Travel is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and wellbeing.
Yes, travel can be stressful. But overall when you go to new places you gain so much!
Your only limitation is what you can afford. So save up and plan your next vacation already!
You’ll move more.
There are so many things to see and do – so you will get up and moving more than usual. Movement throughout the day is the best way to improve your health, and that’s traveling in a nutshell! Your whole cardiovascular system will thank you. Plus, movement reduces stress. And these physical benefits last even after travel. According to one study, “travelers experience a 25% increase in performance on vigilance tests after returning from vacation.” (Vigilance tests refer to responding quickly to visual stimuli.)
You’ll use your brain differently.
The brain is a muscle – and just like those biceps, the brain benefits from regular challenge and activity. Travel means your environment changes, forcing your brain to think in new ways as well. Your brain will be constantly on the go, improving your memory and cognitive abilities. Mental health is also improved – you have an opportunity to set aside your daily responsibilities and focus on yourself. You can explore, relax, or both (relaxploration!). The schedule for the day is based on you. In addition to stress relief, some studies show that anticipating upcoming travel correlates to happiness.
Travel is all about people. Even if you are traveling solo – reach out of your shell. If you go to a coffee shop, a local bar/restaurant, or take a bus or train ride, chat with your neighbors. Social interaction is linked to improved cognitive function and decreased levels of stress hormones! Just like physical wellness, social wellness benefits last long after you return from travels. In fact, 53% of employed Americans reported that they feel more reconnected with family members after a vacation.
You’ll be more mindful .
Traveling allows you to cultivate mindfulness. You will have time for reflection and introspection. You have the opportunity to be present in the moment and focus your attention on taking in your new surroundings. Exploring the natural surroundings at your destination can connect you spiritually with things greater than yourself. Traveling involves a lot of waiting, so patience is also a good practice while traveling. The unexpected will happen while traveling, so practice keeping an open mind and staying flexible to make room for changing plans.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and travel for you and your health.