If you’re anything like me, some of your best memories in life involve times of travel. We all think of travel as a splurge, a way to get away from “real life” and something we only do a few times per year. But if we want to create a higher level of health, we need to include travel into our “real life”, not as a way to escape it! Whether it be to an exotic place across the globe, or simply visiting a nearby town by car, getting outside of your comfortable surroundings will pay huge benefits to your health.
Outlined below are 5 little known ways you improve your health each time you get away.
- Getting outside of your comfort zone. Exploring new places requires you let go of what you know and opens your mind to unfamiliar places. Simple things like having to navigate new streets and find your way around helps promote brain health. This doesn’t require you take an expensive or extravagant trip! Jump in your car on a Saturday and visit a neighboring town or a recreational area.
- Exploring new foods. It is easy to get stuck in the rut of eating the same foods day in and day out. Traveling requires you to open your mind and your palate to new flavors! Next time you hit the road, opt for foods native to the area and experiment with dishes you’ve never tried before. Introduce variety into your diet and build gut resiliency.
- Meeting new people. Nothing will lift your spirits like having an interesting conversation with someone new. In your everyday life, it is easy to surround yourself with people who share your interests and typically agree with you on everything from politics and religion to where you like to socialize. Traveling gives you the opportunity to meet new people, appreciate various cultures and consider other points of view.
- Building resiliency. While living day to day with a rhythm is important, if we are trying to live a long, healthy life, we have to be able to adapt to the unexpected. Missing flights, getting lost and sleeping in a different bed are all part of traveling. These curves in the road will help you learn to adapt and accept things aren’t always in your control.
- Moving and breathing. Yes, travel typically involves more indulgences in foods and spirits but it also provides new opportunities to move. Explore new places by walking instead of taking an uber or taxi. Take the stairs, wander around a museum, or spend 30 minutes practicing yoga or meditation outdoors!
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