We are all really great at coming up with reasons to take vacations, but then we come up with all sorts of practical reasons why we shouldn’t. According to Huffington Post, about half the vacation days Americans earned in 2014 were never used. This is an atrocity, in my opinion, which is why I am going to give you five practical, scientific, data-defended reasons why you should relax, have fun and make some memories on a good, hard-earned vacation.
1. You will live longer
That’s right. You read that correctly, you can actually have a longer life by going on vacation. An analysis of the Framingham Heart Study showed that women who vacation the least are nearly eight times more likely to suffer from heart problems, including heart attacks and death due to heart disease, when compared to woman who vacation at least biannually. Once every six years is not enough, ladies!
2. You will be skinnier
This list just keeps getting better. A study done by the University of Pittsburgh found that the amount of time people spent “engaging in pleasurable leisure activities,” which included vacation time, correlated to lower body mass index and waist circumference (two key factors in overall health). Remember these pleasurable leisure activities include but are not limited to vacation, so let your imagination go wild with this one.
3. You Will Decrease Your Stress Level
This may seem like an obvious one. In a study done by the University Of Vienna, vacationers were less likely to have stress-related complaints such as headaches, backaches and heart palpitations. What’s not so obvious is that the results lasted up to five weeks later, which means that vacationing can keep you stress-free much longer than the actual time that you are away.
4. You Will Enhance Your Love Life
A Nielsen survey tells us that 80 percent of people who vacation every year claim that romance is alive in their relationship. That number drops to about 56 percent for people who never take time off.
5. You Will Sleep Better at Night
A study from Air New Zealand and former NASA scientists tested vacationers before, during and after their vacations, and found that upon arrival home, vacationers continued to get more rest. The results showed that while on vacation the average person had an extra hour of sleep, and once arriving home they continued to enjoy 20 more minutes of sleep a night.
So I guess if you want to live a long, stress-free, romance-filled life, you better get your soon-to-be skinny little waist packing!
Photo by Herkie