CREDOS : Vacations

It’s official now. Vacations are not only good for your spirits, they’re good for your physical health too.

Psychologists Brooks Gump and Karen Matthews from the State University of New York have just finished a study of over 12,000 men from various places who took regular vacations and those who did not.

It turns out that taking a holiday on an annual basis cut the chances of dying from heart disease by one-third, even for men at greater risk for heart attacks. The study didn’t include the men who were in very poor physical health.

The fewer vacations the men took over the period of five years, the greater their chances of dying within the next decade of their lives. Gump adds that this agrees with new evidence that relaxation may help clear fats from arteries. And if your vacation includes some lovely vistas, you may be in even more luck. USA Today adds a footnote from psychologist Steven Kaplan of the University of Michigan, who has found that beauty “focuses attention, helping people plan better and deflect distractions while lowering irritability.”

In other words, simply observing beauty helps you handle things better. Again, this comes as no surprise. But it’s official now, folks!

The flipside, as we’ve long known, is also very true. The stresses that make you feel you can’t afford to take a vacation, whether work or finance related, add health risks. So why are

you sitting there, doing nothing? Book your vacation today. —