In partnership and collaboration with Positive Health Wellness
Traveling is one of the best things that you can do for your health. It helps your physical and mental health, with many travelers saying that it’s also excellent for the soul.
Sure, there are some stressful and worrying moments. But overall, when you get out on the road and visit new countries you gain in far more ways. This isn’t about just international travel, either. Traveling your own country and being a tourist in your own town can be so beneficially at the same time.
There are no limits when it comes to traveling, except for what you can afford. You can sight-see around some of your most dreamed about countries or choose exotic adventures. Go by rail, car, or even by boat. There are just so many options, and they will all help you in ways that you have never imagined.
It’s time to save up and plan your next vacation. Get out the itinerary and start enjoying your life in ways so many travelers do. What follows are eight reasons traveling is so good for the health, both mentally and physically, divided into four parts. For part one, let’s start with these two winners.
You’re Able to Get Moving
The biggest benefit of traveling is the amount of movement that you will do. You will constantly be on the go, even if you are taking a trip on a cruise. There are sights to see and things to do!
You know just how important constant movement is, right? You know that this is the best way to improve your health. Not only will you help yourself lose weight, but you’re creating a healthier heart and healthier lungs. Your whole cardiovascular system will thank you, along with your blood pressure.
The more activity you do, the more you get your heart pumping. Remember that the heart is a muscle, and it needs to be worked at constantly to grow faster. Making it work harder temporarily will build the muscle and keep it working for longer. You’ll also support your arteries, which means you lower the risk of high cholesterol problems and high blood pressure.
Walking around will help you reduce your stress levels, too. You get the release of the happy hormones, which will mean the worries and difficulties of life will go away. You’ll find other ways to deal with the stress, so it doesn’t cause as many health complications in the future. You’re at a lower risk of having a heart attack or a stroke because of your way of life.
Did you know that studies support the idea of traveling regularly? If you think that your once-a-year holiday is perfect for you, think again. Those who take more holidays in the space of a year have a healthier life. They’re less likely to suffer many of the health complications in the future because they are far more active.
It really doesn’t matter where you go for this benefit. You could spend your whole time in one country. What you really want to focus on is getting the steps in each day. If you are going to take a cruise, you’ll get the activity in when you dock and go sightseeing. Of course, you can also add in more exercise by walking around the ship’s deck and other places. Don’t use your vacation as an excuse to sit around and do nothing the whole time!
If you do take medication, you may find that you need less of it on a daily basis. The activity that you get will help you to improve your whole body’s health, as your heart grows stronger. Your normal high blood pressure reduces to the point where you no longer need to take the medication to keep it down. Your doctor will be more than happy to take off a regular prescription from your list for this reason!
There are going to be times that you need to push your activity levels. While you will have days where you tour a city on a cruise, there are other days where you will be stuck on the ship. Most of these cruises will have somewhere to go where you can exercise. There may be swimming pools up on the deck or a fitness suite with state of the art equipment. Make an effort to use them while you’re stuck on the ship for a few days. After all, you’re paying for the luxuries of the fitness equipment, so you may as well get your full money’s worth!
You Challenge Your Brain and Improve Its Health
The brain is another muscle that needs strengthening and challenging. While it doesn’t necessarily work in the same way as other muscles in the body, it can be developed and improved over time. Unfortunately, it can also deteriorate quickly. It is one of those parts of the body that researchers don’t quite fully understand. Just look at The Big Bang Theory at how difficult it can be to understand everything about it.
The great news is that travel has been shown to help improve the brain health. There’s the ability to challenge yourself daily, making you think of alternate options and learn new things. You constantly expand your horizons, meaning that your brain is constantly on the go. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, training your brain regularly helps to improve its longevity.
Doctors regularly recommend that people do puzzles daily. They encourage Sudoku and crosswords regularly to make sure your brain constantly has to work. By doing this regularly, you help to support the mental health and reduce the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s in later life.
While traveling isn’t quite the same as crosswords, it does offer many of the same benefits. This is especially the case if you go to new places and visit new places. You take in new cultures and learn all about history and plans for the future. There’s something new to remember, meaning that your brain is getting some sort of workout, even if it’s not exactly what the doctor ordered.
On top of all this, scientists have found that walking or hiking is excellent for physically growing the brain. As we get older, our hippocampus gets smaller. We have two hippocampi on either side of our brain, which are responsible for the retention of information. The smaller they get, the less information they are able to take in. They control the short and long term memory, so you want to keep them as big as possible.
When we get more activity, our hippocampi both grow instead of shrink. It will be much easier to take in all the information that we’re learning throughout our travels. Studies have actually shown that those who walk regularly grow their hippocampi by two percent every single year. Just imagine what it will be like over time!
Wouldn’t you love to prevent memory and cognitive issues in your later years? Your family certainly would!
There is another major benefit of traveling to the brain. Not only do you improve memory and cognitive abilities, but you also boost a number of positive thoughts you will get. Your whole mental health is support through getting out and seeing the sights.
One of the biggest ways you benefit is through the fresh air. You spend more time outside, getting different scents and just benefitting from the extra oxygen in your body. Of course, there’s also the walking that will help you gain some other oxygenated benefits. Your heart pumps more oxygen around the body, especially into the brain.
When you spend all your time at home or at work, you will find the stress hormones release. With the fresh air, your happy hormones are boosted. They keep the stress hormones to a minimum. You feel less tired, and you can find the positives in your life so much easier.
You also get to do something fun. You remove the problems from home, so you can actually do something that you want. By doing something fun, you’re increasing a number of happy hormones that are released into your body further.
More happy hormones mean that you will feel less pain and starve off depression. If you do suffer from depression, you may find that you limit the relapses that you have. There is something new and exciting. The exercise becomes addictive, and you want to see more and do more. You don’t give the negative thoughts a chance to cloud your judgment.
At the same time, your body is able to fight off chronic pain issues. You find it easier every day to walk around and do more. Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons for people to not move around, but this can make it all worse!
-Original article by Karen Reed of Positive Health Wellness
-Next article in series: Get Away from Everyday Stress