5 Health Benefits of Taking a Vacation

A vacation may be just what the doctor ordered – find out why here.

The health benefits of taking a vacation including reducing stress and improving heart health.

Adventure. Trying new things. Relaxing. Spending time with friends and family.

There are plenty of reasons to enjoy taking a vacation. But did you know there are also health benefits to traveling? Research shows that taking a trip can positively impact your overall health and well-being in several ways, including:

  1. Improving heart health
  2. Metabolic benefits
  3. Reducing stress
  4. Boosting mood
  5. Promoting productivity

Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of taking a vacation.

Improving heart health

According to the U.S. Travel Association, more than half of all Americans who receive paid time off don’t take advantage of it! Failing to take time off for ourselves may contribute to several adverse health consequences, including cardiovascular disease.

The Framingham Heart Study found that women who took a vacation only once every six years or less are eight times more likely to have a heart attack than women who vacation at least twice a year. And men who didn’t take time off for several years were 30% more likely to have a heart attack. (This is even after considering health and lifestyle factors, such as diabetes, income level, obesity, and cigarette smoking.)

Metabolic benefits

Another study examined blood test results against how many vacations each participant had taken in the past year. Each additional holiday lowered the prevalence of metabolic syndrome – a group of conditions that increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes – by 25%. 

Reducing stress

Most of the time, we know we feel more relaxed after a nice vacation. But there are multiple studies proving leisure travel can improve physical indicators of stress, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Vacation time can also reduce cortisol, the hormone released under stressful conditions that can harm the body when levels remain high for long periods.

Boosting mood

Regular vacation time can not only lift your spirits but also decrease clinical depression. A Marshfield Clinic survey of 1,500 women found those who vacation at least twice per year were less likely to suffer depression and stress than women who vacation less than once every two years. The study authors also concluded these psychological benefits increase the quality of life and improve performance at work.

Vacations can also reduce anxiety and improve your mood, most significantly for those who report extreme stress levels in their daily lives.

Promoting productivity

Speaking of work, a vacation can improve productivity in the office after you return. It’s pretty simple, really: travel makes us happier, which makes us more productive. An internal study of Ernst & Young employees found that for every 10 hours of vacation taken, year-end performance improved by 8 percent. The same study also found vacation time helped slow employee turnover.

The bottom line? Think of a vacation as more than a fun getaway: it’s an investment in your future health and happiness!

Superior Executive Services is here to help you craft the perfect holiday, whether you’re looking for an all-inclusive luxury vacation or an exciting sports travel package. Contact our team of experts online or call 608.665.9070.

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