Vacations are good for your health, but Americans don’t take enough. “All work and no play” may harm your heart. Compared with those who took at least two vacations a year, women who took a vacation every six years or less were eight times more likely to have a heart attack or heart disease, or to die from heart-related causes. Men at risk for heart disease who didn’t take vacations were 32 percent more likely to die from a heart attack. And on the flip side, a recent European study showed that heart attacks incidence goes down during summer vacation. (The highest incidence occurs during winter holidays and on Mondays, times of perceived stress.) Plan your trip carefully, making sure it includes genuine R&R, whether that’s reading by a pool, strolling along a beach, or hiking through a forest. Trying to cram too much into your vacation can increase stress — the opposite of what you want.
The simple act of planning a vacation boosts happiness.
Sources: Myocardial Infarction and Coronary Death among Women: Psychosocial Predictors from a 20-Year Follow-up of Women in the Framingham Study.
“I always try to have a vacation” Sophia Loren