The health benefits of travel

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There’s no doubt that flying to Europe will fill your heart with treasured memories: sipping an espresso while people watching in Rome, or strolling the streets of Santorini with the sparkling Aegean in the background.

But traveling isn’t just about having a fabulous time somewhere else. As an article from Edith Cowan University suggests, we should change the way we think about tourism. Rather than seeing it as merely “recreational,” the authors of the article want us to see tourism as an industry brimming with health benefits, relating “travel therapy” to other remedies such as music therapy and therapy. art therapy.

Traveling is not just about tasting the wonders of the world. It can also be therapeutic, discovers Evelyn Lewin.Credit:stocky

Lead researcher Dr Jun Wen says traveling can benefit people with dementia. “Exercise has been linked to mental well-being, and travel often involves increased physical activity, such as more walking,” Wen says. “Meal times are often different during holidays: it’s more about social activities with several people, and family-style meals have been shown to positively influence the eating behavior of patients with dementia.

“Then there are the basics, like fresh air and sunshine which boost vitamin D and serotonin levels. Everything that comes together to represent a holistic tourism experience shows how dementia patients can benefit from tourism. as an intervention.

Marc Cohen, physician and professor of natural medicine, echoes these sentiments, but adds that people with memory problems should keep safety in mind when traveling; for example, being accompanied by a carer. “The motto of wellness is connection,” he says, adding that when you travel, you connect more deeply with yourself, your companions, and the world around you. Traveling helps you learn more about yourself, Cohen explains, by providing an opportunity to “re-evaluate and re-evaluate” your likes and dislikes. Asking yourself what you want to do on your trip and what is worth paying and spending your time on can help you highlight your values. “This inquiry in itself is really powerful because you become more connected with your own needs, desires and learning. And it improves general well-being.

You are also likely to form deeper bonds with fellow travelers. Cohen says that creating shared experiences, especially ones that are deep or pleasurable, “add tremendously” to relationships, bringing families, couples and friends closer together.

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Travel can also improve physical health. Cohen attributes this to a phenomenon called the Vacation Effect: “When you travel, you step out of your usual lifestyle and routine. This represents an opportunity to break unhealthy patterns.

You’re also more likely to step out of your comfort zone when traveling by sampling different cuisines, trying out new activities, or immersing yourself in a new language.

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Richard V. Johnson