5 Reasons Travel Is Good For Your Health

Posted on: 22nd March 2016

When you're caught in the rat race, it's so easy to forget to take time for yourself. Yes, it might seem productive to stay at work those few extra hours, or skip the odd vaycay for the sake of your career, but neglecting to rest can have serious consequences for your overall wellbeing. Here are five reasons travelling is good for your health!

1. You’ll emotionally recharge and increase empathy

According to author of Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected and Better at What You Do Wallace J. Nichols, taking a hiatus near the water can help reset our emotions, and even increase compassion.

“Often associated with feelings of awe and wonder, water can boost our empathy and compassion, our connection to ourselves and those we are with, and for many — from musicians like Pharrell Williams to neurologists like Oliver Sacks — it’s a steady source of creativity and insight,” he says. Even more of a reason for an extended trip to Tahiti!

2. You'll get back in shape

Although a dream vaycay doesn't seem like your typical opportunity to get fit and healthy, you'll still be more active than sitting in an office chair all day. Tourists walk for hours and hours while sightseeing, and may also be more inclined to try new activities. Things like paddle boarding, skiing, or hiking are great incidental ways to get fit. There are also plenty of fitness-centric resorts that encourage guests to boost physical and mental health away from home. You'll return in better shape than you left!

3. New surroundings can eliminate stress

Stress relief tops the list of benefits from travelling. According to director of the Center for Cultural Studies & Analysis Dr. Margaret J. King, there are many advantages to having a change of venue from home and work, especially places devoted to just experiencing the environment.

"With a short list of activities each day, freed up from the complexities of ongoing projects and relationships, the mind can reset, as does the body, with stress relief the main outcome. Humans thrive on novelty, and travel offers the complete package with new faces, sounds and sights,” she says.

4. You'll get more sleep

In our sleep-deprived, high-stress world, the irritability we feel as a result can have negative consequences on our cognitive performance and efficiency. A relaxing getaway is a fantastic chance to catch up on sleep. Seven to eight hours a night is ideal, so plan your activities around a proper sleep regime. After all, a vaycay is yours to do with what you wish!

5. Travel is the ultimate mood booster

A 2014 survey conducted by Diamond Resorts International found over three-quarters of participants were happier when they travelled at least once a year. When you think about it, this isn't really surprising. It’s hard to sit on a beautiful beach somewhere and stew over deadlines or paperwork. Taking time for yourself and your family decreases the release of all those stress hormones that cause us to feel irritable and exhausted all the time. Also, being able to reminisce about all those amazing things you did when you travelled will keep you happy long after your trip has ended!

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