Go ahead—take that vacation! It’s the healthy thing to do.The personal benefits of travel have been widely studied, but Americans get the least amount of vacation time among countries in the industrialized world, according to a study by the U.S. Travel Association. There are several reasons why additional vacation time can help you live longer and happier.
|Using a redwood tree for yoga pose in |
Humboldt State Park in California
Direct health benefit: Research shows that an annualvacation can cut a person’s risk of heart attack by 50 percent. Even a short holiday can bring down blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of stress hormones. Active leisure time directly contributes to higher levels of physical and mental health—with a bonus that travelers sleep better.
|Bicycling in Yosemite National |
Park is good exercise and fun.
Enjoyment factor: A study from Cornell University shows that people who spend discretionary income on experiences such as travel are happier than when buying material goods. Then there’s the pleasure of reviewing and sharing the experience afterwards.Researchers found that thinking about or waiting in line to make a purchase for an experience (for example, ski passes or concert tickets) is generally more pleasant than for those spending money on things. Think how happy society as a whole could be if people focused on getting away more.
So, there you have it. Get out the travel guide, and start planning your next adventure. You’ll be healthier and happier if you do.
Life satisfaction: Even the anticipation of vacation
travel generates an increase in positive feelings about one’s life, family,
economic situation, and health. It often opens up a person for conversation and
can help lift depression of people dealing with emotional traumas.
|Beautiful scenery and a cool river to|
splash in--such a happy place.
Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier