4 Ways Traveling Can Improve Your Overall Health

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel
read only one page” - Saint Augustine

Travel is an important part of life for so many different reasons - it expands our individual worldviews, brings us all closer together as a human race, plus it’s downright fun to see new places! However, did you know that it can also be an important activity for your overall health?

Here are just a few ways traveling can improve your health overall:
  1. Stress relief - This one may seem obvious, of course vacations are great for stress relief. However, did you know that traveling can help reduce your stress even after you return home? A recent study found that 3 days after vacation, travelers felt less anxious and more well-rested. And, these improvements didn’t vanish after 3 days, they lasted for weeks afterward.

  2. Boosts your mood - This benefit of traveling begins even before your vacation does! Studies have shown that the anticipation that accompanies a vacation is oftentimes the leading factor in the happiness that comes with travel. That means that your mood can begin to improve the moment you decide to take a vacation, even if it’s months (or more) away.

  3. Good for your physical health - Travel exposes you to different environments that contain bacteria that your body may not be used to. This may sound like a bad thing, but in reality, it is actually very good for your immune system to be exposed to new bacteria. This exposure forces your body to adapt by creating stronger antibodies and the result is an overall stronger immune system.

  4. Mental Durability - Just like with our physical body, our brain becomes accustomed to our daily lives and routines, often lacking much-needed brain exercise. Exposure to new environments through travel helps your brain flex muscles that lay dormant during periods of relative monotony and new experiences increase cognitive flexibility, keeping your mind sharp. 

When most people think of traveling or planning vacations they oftentimes think of going to exotic far-off places. While, that can be very exciting and fun, just remember that you don’t have to go all the way across the globe to experience these same health benefits. Even booking a weekend getaway at a hotel in your own city and playing tourist for the day can elicit the same health benefits as a week away in Tahiti. 

The important thing to remember is to take time out of your busy schedules to focus on you.

If you have questions about any one of the topics discussed above or simply need to set up a time to talk with a healthcare professional, feel free to email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323.