We wanted to look into why vacations are important and share with you our findings. Over the years we have seen the results of many studies showing that time taken off from your “daily grind” or job can benefit both your physical and mental health. Research has shown that those who take vacations tend to have lower overall stress and less heart disease. On the mental side those who vacation annually also are more motivated and have a better overall outlook on life. The secret found in these studies is that you need to vacation consistently. So no matter if you head out on mini vacations quarterly or take a longer vacation annually – be sure to take some time to focus on you!
Vacations are important for your physical health
Here is a list of 7 health benefits that you can experience by taking a vacation. Taking an active vacation like a Great Bike Tour will provide even more benefits!
- Improved physical health. Stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure.
- Improved mental health.
- Greater well-being.
- Increased mental motivation.
- Improved family relationships.
- Decreased burnout.
- Boosted happiness.
Why vacations are important for your mental health
Vacations can improve mood and reduce stress by removing people from the activities and environments that they associate with stress and anxiety. A Canadian study of over 800 lawyers found vacations reduced depression and buffered against job stress*. Even a short vacation can reduce stress. Source
* Joudrey, A. D., & Wallace, J. E. (2009). Leisure as a coping resource: A test of the job demand-control-support model. Human Relations, 62 (2), 195-217
“What neuroscience is showing is that we require down time in order for our bodies to go through the process of restoration,” she told ABC News. “Without time and opportunity to do this, the neural connections that produce feelings of calm and peacefulness become weaker, making it actually more difficult to shift into less-stressed modes.”
Clinical psychologist Deborah Mulhern told ABC that when you don’t unwind and get away from “external stresses” (like a heavy workload), it gets harder for your body to relax.
Your vacation doesn’t have to be long. “Most people have better life perspective and are more motivated to achieve their goals after a vacation, even if it is a 24-hour time-out,” psychologist and stress expert Francine Lederer
Vacations are important for students
Actually vacations are very important for each and every student. … Relaxing during a two-week vacation or summer vacation is important because it allows students to recharge. The summer break also helps relieve some of the pressure experienced during the academic year. Source
Vacations are important good for relationships
According to research commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, those couples who travel together are “significantly more satisfied with their relationships, enjoying better sex and improved romance long after the trip ends.” In fact, the research found that taking even a weekend getaway was more likely to spark romance than giving small or large gifts. Source
Vacations make for better employees
Mayo Clinic defines job burnout as “a special type of work-related stress—a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”
Not only does burnout reduce the satisfaction employees feel in their job, but it can rob them of personal satisfaction at home as well. This is likely because as employees spend more hours at work, work comes to define more of their existence, and eventually, personal life and professional life become one and the same.
At the organizational level, burnout is a productivity destroyer. While it might seem obvious that burnout would cause an employee to become disengaged from their work, research shows that the link between burnout and engagement is so close that the two concepts are virtually indistinguishable from each other. And when engagement declines, so does the bottom line.
But it’s not just about loss of engagement. The long-term impact of burnout can be devastating to employees’ entire lives, with such symptoms as:
- Sadness, anger, or irritability
- Alcohol or substance misuse
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Vulnerability to illnesses
Use your vacation time
One sure-fire method is to encourage employees to take vacation. Employees who take time off from work report feeling less stress, less anxiety, and fewer instances of depression. Those aren’t the only positive effects, either; regular vacations are linked to lower risk for heart disease, and the experience of a vacation is shown to have a lasting impact on general wellbeing and a perception of a life well-lived.
Numerous studies show that happier, healthier employees are more productive, which is a great reason for any organization to promote vacation. They’re also less likely to seek another job, and they cost less to employ thanks to higher attendance and fewer health insurance claims. What’s more, when employees take time away, they actually report that difficult tasks seem easier when they return.
The adventure of active vacations build confidence
The adventure of active vacations feeds your desires and builds your confidence. The editor of National Geographic Traveler Magazine once suggested that the “Cycle of Travel” went like this:
But no matter how many steps it takes to get there, the one thing that’s certain about traveling to spectacular nature spots is that it soon becomes addictive.
Experiencing one of the worlds “wild places” is just the beginning. Your soul will soon call for more adventure. Each time you go on an adventure you will find yourself changing (for the better). Active vacations will help build your confidence as you challenge yourself and break out of your “box” just a little bit more.
Vacation with Great Bike Tours
At Great Bike Tours our family-run company offers a wide range of active vacations to suit every taste and ability. Our season starts in January with our easy warm-winter bike tours in the Florida Keys & Everglades, followed in February and March by our once-in-a-lifetime 12-day New Zealand active vacation. In April we run our Georgia coast bike tours in the magical Golden Isles south of Savannah. In late April and May we feature our new “bike & boat tours” — South Carolina Bike & Boat and Rhode Island Bike & Boat. We have additional destinations that take us all the way through October.
Unique Vacation Destinations
GBT is on the cutting edge of bike tour research, seeking out new and novel bike-tour-destinations that the larger companies haven’t even thought of yet.
We were the first company to design trips in:
- the Florida Keys
- Rhode Island
- Georgia’s Golden Isles
- Hilton Head Island
- the Adirondacks of New York
- and New Hampshire!
Watch this space for our next exciting new destinations. Learn more at https://greatbiketours.com/