Retirement is the perfect time to travel. Not only do you have the time available during retirement, but traveling will also help keep you feeling young and ageing in a healthy way. Here are some of the ways that traveling keeps you young.
If you’re traveling frequently, you’re probably being physically active. Exercise decreases the risk of heart disease and is an important part of living well. Traveling provides you with opportunities to see the world while you get some physical activity in. You can take a hike, go swimming, or walk while sightseeing. You probably won’t even notice that you’re getting your exercise in because you’ll be having so much fun!
Even if you don’t exercise much while you travel, the act of taking a vacation has been proven to reduce your risk of heart disease on its own. A popular 20-year study known as the Framingham Heart Study followed over 5,000 women and found that those who took at least two vacations per year had a significantly reduced risk of heart disease or a heart-related death than those who didn’t travel as often.
Traveling also does wonders for your mental health. If you don’t travel, you are more likely to have increased amounts of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) in your body. Cortisol not only makes you feel stressed and agitated, but it also speeds up the ageing process. Going on vacation reduces cortisol, helps you to relax, and keeps you healthier overall, which slows the ageing process.
While on vacation, you also have new opportunities to learn and interact with other people. Social interaction and learning both have positive impacts on physical and mental health. Mental activity makes your brain more resilient, which may even delay the onset of degenerative disease. I bet you didn’t know that a vacation could do that!
Perhaps most importantly, traveling also makes you happier! When you take regular vacations, you’re more likely to feel happy and satisfied with your life, which is also linked to healthy ageing. And it’s not simply a feeling– happier people stay biologically younger. If that doesn’t convince you, nothing will!
So, if you haven’t planned your next trip, take this as a sign that its time! Bon voyage!