Are you reluctant to take a holiday this year? Do you worry that only you are able to do your job, work with clients or customers the way you do? Or perhaps you’re worried about friends and family who rely on you for support? Not taking a break puts you at risk of burning out, not to mention the negative impacts it can have on your health. There’s a reason they say stress is a killer. Taking some time away from work, exploring a new place and taking some time to reflect is exactly what we need to do our jobs more effectively and better take care of those we love. But it’s about more than just getting away from it all; there are some serious health benefits to some of the activities you take part in on a well-deserved holiday.
1. Spending some time outside
If you spend most of your days working inside, chances are you don’t get much natural sunlight. A lack of sunlight is thought to be a key causative factor of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a depressive condition that is primarily experienced during winter months. Going on holiday and spending some time outdoors can be particularly beneficial if you suffer from symptoms of depression. Exposure to sunlight also helps your body to produce vitamin D, which can strengthen your immune system and promotes healthy bones.
2. Exercising more regularly
Most people don’t associate holidays with exercise, but it’s likely you’re more active than you think you are when you’re on your jollies. You may spend more time walking or cycling than you would at home, especially if you don’t have a car with you while you’re away. Similarly, swimming is a gentle form of aerobic exercise many of us indulge in while we’re on holidays, taking a dip in the hotel pool or the sea, not to mention having a quick game of beach volleyball, badminton or tennis to dry off!
3. Having a lie in
For many people, being able to sleep is one of the key benefits of having a holiday. If you’ve been losing sleep over work or other stresses in your life, it can have an impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. Sleep is an incredibly important natural function that allows our bodies to repair and restore energy, as well as helping us to fight infection. A holiday is a perfect way to catch up on a few Z’s.
4. Trying new foods
It’s a well-known fact that Kiwis love food, so it comes as no surprise that trying new foods is one of the things we like to do most while we’re on holiday. As well as being an enjoyable activity, experimenting with new foods can have numerous health benefits, as it exposes you to a wider range of nutrients and minerals. This is especially the case if you’re on holiday somewhere warm, where you’re eating more salads and a wider variety of fresh fruit and vegetables than you might usually consume.
5. Laughing out loud
Laughter is the best medicine, or so goes the adage. When we’re having fun on holiday, laughing is a natural way for us to show we’re having a good time, but it can also do wonders for our health. Laughing releases endorphins, a feel-good chemical that helps to boost our immune system and reduce the risk of a range of diseases, including heart conditions, allergies and arthritis.