Travel Makes You Healthier

March 8, 2015

Woman meditating at the sea

For those of us who love to travel, it’s difficult to comprehend why somewhere between 30 and 50 percent of Americans do not use all their vacation days. Studies show that people who take vacations enjoy a multitude of benefits to their well-being.

Physical Benefits

Taking time away from work is not just fun, but can bring health benefits. It allows the body to replenish and repair itself, according to Karen Matthews of Mind Body Center at the University of Pittsburgh.

Many studies have emphasized that people who take annual vacations had lower blood pressure and were less likely to die from heart disease.

2_travel-recharge

Getting away from work also helps the body to recharge its batteries.

Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones and to keep the immune system working. One way to get vitamin D is from moderate exposure to sunlight… and the sun is free! Research also suggests Vitamin D can help prevent prostate, breast and colon cancers, as well as lower the risk for Type II Diabetes.

Psychological Benefits

According to the American Psychological Association, people who take vacations have lower levels of stress. More vacations also contribute to higher positive emotional levels, less depression, and overall outlook on life.

There is also an increase in creativity and innovation. According to Robert Kriegel, author of How to Succeed in Business Without Working So Damn Hard, taking time away from the pressure of dealing with daily crises frees workers to develop their bests ideas. This is particularly true for those in creative fields. According to a survey done by the Vacation Deprivation Study, 34 percent of the respondents reported feeling better about their jobs and more productive after taking a vacation.

playingon the beach

Did you know that play is not just for children? Play may be just as important as sleep and a factor in happiness, balance, and success.

And the constructive benefit isn’t just during the time you are away! The actual planning of a trip and the anticipation of good times has added benefits. Even if you only take one vacation a year, when you get back, start doing some research for the next one and enjoy the expectancy of more travel. More anticipation = more happiness.

Women Especially Benefit from Vacations

The Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin did a study and came to an astounding conclusion which was published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal: Women who vacationed less often than once every two years were more likely to suffer from depression and increased stress than women who took vacations at least twice a year.

women on beach

The a study conducted by the landmark Framingham Heart Study reported that women who took a vacation only once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack compared to women who vacationed at least twice a year.

Another benefit that has been attributed to leisure activities asserts that it helps to maintain a smaller waistline. Do you know of a woman (or man for that matter) who wouldn’t appreciate that benefit? Me either.

Spending leisure time together is a great way to enhance interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships. It can be a girlfriend getaway, family fun, romantic interlude or a solo soul-searching retreat.

mom and daughter on beach

Trying new activities that take you out of your comfort zone lead to improved self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment different to the accomplishments derived from work.

hang gliding

Affordability

With careful planning, even those who are budget-conscious can find a way to vacation. With the accessibility to the internet, there are numerous websites and apps that tell you everything from when is the least expensive time to visit a location, what day of the week to book the lowest cost flights, what hotels are offering specials, foodie finds, etc.

So if you feel like you’re hitting the wall, need to refresh and rejuvenate, or want some balance in your life, it’s time to unplug. It’s time for a break. Travel makes you healthier.

Don’t shortchange yourself – start improving your health, happiness and productivity in 2015.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other health provider for any questions you may have regarding your medical condition.

25 comments

  1. Comment by Susan Moore

    Susan Moore Reply March 8, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Yes! Our culture needs to embrace the importance of taking a break from being “productive” all the time.
    Travel makes us happier, healthier, and more productive – I definitely agree!
    Susan Moore recently posted…Graffiti Wall Austin Texas – Hope Outdoor GalleryMy Profile

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply March 8, 2015 at 11:36 pm

      A huge benefit for all, Susan!

  2. Comment by Charles McCool

    Charles McCool Reply March 9, 2015 at 8:59 am

    I completely agree! 😀

  3. Comment by Kristin Henning

    Kristin Henning Reply March 9, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Ha! I thought so. These days of non-stop travel, it’s important to remember, we need a vacation from that, too. Variety is the spice, etc.
    Kristin Henning recently posted…Sonesta Nile River CruiseMy Profile

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply March 9, 2015 at 11:30 am

      That’s so true, Kristin!

