If you noticed there haven’t been new posts recently there’s a very good reason. My husband and I spent last week relaxing with sand, sun and surf in Cancun. Taking time off work is something that Americans don’t do enough. That puritan work ethic which makes us uniquely successful also keeps many of us working too many hours without enough time off.
You probably read that the relaxed mood of vacation leaves very quickly. It’s still important to take vacations for many reasons but let’s talk about how it impacts health.
In the Framington Heart Study over 12,000 men at risk for heart disease were evaluated for nearly a decade to try to determine what would increase longevity. They were asked about vacations regularly. Interestingly, the more vacations the men took, the longer they lived.
I can tell you that relieving stress for even a week is very refreshing. Of course, that means taking a true break with no work on vacation.
If you have a job that requires innovation and creative thinking, it’s hard to do that when you’re burned out and tired. It’s amazing how the ability to come up with creative ideas and solutions comes raring back after a break.
It’s been said that the best ideas come when one is away from the office or workplace.
Erase Sleep & Exercise Deprivation
One of the few things we planned during the week was a daily nap. One reason many people feel better after vacation is that they’ve caught up on rest. It’s amazing how good a full night’s sleep feels.
The luxury of time also makes it easy to exercise more regularly either at a gym or just by taking advantage of vacation activities. We swam daily in the ocean and took frequent beach walks. I hadn’t been getting the same amount of exercise at home recently.
Other Health Benefits
Studies have shown additional health benefits from leisure activities including vacation include lower blood pressure, less depression and smaller waistlines. All of those sound pretty good to me.
We would take vacation regardless of any health improvement. I’m heading back to work today relaxed, refreshed and raring to go. These reasons are important enough!
Do you notice any health benefits from taking a vacation?