Travelling is a popular hobby for millions of people all over the world, but no culture beats Australians for their love of travelling. Actually, they are world-famous for it. Australians took over 8 million overseas trips in 2014 and the numbers continue to grow every year. So, what is it about travelling that makes it so popular? Some answers are simple, people have the money and they have the time, others feel a natural curiosity to explore different cultures and learn new things, and now, science has given people an additional incentive to travel: travelling makes you healthy. Here are five facts and great reasons to get out on the road and explore even more this year.
Travel strengthens the immune system
Every time a person enters an environment that is strange to them, they are exposed to a larger variety of pathogens or bacteria. The human body responds to the new pathogens by producing antibodies. By producing more antibodies, the body gets stronger and the immune system immediately begins building more immunity. It's a natural way of vaccinating oneself against pathogens. Of course, if the person's immune system is weak and a number of pathogens is too large, there may be an adverse reaction (think diarrhea). But in general, the body has an amazing ability to protect and strengthen itself makes you healthy.
Travel reduces stress levels
Everyday life is generally a stressful condition for most people in the world. Driving through traffic to get to a stressful job, working long hours, trying to make ends meet and dealing with unpleasant people and situations day in and day out can really take its toll on a body. But the minute a person sets off on a holiday, they feel the stress fly away. Travelling allows people to relax and recharge, it makes them happy and carefree. Holidays give partners a chance to bond and strengthen their relationships. And most of the time holidays mean more exercise and fresh air which are perfect stress busters.
Travel helps people break bad habits
For people who are trying to quit smoking, for example, they find that being on holiday helps them immensely. They get away from their common triggers like stress, enablers, environment or routine and multiply their chances of success in breaking a bad habit like smoking. Being on holiday and travelling help many get their mind off the habit and they are usually too busy doing fun activities or relaxing to even think about smoking.
Travel strengthens the brain
New experiences, sights, smells, and flavors keep the brain sharp. When people travel, they naturally learn about different cultures and history, they hear different languages and must try to find ways to communicate, they try new foods and drinks. Travelers experience many different sensations that create new synapses in the brain making it even stronger. Also, according to scientific studies, people who live abroad for short periods of time are more creative and open-minded as well as having a stronger sense of self.
Travel is good for the heart
Most people have experienced that huge feeling of relief when they finally get away and find time for themselves. That decrease in stress and anxiety is really healthy for the heart. Being on holiday and travelling also means getting more exercise which is another plus for heart health. Even if you don't go on a mountain hike or skiing adventure, there is a lot of extra walking done on holiday and every bit counts.
So, now you have even more excuses to hit the road and go travelling, it's great for your health! Whether you need to relax and relieve stress, stimulate your brain or your spirit, get more exercise or even stop smoking, there are thousands of great trips to take to fulfill your needs.
For more info on quitting smoking, download our "Checklist that you are ready to quit smoking"