  4. Comment by jane canapini

    jane canapini Reply March 9, 2015 at 11:56 am

    This is liking telling us that red wine is good for our health! More excuses to travel!

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply March 9, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Lol! Excellent comparison, Jane!

  5. Comment by Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru

    Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru Reply March 9, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I think one’s happiness level has to a lot to do with how much innate curiosity is engaged. Travel is certainly a means by which to do that. Other people we know love burrowing in a book or creating things with their hands. It’s when nothing interests us that atrophy begins, and health takes a nose dive. Good reminders in this post!
    Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru recently posted…A Bit of Bohemia in Brisbane: The West EndMy Profile

  6. Comment by Shelley

    Shelley Reply March 9, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    I completely agree, and it’s nice to hear some facts behind what I believe. During and after a vacation I feel recharged and healthier, and I also love the planning and anticipation before a trip. We all can benefit from the spark of being in new surroundings and situations.
    Shelley recently posted…Letting Go of Our Inhibitions at a Historic Turkish BathMy Profile

  7. Comment by santafetraveler

    santafetraveler Reply March 9, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    I’m sold- travel rocks! We don’t chill very often, we’re always trying to see as much as we can but a recent CA beach vacation really recharged our batteries. Great factoids!
    santafetraveler recently posted…Food Thoughts: Triple R in Winslow ArizonaMy Profile

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply March 9, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      Me, too, Billie. I love doing and seeing as much as I can. I’m not really a relaxing kind of girl. But sitting on the beach, under a palapa, and listening and feeling the waves and breeze — well, that’s how I recharge my batteries!

  8. Comment by Kay Dougherty

    Kay Dougherty Reply March 9, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Why do you have those tricky math problems for people who comment! 🙂 I second all of the above reasons and am going to share this on our FB fan page on Tuesday. I have so many friends from my old corporate life who don’t make the most of the vacation time they get and the money they make and it drives me crazy!

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply March 9, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      I know, sorry about the CAPCHA math — it does stop spam, though.

  9. Comment by Sarah Ebner

    Sarah Ebner Reply March 11, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Such excellent advice. We love to travel – you can learn, relax, have fun and just get away from it all. What’s not to like?!

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply March 11, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      I totally agree, Sarah!

  10. Comment by Carole Terwilliger Meyers

    Carole Terwilliger Meyers Reply March 11, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    I wonder if this applies to travel writers, who are usually stressed out dragging around their cameras and jotting down notes? I’d like to be frolicking on the sand like those lovely ladies heading to the ocean, instead of trying to capture them in a photo! I especially enjoyed the happy face pregnant belly photo. 🙂
    Carole Terwilliger Meyers recently posted…Travel Articles: Blue Moon Hotel, NYCMy Profile

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply March 12, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      It certainly does, Irene!

  11. Comment by alison abbott

    alison abbott Reply March 15, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    You’re preaching to the choir here, but I hope everyone who reads this will listen to this lifestyle advice! Love the photos you’ve used to illustrate the post.
    alison abbott recently posted…St. Patricks Day in BostonMy Profile

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply March 15, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      Thanks, Alison! Travel really enhances life, huh?

  12. Comment by Jolanta aka Casual Traveler

    Jolanta aka Casual Traveler Reply April 12, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    I absolutely cannot imagine vacationing less than once every two years! Heck, I cannot imagine vacationing just once a year! We usually try to do one, maybe two one-week vacations per year, plus some weekend trips. Thanks for reminding everyone that taking time off is so important to your physical and mental health!
    Jolanta aka Casual Traveler recently posted…Visiting the Roman Sights in Merida, SpainMy Profile

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply April 12, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      I totally agree! And not just being there… even the planning is exciting and creates so much anticipation!

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