Why Vacations Keep You Healthy

by | May 24, 2019 | Henry Mayo

Does taking time off work sound like more work than it’s worth? If you said, “Yes,” then you’re not alone. In 2017, 52% of American employees surveyed by “Project: Time Off” left unused vacation days on the table.
But, that line of thinking may actually be harming your health.
Why it’s good to get away:
Vacations are important for both your mental and physical health.
According to the Framingham Heart Study, men who skipped vacations for several years were 30% more likely to have a heart attack than those who used at least some of their vacation time. That’s not surprising when you consider the fact that vacations can help lower stress and blood pressure.
But, it turns out that jetting off to new locations is also good for brain health. Getting out of your comfort zone challenges your mind and builds brain resilience.
Better than Couples Therapy?
Another benefit: Taking a trip with your significant other may improve the health of your relationship. One study by the University of Georgia found that women who vacationed frequently were more satisfied with their marriages than those who did not.
Three Ideas For Your Next Vacation:
After you give yourself the green light to get away, it’s time to pick your destination. Don’t let money or stress stop you from enjoying the planning process. Try one of these three ideas to get your inner travel bug buzzing:
• Pick a faraway destination. Go dig up your passport. Learning about a new culture and landscape will exercise your brain and may even boost your happiness. A study by the University of Vermont found that the farther travelers journeyed from home, the higher their happiness levels rose.
• Take a camping trip. Being outdoors reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and lowers stress levels. It’s also an inexpensive option if you’re on a tight budget.
• Plan a staycation. Speaking of being on a tight budget, staycations are an alternative if leaving town is too spendy. The trick to a staycation is finding ways to make your hometown new again. Try heading to a museum you’ve never had time for, or go explore another neighborhood. Something as simple as choosing a new restaurant can be enough to get you out of your comfort zone. Just remember that your staycation is a time to recharge. Avoid spending it on household chores or workplace correspondence.
Whatever getaway you choose, remember to leave your vacation guilt behind. You earned your time off, and you’ll be a sharper employee when you come back.
Already have a destination in mind? Remember to check if you need additional vaccinations before you go.