You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t love a good holiday. But did you realise that there are so many positive benefits of packing your bag and enjoying a week or two away in the sun? I’m not necessarily talking healthy holidays or dedicated wellness holidays; you’re not going to have to detox every day and adopt a Downward-Facing Dog before the sun rises each morning. I’m just talking your normal, fun-filled holiday. Read these 11 undeniable health benefits of going on holiday and get ready to reap the rewards on your next getaway.
1) Vitamin D
With any luck, your holiday should be full of hot and sunny weather, helping you to get plenty of much-needed vitamin D. The sunshine vitamin, as it’s otherwise known, helps to keep your body healthy and prevent illness; supporting your immune system. It’s also helps to alleviate the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). So get your factor 30 on, get out there and soak up some of the good stuff.
You don’t have to be pumping iron every day or making a conscious effort to stay in shape. But quite often, you’ll do a lot more exercise than you realise when you’re on holiday, maybe even more than what you already do at home! You’ll be walking round, exploring new places, splashing about in the pool, playing on the beach and perhaps you’ll even join in some of the organised activities at your hotel. There are often lots of fun goings-on to get involved in, such as aqua-aerobics or football tournaments.
We’ve been talking a lot about togetherness recently, as it’s been found that holidays are so important for spending quality time together as a family. I’m sure we’d all admit that we’re guilty of letting the daily grind consume us; meaning we’re not spending as much time with our nearest and dearest. So holidays are the perfect opportunity to make up for lost time and enjoy being around your family, with no other distractions to take you away from what’s important.
There are so many worries that can affect our day-to-day lives, from the stress of work, to getting the kids off to school in the mornings and making sure all the bills are paid on time. No matter what’s bringing you down, holidays are an incredible way to reduce stress, letting your mind forget everything that’s going on at home for a little while and just focus on the positive. They’re great for fighting depression too. You’re on holiday, the sun is shining; just do what you want to do.
5) Mental health
Similar to my last point, getting away from it all and going on holiday is the perfect antidote for your mental wellbeing, if it’s not in the best place that it could be. Being somewhere new, somewhere relaxing, somewhere beautiful, can really help you to re-establish the balance that you’re looking for, when perhaps things have gotten a little hectic back home. Being in different surroundings can also bring out your creative side, so it’s the perfect chance to find some inspiration for the things you’ve been wanting to work on.
Excuse the cliché, but you know what they say; laughter really is the best medicine. And if there’s one thing you do a lot of when you’re on holiday, it’s laughing. When you’re away with your loved ones, you can really let your hair down and enjoy what you’ve been looking forward to for so long. Whether you’re joking together on the plane, getting involved in the fun and games at your hotel or turning each other into sand mermaids down at the beach, you’ll find you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face.
When we’re at home, it’s so easy to get into the same routine; eating the same meals on the same days, at the same time each day. And let’s be honest, that can get pretty boring, right? If there’s one thing for sure, meal times on holiday are anything but boring. If you’re on an All Inclusive holiday, you might experience different themed nights, where we can all admit to indulging in far more than we need. Or, if you’re heading out to the nearby restaurants, there’s nothing more exciting than trying the fresh, local delicacies. When it comes to food, variety really is the spice of life.
So many people underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. It’s so vital to rest and recuperate, to keep us in the best health both physically and mentally. If there’s anywhere you’re sleep’s going to improve, it’s when you’re on holiday. You’re relaxed, so it’s easier to switch off at night. Plus, there’s no need to set an alarm. And who knew lounging by the pool all day could be so tiring? I can’t help but boast about my achievement of spending more time asleep than I was awake when I was in the Maldives last year. Talk about recharging your batteries…
One of the best things that help people to relax and unwind is the soothing sound of water. Whether it’s a trickling stream, a flowing fountain or gently lapping waves, water has incredible meditative capabilities. If you’re heading off on a traditional beach holiday, you’re going to be surrounded by water, whether that’s by the pool or down at the seashore. So there’ll be plenty of opportunities to sit back, reflect and gather your thoughts while you’re there.
Going on holiday’s one thing, but for me (and I’m sure many of you too), one of the most exciting parts is the actual anticipation of going once you’ve booked. Those few weeks or months of counting down the days are what get you through work and everything else in between. The positive effects of a holiday don’t just take place when you’re in your destination; they kick in from the moment you confirm your booking. There’s nothing better than having something to look forward to.
But, of course, all good things must come to an end and, unfortunately for us, that includes holidays too. However, much like my point above about the positive effects of a holiday starting as soon as you book; they don’t strictly have to end as soon as you touch back down in the UK. The health benefits can last for weeks, months and even years to come, thanks to the unforgettable memories you made while you were there. All you have to do is remind yourself of all the incredible times you had and you’ll feel the rush of endorphins take you right back to that happy place.