You may be in the midst of debating whether or not it’s time to take a vacation. Some issues may arise with taking a trip, one of the biggest of which is the cost it can require. Traveling can also be a headache when it comes to dealing with airports and general logistics, and you may have to do some maneuvering to get time off work.
At the same time, while the planning aspect of taking a vacation might present a few obstacles, it’s usually well worth it.
In fact, research shows that taking the time to travel is good for your mental well-being along with your physical health. Below are some of the top health-related benefits that can occur when you take a trip.
Reduced Stress Levels
It probably seems pretty intuitive to say that taking a vacation reduces your level of stress—that’s a given. However, do you realize how important reducing stress is for your health?
Stress isn’t just overwhelming.
It can take a toll on our bodies, leading to everything from anxiety to weight gain. It’s essential that we take the necessary time and steps required to lower our stress level, and a vacation is the perfect way to do that.
The concept of cardiovascular health is one that’s extremely important, particularly as more people are dying from heart-related issues including heart attacks and heart disease.
There are several large-scale scientific studies showing links between vacation time and a decreased risk of certain cardiovascular problems.
For example, in the Framingham Heart Study, taking vacation time was connected with a lowered risk of developing heart disease.
Other studies showed similar results, including one from the National Institutes of Health.
Mental health is closely linked to physical health, and along with reducing stress, there have also been studies showing that people who take vacations more often, such as once or twice a year, had lower levels of tension and depression. A Dutch study showed that even thinking about and planning a vacation can boost your mood.
A large number of Americans report having difficulties getting enough sleep each night, and that lack of sleep is a primary contributor to a host of other health problems.
When you take a vacation, it can help you clear your head, and interrupt those bad habits that prevent us from getting enough rest, such as too much screen time.
These are just a few of the positive impacts of taking a vacation. It’s important to note that you don’t necessarily have to plan a two-week vacation to get the positive effects of travel. In fact, there is research that points to the fact that people are often happier if they take multiple shorter vacations, rather than one long one. So, planning a few long weekends to destinations you enjoy in 2017 could actually mean you have not only a happier year but maybe even a healthier one.