After the year we’ve all had, it’s no surprise that we’re all desperately pining for a holiday to an exotic location. Nothing quite beats that feeling of knowing you’re going on holiday or travelling. When you return feeling relaxed and refreshed, this is not just a natural response to being away from the daily stresses of life or your job, but you’re experiencing the soul-nourishing effects of travel.
Research has shown that travel has far more benefits on our health than just relaxation – it has been found that travelling and being on holiday has a huge impact on our physical, mental and emotional well-being, but why exactly is travelling so good for your health? Here are 4 reasons to look into.
Travel Relieves Stress
Whilst missing a flight is one of the most stressful things to happen to travellers, it has been shown that travelling and being on holiday can dramatically lower your stress levels. One study found that even just three days into a vacation, you are likely to feel much less anxious and more rested. These feelings tend to linger long after your trip has come to an end and even planning a holiday can boost your feelings of happiness. Travelling has the ability to remove you from the mundane day to day routine and immerse you in new surroundings and experiences, which then help to reset your mind.
Travel Improves Your Sleep Patterns
A huge proportion of adults aren’t getting the recommended amount or quality of sleep. Poor sleeping habits mixed with stressful work and life environments is a terrible mixture for our overall mental state. There are numerous health risks associated with poor sleep patterns, including poor mental performance and increased stress on the heart.
It is recommended that adults get on average 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night and it has been found that, whilst on holiday, we are more relaxed and likely to switch off easier at night time, making it easier to fall asleep. With the lifestyle of some holiday destinations, such as Spain, taking it easy during the afternoon by taking a “siesta” or finishing early are part of the everyday routine, making it easier to adapt and adjust to this more laidback way of life.
Travel Boosts Your Vitamin Intake
Thanks to our busy lifestyles, so many of us are lacking in essential nutrients and vitamins that we need to function and rely on multivitamins and supplements instead. This then has a knock-on effects on our health, making us feel lethargic and irritable. One of the biggest causes of a lack of nutrient intake is down to our diets, with many vitamins and minerals that our bodies need found naturally in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and meat and fish, but as a lot of adults rely on convenience foods to get through the day, our diets are naturally low in these foods.
When we go on holiday, a lot of the foods on offer are made of fresh ingredients and locally sourced foods, meaning that for the length of time you are on holiday, you’re likely to be increasing your vitamin intake without realising, which can also be a reason behind why we feel so good whilst travelling. Pair this with a higher intake of natural vitamin D, and it’s no surprise that so many of us feel our best whilst relaxing in the sunshine!
Travel Boosts Your Happiness Levels
There is a huge issue across the globe with depression and mental health issues and, whilst the majority of people still tend to avoid the subject, it is something that unfortunately continues to be a major problem. Although travel can’t cure depression and mental health issues, it can work to lessen the impact.
Even just planning a trip is enough to boost your happiness levels and a study found that the anticipation of going on a holiday or travelling is enough to create feelings of happiness and this is actually far greater than the happiness felt when travelling.