Travel is one of our favourite indulgences, giving us opportunities to explore different places, experience different cultures and admire unique landscapes all around the world – but did you know it can also be good for both your physical and mental health? Next time someone asks you why you travel so much share this article with them to explain how your holidays are actually good for your health!
Travel lowers your stress levels
There’s no better way to relieve stress than to get away from it all. By taking a break from your job, home life or anything else that is causing your stress levels to skyrocket, you’re automatically putting all that stress behind you. Studies have shown that after just a few days of travelling, people feel well rested, less anxious and less stressed. To maximise the benefits of travel on your stress levels, turn off your phone and focus on your surroundings.
Travel boosts your mental health
Travel isn’t just good for your stress levels it’s also a proven benefit towards aspects of mental health, including reducing anxiety and improving positivity. By stepping away from your daily routine and surrounding yourself with new places, new people and new experiences, your mind goes through a ‘reset’ process. Experiencing new places and different cultures keeps your mind sharp, helps with personal growth and inspires creativity.
Travel improves our physical fitness
Obviously, travel isn’t always good for our physical health if you spend your holidays sat beside a pool and snacking – but most of the time our travels are improving our physical fitness. We tend to walk more when we’re travelling, and we’re more likely to enjoy activities such as swimming or water sports. If you check your daily steps, you’ll definitely notice an increase when you’re on holiday – even if you’re just walking around a city or along the beach.
Travel boosts our immunity
As we travel around the world, we expose our immune systems to different kinds of bacteria, subsequently producing antibodies and protecting ourselves from future illnesses. All of those stomach bugs that we pick up when we’re travelling could actually be good for us, helping our bodies adapt! Obviously, we should ensure that we wash our hands and that we’re careful about what we eat and drink, but research shows that occasional minor illnesses could be strengthening our immune systems.
Travel helps to create strong personal relationships
When you travel with a partner, a friend or a family member, you inevitably return home feeling closer to them than before. When you’re spending an entire day with someone, negotiating a new place, attempting to understand a different language and problem solving together, you are deepening your relationship. This, in turn, helps to maintain positive mental health. A study carried about by the US Travel Association showed that 84 per cent of couples that travelled together had better communication and longer lasting relationships.
Travel can decrease your risk of heart disease
Studies have shown that both men and women who travel at least once a year are less likely to suffer a heart attack or develop heart disease than those who don’t travel. This could be linked to several factors, such as eating better on holiday and enjoying more exercise and fresh air, as well as relieving stress and feeling less anxious when travelling.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.