Normally, when you think of vacations, you think of a way to enjoy your free time, either by yourself or with family and friends. And most of the times, this is just what it is. But in reality, you do so much more than just being relaxing somewhere. Now, some facts have been uncovered, linking the relaxation you experience during this time and your health. Yes, that’s right. Vacationing and traveling help you with your health.
Still not convinced? Let’s analyze this: Americans get the least amount of vacation time among countries in the industrialized world–an average of 8.1 days after a year on the job and 10.2 days after three years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, reports a survey conducted by the online travel company Expedia. com, U.S. workers will be taking 10 percent less vacation time than they did last year.
Australians, for example, are guaranteed–by law–four weeks of annual vacation time and often receive more in negotiations with their employers. In contrast, 13 percent of U.S. companies now offer no paid leave, up from 5 percent five years ago, says the Society for Human Resources Management. In the state of Washington, 17 percent of workers get no paid leave.
Some reports show that forty percent (40%) of Americans work more than 50 hours a week. Also, 56% of employees will postpone their vacation until business or productivity improves. All of these conditions only serve to increase stress in workers, and stress can lead to serious health hazards, including, but not limited, to heart disease, hyper tension and headaches.
Now, a very effective way to reduce stress is taking a good earned vacation. Studies show that people who take a vacation trip at least once a year, reduce the risk of heart attack by 50%. It’s also reported that people who postpone their vacations too often, have twice the chance of developing myocardial infarction or coronary death. Meanwhile, blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of epinephrine – a stress hormone – decline on holidays of only one or two days.
So, as you can see, traveling and vacationing are not only fun for for you, but also very, very good for your health. And it’s not just over-worked people who can benefit from vacationing. Women who take more vacations are more satisfied with their marriages. That may be because: At least four out of ten travelers feel more romantic on vacation (42%), and nearly one-third admit to making love more often on vacation (31%). It could also be due to the fact that over half of employed Americans say they come back feeling reconnected with their family after vacation (53%). A clear majority of students who traveled on an international exchange program felt they had become more trusting, open-minded, flexible, confident, and tolerant as a result of their travel experiences. In addition, eight out of ten said that the primary benefit of these travels is a desire for more travel. Patients who had previously appeared isolated and withdrawn at a Midwestern Veteran’s hospital were able to have conversations after taking a vacation. In fact, staff reported that vacations appeared to “lift the aura of depression” that was part of the emotional trauma of dealing with prolonged illness.