If You Want Better Health, Travel More
By Sara Butler
When was the last time you traveled? Not for business, or because you’re obligated to see your family during the holidays, but for pure pleasure in which you pack your bags, log off your computer, and disconnect from your routine.
Traveling is exciting and fun, yes, but there’s also a lot of research that suggests it’s healthy for you. Traveling improves our mental, emotional, and physical health. Don’t believe us? Check out the proven benefits of traveling -- maybe it’ll inspire you to book your next trip, pronto!
Travel Improves Your Immune System
The antibodies you produce when you come into contact with a pathogen is what helps you to fight off illness. Researchers have found that exposure to minor illnesses and a little dirt serve to strengthen your immune system and may even make your gut healthier.
That doesn’t mean you should travel and forego washing your hands or practicing basic hygiene, but it does mean that exposing yourself to new bacteria in a new place isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Travel may be the world’s most effective probiotic.
Travel Reduces Stress
This one shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. Relaxing on a sandy beach somewhere as you stare out at the crystal blue waters in front of you have a calming effect that can’t be replicated. But the impact of travel on your stress levels is more than anecdotal. Studies have found that travel decreases depression, increases happiness, and generally chills you out. And the impact lasts for weeks after you return, which basically means you can be stress-free if you simply travel every month. You know, after you win the Lotto.
Travel Enhances Brain Health
When you travel, you meet new people, experience new situations, become more aware of the world around you -- basically, it expands your mind. This is a great thing for your health because new experiences have been proven to make your brain more flexible and it keeps your mind sharp. In fact, there’s a proven connection between travel and an increase in personal growth and creativity.
Travel Reduces Your Risk of Heart Disease
OK, so your diet may not be on point when you’re on vacation, but that reduction in stress and anxiety that is experienced when you’re away has a very positive impact on your heart health. Studies have found that women and men who travel at least once per year were less likely to develop heart disease or suffer a heart attack than those who travel less.
Travel Helps You Live Longer
There’s no denying it: People who travel regularly tend to live longer. That just goes to show that any way you can break out of your routine and get a little rest and relaxation is a good thing, enhancing your life in ways you may not even realize. All the advantages of travel to your health that we’ve mentioned simply add up to a longer, more exciting life -- and who wouldn’t want that?
I don’t know about you, but I’m convinced that travel is exactly what I need to stay healthy. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a cruise to plan.
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