Today, stress affects millions of people in all walks of life around the globe. And, it is a bad thing. In fact, stress is a predictor of heart disease. But, worry no more as one study suggests one natural stress reliever. The study says taking vacations relieve stress.
If you are planning to take a vacation, your heart will thankful for you. Not only that but taking vacations also promote longevity.
The data in which researchers report comes from a recent review of a Finnish heart health study in the 1970s. In a period of 40 years, this study was following over 1,200 men in their 40s and 50s.
Vacations Relieve Stress
One of the best ways to stay healthy including having a healthy heart is to manage stress. Stress management has lots of health benefits. And, one of the natural ways to minimize and keep stress at bay is spending time with nature.
What could be better to spend time in nature than taking vacations? Professor Timo Strandberg from the University of Helsinki in Finland said in a press release.
Don’t think to have an otherwise healthy lifestyle will compensate for working too hard and not taking holidays.
Professor Timo Strandberg is absolutely right. One earlier study has confirmed that working way too much is bad for your heart.
Furthermore, the men in this study based on the researchers’ assessment were facing higher than average risk of heart disease. In fact, half of the men received recommendations on dietary changes, weight loss, exercise, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol for a period of five years.
On the other hand, the other half of the participants did not receive any health guidance and recommendations.
After 40 years of following the participants, men who have heart health advice recommendations and taking vacations longer perform better. The findings say that those who took over 3 weeks of vacation per year live longer than those who do less than three weeks of annual vacations.
Professor Strandberg also noted that men who took shorter vacations were working more and sleeping less than those taking longer vacations. Stress is one of the silent enemies of health. A stressful lifestyle and environment can easily overturn the benefits of any intervention.
Furthermore, Professor Strandberg believes that the intervention itself may be causing an adverse psychological effect that adds more stress to their lives.
Even Mini Vacations Have Heart Health Benefit
One of the risk factors for heart disease is high blood pressure1. And, although longer vacations are the recommendation in the study, even shorter or mini-vacations have positive impact for maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
And by mini-vacations, Robert E. Kowalski means taking short relaxations with deep breathing 3 to 4 times a day.
Although the findings in this study are based on association rather than cause and effect, the facts are worth considering. It is also important to note that before taking a long vacation, preparation is essential.
For instance, if you are working in a company, make sure to turn over all pending works to someone. Doing so avoids colleagues calling you while you’re on a holiday. It is not good and efficient to take a vacation while you’re thinking about work.
When you take leave from your work, make sure your mind is fully focused on having a good time. The same is true for an entrepreneur’s perspective, make sure to arrange everything and delegate works to someone you can trust. You don’t want to fly out of time or country with your mind thinking and worrying about your business.
Make sure to plan in advance. In fact, planning is one of the best and natural ways to keep stress at bay. With minimal stress, it won’t affect your health particularly the heart. During vacation time, suspend all works and business matter.
But, of course, go through with your social connections. Instead of connecting people for business matters, connect with them socially and do business later. Solid social connections make stress at bay while promoting happiness and longevity.
In other words, always keep a proper balance between career, family and personal life.