By Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom
While many of us are walking databases of information about healthy living – a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, daily exercise, sufficient sleep – we often forget about one very important factor. Want to take a guess? It’s taking a regular vacation!
Research continues to show that a planned vacation promotes improved health. A seven-year study (with a nine-year follow-up) from Syracuse University found that men at high risk for coronary artery disease reduced their risk by nearly 30% by taking at least an annual vacation. In this study, nearly 15% reported no annual vacation, while 10% took only one vacation a year. A great work ethic, but what about the health consequences?
Longer work hours – whether you love your job a lot, or not so much – are now a standard part of daily life, and this can lead to increased on-the-job stress. A vacation provides both an occasion to look forward to as well as an opportunity to break up your routine, for a little “me” time. It’s often a good time to revisit your daily health habits, to consider a long-term improvement.
Whether you plan a short or extended getaway, or enjoy a “staycation,” make sure to build in some vacation time, regularly. It’s an important tool for your health and wellness toolbox.
Are you overdue for a vacation? I’d love to hear your thoughts.