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Doctor’s Orders

Doctor's Orders_Take more vacations

Image is courtesy of Pixabay

Summer is marching on and many families are trying to squeeze in a family trip before school starts. According to experts, parents are better off spending their money on vacations than they are spending it on toys. Why?

Family holidays are valued by children, both in the moment and as a memory. It’s all about spending time during which a child’s interests are genuinely taken into account.

Travelling with your kids improves their brain development. “[The vacation] environment offers new experiences that are strong in combined social, physical, cognitive, and sensory interaction,” says child psychotherapist Dr. Margot Sunderland. These experiences activate the genetic expression in the frontal lobes, enhancing functions like stress regulation, attention, concentration, good planning, and the ability to learn.

Just as it does for adults, vacationing also improves physical and mental health. Stress is a true physiological response, releasing hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine for the fight or flight response that was necessary for early man. Regular vacations and leaving our every day stresses give us a break from the constant high levels of these hormones and a chance to repair some of the damage.

Even if you don’t have children, there are benefits to taking vacations. Vacations help you maintain focus. Vacations help you sharpen your saw, relieving the feeling of being blocked or distracted. Adults who don’t take a vacation are more likely to have problems concentrating.

Vacations help prevent illness. A recent survey found that people who take regular vacations report being and feeling healthier, possibly because they have a break from chronic stress.

Vacations improve your sex life. Studies have shown that high cortisol levels associated with stress lowers levels of sex hormones like testosterone, contributing to loss of libido. Surveys indicate people who vacation regularly reported feeling sexier.

Taking vacations can keep you young! Chronic stress is believed to accelerate the aging process. Medically speaking, taking regular vacations is just what the doctor ordered for staying healthy.

Andrea Groth Wellbeing Detective

Andrea wants to live in a world where the neighborhoods are walkable, bike lanes are plentiful, and the food is fresh, delicious and readily available.

A 20-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, she started her career in the fitness industry while earning a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and then on to the burgeoning field of worksite wellness. Andrea has competed in collegiate level soccer, worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness coach, and master trainer, climbed 14ers, and completed cycling centuries and metric centuries. All of these experiences give her the opportunity to view well-being from many different perspectives.
When she’s not helping others to be their healthiest self, you can find her at a farm to table restaurant, down dogging at the yoga studio, or experiencing the Colorado landscape on a bicycle, snowshoes, cross country skis or on foot.