Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

How do vacations benefit your health?

Vacations Benefit Your Health — And Here’s Why

With all your work and personal responsibilities, it’s not always easy to carve out time for a vacation. And it doesn’t help that the United States government doesn’t require employers to offer their workers any paid vacation or holiday leave. That’s not to say that companies don’t offer their employees paid vacation days, but a lot of Americans still don’t use them for various reasons, such as cost, guilt, and generally having trouble leaving work.

Although it can feel tough and irresponsible to get away from the office for a few days, you’re aren’t doing yourself any favors by working yourself into the ground. That’s because not taking time off work can adversely affect your health, with researchers from the University of Pittsburgh’s Mind-Body Center finding that it can actually be detrimental to your health to go too long without a vacation. But if you’re still unsure about taking those paid vacation leaves, here are three solid health benefits it can bring you.

Decreases stress

Since our society holds a bias towards hard work, spending hours and hours at our jobs has become a norm, and sometimes even required. But overworking yourself is one of the worst things you can do for your health, as the increased stress and higher chances of indulging in harmful substances can cause further complications. This not only means that your health will suffer in the long run, but it will impact your productivity too — making overworking extremely counterproductive. But the good news is, a nice relaxing vacation can reverse these effects, with research gathered by Stanford University’s Dr. Emma Seppala revealing that it can boost productivity and creativity. These can have a measurable effect on your overall health, as all work and no play can be demotivating and can lead to your brain feeling tired, making it harder for you to achieve peak performance at work.

Prevents heart disease

In line with the research mentioned above, less stress from taking a vacation also means lower risks of heart disease. Several studies have shown links between vacation time and a decreased risk of heart attacks or strokes. For instance, the New York Times reports that taking a vacation can help improve your heart’s condition, sharing that for both men and women, taking a vacation every two years compared to every six will lessen the risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks. This shows how taking regular vacations not only lowers your stress levels, but also improves your overall cardiovascular health — further highlighting how vacations are important to ensure your physical wellbeing.

Aids in better mental health

Taking a vacation doesn’t only improve your physical health, it affects your mental health, too. U.S. News correspondent David Levine shares that most experts agree that taking a vacation has powerful mental health benefits, as it contributes to higher positive emotional levels, and lowers the risk of depression and burnout. It’s important to note that where you go for your vacation greatly impacts the changes it can bring to your mental health. For example, going to a place where you can connect with nature is better than going to an urban environment. An article on Parsley Health points out how even just 20 minutes in nature can positively impact your mental health — imagine what a whole weekend could do. Green spaces help to soothe symptoms of burnout, and can relieve stress, depression, and anxiety. And as previously mentioned in our post on ‘The Power of Self-Care’, spending time in the great outdoors is a great way to unwind and just enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, away from everyday stressors.

At the end of the day, going on a vacation gives your body and mind a chance to recharge. Seeing and experiencing new things energizes your brain and boosts your cognitive flexibility, which allows you to become more productive and creative at work. So, if your employer makes a fuss about you taking a vacation, tell them that you’re actually doing the company a favor by getting some downtime to re-energize.

mid-week round-up

green house

Hope everyone had a fun Halloween! Did you do anything spooky? Dress up in a costume? We ventured down to Homestead and enjoyed an afternoon walking along Biscayne Bay and laying out by the beach. Then we headed home for a chili dinner and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Despite my best door decorating efforts, we didn’t get any Trick-or-Treaters. WOMP-womp. But I think Chet’s students appreciated our candy surplus on Monday! ; ) Now I’ve got a busy few days of work and preparation ahead of me because this time next week I’ll be on my way to New Orleans! Woohoo! Enjoy your Wednesday and a few links…

10 tips to adopt this Fall for healthy living.

These two sentence horror stories are truly terrifying!

Would you work from a standing desk?

Celebrities #NailedIt this Halloween. (I can’t believe Kim K went as HERSELF!)

Hygge – “the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things” – is how Danes survive the short days now upon us.

A new recipe for Pizza Fridays everywhere!

Your reading list just got longer, here are the National Book Award finalists.

A great (free!) resource to help you get organized.

I would love to have this hanging on the wall behind my kitchen table.

100 years of wedding dress fashion in 3 minutes.

CT scans of Pompeii mummies reveal amazing details.

Why you should drop in for some deep reading.

Simple Cure: Drink more water.

Since (ALMOST completely) giving up soda about five years ago (I still have the occasional ginger ale or sprite as a rare treat), I’ve become borderline obsessive about water consumption. And because I really and truly believe it was the OMG DUHHH solution to so many of my problems, I will shout this simple cure from the mountain tops!

drinkmorewater

For me, it went a little something like this–

“Guess what! You’re not tired; you’re thirsty!”

“You know why your muscles are sore? You’re thirsty!”

“You probably aren’t hungry this often….yep, you guessed it, THIRSTY!”

Now–

Energy levels stay up, muscle recovery is quicker, non-sinus headaches are pretty much a thing of the past…

Still not convinced? Here are my top reasons why you should be toting a bottle around with you morning, noon and night:

1. Water keeps your skin looking fabulous. When you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t able to eliminate toxins through the skin and this can lead to all sorts of epidermal disorders such as dermatitis and psoriasis, not to mention discoloration and wrinkles. Chronic dehydration causes the bodies largest organ, it’s skin, to pretty much prematurely whither away.

2. Water can lower your blood pressure. When fully hydrated, your blood is about 92% water. When dehydrated, your blood gets way thicker which causes resistance to blood flow and higher blood pressure.

3. Water helps you digest your food better. Lack of water can lead to ulcers, gastritis and acid reflux.

5. Water lets you maintain an active lifestyle. All your joints have a cartilage padding around them which is mostly comprised of water. When you aren’t getting enough h2o, this cartilage gets really weak and joint repair slows way down, leading to all sorts of aches and pains.

6. Water fights off allergies and asthma. Your body will try to conserve water by constricting your airways. The rate of histamine you produce will actually increase as you lose more and more water.

Commit! Find a system that works for you and start chugging. I promise, you will feel the difference.

And to help you in your journey towards adequate hydration, I’ve rounded up some awesome vessels to store, transport and make it more fun to imbibe!

watercollage

For your nightstand:

Here, here and here.

For your hike:

Here, here and here.

For the gym:

Here, here and here.

For on-the-go sippin’:

Here, here and here.

For the dinner table:

Here, here and here.

and to up your game even further, learn more about watercure for a healthy body in the book “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

Happy sippin’!!! Cheers!