Relax! Vacations are Good for Your Health

American workers are notorious for being workaholics. In fact, The Center for Economic and Policy Research has gone so far as to call the U.S. the “No Vacation Nation.”  Deciding you need a vacation may feel indulgent but in reality, it is a crucial key to our overall health.

Why do you need to take a vacation?

Simple.

As much as we all need to work and do our jobs, the mind and body also need to be refreshed.

So put down your phone, tuck away your laptop and enjoy these five reasons why vacations are necessary for your health:

Decrease in Heart Disease – Going on a vacation gives you overall health benefits that can impact your life for years to come.  Taking regular vacations could help reduce the risk for metabolic syndrome – a cluster of health issues including high blood sugar, high blood pressure, excess belly fat and abnormal cholesterol levels.  All of these symptoms raise the risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Relieves Stress – Stress can have a negative effect on all aspects of your health–physically, mentally and emotionally. Headaches, back pain, anxiety, irritability, lack of concentration and frustration are just a few of the harmful effects of stress.  Taking a vacation helps relieve the built-up anxiety, which can lower your blood pressure, help you sleep better and build up your immune system.   Holidays will not only help you relieve stress but can help you manage it better when you get back to the real world.

Increases Productivity – It may seem counterintuitive to leave work and take a relaxing vacation to increase your productivity, but it’s surprisingly effective. Numerous studies reveal taking vacations is closely linked to productivity. Employees who take long, regular vacations return more energized, productive, and positive.

Enriches Your Personal Life – U.S. children with working parents report that their parents are bringing their work-related stress home with them.  Additionally, kids have significant stress of their own.  Vacations offer all family members time to relax, decompress, and the opportunity to connect with one another.

Quality of life is dependent on how you appreciate yourself and those who are around you. It could be with yourself, family or friends; but only vacations from a busy schedule can offer you time to appreciate the people around you.

Builds Your Immune System – A busy life wears you down. You can fight it all you want, but eventually everything will be too much and exhaustion will set in. When you’re tired and stressed from work and your home life, you’re more susceptible to catching the cold and flu. Vacations help relieve stress, allowing your immune system to build back up.

It is important to be selfish sometimes. As the old saying goes, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing something new is good for your body, mind and those around you.

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