Vacation-Prescription for Good Health

It is officially summer vacation time. And unless you are one of those vacations are for wimps types, you are probably looking forward to getting away from the daily grind. You are not alone in your desire to escape. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, some 65 percent of workers plan to take a vacation this year. Good thing too, because vacations can be good for your health.

Benefits of Taking an Annual Vacation

  1. Improve your health. Studies show that taking a vacation can reduce stress levels and positively affect your mental and physical health. Long-term stress can lead to heart disease, depression, obesity, memory loss and other physical ailments. Taking vacations regularly to reduce or break up the stress may prevent or alleviate these serious health conditions. Another health benefit of taking regular vacations is increased levels of vitamin D due to increased exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D supports the absorption of calcium and phosphorous by the body. It also supports healthy bones and helps regulate your immune system.
  2. Strengthen ties among family and friends. Even if you spend a lot of time throughout the year with family and friends, it may not all be quality time. Taking a vacation with our without close family and friends can improve the closeness of these relationships. The shared experience of taking a vacation with family or friends can enhance love and friendship bonds as you explore new adventures and environments together. Taking a vacation alone allows you to recharge and return to your loves ones a more relaxed and conscious companion.
  3. Increase learning opportunities. A vacation should be relaxing and fun, but that does not mean you can’t learn a thing or two. Vacations provide an opportunity to get out of a creative rut or learn a new skill. And you do not have to travel abroad to learn something new. A learning vacation can occur at home. A vacation at home, or staycation, allows you to read a new book, cook a new recipe, learn a new language, or visit a local restaurant or museum for the first time. However, if you want to learn something away from home chances are there is a learning vacation package available for you. There are vacation adventures where you can learn to make wine in California, learn to cook in Italy, or survive in the Canadian Arctic.

In this economy, taking a vacation may seem like a luxury only the rich can afford. But that is not the case. Vacations are a worthwhile investment for everyone and they do not have to be expensive. In fact, taking a paid vacation at or close to home is something everyone can afford, and is believed to have the same wellness benefits as travel vacations. Not taking a vacation has a price also—it can lead to mental and physical fatigue. Taking a vacation can help you control stress levels, strengthen the bond with family and friends, and learn and grow.
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