Traveling and health: New study finds that traveling can make you healthier, know more

A new, survey-based study conducted by researchers at a college in the United Kingdom, shows how travel affects the health of people.

A new, survey-based study conducted by researchers at University College London’s Centre for Transport Studies in the United Kingdom, shows how travel affects the health of people. The study finds that people who face constraints on their ability to travel outside their local area, or to as many places as they would like, report poorer health, whereas those who are able to travel away from home feel that they experience better health.

The findings appear in the Journal of Transport & Health.

One study found that people who travel regularly are at less of a risk of heart disease, siting that men who didn’t take an annual vacation were shown to have a 30% higher risk of death from heart disease. This study even researched how travel changes your brain. It found that exposing your brain to new languages, smells, tastes and sights by living abroad improves creativity.

The study defined traveling outside one’s local area as traveling 15 miles, or 24 kilometers, away from home.

The study authors analyzed responses from 2,747 residents from the North of England regarding their health and the constraints to travel that they face.

This area of England has the nation’s worst health outcomes, according to the researchers, and many of its areas lack adequate transportation facilities.

The survey respondents were asked to report their level of agreement or disagreement with five questions, each of which focused on a specific travel constraint which were as follows:

  • “I travel beyond my local area less often than I would ideally like to” — a travel frequency constraint
  • “I travel to fewer places (e.g., cities or towns outside my local area) than I would ideally like to” — a constraint on the number of places traveled
  • “I travel to places that are nearer than the ones I would ideally like to go” — a travel distance constraint
  • “I travel by public transport to places I would ideally like to go by car” — a travel-by-car constraint
  • “I travel by car to places I would ideally like to go by public transport” — a constraint on access to public transportation.
    The associations between travel and state of health were more significant in respondents aged 55 years and over. 

Exposing the body to different climatic conditions can actually make it stronger. It is true that exposure to dirt and minor illness boosts the immunity of the body. When you travel to different places, it gives your body a chance of adapting to various bacteria, which increases the immunity and makes you less prone to common ailments.

A change in weather, environment, routine, and surroundings has a positive impact on the mind. You feel relaxed, less anxious, and remain in a good mood. It’s not just the mood that gets better; traveling has a positive impact on the body as well. When you meet new people and are exposed to different culture, it results in personal growth, taking stress off your mind.

The most important aspect in the study was mental health.

Depression is a major problem these days that many individuals are facing. It could be the result of societal pressure, work environment, personal relationships, or any other factor that leaves a deep impression on your mind. Change of place and routine can have a positive psychological impact on an individual and help in keeping depression at bay. When you wander from one place to another, it reduces stress and anxiety. Studies have proved that men who do not take a vacation for years have 30 percent more chances of getting a heart attack. So, what is it that makes a tremendous difference to the heart health of those who travel often and those who don’t believe in the concept of going on a vacation? The answer is simple; the more you travel, the better is your physical and mental health. If you indulge in adventure sports such as trekking or snorkeling, it is going to boost your health further and reduce the risk of a cardiovascular problem.

The more you travel, the more you learn. Traveling expands your horizons. Exploring a new destination gives you a chance to meet new people, see their culture, and become more aware of what is happening in the world. All these new things result in improved cognitive flexibility and brain health.

Those who travel often have a longer life expectancy. Whether you are on a pilgrimage, adventure outing or a quiet getaway, the experience will reduce stress, improve brain health and keeps the body in good shape. All these factors increase the chances of living longer.

The excitement of going on a holiday is far more than that of buying an expensive dress, jewelry or other physical asset. The enthusiasm is not momentary and will remain from the time you plan the trip until it ends. The memories of the holiday will refresh you each time you will think of it. The result is, Happier and Merrier You.

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