We live in a golden age where travel is more accessible and sought after than ever before. Most people’s bucket list will consist of at least one place they wish to visit. In fact, there are a lot of people whose bucket list is compromised predominantly of sensational destinations. For those who have a shrewd eye for travel deals, it has become very affordable–more so than ever before.
There are times I have woken up feeling like going somewhere else and a few hours later, I would be in a different country after locating a last minute flight online. Sometimes, I have unearthed flights for as little as fifty dollars.
Of course traveling is fun, educational, and relaxing, but what a lot of people may not know is that traveling promotes better health. Here are 5 ways that traveling promotes better health.
Travel reduces heart disease
A study revealed that traveling helps decrease the chances of having heart problems.
It discovered that men who did not take an annual vacation had a 20% higher risk of death and 30% higher risk of heart disease. And women who went on vacation every six years or less had a higher chance of getting a heart attack compared to women who went on vacation twice a year.
Travel affects your personality
The “Big Five” refers to the five dominant personality traits, which are neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness.
In Germany, researchers found that students who studied abroad (whether short or long term) displayed a substantial increase in openness and agreeableness and a decrease in neuroticism compared to students who stayed in their own country.
Travel stimulates brain growth
Another way that traveling promotes better health is by exposing your brain to completely new situations, which increases your brain’s capacity.
Clinical neuropsychologist and adjunct professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, Paul Nussbaum explained, “When you expose your brain to an environment that’s novel and complex or new and difficult, the brain literally reacts. Your brain literally begins to look like a jungle.”
Travel improves relationships
Research commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association found that couples who travel together tend to be happier in their relationships.
More than 8 in 10 traveling couples said that romance was very much alive in their relationship while 40% said that sex was permanently better after traveling together.
Travel increases happiness
It should come as no surprise that another way traveling promotes better health is by making you feel happier and more excited about life in general.
A study conducted by the University of Surrey showed that people are the happiest when they have an upcoming trip. It promotes a feeling of well-being and joy in comparison to those who did not take regular holidays.
The report stated, “It appears that those who are waiting to go on a holiday [vacation] are much happier with their life as a whole, experience less negative or unpleasant feelings and thus enjoy an overall net positive effect or pleasant feelings. The holiday-taking group are also happier with their family, economic situation and health domains compared to the non-holiday-taking group.”
Someone once said that travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer. The ultimate life goal is to be happy, healthy and doing something you enjoy. Traveling will help you achieve all of that and more.
Don’t waste another moment when adventure is out there waiting for you…science has after all, proven that it is good for you.
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* Article originally featured in Best Lived