at a desk, travel is especially important in increasing your activity level. Walking on the beach, strolling through a new city, or trying an exciting excursion offers a chance to exercise without even realizing it. You’ll feel more energetic and maybe even motivated to take on some extra steps daily when you return home. The extra activity along with introducing your body to new places, food, and people also creates antibodies, which gives your immune system a boost and fights germs even once you return home.

Boosts the brain. Traveling to new places and experiencing different cultures can have a positive impact on your mental activity including creativity. One study surveyed around 300 volunteers before and after taking a vacation and most felt tangibly more creative afterwards. You’ll also gain new perspectives through meeting people, which can facilitate new ways of handling stress and problem-solving after the vacation ends.

Benefits relationships. There is something about changing up your normal routine and venturing out into the unknown that makes you feel more adventurous, more romantic, and often more connected with those around you. Traveling bonds you to others and opens the door to you learning something new about each other, or to remember things long forgotten. Traveling allows families to step back from their everyday and share new, unique, and memorable experiences with one another, creating memories that will last forever. Psychologists call travel memories a peak human experience, something that you can’t get at the office or isolated at home.

Life is too short to miss all the benefits that travel provides. Don’t leave unused vacation time on the table this year; take advantage of a getaway to improve your health and relationships and to keep a strong mind, body, and spirit year-round!

About Denise

My goal is to simplify travel-planning through an equal exchange process where I acquire your ideas and expectations for your trip relieving you of the worry, hassle, stress and time that accompanies Do-It-Yourself planning.

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