Travel is not just about having a break from your day-today responsibilities. It also has a positive affect on your health and mind. Here are five compelling reasons why getting away from it all is good for you.
1. Travel broadens your knowledge (and intelligence)
Travelling is a sensory delight. New places, new smells, new scenery and new sounds: all stimulate your brain’s neurons, creating new pathways, which, in turn, broaden your wisdom about life and the world around you.
What also increases your smarts is that you’re out of your comfort zone: you have to look at maps to get to places, perhaps learn the basics of a new language, ask people for directions and maybe even try new cuisine. Travel also offers more time to read the newspaper, socialise, listen to music and play brain games (e.g. Sudoku, word games, etc.)
All these activities and situations stimulate your brain and challenge you to grow as a person. According to Dr Paul Nussbaum, president and founder of the Brain Health Center Inc, “Because it challenges the brain with new and different experiences and environments, travel is an important behaviour that promotes brain health and builds brain resilience across the lifespan.” This nicely leads to the next health benefit of travel …
2. Travel improves your mental health
Travel can also reduce one’s risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A study conducted by the Global Coalition on Aging, reported in a paper titled Destination Healthy Aging: The Physical, Cognitive and Social Benefits of Travel, found that regular participation in social or leisure activities, including travel, is associated with a lower risk of subsequent dementia.
3. Travel boosts your heart health
I guess the next reason (number four below) plays a part in this, but the main reason for improved heart health is that taking a break from your home and work reduces your stress levels, which decreases the strain on your heart. In fact, the Framingham Heart Study found that those who didn’t take a holiday for several years were more likely to suffer from heart attacks than those who travelled at least once yearly.
4. Travel keeps you active and fit
To me, travelling means a lot of walking and fresh air, whether it be just moseying the streets, sightseeing, going on a trail hike or walking along the beach. And I hope it means the same for you, too, because that’s the main reason travel is attributed tokeeping you fit and active. Even if you are sitting on a tour bus for a few days, overall, you are being more active than you would in the office or watching TV at home.
5. Travel uplifts your mood
Not just the act of holidaying itself, but everything about it – the planning, the getaway and even coming home to one’s own bed – uplifts your mood and boosts your health.
In fact, a 2014 study done in the US found that people are happier just knowing they are going on a holiday compared with knowing they are going to buy a material item.
So, perhaps, you’d better start planning that trip soon? You’ve got five very smart reasons for doing so.
Read more at Lifehack.