Just in time for summer! We've known for a long time that going on a vacation can help us feel rested, relaxed, and recharged when we get back to "the real world." Now, new research shows that it's actually good for your heart health, too.
A June 2019 study published in Psychology & Health, analyzed 63 people eligible for paid vacation days. Researchers performed blood tests on the participants and then completed an interview focusing on their vacation behavior for the past year. The study suggested that folks who used their vacation days for vacation had a reduced risk of heart disease.
"What we found is that people who vacation more frequently in the past 12 months have a lowered risk for metabolic syndrome and metabolic symptoms," said study author Bryce Hruska, PhD, in a press release. "Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. If you have more of them you are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. This is important because we are actually seeing a reduction in the risk for cardiovascular disease the more vacationing a person does. Because metabolic symptoms are modifiable, it means they can change or be eliminated."
Who knew that simply enjoying a few lazy days by the pool would be enough to reduce our risk of heart problems later in life? We're certainly not complaining about these results! The best part is that it doesn't even need to be an expensive trip if you're strapped for cash this season. Just check out some of our best tips on how to save money on a summer road trip and how to make a family vacation more affordable.
Dr. Hruska added: "One of the important takeaways is that vacation time is available to nearly 80 percent of full-time employees, but fewer than half utilize all the time available to them. Our research suggests that if people use more of this benefit, one that's already available to them, it would translate into a tangible health benefit."
There's never been a better excuse to book a vacation right about... now!