Vacations – Do They Promote Good Health?

In my research the other day, I came across a statement that sounded a little “off” to me It went something like this, and I believe I am quoting fairly accurately: “Traveling is an important part of life and necessary to survival.” Now, given the information that the author is a travel agent, the extremity of the statement can be understood, but what is the actual message that is being transmitted?
In my opinion, traveling, per se, is not necessary for survival, but perhaps, VACATIONING might be! Most of us are already aware that the act of getting from one place to another can be nearly as stressful, or more so, than the every-day stresses of being home and/or on the job. Yeh, yeh… I know, there are people who just love their jobs and the benefits those jobs bring and just can’t abide being away from the work place for any length of time. But, they are the exceptions to the rule, rather than the norm. So, if that travel agent had inserted the word VACATIONING for travel, I would have a tendency to give the nod of approval… of course that person is biased. I would be too if I were selling travel!
This brings me a bit closer to the real subject for this article: THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF VACATIONING
I must begin with a “disclaimer”… I am not a medically trained person. I do not have a degree in any health-related field and would like the reader to know that the opinions expressed herein are merely that: opinions.. and based on subjective observations over a fairly long period of time. No science was utilized to gain any information and/or draw conclusions. What I do know is that the stress level of life in this 21st century is at least as high as in any other period in the modern age. As medical science overcomes disease after disease and finds effective treatments for those tough problems they can’t completely defeat, it seems that focus should narrow down to aspects of wellness studies… more than has been the practice up to this point. Probably, one reason the study of stress related health issues has lagged other areas of research is that the study of the mind and its workings is still an inexact science.
A first century Roman philosopher wrote: “Voyage, travel and change of place impart vigor.” So, it would seem, the health benefits of a vacation and change of locale have been observed for quite some time! Indeed, an annual vacation has been shown to reduce BP, heart rate, and the production of stress hormones, and actually reduces the occurrence of heart attacks by a significant amount. As a probable result of these findings, a number of countries in the UK and Europe have mandated, by law, that workers are entitled to an annual vacation of a specified duration. I, of course, heartily endorse such a policy… how about here in this country?
So, dear reader, please keep in touch and check out the additional articles that address aspects of how stress can affect your health and how I have experienced health related issues involving my area of expertise and my profession, which is performing on the operatic stage, and how I have dealt with the stress of performing and have observed how visiting other cities and countries has been beneficial in maintaining my mental equilibrium. Travel, a change of locale, experiencing a new city or culture… VACATIONING… all these things play a role in reducing and handling stress… find out more about how vacations might just be necessary for you to survive in this day and age.

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