Vacations Are Good
For Your Health
Taking an extended break from the day to day routine and demands of life can
help you live longer. Along with other forms of stress reduction such as
meditation, exercise, and yoga vacation ranks right up there when it comes to
enhancing the quality of life by decreasing the effects of chronic stress. In a
20 year study published by the Framingham Heart Study found that “Men reduce
their risk of a heart attack by 30% and women by 50%” by taking regular
According to Jens Pruessner, associate professor of psychology at McGill
University in Montreal, “Vacation is NOT a luxury…it’s an “investment in your
And this investment can pay off in spades. Not only do people reduce their risk
of cardio vascular disease and possibly cancer, vacation has a positive
influence on how people feel about their lives in general.
Vacations Raise Family Bonding
According to Karen Matthews of the University of Pittsburgh’s Mind-Body Center,
People who had greater leisure activities “reported more life satisfaction,
finding more meaning in life, … They tended to be more religious [and] spiritual
in orientation. They reported having a lot of support from friends and having a
large network of friends and family.”
Vacations increase our sense independence
Families who play together stay together. Vacation and travel can impart a sense
of independence and self-confidence to children and adults as interpersonal and
physical boundaries are enlarged and new friends enter our lives. Whether a
person is married, single, travelling with or without children or companions,
the experience will make a positive imprint on our bodies and souls.
Dr. Mel Borins MD in his book, “Go Away Just for the Health of It” says, “I’ve
always joked that I should open a travel service as part of my medical practice.
If you came to see me I would take your full medical history,..a complete
physical…order any necessary tests and then, depending on your symptoms I would
prescribe an appropriate vacation.”
Vacations Open Up Your Mind and Spur Creativity
During vacation we are bound to think differently as we make our way in foreign
surroundings. Our brains are exercising new pathways. We are prone to being more
physically active as we acquaint ourselves with a new environment. Relationships
can flourish when people vacation together as they are sharing in a time of
education, relaxation and renewal that benefits the relationship as a whole.
With all these things going for it, it is hard to understand why so many people
neglect to take vacation. The United States takes less vacation days than any
other industrialized nation on earth with the exception of Japan. And, every
year, fewer and fewer people break away to enjoy vacation. Some of the reasons
given are expense, hassle, unable to leave work, family obligations etc. But it
may boil down to the fact that we are creatures of habit and it is easier to
keep to our comfort zones intact and stay home.
Vacations Can Improve Job Performance (Your boss will thank
So before you make the decision to eliminate vacation this year consider that
the barriers are few compared to the benefits.
Our careers will not be sacrificed, our pets will wait patiently for us, our
flowers will still grow and life will go on as usual when we return. But, in all
likelihood, we will have changed for the better and be able to bring a new
attitude home with us. We will be more creative and productive at work, more
energetic and more able to attend fully to our everyday tasks.
Vacations Are Just Plain Fun!
If this is not enough to convince you to vacation remember this, coming home is
fun too. You get to gloat to everyone about the great time you had, you look
good and sound happy. It is actually enjoyable to re-enter your routine because
you have taken a break. So, scrap the excuses, kick up your heels and get out
there. There is no time like NOW!