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Catch the travel bug for a healthy heart! Outlook India, 29 September 2017
The thought of travelling to a new destination, sipping cocktails on a beach, and indulging in a relaxing spa-bath can instantly cut down stress levels and bring a sense of relief in one’s life.
Several studies have proved that travel offers a variety of surprising personal and health benefits, including an increased feeling of happiness and a decreased risk of heart diseases. Taking a trip can also help to break the monotony and infuse freshness in the humdrum existence of daily life. Along with gaining new experiences and insights, travel greatly reduces stress and better enables people to deal with the challenges of modern living.
Let’s take a look at the list, curated by Jayanth Sharma, co-founder and CEO, Toehold, that speaks about how travelling can bring a healthy change and keep us hale and hearty.
1) Increases happiness and decreases stress: Taking a short break from work and heading for a vacation can help you unwind and recharge. Chronic stress can increase the levels of certain hormones that disrupt normal bodily processes and can lead to blood clots that increase the chances of heart attacks. Therefore, take time off from work and travel to a new place, where you can relax, rest, make memories and share experiences with family and friends.
2) Promotes greater physical activity: Lack of physical activity is the primary cause of most chronic diseases, which compounds unhealthy practices such as consuming junk food and missing workouts due to lack of time. This increases the risk of developing coronary artery diseases, blood clots, and high blood pressure, which increase greatly the chances of suffering from strokes or heart attacks. While travelling, do make it a point to indulge in adventure activities like trekking, kayaking, and rafting. In case you do not like adrenaline-pumping activities, spend your day out of the hotel room exploring the city on foot or a bicycle. Remember, the more you get your heart pumping, the better.
3) Leads to social interactions: Often, fulfilling personal and professional commitments without having time to ‘stand and stare’ can leave a person depressed and isolated. Loneliness and isolation can increase the risk of heart dysfunction. The best way to find a cure for this problem is to set out on a journey and be a part of interesting engagements and interactions. Travelling makes you interact with different people with interesting backgrounds and perspectives, which can create lasting friendships. Being away from home also gives you the opportunity to be more relaxed in your own skin, and gives you a chance to interact with others with less fear of being judged; this means that the friends that you do make on such trips can often be more genuine than those you meet in your daily life.
4) Boosts immune system significantly: Heading to a new destination can help you take your mind off your hectic schedule and break free from all the pent-up stress, frustrations, and negativity that you carry as baggage. You breathe fresh air and stay in close touch with nature, away from the monotonous routine you follow back at home. After taking up road journeys for 17 years, a travel blogger had posted that travel has been his best probiotic. By travelling to new destinations, the body adapts to new bacteria, giving a boost to the immune system by creating antibodies to deal with the new potential threats.
5) Helps you live longer: We all desire a change of place, yearn to unplug ourselves from technology and relieve stress. Taking a break from work can give the body time to recover from the stress experienced at the workplace. According to several studies, even the anticipation of a trip can make a person happy. Taking trips frequently can boost your creative skills, cut down on stress levels, restore your health and improve your overall well-being.