The Research Is In: Travel Is Good For You

You can stop making excuses. No more “We’ll take that trip next year,” or “We’ll travel when we’re retired.” A multi-million dollar research project by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) and Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) has proven that travel provides more than just a good time. In addition to the social and psychological benefits of exploring new places and cultures, travel provides scientifically-proven cognitive and physical benefits.

Travel Is a Must for Kids

Research from the TCRS and GCOA study published by the U.S. Travel Association found that children between the ages of 12 and 18 who travel outside of their region perform better in school. In addition to being more interested in their studies, kids who travel are more likely to earn college degrees. The study may seem biased toward children of wealthier parents with more money to travel, but researchers confirmed that kids from a wide range of social classes were examined. The results were consistent across all classes.

Adults Are Healthier When They Travel

The benefits of travel weren’t just obvious among the kids studied. The research project proved that travel can create major health benefits among men and women. Women who took a vacation every six years, or even less often, had a significantly higher risk of heart attack or coronary death than women who took a vacation at least twice a year. Similarly, men who didn’t take annual vacation showed a 20-percent higher risk of death and a 30-percent higher risk of death from heart disease.

The Benefits Start Immediately

The study found that the benefits of travel among adults are almost immediate. After only a day or two of vacation, 89-percent of the respondents saw significant decreases in stress. The study also confirmed that 59-percent of Americans dream of traveling once retired, but the most impactful trips are those enjoyed with family and friends.

Similar Studies Prove Even More Benefits

If you’re still not convinced that it’s time to book your plane tickets and starting planning an upcoming getaway, a number of additional studies prove even more benefits associated with travel. During an MRI study, Swedish scientists discovered that learning a foreign language showed substantial growth in specific parts of the brain, including those involved with creativity and memory. A study of 853 adults by Edinburgh University found benefits to learning a second language beyond childhood. Similarly, Canadian studies found that being bilingual could delay the onset of dementia and the effects of alzheimer’s disease.

What Are You Waiting for?

In addition to the scientifically-proven health benefits of traveling, exploring new places and new cultures can have a positive impact in a multitude of other ways. Discovering new ways of living and seeing the world can give you a different perspective on your own life. Maybe it’s time to start a new career path or simply start appreciating the access you have to food, shelter, and clean drinking water. Traveling offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in new cultures, taste new foods, and discover new ways of living to help you discover that “different” should never be confused with “bad.”

Whether you’re in need of a serious de-stressing or are looking for a new way to enjoy life, the study performed by the TCRS and GCOA proves that travel is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Source: Huffingtonpost.ca

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Adventures in Good Health

We’ve all heard the ancient maxim, “travel is broadening.” New places, faces and foods certainly stimulate our senses, and there is nothing like looking at the local newspaper while you visiting a new city to help shake off that home-centric perspective.

But I believe the benefits of travel are more than just intellectual. I think there can be emotional benefits as well. For example, while there may be certain stressful challenges involved in travel, it’s a healthy stress that actually energizes you to help you focus on overcoming obstacles. Each little challenge you meet, from finding your way to your hotel to ordering off the menu in a foreign language, gives you a wonderful sense of accomplishment. It’s why travel stress is really the opposite of unhealthy, chronic Cultural Stress®, which keeps you constantly overstimulated, taxes every system in your body, robs you of productive energy and makes it hard to focus.

To make sure that you get the most out of your travels, remember that a vacation from your ordinary work, school or home duties shouldn’t mean a vacation from healthy habits you practice as part of an Inclusive Health® lifestyle. Plan for your travels with TSA-approved sizes of your favorite skincare products, including a strong SPF for your day tours, to make sure you look your healthy best. Be mindful of your food choices so that your body has high-quality nutrition, which is the key to living well. Last but not least, try not to over-plan so that you have enough time to take care of yourself and get the sleep you need to feel better and see the world with fresh eyes every day.

One last tip—keep your hands away from your nose, eyes and mouth. The same simple protocols that can help keep you safe at home during cold and flu season can help you on the road. Airplanes, airports, trains, cabs, elevator and ATM buttons, even restaurant menus are common collection points for the sorts of organisms that can ruin your trip.

 

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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