10 Surprising Ways Travel Can Affect Your Health

by Aaron Finch

If you’re a person who thrives on adventure and travel, it’s likely that you also reap the benefits of a sense of exploration.

 If unpacking your suitcase feels refreshing and rejuvenating, then it’s no surprise that traveling is good for your health in more ways than one.

 Not only does physical movement stimulate various muscles and joints throughout your body, but being exposed to different cultures also has a profound effect on psychological wellness.

With a little bit of research and planning, you can be well on your way to an adventure that could alter the way you think about traveling forever.

Here are 10 Surprising Ways Travel Can Affect Your Health :

1. Traveling Can Improve Your Immune System

If you’re looking for a reason to travel, this one is near the top of the list. With the news of new diseases, viruses and bacteria coming out almost daily, it’s important that you do whatever you can to protect your body.

 Travel will expose your immune system to bacteria unfamiliar to your body resulting in a more resilient immune system.

2. Traveling Challenges You Physically

The more challenging your physical activity is, the more significantly it affects your brain chemistry. 

Physical challenges stimulate dopamine production in the brain, which makes us feel good and encourages us to look for even more physical challenges in order to continue the dopamine surge.

Living in a wheelchair doesn’t mean that you can’t travel. There are a number of travel companies that cater specifically to people with disabilities

3. Traveling Puts You In Touch With Nature

Studies show that being in touch with nature dramatically affects our emotions and mental wellbeing

Being surrounded by the natural world can lower your stress levels and reduce symptoms of depression, which is particularly important if you’re feeling anxious or having sleep problems while traveling.

4. Traveling Can Help You Sleep Better

Travel requires us to change time zones, weather conditions and surrounding environment on a daily basis which can be very disruptive to the body’s natural sleep cycle. 

Traveling can also make it harder to fall asleep at night creating new problems in the morning. 

The changes in the time zone and environment of a vacation can have surprising effects on sleep.

5. Traveling Forgoes Some (or All) of Your Disposable Income

If you’re someone who has to work at a job to make a living, you’ll probably be happy to hear that travel can put you in better financial standing.

 With no amount of disposable income coming into your bank account, your monthly budget will be much more focused on necessities than on luxuries and frivolous items.

6. Traveling Can Help You Learn More Than Just About Culture

While many of us know that travel helps us better connect with other cultures, it can also help us connect with our own culture in ways that we might not otherwise realize.

 By traveling, we are forced to pause and learn about ourselves and our own reality. Choosing to travel opens the doors to new perspectives and creates room for new possibilities.

7. Traveling Leads To A Higher Sense Of Self-Awareness

Being far away from your home and everyday routine can open you up to a new world of possibilities and turn you into a more adaptable person. 

With a fresh perspective, you are more likely to make decisions that are in the best interest of your family or your future. 

Additionally, when you’re constantly moving around, early signs of aging become much less threatening in that they don’t seem so final.

 Although we know that traveling can lead to wrinkles, it is also known for giving us a younger appearance as we get older.

8. Traveling Can Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

A study from the University of Minnesota found that traveling can make you younger.

 This is important because a younger heart age results in lower risk of heart disease.

 Regularly taking a vacation will make you feel young, but having a youthful heart age is the best defense against the risk factors that come with getting older.

9. Traveling Can Reduce The Risk Of Deadly Cancers

The American Cancer Society states that there is no limit to how much travel you can do.

 And while they are not a fan of long term travel, they agree it’s a good idea to get out and see the world during your lifetime. 

By traveling, you can reduce the risk of deadly cancers including cervical and breast cancer by as much as 50%. 

The great thing about some cancers is that it’s possible for them to be prevented or even detected before they ever have the chance to take hold.

10. Traveling To A New Place Brings You Into The Present Moment

The present moment is often missed in everyday life. While we may have moments where we feel like we are living in the moment, many of us have days where we live in the past or future. 

By traveling to a new place, you are forced to slow down and appreciate the small moments that can make all the difference between living in the past or future. 

Some people call this zen-like state a “whole body high” and that’s exactly why you should travel more!

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