This is Why Vacation is Vital to Your Health

Updated: Oct 19

Have you ever talked yourself out of a vacation? Do you often use the excuse “I'm too busy to take a break,” or have you told yourself “I’ll just wait and take a vacation next year?” If so, then you are in good company. Fast Company notes that the average American is said to only use about half of their vacation time. Unsurprisingly, about 61% of those reluctant vacationers admit to still checking their email during their get-away. The Health Factor There’s something to be said for showing dedication to the job, but you might be stunned to learn that every time you clock-in instead of checking out, you are actually doing your health a disservice. Stress levels rise and anxiety increases as you continuously focus on the daily grind. Before you know it, you have increased the risk of headaches and weakened your immune system. One study even found that those individuals who did not take a vacation for a full year had a greater potential for heart disease. Now, this is not to say that if you worked overtime last year, your health is at risk. It just confirms that vacation does more for our health than we typically realize. It sounds too good to be true, but it's actually backed up by science. According to the American Psychological Association, it’s a proven fact that removing yourself from a demanding environment can effectively reduce your stress level. And in fact, that does play out in real world

accounts. As ZenBusiness explains, the overstressed managers they surveyed found that vacation time was the most effective way for them to reduce stress. Bottom line: a simple break here and there could increase your health and productivity simultaneously. Get Serious About R&R Of course, all the science and health improvements associated with vacation are only as good as the amount of rest you actually get while on vacation. So next time you decide to bury yourself in sand castles rather than paperwork, make sure you plan your vacation to include the maximum amount of relaxation. Use these tips courtesy of Simmons Fitness & Nutrition as a guideline for a healthier, enjoyable get-away: Plan the details of your trip before you leave. One source says 75% of vacationers consider last-minute transportation needs or navigating unfamiliar areas as the most stressful part of their time away. Research things like hotels, meals, packing lists, or tourist attractions before you go. Organize your trip months in advance to give yourself time to budget. Try starting a vacation fund for your extra trip expenses so that you aren’t overwhelmed by the cost once you arrive. Booking your reservations well in advance might help secure a few promotional deals, as well. No one wants to worry about their bank account while they are trying to destress. Consider who is going with you. Make sure you take your trip with someone that will keep you at ease while you’re away. Vacationing with friends can quickly turn into drama and tension if you aren’t on the same page about your plans. Discuss a few things before you go, like your perspectives on tipping, which customs to follow in a new culture, how to split the costs, and things you’d like to do on your vacation. Consider using a travel agent. Travel agents not only have extra discounts for a wide range of destinations, but they also have knowledge of the area where you are traveling. They can give you tips on the cities you are visiting, and explain what types of things you need to avoid when you get there. Hone your writing craft while you relax. Journaling or writing about your experiences and feelings while you’re on vacation will help you be more present and gain perspective about what is and isn’t working for you in your daily life. And who knows, you might be able to turn your musings into a great travel book. A well-planned vacation stay can keep health problems away. Probably the simplest, most overlooked treatment for stress and anxiety is to just have fun and live a little. Give yourself the

relaxation you’ve been needing, because vacation is vital to living a healthier life. Simmons Fitness & Nutrition applies fitness science to the exercise methods that work best. Contact us for the extra support you need to encourage you to push beyond your limits! (469) 994-7662

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