Health Benefits of Vacation - Part 1
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~shared by J. Ranner
One of the most important lessons I've learned growing up was learning the distance between a "need" and a "want." When you're younger, it takes a few experiences to learn why purchasing a car is more worthwhile than a jet pack (in most cases, anyways). After years and my share of ridiculous purchases, I like to think that I can fairly assess the difference between things I need and things I would just like to have, as most adults would.
I'm here to tell you that adults can still be wrong . . . especially when it comes to vacationing.
While some of us make vacationing a routine habit, others are not as easily persuaded. There's always "better" ways to spend the time and resources, right? And that's where the guilt comes in.
Which, if the medical research serves us correctly, is the complete wrong way to look at things. Don't get me wrong; I'm a proud American, and I know that we have things good in this country because of a lot of HARD WORK. Yet at some point, the "workaholism" turns toxic. Shying away from taking a break will slowly but surely poison your body, mind, and relationships.
And with that, your life may start to suffer.
So let's start with the basic foundations of happiness: feeling alright. If you were to survey a large group of people, I think you would find that the number one reason people take a vacation or break of any sort is to relive stress, the silent killer.
By deciding to take a vacation, you are given the opportunity to leave your problems at home, look at things objectively in a comforting yet different environment
Vacation can improve cardiovascular health with lower risk of heart attack and stroke. Men who skipped vacations for five consecutive years or more were 30% more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who took at least one week of vacation each year, according to Dr. Glenn Braunstein of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Similar studies have reached the same conclusion for women. Further, an annual vacation can cut the risk of heart disease by up to 50%.
Lower stress levels may be linked to slower “aging.” Your chromosomes are much like a length of rope; the more turmoil in your life, the strands start to fray and shorten, leading to accelerated outward signs of aging. When you see someone who looks haggard and old, especially at a young age, it’s a telltale sign of a stressful life. Thus making that effort to vacation at least once a year can keep you looking and feeling good.
And of course, vacationing has been linked to better sleep habits, and we ALL can benefit with more sleep!
These are just a few examples of how vacations can benefit your physical well-being. And guess what- there are even more advantages yet! Stay tuned!
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