Americans do a poor job of taking their vacation days. In 2018 alone, US workers didn’t use a staggering 768 million days of vacation time.
That is an unfortunate pattern because traveling for pleasure isn’t just good for making memories. It turns out that pleasure travel is good for your health.
It almost sounds too good to be true, but keep reading to see what health benefits you can get from travel.
Lots of people rarely depart from their normal routine. That means that they spend time at home, at work, and visiting the same businesses. While routines can help keep your life orderly, it also means your immune system doesn’t see new things very often.
Travel puts you in new environments, which means exposure to different local germs. This makes your immune system work harder and get more effective.
Ever hear the terms neuroplasticity or brain plasticity? In a nutshell, it’s the brain’s ability to change and adapt through exposure to new experiences.
When you travel, you encounter new languages, new environments, new cultures, and even new foods. These new experiences encourage the brain to create new neural connections. In essence, traveling helps you build a stronger, better-connected brain.
Many people also see a side benefit from these new connections in the form of enhanced creativity.
The list of health consequences of stress goes on and on. It affects everything from sleep to heart health and weight. Then, you see a knock-on effect of deteriorating health from those problems.
Pleasure travel gives you a break from the stressors in your life. You get to disconnect from the office, annoying neighbors, and your daily commute. Pick the right destination and you can even disconnect from the online world.
Around 17 million American adults must cope with an episode of major depression each year. Depression comes with many physical symptoms, such as aches, sleep problems, and digestive issues. These symptoms can prompt you to abandon healthy activities, such as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet.
One study found that women, who suffer depression more often, were less likely to experience depression if they took regular vacations.
Travel can also give you a small fitness boost. Most travelers end up doing more walking, hiking, or biking than they do during a normal week at home.
This happens in part because you have more time. It also happens because many travelers want to wring as many experiences as they can out of the trip. With so many things to do, they’ve got the perfect excuse.
People don’t take advantage of their vacation for a variety of reasons, but they do themselves a disservice.
Traveling for pleasure provides you with a host of health benefits, such as stronger neural connections and an immune system boost. Travel also provides you an ideal opportunity to strengthen relationships that can get neglected in your normal day-to-day life.
Ready to jump onto the travel bandwagon? Looking for travel opportunities. Check out some of the other travel articles on this site.
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