Indian novelist Anita Desai famously stated, “Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” A study back in 2013 found that 59% of Americans want to travel during their retirement. Most people would like to travel more, and now there are scientifically proven health benefits.
One of the biggest benefits of travel is stress reduction. One study found that vacations made people feel well rested, less anxious, and lead to overall mood improvements. These benefits seemed to last for three weeks after returning home. So why do we experience stress reduction from traveling? The answer is quite simple. Based on a 2013 Stress in America Survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, vacations tend to remove us from the stressful environments and activities in our lives. In other words, sometimes we just need to get away from the stressors in our lives and experience new things. So, if travel reduces stress, does it have an effect on heart health? According to the Framingham Heart Study, both men and women who traveled annually had a lower risk of suffering from a heart attack.
Based on the research, there is no doubt that traveling has some tremendous health benefits. Overall, those who travel tend to have a longer life expectancy. It should be noted that one does not need to leave the country or spend a lot of money to receive health benefits. As the research points out, the key is getting away from the stressors in our life. This may be as easy as taking a short road trip to clear your mind. Have you noticed health improvements after your latest vacation? We would love to hear if traveling has helped you cope with stress or simply helped improve your mood.