The Benefits of Travel and Outdoor Activities for Ageing Americans
May 02, 2016
Americans are notorious for working long hours and skipping paid time off. In fact, Americans have steadily been declining paid time off since the 1970’s. The lack of travel and leisure has raised considerable warnings among the US Travel Association, which launched a non-profit organization called The Travel Effect, to research these trends.
Some assume travel and outdoor activities are best suited among younger adults, when health is expected to be in peek condition. However, The Travel Effect reports traveling later in life carries greater health rewards. Here are some reasons why it’s worth taking advantage of paid time off, as well as traveling regularly later in life.
Workers who take regular time are more productive. By allowing the body and mind to relax and enjoy new activities in new places, leisure travelers are much happier returning to work, and find they have more energy to fulfill their duties.
Increased energy can be achieved through the physical activity of hiking a wilderness trail, exploring a museum, fishing, or horseback riding. Travel also provides important cognitive stimulation that can reduce the risk of a myriad of diseases associated with ageing.
The risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can be greatly reduced by travel, or participating in cognitive activities that stimulate the brain. Other health benefits are gender specific. Women who vacation regularly are less likely to develop risks of heart attack or coronary complication. Further, men who did not vacation regularly were shown to have a 30 percent greater risk of heart disease.
In a report conducted by the Global Coalition on Ageing, by the year 2020, the over-60 global population will reach 1 billion. By encouraging travel in later years and participating in new outdoor activities, society at large can expect positive changes in the overall health and wellness of this demographic.
Healthy ageing is not out of reach. Along with a healthy diet and exercise, travel and leisure should be considered part of overall wellness.
There are many places here in the US that offer extraordinary opportunities for older travelers and their families. Look for destinations that feature a combination of outdoor activities as well as natural wonders to explore. Discovering the beauty of the great outdoors is a great way to enjoy those paid days off.