In an age where health is the fad no one can seem to get enough of, we often find ourselves questioning the health effects of almost all of our daily activities, from the ingredients in the food we eat to the quality of the air we breathe to the amount of stress we carry. Traveling is no exception to this rule, and despite the fact that traveling has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve all sorts of physical functions, the vast majority of Americans still forsake their vacation days for reasons we can only speculate: The fear of missing out on important work, the lack of time and energy to do the required planning, or the promise of a bonus at the end of the fiscal year are just a few of our guesses. So, if wanderlust alone is not enough to entice you to make use of those last few vacation days, maybe learning about how it can improve your health will have you booking your next getaway in no time!
Travel relieves your stress
Stress, often referred to as “the silent killer”, is commonly linked to all sorts of physical health problems, including heart disease, indigestion, insomnia, and more. One of the most commonly cited benefits of travel is stress relief, and for good reason. Those who travel often see a significantly lower level of stress hormones than those who do not. When you’re liberated of the anxiety associated with constant projects and deadlines, your mind and body have time to reset, clearing away that fogginess in your head and lifting quite a bit of weight off your shoulders. Studies show that travel not only reduces stress, but also improves your ability to process stress in the long run. All of this stress-relief is reflected in the workplace: Employees who travel have lower rates of absenteeism, higher productivity levels, and generally report feeling less burnt out.
Travel makes you get back in shape
Although going to the gym may be the last thing you want to think about during your escape, traveling will still help you stay healthier and more active than normal. After all, any level of physical movement beats sitting at a desk all day, so whether you are going on ten-mile long treks in the West Virginia mountains or simply strolling around with your toes in the sand of Myrtle Beach, a much-needed vacation is bound to get your blood flowing. Furthermore, traveling offers the possibility of trying new physical activities, like hiking, kayaking, surfing, or swimming. Exercise is known to release endorphins, a group of hormones associated with happiness, relaxation, and relief, which will improve your overall mood.
Travel improves your sleep and brain activity
Lack of sleep inhibits your brain from performing at full capacity, making you less productive and more groggy. Little sleep mixed with high stress results in irritability and inefficiency. The National Sleep Foundation recommends at least seven hours of sleep for adults, and many workaholics with busy schedules fail to meet this quota. Taking a break from work allows you to take back control of your sleep, and whether that means going to bed earlier or sleeping in, a much-needed good night’s sleep will leave you feeling rejuvenated. Taking a break from your worries to catch up on your sleep will leave you rested and ready to take on your responsibilities with ease.
Travel may lower risk of heart disease
As the number one cause of death in the United States, heart disease claims approximately 610,000 lives every year, or 1 in 4 deaths. For this reason, it is critical to take every possible measure to avoid heart disease, which, as we mentioned, is commonly linked to stress. A nine-year study of 12,000 men found that those who took at least one vacation per year were an astounding 30% less likely to die from heart disease, while an additional study showed that individuals who didn’t take a vacation were twice as likely to have a heart attack. We understand that work is a priority, but your health takes precedence, so do yourself a favor and take a couple of weeks out of your busy schedule for some much-needed relaxation and clarity.
Travel improves your relationships
In addition to physical and mental health, traveling can help improve the health of your personal relationships, whether with your family, friends, or significant other. More than 75% of adults cite travel as a factor in improving their relationships. As an added bonus, those looking to travel with their families may be interested to know that studies have linked travel to reducing behavior problems and illness in children. Most important of all, travel provides the incredible possibility of making lifelong memories with your loved ones, allowing the opportunity for bonding, relaxing, and enjoying each other’s company in a stress-free environment. No other experience can offer quite the same.
So, for those of you suffering from wanderlust fever, ViaAir has the cure. Hop on our next flight for as low as $91* roundtrip and reap the health benefits of your much-needed rejuvenation for the months to come.