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Vacations Are Fun and Good For Your Health

By Paul Rothbart

Is there anything better than a vacation? Much needed time off work and the daily grind of chores. Trips to fun destinations. Activities such as swimming at beaches, riding a roller coaster, perhaps skiing on a winter vacation. Visiting historical places and national landmarks to exercise the mind. Most people look forward to their vacations year-round. My sons-in-law and I eagerly count down the weeks to our summer vacation in Cape Cod every year. Just the word "vacation" brings a smile to one's face. There is more to a vacation than just the fun. They also provide a number of health benefits, which make them essential. 

Reduce Stress

The main reason many people take a vacation is to get away from the anxiety that often accompanies daily life. Stress is a natural part of work and home life. It builds over time. Weekends and days off are helpful, but longer periods away are necessary to de-stress and start fresh. Getting away from home, especially traveling away from your community is always a good idea. A different set of surroundings is exciting and makes it easier to forget your normal load of stress. You can mentally leave your worries at home while you journey off to adventure.

Good for Heart Health

Taking a yearly vacation has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that men who go on frequent vacations were 32 percent less likely to die from heart disease than those who don't take vacations. The Framingham Heart Study found similar results in women. The 20-year study found that women who took a vacation once every six years or less were eight times as likely to die of a heart attack than women who vacationed twice a year. 

Good for Mental Health

The University of Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center conducted an extensive survey involving nearly 1,400 participants in studies on breast cancer, cardiovascular conditions, and other health concerns. The research found that those who engaged in leisure time, especially vacations, displayed less depression and fewer negative feelings, as well as more positive emotions. A study conducted at Radboud University in the Netherlands supports these findings. This study discovered that people who took long vacations of two weeks or more experienced less tension and felt healthier. They also demonstrated higher levels of energy and greater life satisfaction.

Work is necessary to support life and for some, rewarding and enjoyable. However, time away is important to balance one's life. Regular vacations have many health benefits and are a great way to enjoy life while building stronger bonds with family and friends.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brandon, Fla.

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