Make time to rejuvenate with a healing getaway.
Summer is the prime season for traveling. This past Memorial Day, for example, AAA estimated that roughly 41.5 million Americans hit planes, trains and automobiles to play on the long weekend. But just because fall has arrived and the weather is getting cooler doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make time for some rest and relaxation. For this week’s Healthy Habit, here are five reasons to rejuvenate your body and mind with a fall vacation.
A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging found that men who had taken three weeks or less of annual vacation had a 37 percent greater chance of dying than men who took three weeks or more. “Don’t think having an otherwise healthy lifestyle will compensate for working too hard and not taking holidays,” wrote study author Professor Timo Strandberg, of the University of Helsinki, Finland. “Vacations can be a good way to relieve stress.”
Sure, you’ll have less on your mind during a vacation. But there are niceties that actually help you sleep better, too. According to O Magazine, the better hotels have features such as blackout curtains, plentiful heaps of poofy pillows and chilly air conditioning—all of which have been scientifically proven to lead to better sleep quality.
Lowered Stress Hormones
Researchers at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York found that levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, is reduced in the blood after a vacation. Why is this important? Too much cortisol impairs cognition.
Reconnect with Nature
Whether you’re sitting by the sea or enjoying a hike through fall foliage, being in a natural area can reduce anxiety and depression. Several studies conducted at Stanford have shown that time spend in nature boosts memory and dampens negative feelings of anxiety.
Tranquility is Yours
Summer is all about crowds and traffic, but the fall unfolds with subtle pleasures. Emptier beaches. Milder sunshine. Hotels that aren’t fully booked. Museums where you can move about unencumbered. This chance to recharge with some degree of solitude is truly refreshing.
So what are you waiting for? Get planning on your fall escape.