More than one in two (56%) of Brits feel “holiday deprived” in 2023, according to research by Expedia; the second-highest rate in the last 10 years.
However, taking a holiday has many benefits for our health. Time away from work relaxing on a beach or exploring a new city can reduce stress and prevent burnout, which raises the question, should we be prioritising regular short breaks and holidays to keep us happy and healthy?
Well, travel experts at Iglu Cruise have revealed four ways in which taking a holiday can improve both our physical and mental health, for those wondering whether booking that next trip will be worth it.
- It Helps to Lower Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can lead to a number of health conditions, including heart disease, strokes and in extreme cases heart failure. One of the main contributors to high blood pressure is stress, which can be caused by a number of different factors including work, personal relationships or health concerns.
Taking regular breaks can reduce stress levels and lower blood pressure, helping you to feel healthier (and happier). Escaping from your everyday routine, including work and personal life, can be hugely beneficial to your health.
The majority of people feel more rested after taking a holiday, and the benefits of doing so can also last way beyond the holiday, even for months afterwards. If laying on a beach isn’t your idea of relaxation, you could try a road trip, a city break, a camping holiday or even a cruise.
- It Will Improve Your Quality of Sleep
A lack of sleep mixed with high stress is a toxic mixture for our well-being. Poor sleep quality can be linked to mental health conditions such as depression and can heighten anxiety levels.
It is recommended that adults have at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Stress can cause many of us to struggle with our sleeping patterns, and one of the best ways to resolve this is to reset your body clock by taking a break.
Going on holiday can allow your body to switch off and come back feeling refreshed and re-energised. Time away from our everyday stresses can see our sleep quality improve by significant amounts.
Sleep tourism or “sleep retreats” are also becoming increasingly popular. These are holidays designed with the main purpose of catching up on sleep and recharging. Prioritising sleep when taking a holiday can be an excellent way to improve your health and your body will thank you for it!
- It Helps to Increase Your Fitness Levels
According to the NHS, the average number of steps a Brit takes a day is between 3,000 and 4,000. When we go on holiday, we generally move our bodies more, without even realising it! Walking to the beach, strolling around a city, or swimming in the sea or a pool can all benefit our health and increase our fitness levels.
You can also use the time on your holiday to explore a new sport that you have always wanted to try, such as surfing or paddleboarding. Zumba classes and water aerobics are also popular choices for those looking to keep fit. Eating fresh fruit for breakfast or a Mediterranean salad for lunch can also ensure you are treating your body to some healthy goodness.
You can also take a holiday specifically catered to improving your physical health, such as skiing in the French Alps, hiking in the Scottish Highlands or even booking a cruise with an onboard gym and fitness facilities.
- It Will Boost Your Mental Health
It’s no secret that taking regular holidays is hugely beneficial for our mental health. Giving our brains time away from the stresses of everyday life is just as important as looking after our physical health.
The downtime you get on holiday is great for giving your mind some well-needed respite. Spending quality time doing what makes you happy, whether that be reading, relaxing on a sandy beach, eating amazing food or simply soaking in the sun can all boost your well-being and mental health.
Meeting new people and experiencing a new culture can also stimulate and engage the mind. Not only is this really helpful for your mental health but also beneficial for our own sense of creativity and confidence. Solo travel can also be a good option for a complete reset, giving you the opportunity to take some time to yourself and recharge.
Dave Mills, Chief Commercial Officer of Iglu Cruise said:
“Taking regular holidays can benefit all aspects of your life. Both your mental and physical health can improve as a result of an escape and should always be encouraged. It is important to take time for yourself to recharge in order to keep yourself happy and healthy.”