TAKING TIME OFF PROVIDES HEALTHY BENEFITS
Going on vacation always seems like the solution to many problems. We dream of taking a trip. Often times though, we tell ourselves that we just don’t have enough time to go on vacation. There is too much to do at home or at work. Yet, many of us are consistently stressed out, frustrated by long hours or life’s craziness. According to a survey, the average U.S. employee takes only half of their allotted vacation time. It’s not surprising that people are suffering from being overworked, overwhelmed and overrun.
Did you know… Your brain gets used to not vacationing—and that’s a bad thing. Some neurologists believe that the neural connections that produce feelings of calm become weaker and weaker if they’re not utilized. Over time, this can mean it’s actually harder to get your mind to switch into relaxation mode—even outside of work. Take some time off to beef up these neural connections.
Other studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals.
It’s time we put a stop to this and put our personal needs and health first. Taking time off is a great way to recharge mentally and physically which means you can be better at home. A stress free person is better at productivity, better at clear thinking, better in relationships and more.
6 BENEFITS OF VACATION
Mental Health: Reduce your stress with a vacation! You know that “ahhhh” feeling you have when you finally arrive at your destination? It’s real and it’s important for your health. Neuroscientists have found that brain structure is altered by chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol, which can be a major contributing factor to anxiety and depression. Feelings of calm arise from time away from work and relieve stress, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure.
General Well Being: Overall physical improvements can happen when you go on vacation. According to a Gallup study, people who “always make time for regular trips” had a 68.4 score on the Gallup-Heathway’s Well-Being Index, in comparison to a 51.4 Well-Being score for less frequent travelers. One study found that three days after vacation, subjects’ physical complaints, quality of sleep, and mood had improved as compared to before vacation. These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacation.
Increases Productivity: One of the other benefits of vacation is the impact on productivity. Recharging yourself mentally has real effects on your productivity. Feeling like you can’t get anything accomplished? There’s a reason. Upon returning from vacation, workers are often more focused and productive. Studies have found that chronic stress can actually modulate a part of the brain that inhibits goal-directed activity and can cause problems with memory. Time off can tune up a well-functioning brain. A study by Ernst and Young found for every additional 10 hours of vacation time employees took, their annual performance ratings improved by 8 percent.
Boost Your Heart Health: A study of men at risk for heart disease learned that those who skipped vacations for several years were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who took at least a week off every year. Skipping just one year’s vacation increased the risk for heart disease.A study of women compared women who took at least two vacations per year to women who took only one vacation every several years. The women who took fewer vacations were about eight times more likely to develop heart disease, have a heart attack or die of a coronary-related problem.
They Can Give You A Natural High: Active vacations, in particular, can give you a natural boost. When you discover new things or feel like you’re doing something adventurous, your brain gives you a nice little blast of dopamine, the hormone and neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. So find a vacation spot where you can hike, snorkel, mountain climb—anything outside of your normal day-to-day routine.
Live A Longer, Healthier Life: The more active you are with your leisure time—and the more control you have over your free time—the more likely you are to be satisfied with your life overall. After seeing all of these mental and physical benefits of vacationing, it’s no surprise that European countries in which workers receive up to 30 days of vacation per year enjoy longer life expectancies and lower health care costs.
MAKE VACATION WORK FOR YOU
Taking a vacation can sometimes feel like a daunting task with the obligations of life. Reaping the benefits of vacation can also seem financially daunting. Time off or time away doesn’t have to mean a week at an exotic island though. A long weekend away in one of your favorite vacations spots or a some time with family can easy ways to vacation without breaking the bank. Vacation is what you make of it but the point is to get out of life’s hectic routine and get into a place where you can relax, enjoy and forget all of your stressors for a little while.
Join us for a fitness vacation to reboot body and mind! Send your days with beachside workouts, mind body relaxation classes, sparkling pools and healthy fare.
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