There are many different ways that you can take a holiday, and each of them can have unique positive effects on your physical and mental health.
Whether it’s your style to go on an action-packed adventure, or you’d prefer to rest and recuperate by the pool, a holiday can be really valuable to your health.
Watch the video below from Dr Dawn Harper, where she speaks about some of the health benefits of going on holiday, and keep reading to learn about these benefits in depth!
1. Taking inspiration from the scenery
Whether you take a city break, or a trip to the country, there’s plenty of new scenery to enjoy when you’re on holiday.
Unique, historic architecture can rouse the mind and engage you in a different world, and of course being surrounded by more green space and the natural world is excellent for your mental health.
2. Being more active
When you’re taking in all of the picturesque scenery, you might find you end up walking all day – visiting museums and local points of interest, or just enjoying exploring a new place. That’s why it always feels much easier to get in your 10,000 steps a day on holiday than at home.
Being active in other ways, like splashing around in the pool, also feels much less like exercise and more like fun, which naturally, has a fantastic benefit for your physical health.
3. Recharging your batteries
Going on holiday gives you plenty of opportunity to recharge your batteries, away from everything going on in your normal life – which is especially important right now.
Relaxation drops your blood pressure and reduces the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in your blood. So, spend as much time by the pool as you like!
The downtime you get on holiday is also a great time to offer your mind some respite, whether that’s escaping with your favourite book, enjoying your favourite music, or spending quality time doing whatever it is that helps you decompress.
Sleep is also something that many of us don’t get enough of. Whether it’s the stress and anxiety of day-to-day life, or simply not enough time in the day, taking the chance to enjoy quality rest can do wonders for your physical and mental health.
4. Embracing the elements
For many of us, a change in the weather is reason enough to go on holiday!
But, thankfully, the science is there to justify spending time in the sun (in moderation), not that any of us need an excuse. A healthy amount of sunshine gives your body a boost of vitamin D, which can promote strong bones and a more effective immune system.
It’s not just your body that feels the benefits of the elements, though. Your mental health can also be positively influenced by the sunshine, and also blue spaces like the sea.
5. Enjoying a break
Going on holiday needs little more justification than simply getting away from it all.
We all develop unhealthy habits over time, whether by subconscious choice or because of things like work. And a break from your desk, from the eye-strain caused by your computer and the uncomfortable posture of your desk, is an excellent chance for your body to reset and recover.
6. Enriching your mind
We’ve touched on this quite a bit already, but it’s worth reiterating the benefits that a holiday can have on your mind.
There really is no better time to spend doing the things you love than being on holiday. Whether you want to spend more time with the people you care about, or focusing on your hobbies and interests, it’s a great time to enrich your mind and focus on your mental wellbeing.
A smooth holiday-going experience
The current coronavirus pandemic is making it a little more stressful to plan a holiday, but it doesn’t have to be.
Some people are choosing to staycation in the UK this year, which is a great option for taking a quick break to still reap the rewards of a holiday, without having to plan that extra step of going abroad.
Travel insurance is also an important part of going away, protecting you if something bad does happen and giving you the peace of mind to be able to simply enjoy your holiday, as well as all the health benefits it brings.