I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t enjoy traveling. As the Roman Philosopher Seneca once said, “Voyage, travel, and change of pace impart vigor.” It’s a big world out there, and it’s a wonder to see. And not only is travel good for the soul, it’s also good for your health.
Here are 17 ways stepping outside your borders will make you just a little healthier.
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1. Travel Reduces Stress
It seems a bit counterintuitive when you think about what a pain in the butt airplanes are, and how stressful it can be to try and scrounge up enough nickels to get away, but studies have shown that there is an immediate drop in stress for people who travel. According to research by the Global Commission on Aging, Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, and the U.S. travel Association, within a day of getting away, almost 90% of participants in the study reported a major drop in their stress levels. And why not? Traveling is fun, exciting and relaxing! Especially for those of us skipping all this snow to live it up in the warm parts of the world.
Stress can have all kinds of crazy effects on the body, from making us moody and irritable to giving us insomnia, chest pains, headaches and upset stomachs, and has even been linked to heart attacks. Ouch! Better pack your bags. It’s OK, you can tell your boss it’s for medical reasons.
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2. Heart Attack? Not on My Watch!
According to that same study, women who vacationed at least twice a year were at a significantly lower risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest, as well as the chances of a coronary-related death, when compared to women who only traveled once every 6 years or less. You might have heard people say “travel is good for the heart,” but I bet you didn’t think they meant it literally!
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3. Gentlemen, Not Traveling Could Kill You. Literally.
Men who don’t take a yearly vacation are at a higher risk of dying from heart disease. In fact, you could be as much as 30% more likely to kick the bucket as the guy who takes off to Vegas every year. Traveling is good for the heart and reduces stress, which can lower your risk significantly. Next time you feel like you’re working yourself to death, maybe take the hint and book your vacation.