5 Amazing Ways Travel Can Boost Your Health

Dec 8, 2018

Guest Post by Sam Ross

We all know travel is fun and educational, but did you know it's also good for your physical and mental health?

Girl sitting on ground look at mountain view

Any seasoned traveler could tell you that health is something to pay careful attention to while on the road. Wherever you are in the world, health should be a top priority; after all, when health deteriorates, it can be incredibly worrying and debilitating.

Looking after your health doesn’t need to be difficult, however. When traveling, healthcare may simply take a little more forward planning but on the plus side, there is evidence that traveling itself can have profound health benefits.

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The richness and diversity of your travel experiences can do wonders for mental health; likewise, aspects of the environment and the activities you participate in along the way can bring physical benefits you may not otherwise have received.

World travel is an attractive prospect for people from all walks of life, and some of the healthiest people you’ll meet on your travels are this way because they regularly indulged their wanderlust!

Here are some of the reasons travel can benefit your health:

Traveling reduces stress

When we’re traveling, we are usually able to forget about the trials and tribulations of our everyday lives. It helps to put into perspective what is really important. We need new experiences in life so that it doesn’t become mundane and unfulfilling.

The joy of novel experiences on the road create endorphins – those feel good chemicals in the brain that reduce stress and help you to appreciate the present moment.

Mental health is greatly improved by travel. When you’re navigating new places and dealing with new situations on a regular basis, you become more mentally and emotionally resilient. You start to realize that you can handle many more situations than you might have previously thought. You’re developing new life and communication skills, and exploring your own capabilities. 

The result is a sense of strength and trust in yourself, so when you are faced with challenges in the future, you are far less likely to become flustered or panicked.

You find that you’re able to manage situations with minimal stress, which leads to mental and emotional stability. 

Traveling can boost your immune system

From a young age, exposure to bacteria in the environment helps you to build immunity.

This never really stops, as with each new germ you encounter, your body can build resistance to it. When traveling, you’re going to come into contact with many new strains of viruses and bacteria, in foods, water, the air, and via insects and animals. That’s not necessarily anything to worry about – it’s part of life wherever you are.

Yet each time you encounter these things, your body is able to produce antibodies that fight disease. Ultimately this makes it stronger. Obviously we want to avoid getting sick on the road, so precautionary measures are sensible, but the odd ailment now and then is inevitable.

Sunlight helps your body to produce vitamin D

Our bodies don’t naturally produce vitamin D, and it can’t be attained through food, yet it is vital to your health and well-being.

Sunlight triggers a reaction in your skin that causes it to produce vitamin D, which has a range of positive effects on the body. Like magnesium, Vitamin D plays an important role in regulating calcium levels, improving absorption and maintaining phosphorus levels in your blood. In combination, these factors help to maintain healthy bones, strengthening your body at the deepest level.

Vitamin D assists in the general healing of your body, as it boosts your immune system in a big way. It has many other benefits too, all worth knowing about! It’s always smart to moderate sun exposure, of course. It’s no secret that too much sun can have a detrimental impact, and nobody likes sunstroke.

Protecting your skin with natural sunscreens will allow vitamin D production while limiting the damage caused by excessive UVB exposure. So when you’re traveling through sunny climates, provided that you’re protecting your skin, you’ll receive multiple health benefits. 

Travel makes you physically strong and fit

Who doesn’t want to be physically strong, fit and capable?

It doesn’t matter what age you are – maintaining and improving physical fitness is always going to be of benefit. While traveling, you’re probably going to participate in a range of new activities. Most people don’t get the chance to go on epic hikes, kayak around lakes, windsurf etc. on a regular basis in their daily lives.

You’ll probably find yourself walking and cycling considerable distances from time to time while on the road. This is not only fun, but sometimes necessary to get from A to B, dependent on your location. 

Obviously this increases your stamina and muscle tone, which never hurt anyone!

Even low-impact, casual activities like sightseeing, lengths in the pool, and beach strolls mean regular movement – you don’t have to participate in extreme sports to get some health benefits. The stronger and fitter you are, the more your experience of life in general will improve.

So that’s just one more thing to thank your traveling is for!

Being in the sea boosts mental and physical health

There’s something about that sea air… we all know that refreshed feeling after a day at the beach.

That wonderful sea breeze is carrying negative hydrogen ions, which are charged particles found in moving water. The sea spray is abundant with these, and they are carried around in the fresh air; this improves our ability to absorb oxygen, and protects us from free radical damage.

The sea itself is full of wonderful health benefits.

This water is mineral-rich, so when you’re soaking in it you’re absorbing plenty of magnesium, for example. Magnesium is crucial to human health as it regulates all other minerals in your body and keeps calcium levels in balance.

Magnesium will allay muscle cramps and spasms, and help you to get a good night’s sleep too. 

Magnesium is the anti-ageing mineral, and it’s anti-inflammatory. So that’s just one more reason to immerse yourself in the ocean!

girl posing for picture on mountain side

Last, but by no means least, is the relaxation you’ll experience by the sea. Stress levels can’t help but diminish, so your mental health is bound to benefit too.

Travel brings so many benefits that it’s hard to list them all. Whatever challenges travelers face, it’s clear that the benefits substantially outweigh them.

Traveling is fun, healthy and educational. There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored, so make the most of it safe in the knowledge that it’s enhancing your life immeasurably.

Author Bio: Sam Ross runs the blog thehammockhombre.com - a travel blog focused around the digital nomad lifestyle. Over the past 3 years, he's traveled to every continent, and so writes on a broad range of countries, cities, and destinations.

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1 comment

  1. Traveling is definitely good for our health! You're making me want to pack my bags!


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