Did you know that traveling the world may be the perfect prescription for your physical and mental health? Instead of spending your money on moving to your dream city, you can travel them all. If you really need an excuse to get out there and explore, these reasons are likely to do the trick.
It Can Help You Live Longer
According to a study by the Global Coalition on Aging, travel can help people enjoy a longer, higher quality of life. Women who vacation every six years or less frequently were found to have a significantly higher risk of developing a heart attack as compared with their female counterparts who went on vacation at least twice a year. Men who didn’t take a vacation at least once a year were shown to have a 20 percent higher risk of an earlier death and approximately a 30 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease. And, when it comes to happiness, 86% of people who traveled reported being more content with their lives, compared to 75% of those who didn’t travel.
The reasons behind this are said to be a combination of benefits that travel offers, including reduced stress, a sense of involvement and purpose, and more positive emotions in general. The research also showed that the entire process of traveling, from planning to looking at the photos afterwards, simply made people happier.
It Keeps You Mentally Sharp
Any new experience can help keep you mentally sharp by increasing cognitive flexibility, but as travel is filled with new experiences, it’s one of the best ways to support and even improve brain health. Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology revealed that students who lived abroad were 20% more likely to solve a computer task than those who didn’t travel. The reason behind that is believed to be that experiencing different cultures helps to open up the mind, which also helps one to realize that one thing may have multiple meanings, making solutions easier to find.
If you want to step it up a notch, plan to do some walking, biking, hiking or paddling while you’re traveling. Multiple studies have found that physical activity helps to grow the hippocampus which normally starts to shrink in the later adult years, leading to impaired memory or even dementia..
It Strengthens the Immune System
As travel exposes one to various environments, it helps the body build strong antibodies, significantly boosting the immune system. If you take part in outdoor adventures like hiking or anything else that gets you dirty, that’s even better as getting exposed to some dirt and minor illnesses can help make the gut and overall body stronger. Of course, you should still wash your hands regularly, but introducing new bacteria is definitely not a bad thing, as when you travel from place to place your body will adapt to thousands of different, new bacteria that makes it much stronger in the long run.
It Boosts Self-Confidence
One of the natural by-products of travel is a boost in self-confidence. Allowing yourself to become immersed into unknown territory immediately causes an internal shift in your confidence level. Each experience builds even more confidence, especially if you challenge yourself just a little further each time. When time you take a risk or do something new, whether it’s as small as venturing off your usual itinerary or as big as embarking on an independent expedition, it presents a chance to increase self-confidence. In turn, that can enhance both your personal and professional life.
It Betters Coping Skills
By placing yourself in a situation where things may not go as planned, it helps you learn to cope better with the inevitable challenges and uncertainties in life.