Tourism: six ways to travel can improve your health



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Whether to go to Rio de Janeiro, to Machu Picchu, in Peru, or to see the Teatro Colón, in Argentina, traveling has health benefits Source: Archive РCredit: Getty

Are you looking for an excuse to take a vacation? Here we present six reasons for you to start packing your bag.

Traveling for pleasure is not only fun, but also has benefits for physical and mental health. Whether to explore the city, enjoy the beautiful scenery or breathe fresh air in the countryside. If you're lucky enough to be able to travel, these are six reasons to prepare a suitcase.


Walking through cities you don't know to visit the monument is a great way to exercise
Walking through cities you don't know to visit the monument is a great way to exercise Source: LA NACION

Walking through cities you don't know to visit the monument is a great way to exercise.

1. Maintain your heart health

If you like walking around the city or nature, you might be able to walk 10,000 steps a day. This figure is equivalent to about 6.5 kilometers for most people and is associated with moderate levels of exercise.

If you can also combine it with a little tourism or other activities, you will do great help for your health in general, and to your heart in particular.

In 1948, the famous Framingham study surveyed women on the same subject and followed them for 20 years. He found that women who only took one vacation, every six years, were eight times more likely to have a heart attack or develop coronary heart disease, compared to women who went on vacation twice a year.

The results take into account risk factors such as obesity or smoking.

Another study by researchers at New York State University observed that for 12 years 12,000 men were at high risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Those who did not take annual leave were 32% more likely to die of a heart attack.

If traveling reduces stress levels, you might extend your life.


If traveling reduces stress levels, you might extend your life.
If traveling reduces stress levels, you might extend your life. Source: LA NACION

2. This will make you feel younger

Stress speeds up the aging process, according to the Global Coalition on Aging report.

This is like an injection of the hormone cortisol every day in the body. This weakens the immune system and increases the likelihood of suffering from diseases such as adrenal dysfunction, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome, according to the organization.

Fortunately, it only takes a little time to feel the effects of a pleasant trip in terms of stress relief.

A survey of 500 people conducted by Expedia travel portals in 2012 showed that it only took one or two days of vacation to start feeling relaxed.

In fact, a study conducted in 2002 by researchers at the University of Surrey, in England, showed that just planning a trip in advance would create positive feelings and make tourists feel "much happier with their lives in general."

Unknown food or language, all stimulating the brain.


Unknown food or language, all stimulating the brain.
Unknown food or language, all stimulating the brain. Source: LA NACION

3. Keep your mind in good condition

Traveling is an opportunity for us to be involved in situations that stimulate our brains: new foods, new environments, maybe different languages.

Engaging with local cultures and learning about other places not only can make us smarter, it can also help delay the onset of brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, according to a Global Coalition on Aging report. "Travel is a good medicine," said Paul D. Nussbaum, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School.

"It challenges the brain with new and different experiences and environments and is a behavior that improves brain health and develops the brain's capacity to recover throughout life." Giving your brain a break can increase your creativity.


Giving your brain a break can increase your creativity.
Giving your brain a break can increase your creativity. Source: LA NACION

4. You can increase your creativity

"If you want to come up with new ideas, stop thinking about it," it was a counterintuitive suggestion given by US advertising executive James Webb Young to students and potential marketers in his book "Una technique for generating ideas."

With him, he did not mean that the inspiration for his campaign miraculously descended from heaven. On the contrary.

He observed that it often happened that the bulb was turned on not when he was working on an idea, but later, when he did other activities such as going to the movies. Today neurologists know that new places and experiences can rearrange our brains and revitalize our minds.

This is directly related to what they call "cognitive flexibility", which is the mind's ability to switch between ideas, a key component of creativity.

It may not be a coincidence that famous artists such as Paul Gaugin, Ernest Hemingway and Igor Stravinsky have created their most admired works during or directly after the period abroad. A relaxing trip can help you see things more clearly.


A relaxing trip can help you see things more clearly.
A relaxing trip can help you see things more clearly. Source: LA NACION

5. Increase your productivity

At present, fatigue is considered an epidemic in the workplace.

Not only is it a burden for workers, but also for the health system (which has to deal with stress-related diseases) and businesses around the world, due to loss of productivity, absence from illness, accidents and compensation.

The American Institute of Stress estimates that industrial stress costs US $ 300,000 million every year.

Shimi Kang, a neuroscience specialist in optimal happiness and health, said that giving brain rest time returned it. This helps solve problems and connects ideas. Living abroad increases self-confidence.


Living abroad increases self-confidence.
Living abroad increases self-confidence. Source: LA NACION

If you are young and can take the opportunity to move abroad for a certain period of time, research shows that the experience can be very beneficial for your personal development.

Dr. Julia Zimmermann and Dr. Franz Neyer, from the German Friedrich-Schiller University, compared the personality development of more than 3,000 German students who had studied abroad for at least one semester with groups that did not travel.

The results revealed that those who study abroad are, in general, more extroverted than those who choose not to travel during their studies. After they return, travelers also tend to show increased openness to new experiences and greater emotional stability.

"Most individuals become more thorough, pleasant and emotionally stable during the transition from adolescence to adulthood," write the researchers.

So, regardless of the age group and style of your trip, there are benefits to taking time off and having a pleasant trip.

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