We all know the effects of vacations on our mood – how great it is to get a break from work, life in the city and everyday obligations. But a new research suggests that traveling may have even long-term positive effect on the health. It turns out travel is the best anti-aging remedy, because it keep our brains and bodies healthier and in better shape as we get older.
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It has always been known that vacations are beneficial for the physical and mental health, but a recent analysis of existing studies shows more specific effects of the travel. The Global Coalition on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies in collaboration with the U.S. Travel Association conducted a survey and found that leisure travel boosts the cognitive and cardiovascular health, especially in middle-aged people or older. According to the researchers, this is the first analysis that links travel and the activities associated with it, with positive effects on the health. It shows vacations have not only physical, but also cognitive and social benefits, even for those traveling in their 70s and 80s.
One study asked women aged 45 to 64 how often they took vacations. After 20 years, the researchers discovered that women who traveled every six years were at significantly higher risk of having a heart attack or dying of a coronary disease than those who took vacations at least twice a year. These results were shown even after taking into consideration risk factors sucjh as blood pressure. Another research, which was conducted for a period of 9 years in men at high risk of coronary heart disease, showed that annual travel lowered the chance of dying from any cause and especially from heart disease.
The researchers also looked at data from research papers, which showed that people who participate regularly in a range of activities – traveling, gardening, or working unconventional jobs, were at lower risk of having dementia. In fact, the mental benefits are greater, if you travel to an unknown destination and try to navigate though places and sites on your own. In fact, this is usually t half of the fun. Of course, physical activity like exercise, sports or even mountain hiking provides even a bigger boost for the memory and the body’s health. Overall, travel keeps your brains sharp and lowers the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Another essential factor for healthier and slower aging is happiness. The study shows that travel improves the mood, with 86 percent of travelers having a positive attitude to life. And 75 percent of non-travelers are happy. So, even if you are not quite full of wanderlust, don’t stay home playing bridge, but book a trip and you’ll love it. It’s a science-proven fact.