Traveling is an exciting and inspiring activity. It gives you a chance to meet new people, enjoy new experiences, and broaden your horizons. Many people see traveling as a fun luxury, but, did you know that it can also have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being?
If you’ve been putting off taking your next vacation, these 10 proven health benefits of traveling will make you want to book one today. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of setting off to a new and exciting place.
A More Vital Immune System
Because traveling involves exposing your body to new environments, it can strengthen your immune system. When your body is exposed to new bacteria, viruses, and other particles, it creates more antibodies. These are proteins that combat foreign bodies and protect you from disease and illness. Stimulating your immune system through this type of exposure can make it easier for your body to ward off sickness in the future.
Improved Physical Fitness
From rushing to catch your flight to taking a walking tour of an unfamiliar city, traveling forces you to get up and move. When you travel to a new city or country, you’ll likely want to experience all that it has to offer. This results in higher physical activity levels. When you travel, you’re more likely to participate in activities that you can’t or don’t do at home like hiking, swimming, and surfing. You’ll be burning more calories while discovering a whole new place!
Think you can’t stay on your fitness regimen while traveling? Think again. You can burn calories anywhere with minimal equipment. Check out these travel-friendly Fitplans:
Reduced Stress Levels
We all know that taking a vacation is one of the best ways to relieve stress. Having the chance to unplug and escape your daily routine allows you to relax and recharge.
A 2013 study conducted by the Global Coalition on Aging found that a lack of travel can lead to higher levels of cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone. The same study concluded that 80% of those surveyed were noticeably less stressed after just two days of traveling.
Lower Risk of Depression
Traveling has been found to decrease your risk of suffering from depression. One study concluded that women who travel just twice a year are less likely to struggle with depression than those who travel less frequently. Another study found that just he act of planning and anticipating an upcoming vacation can increase your overall sense of happiness and well-being. Planning a vacation gives you something to look forward to, making life more interesting and dynamic.
Improved Heart Health
Nearly half of the population suffers from some form of cardiovascular disease. You can significantly reduce your risk of dealing with this health issue by traveling more often. According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, going on more vacations can reduce the risk of passing away from cardiovascular disease in both men and women. Studies have also shown that women who forego regular vacations are eight times more likely to contract heart disease.
Traveling also lowers your risk of suffering from a heart attack specifically. Men who go years without traveling increase their risk of having a heart attack by 30 percent. This may be due to the higher levels of physical activity that’s often involved in traveling.
Improved Brain Function
Traveling is a great way to expose yourself to new people, cultures, and environments. These new experiences keep your brain sharp and encourage creativity. While traveling, you may have to learn a new language, convert foreign currencies, or read a map for directions. Each of these activities forces you to retain new information and use your critical thinking skills. Studies have shown that continuously challenging your brain can support your mental health and lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia later in life.
Most people spend a lot of time outdoors while traveling, especially if they’re visiting a warm or tropical location. This extra time out in the sun does more than just give you a nice tan–it can also improve the health of your bones.
The sun’s rays are a great source of vitamin D, which is crucial for optimal bone health. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. These minerals keep your bones strong and protected from injuries and conditions like osteoporosis.
Traveling also seems to have a positive effect on your sleep patterns. This may be attributed to spending less time on blue light-emitting electronic devices and more time out in the sun, which can regulate your circadian rhythm. Traveling also reduces your stress levels, which has been shown to result in a better quality of sleep. Regulating your sleep patterns can provide a variety of health benefits including better moods, weight loss, and a heightened immune system.
A Heightened Libido
If you’ve been looking to spice up your romantic life, then taking a vacation may help. The reduced stress levels associated with travel can improve your libido. Since traveling makes you feel more relaxed, connecting intimately with your partner can seem like less of a chore when you’re on vacation.
In a 2013 survey by The U.S. Travel Association, 77% of those surveyed stated that traveling significantly improved their sex life. 63% of those surveyed believe that regular vacations are necessary for keeping the spark alive.
Whether you choose a destination close to home or decide to vacation abroad, traveling provides a range of benefits for your physical and mental health. So book that plane ticket, gas up your car, or hop on that train —amazing experiences await!