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4 compelling reasons why travel is actually good for your health

4 reasons why travel is actually good for your health. Picture: Roman Odintsov/Pexels

4 reasons why travel is actually good for your health. Picture: Roman Odintsov/Pexels

Published Apr 16, 2022

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Your next dose of travel may be healthier for you than you realise.

Our first lockdown, almost two years ago to the day, turned our world upside down.

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And whilst we adapted and survived, studies show that we are now more exhausted, stressed and anxious than ever before.

One of the solutions, according to Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts, is travel. “Packing your bags and going on holiday to a place you’ve never visited is bound to result in new experiences, magical, lasting memories and even, new friends.”

But, that’s not all. Science says that travel can even improve your overall health. “Studies show that taking a break from your everyday responsibilities and exploring new places is not only good for your mental health, but your physical health as well,” says Shaun.

So, if you have been looking for an excuse to step out of the rat race for a week or two, Shaun offers 4 compelling reasons why you should stop what you’re doing and start planning your next trip, now:

1. Decreases stress and anxiety

Taking a break from the daily grind is essential to prevent burnout, and allow your mental, physical and emotional health to rejuvenate. Even though you could still be very busy while away on vacation, it’s a different type of busyness. According to the results of a controlled trial that was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, travelling has been shown to dramatically lower stress levels just three days after embarking on your holiday, with the benefits lingering for many weeks after the holiday has ended.

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2. It’s good for your heart

Other studies conducted by the Marshfield Clinic and the Global Coalition on Aging, found that women who go on holiday at least twice a year are not only less likely to suffer from chronic stress and depression, they also show a lower risk of heart attack, than those who holiday less frequently. Men showed a similar trend with a 20% higher risk of death and a 30% higher risk of heart disease, when holidaying less than once a year.

3. Increases happiness

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A Cornell University study found that while people are generally always much happier while they’re travelling for leisure and are away from the office; people even experienced a surge in happy hormones prior to the trip, in the planning phase. And a new destination will allow for a lot of planning and anticipation!

4. Increases sleep

Travelling offers the perfect excuse to be a rebel by not setting an alarm, sleeping late, and having lots of afternoon siestas. And, having more sleep means that you will reap the benefits which include improved brain function and keeping your emotions in check. So, ensure that you schedule ample downtime too, while you explore your new spot.

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“Travel is on most people’s bucket list and it’s easy to see why. It’s not just about the break-in routine and day-to-day stressors, it’s also about the excitement of experiencing someplace new and the joy that comes with spending quality time with those you love. Travel also offers the opportunity to expand your worldview, increase your knowledge and as stated above, improve your health.

“And, as Mark Twain so wisely said ‘twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the things you did do’. So, find a brand-new holiday spot to explore, and remember that the fun will already be ignited in the planning thereof, as you eagerly anticipate making brand new memories!” Shaun concludes.

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