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 rails, 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. Here are eight reasons traveling is so good for the health, both mentally and physically.
#1 You 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.
#2 You Challenge Your Brain to Improve
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.
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.
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.
#3 Escape the Everyday Stresses in Life
The more you get away, the more you move away from the everyday stresses of life. You get to take your mind and body out of work, family life, and other problems.
Getting away from the stresses of everyday life is important to protect your overall health. Stress is a silent killer. It raises your blood pressure, and your whole mental health will be affected. The stress hormones cloud the judgment and affect the release of happy hormones.
When you travel, you are boosting the release of happy hormones to take over the stress hormones. You take yourself out of the situations that are harder for you to struggle. You also find enjoyment in life that you haven’t had before.
Travelling allows you to take things at your own pace. Sure, you may be stuck to an itinerary if you book some type of group travel, but you will find that it is still lighter than the routine you have at home. It’s also something different and new and exciting to deal with while you’re away.
When you do return to your everyday life, the stress of your everyday life doesn’t seem as bad. You return to an old routine that is different from the last week or month (depending on how long you’ve been away). You’ll find that the everyday routine is something that you don’t mind as much anymore. That is until you get fed up of it again and are ready to travel again!
#4 Easier to Cope with Stress
Whether you are worried about someone’s health or just have a high-stress job, trying to deal with everything going on in your life isn’t going your health any good. Getting away from the everyday stresses isn’t just a way to unwind. You’ll find that traveling helps you cope and deal with stress so much better. In fact, you can find that situations that were once a nightmare are those that you breeze through when you return.
Travelling does bring its own stress. You have to make sure you stick to a travel itinerary (if you have one) or get through airport chaos. You may have to deal with delays and flight changes. Then there are the stresses of other travelers around you and fitting into a new culture as a tourist. There’s the uncertainty of what you will do the next day or what will happen in your life.
You develop new coping strategies when on the road. You want to be able to enjoy your trip and not look back at how much of a nightmare it was. There’s also the adrenaline rush that you gain from getting through the situations. This is especially the case if you tackle an adventure holiday. There’s an adrenaline rush when you push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Coping with stress is essential. You will find that your overall health benefits because you don’t get the regular release of stress hormones. You’re not always looking out for the downsides in life and will find it easier to find enjoyment in everything that you do.
Research backs this up. When you start to accept deviations and problems, you start to deal with them much better. The deviations you accept can be completely different in everyday life, but your new mental attitude will benefit work, family life, and more.
#5 Boost Your Creativeness to Boost Your Health
Did you know that more creative people are healthier? Okay, so this isn’t in every single case, but you will help to improve your life and health by focusing on a more creative approach. The great news is that traveling will help to improve just how creative you are in life.
Let’s look at authors and painters. Before they start on a new project, they will usually travel. This could be to the area that they want to write about or just to an area that somehow links to their ideas. Sometimes they’ll just go somewhere because they want to experience a new culture. They build ideas from the area that they are.
This is especially the case for writers. When they get out of their own location, they witness far more and build ideas from their experiences. They see how people interact, learn new things, and see new sights. They can create a full story idea within a day because of the new sights, sounds, and experiences they gain.
When you travel, you can take advantage of this in life. While traveling, you pull yourself out of your comfort zone. You force yourself into situations that you wouldn’t usually experience; situations that you don’t necessarily have control over.
How does all this help your health? You constantly push your mental state and yourself out of your comfort zone. You create new situations and build new connections, improving your mental health incredibly. You’re at a much lower risk of developing depression, and you can control your anxiety issues immediately.
The new creativeness will also boost your confidence. You know that you can deal with anything that life throws at you, so are willing to take on more risks. This can also help your overall life, rather than just your health.
#6 Boost Mood and Thoughts through Social Connections
Humans aren’t isolated creatures. We crave the social interaction of others. Maybe not every day, but we do benefit from some social interaction regularly—and definitely not just with kids!
