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10 Health Benefits You Can Get From Vacations

Everybody needs a break—from work, personal, issues, heartbreaks, anything. But, did you know that taking a vacation does not only help you regenerate energy and relax? It actually has health benefits too. Read more and find out what are the health benefits you can get from vacations.

Furthermore, lot of health organizations proved that the direct links of a person’s improved health whenever a person is traveling. Scientists, doctors, and health practitioners seriously advise and prescripts some people to take some long walks on the beach. They even advise them to go on a road trip. Or even go out of town for a while if they’re experiencing burn out or extreme fatigue.

Here are the 10 benefits you can get from vacations:

Reduces Stress

It would be an obvious reason why traveling can help you reduce stress. Who wouldn’t feel relaxed laying on their backs, as the sound of the waves crashing lullabies them to total calmness? With the warm breeze softly touching their skin and with the touch of soft sand on their backs. Just imagining it will make you feel relaxed.

It is not just a placebo effect. Many studies have proved it. One study has found that after a three-day vacation, respondents have reported to feel less anxious, more rested, and be in a better mood in general. Interestingly, these benefits tend to linger for weeks after the trip has ended.

Keeps your heart healthy

Who would have thought that traveling has a direct impact on keeping your heart healthy? The Journal of the American Medical Association published an article titled “Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial: Risk Factor Changes and Mortality Results” in which a study found that men who take frequent annual vacations were 32 percent less likely to die from heart disease than their counterparts who forwent vacations. Moreover, taking a break even at least once a year is also good to lessen heart diseases.

On the contrary, Framingham Heart Study has found negative effects on the heart when women do not take vacations. This 20-year research found that women who took vacation once every six years were most likely to develop heart diseases. They can even have heart attacks than women who took at least two vacations per year.

Improves Mental Health

University of Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center study says that leisure, including vacations is definitely healthy. It contributed to more positive emotions and fewer negative feelings and depression.

Additionally, more studies have supported this claim. In fact, researchers from the Radboud University in the Netherlands has published the effects of a long vacation. They have discovered that that people felt less tense and healthier while on vacation, with higher energy levels and more life satisfaction.  

Helps your brain make new connections

Researcher Ferris Bueller has proven that the brain actually functions better when it has given time to recharge. According to him, in order to make the most out of life, you need to step back from it once in a while. His study has found that when you travel, your brain doesn’t actually stop processing. Reflecting the past, planning the future, and putting the experiences into the perspective is a nice exercise for the brain. It makes new connections also known as neurons, in making it healthier in return.

Battles Depression

Traveling has a long lasting effect. It makes you happier even when you’re not on a vacation anymore. Survey of Dutch vacationers found that personal levels of happiness rise when you’re merely planning your trip. And if you managed to stay relaxed in a vacation, your mood stays elevated even when you’re back at work. Chemically speaking, the brain releases more endorphins and oxytocin whenever you travel. These natural chemicals are the body’s innate happy pill which greatly affects one’s moods, idea perception, and general outlook. Travel forces the brain to make use of these hormones to improve our mood and outlook. Medical practitioners said that these hormones are the ones in charge in battling depression.

Strengthens relationships

Traveling is not only good for individuals, it benefits relationships too. True enough, a five-year study involving women from Wisconsin showed that those who took vacations at least twice per year are less likely to become depressed and tired with their relationships and seemed more satisfied with their respective marriages. These women say that cases like divorce will decrease, similarly with men.

In a study, it has found that men who travel more often have lower cortisol. And a lower cortisol means higher testosterone, improving their sex drive.

Purdue University’s team of researchers concluded something similar, but on a larger scale. They found out that families who take breaks and go on vacations together are closer and tighter. The team, lead by Xinran Letho, lead researcher, told the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research that because of their shared experiences, communication, and overall togetherness throughout the trip, their bond becomes stronger.

Aids weight loss

While some may think that people generally gain weight when they travel, science tends to disagree. In fact, some studies link stress to weight gain. By the rule of association, traveling battles cortisol—the stress chemical, and in turn, battle weight gain.

Improves how you  perceive

Did you notice that women who are fresh from a vacation tends to glow more and be more attractive? Your eyes are not fooling you. In fact, studies back it up. Researchers have tested different women,  showing their pictures of their faces to men and asked them to rate their attractiveness. Women who travel more frequently, those with lower cortisol levels were deemed more attractive than those who seldom travels.

Increases productivity

According to The New York Times, when accounting firm Ernst & Young looked at the vacation habits of their workers, they found that, in general, the more vacation someone took, the better their year-end performance review. Other studies show that workers who used their paid time off were more effective and dedicated overall, and less prone to burnout. These further prove that employees who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.

Boosts immune system

Traveling not exposes you to different cultures, it exposes you to various environments as well. This creates stronger antibodies and effectively boosts your immune system. Your antibodies are the ones responsible for protecting your immune system from harmful pathogens. In fact, research shows exposure to some dirt and minor illnesses actually keeps your body and gut stronger.