Travel Health Benefits for Seniors, Pre-Retirement Travel Planning Tips | Travel

As we get older, one of the most common resolutions we make is travel more and make time to continue vacation year-round can be an important aspect of active ageing, which the WHO describes as the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security to improve people’s quality of life as they age. Travel covers key points of active aging, including independence, autonomy, quality of life and life expectancy, where it also improves physical and mental health by keeping people active and engaged.

It’s no secret that people who travel are happier and healthier than those who don’t explore often, so if you enjoy traveling, you’re doing yourself a favor by getting out of town and seeing new places. It is worth considering the benefits of traveling for physical and mental health.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Deval Delivala, Co-Founder and SVP of GetSetUp, spoke about the physical health benefits of travel for seniors, sharing: “For seniors enjoying vacations, there is good news. Traveling can reduce the risk of heart attack and coronary death. A recent study found that taking more vacations can lead to a longer life. Another study found that people who traveled in the last two years reduced their risk of death by 36.6%. Traveling also keeps us on the go. Recent research has shown that 60% of people who travel report that they exercise more on vacation than when they are at home. Exercise is known to reduce the risk of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer. People who go on vacation regularly were more motivated to pay attention to their health.”

Commenting on the benefits of traveling on the mental health of older adults, he revealed: “A Japanese study found a positive relationship between travel and subjective well-being in older adults. People who traveled five or more times a year reported higher well-being than those who traveled twice a year. Traveling helps reduce stress and anxiety. When you’re on vacation, there’s no pressure to get things done or worry about what’s going on at work or at home. The focus is on oneself and enjoying free time without distractions”.

Stating that quality travel experiences are based on curiosity, Deval Delivala said: “Vacations allow you to explore new places and learn more about yourself by interacting with people who live in different parts of the world. Being in new places helps expand horizons and opens up opportunities for personal growth in areas such as communication or confidence in social situations that would otherwise not be available. It also supports brain health and resilience through learning and exploration!”

Suggesting how to plan ahead financially, he advised: “For people planning to travel in retirement, early financial planning and budgeting for retirement is key. It’s important to note that travel doesn’t have to be exotic or extravagant for seniors to reap mental and physical benefits. Travel can include visiting friends and family to help reduce accommodation costs. Some volunteer travel opportunities also offer free lodging and maybe even some meals. Considering the health benefits, making travel more of a priority might be worth the expense!”

When adventure is part of your life, you are more likely to exercise and also reduce stress and stay mentally engaged with life. Not to mention, traveling will expose you to new people and new experiences, which are great for mental stimulation, so if you love going on vacation, get out and be active, it’s good for you!

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