Traveling is one of the very best things you can do for your health – medical professionals have known this for centuries, and in England in the 1700s, doctors prescribed ‘sea air’ as a cure for many different kinds of ailments. Although advances in medicine have, thankfully, progressed a lot since then, there are still plenty of reasons why traveling can make you feel so much healthier. Here are some of them.
No matter where you go or what you do, the pure fact that you are moving around will be a definite improvement on your health (as long as you remember your travel vaccinations – the worst travel diseases can ruin a vacation). You may choose to journey to the Amazonian rainforest and go on a guided trek, you could be mountain climbing, you might want to walk around a fascinating city for the day… even if you decide to lie on the beach in the sun, you’ll still need to walk there from your hotel, and you might even want to go for a dip in the sea. All of this is a form of exercise, and potentially more exercise than you’re getting at home right now.
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and your brain is a muscle that needs to be exercised just like all your others. Going somewhere interesting, somewhere different, somewhere with a new culture, or wonderful architecture, or a rich history, will give your brain something to do, and keep it active. Plus, changing up your daily routine is another plus point when it comes to keeping your brain healthy. Although we often crave order and routine, changing it every now and then can stimulate the brain into action. Learning about other cultures will also inspire your brain enough, as well as expand your worldly knowledge.
A vacation will allow you to get away from the everyday stresses that we all experience in life. It will give you the chance to recharge, and to re-think if necessary. Stress is what is known as a silent killer, and having too much stress in your life can affect your health in a variety of different ways – it can affect your judgement, it can lead to heart disease, it can make you physically less able to move around, and it can bring on depression. When traveling, you are giving your serotonin levels (the happy hormone) a boost, pushing the stress levels of everyday life away. When you return from vacation, you should be able to find more enjoyment in life than you did before – and even the direst of situations will look and feel better.
Another element of travel that can often lead to better health is the possibility of making new friends and connections. Isolation can lead to health problems – people are built to be social creatures, and that’s even true for introverts (although introverts may require less social interaction that extroverts). Going on vacation and making new friends will boost your mental health, and that, in turn, will boost your physical health.