Traveling helps to cure the all too frequent isolation we fall into. You are forced into situations where you need to talk to others. This is something that happens even if you decide to travel alone and backpack around a country or a continent. You spend time in youth hostels and on cruises, where some of the only entertainment is with the strangers that you meet.
Connecting to strangers is much easier as you look for guidance in a new area. You want to know the best places to go and need help with various situations. There’s the ability to see how different cultures celebrate holidays and handle various stressful events that occur.
Some of these connections that you build will be connections for life. You may find that the people come back into your life in the future, allowing you the chance to build the connections deeper.
There is also the ability to push your beliefs and understandings. What you once thought was dark and twisted may become a new normal. What you once accepted by the people around you are now a view or belief that is frowned upon, and you can see both sides to an argument.
You never know what those social connections could lead to. Plenty of people has fallen in love while traveling, which has helped support their love for traveling since they meet like-minded people.
#7 Easier to Boost Weight Loss Efforts
If you’ve ever wanted to lose weight, you want to look at traveling more. Sure, you must eat out more, and you don’t always get to control a number of calories you eat, but you will find it much easier to create a calorie deficit.
Let’s focus on the activity element that was our first main benefit of traveling. When you do more activity, you instantly burn more calories. You make it easier to get rid of the excess calories that you eat on a daily basis. This doesn’t matter if you take a cruise holiday or you backpack around the Amazon! You can take one of the calmest of vacations, and you will still find it easier to lose weight.
There’s no need to do anything majorly special either when it comes to activity. You’ll find that you want to make the most of your time in a new country or around a new culture so you will push yourself more to getting around all the sights. You spend all your day out of the house and get home realizing that you’ve walked 15,000 to 20,000 steps—at least!
You’ll also find that the more activity you do, the less you want or crave the junk. You can try out local delicacies now and then but will find it easier to opt for the healthier choices on the menus.
And then there’s also the water. This is something you need to work on actively.
We tend to drink less, especially when traveling. We find it harder to stop for a drink and don’t always buy the right options. After all, there are so many new cocktails that you want to try!
It’s important to make sure you carry a bottle of water around with you at all times. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, have that bottle of water. And then keep topping it up! If you are in an area where the tap water isn’t great, make sure you set a budget that allows you to buy bottles of water regularly to keep your water intake up.
#8 Try Out Alternative Lifestyles and Health Remedies
If you’ve ever wanted to lose weight, you want to look at traveling more. Sure,when you visit new cultures, you get to experience how other people live. This isn’t just about developing new social thoughts or beliefs, but also about witnessing health remedies and different types of lifestyles.
Traveling will let you try out the alternative lives safely and without too much commitment. It’s possible to get away from the touristy areas and focus on how the real people live. This is a chance to experience what it would be like to live there. This is definitely something to do before you take the permanent step of moving somewhere.
There’s certainly the benefit of the alternate health remedies. This is the chance to see how herbal remedies really help to cure ailments and soothe problems. You get to try the remedies from the original place they were created, by practitioners who know what they’re doing. You’re not worried about health shops at home adding other chemicals to them or selling them at overrated prices.
If you decide that they do work, you can take some back with you. You also get to find out about the real ingredients so you can make them at home. This could be an opportunity to step away from the pharmaceutical medications.
Where Will You Travel First?
Traveling really is one of the best things that you can do for your health. This is something that supports both your physical and mental health. You will get to support your emotional health and life a better and more natural life, even when you’re not traveling.
The eight reasons to travel more above are a snapshot of the way you will benefit. There are just so many more reasons to travel to help protect your health. They all link some way into the reasons above but deepen your benefits considerably.
Just think about the social connections you can make and the way that you will feel. You get to escape the isolation, especially if you currently don’t work or your job involves a work from home element. This is your chance to step out of the rat race and take on cultures that you’ve only ever heard of.
Traveling really is one of the best things that you can do. All you need to decide now is where you will go first.
This piece was written by Karen Reed, Managing Editor and originally published on Positive Health Wellness.