5 Ways Travel Can Help Keep You Healthy in Your Later Years
If you go by conventional wisdom, lots of things are good for the soul – music, good food, love. And in that category, surely there is a place for travel too, for the unique way it combines adventure, excitement and new experiences which live with you forever.
Sadly, once you reach a certain age, people tend to focus only on the negatives associated with travel and personal well-being. Are you strong enough to cope with the rigours of long journeys anymore? Will your health stand up to changes in climate and diet? What about all the extra planning you have to do, especially if you have a diagnosed medical condition? Would it not just be better all round to stay at home?
This ignores the fact that travel is more often than not a truly uplifting experience, and therefore has a positive impact on people of all ages. Here are five ways travel can help to boost your health and well-being in later life.
It is a common experience for people who have spent years looking forward to retirement to find on reaching it that they are at a loss for things to do. Inactivity can very quickly become its own trap; boredom sets in, we become lethargic and demotivated, which can quickly lead to isolation, with first negative implications for our mental and then physical health. Travel is a great way to break out of such a cycle. It gives you a goal to focus on, something to plan, and then of course when it comes to to it, travel is all about activity.
We’ve all heard that laughter is good for the heart. And the reason is that positive emotions have a physical effect on our brain and body chemistry which is much like the impact regular exercise has on our physique. Travel is all about good times – excitement, new experiences, stand out memories, shared moments with loved ones and companions. Put another way, travel is a great way to keep a smile on your face.
It is ironic that changes in climate are often raised as potential causes of health problems for older travellers. For anyone from more northerly latitudes, they know full well that winter climates are far from conducive to excellent health all year round. If you have the opportunity, getting away from the worst of the cold and damp whenever you can is always a good idea.
We have already mentioned isolation in passing, but it is worthy of its own section. Isolation in later life following the death of a spouse or partner is a recognised social problem. With families long flown from the nest and the companionship of work friends and colleagues left behind, it is sadly all too common for people in retirement to feel cut off from the world. Travel is a great way to overcome this dangerous spiral because there are so many group travel options available catering for older people. Look up escorted travel and holiday providers to find out more.
Whether it is a lung-enriching hike in bracing mountain air, relaxing in the sun by the beach or eating the best freshly prepared local cuisine, travel can be a great opportunity to treat mind, body and soul. It doesn’t even do any harm to indulge yourself a little. You are on holiday, after all.
Whatever your travel plans, don’t forget to protect yourself with the right kind of travel insurance, just in case. Avanti Travel Insurance specialises in bespoke policies for the over-50s, and for people travelling with pre-existing medical conditions. For more information, please visit our website www.avantitravelinsurance.co.uk.