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Vacation: Just What the Doctor Ordered




The traffic is crawling as you make your way home from another stressful day at the office. As if that’s not enough, your family is calling wondering when you will be home. Work can be a chore, but most often, a necessary one in our daily lives. It seems we work to pay for hobbies we no longer have time to enjoy, right? If this sounds like you, then you are in desperate need of a vacation.

Many of us travel for business, but when was the last time you traveled simply for personal pleasure? Can you recall the last time you packed your bags and gave yourself a “digital detox,” disconnecting from your everyday routine for a week or more? While some consider vacations a luxury, scientific evidence suggests they are so much more. Traveling the world isn’t just fun and exciting; it’s highly beneficial for your physical, mental and emotional health as well.

Consider these 5 proven health benefits of travel:

TRAVEL IS GOOD FOR YOUR BODY
According to a study by the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association, research shows:

Women who go longer than 6 years between vacations had a significantly higher risk of developing a heart attack or suffering a coronary death as compared to women who vacation at least twice a year.

Men who do not take an annual vacation have a 20% higher risk of death and nearly a 30% greater risk of death from heart disease.

TRAVEL REDUCES STRESS
Little sleep coupled with high stress often leads to irritability and negative impact on cognitive performance and efficiency. Travel has been scientifically proven to dramatically lower stress levels. In fact, studies show that just three days after taking a vacation, travelers report feeling less anxious, more rested and in a better mood. And these benefits tend to linger for weeks after the trip has ended.

TRAVEL KEEPS YOU FIT
Although travel can require sitting for hours on planes or trains, it also provides new opportunities for activity and exercise. When traveling, we want the biggest return possible on our investment, so attempting a new activity, exploring a city, or hiking to get the best views of new surroundings keeps us active. Even a day walking in the sand at the beach requires muscles to work twice as hard as normal!

TRAVEL BOOSTS HAPPINESS AND LOWERS DEPRESSION
Most people tend to be happier without the worry of work. A Cornell University study suggests that people also experience a direct increase in happiness simply from planning a trip. Interestingly, the study found that the anticipation of taking a vacation is even greater than the anticipation of acquiring new physical possessions. Thus, the benefits of traveling begin well before the trip itself.

TRAVEL BOOSTS YOUR IMMUNITY
Another merit of traveling is that it increases the immune response to bacteria, viruses and other foreign bodies. This isn’t to say one shouldn’t practice good hygiene while traveling, but exposure to new bacteria can be good for your health. When you travel to new destinations, your body interacts with new particles and creates more antibodies – the proteins that fight against foreign bodies and protect you from the illnesses they can cause. These antibodies make your body stronger over time, protecting you from similar illnesses in the future.

With these proven health benefits, one might think everyone is heading to the airport fo r that well-deserved vacation. Not so. According to the 2018 Project: Time Off report, 52% of Americans left vacation days unused in 2017, despite the stress, anxiety and other negative effects not taking time off from work can cause. In fact, men and women in the U.S. forfeited 212 million vacation days in 2017, equating to approximately $62.2 billion in lost benefits. The only one who wins when time off goes unused is your employer!

Remember, a book, online article, podcast or travel magazine simply does not compare to a personal travel experience - and this world has so much to offer! Your choices are endless, so what are you waiting for? Whether it is a family trip to the beach, a romantic getaway or a camping trip in the mountains, take time for yourself… you’ll be healthier for it!

For assistance in planning your next dream vacation, contact Merissa Newton, Owner of Preferred Travel Partners - Dream Vacations at (615) 861-1661 or visit www.preferredtravelpartners.net. We strive to bring exceptional, concierge-style planning services to our clients, while maintaining competitive prices.

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