WHY YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED A VACATION IN YOUR 40s

Why You Absolutely Need a Vacation in Your 40s

When you reach the 40s, your priorities tend to change. There’s less focus on pushing your career and more emphasis on a healthier lifestyle. Your list of goals for the year becomes a list of weight targets and the things you want to drop, like smoking or drinking. What many seem to skip is the fact that you need a change of pace more than ever – yes, you do need that vacation in your 40s to stay healthy.

REASON TO TAKE A VACATION IN YOUR 40s

TAKING VACATIONS COULD PROLONG LIFE

That’s the takeaway from a 40-year study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, as researchers re-discover just how important it is to use up those vacation leaves in the interest of health. When you’ve reached middle age and beyond, a healthy lifestyle should include stress management built right into your routine, and a vacation is the best way to achieve that.

Professor Timo Strandberg of the University of Helsinki, Finland, who headed the study, thinks that a healthier lifestyle is not enough to make up for the stress of working too hard – and not taking holidays.

In fact, the researchers have established that not taking a few days off can actually have a negative impact on your health, contrary to what you might have come to expect from your career life in your 20s or 30s.

THE EFFECTS OF SKIPPING ON VACATIONS

Hoarding those vacation leave days can have a lasting effect on your stress levels, and the impact is such that it can actually negate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in the long run, according to the information gathered by the researchers.

The team looked at the data gathered from more than 1,200 middle-aged executives, all male and all of them dealing with various heart disease risks: unhealthy weight, smoking, high-stress environments and poor diet.

These men went on to clean up their act with regular exercise, increased physical activity and following a healthy diet. The results were positive at first, with cardiovascular disease risk dropping by a massive 46 percent during the study.

Surprisingly, most of these benefits seemed to negate some 15 years later. Shockingly, the group that did better was the guys who merely took more vacation time.

VACATIONS ARE VITAL FOR STRESS CONTROL

As it turns out, sticking to a healthier lifestyle comes with its own set of stress factors as well – thus the heightened importance of taking a vacation in your 40s. In the follow-up study, the men who took less than three weeks of vacation per year were 37 percent at higher risk of dying than those who took a month or so to get away from it all.

With middle age comes a whole set of changes, whether brought upon by time or the ones you brought upon yourself. In this life stage, it’s more important than ever to deal with stress properly by taking enough time off from work and obligations.

So do yourself a favour and treat your annual breaks as a valuable part of your health regimen, and take a proper vacation in your 40s. This is when life should be fun and you enjoy the fruits of you efforts.

ANTHONY HILL, FOUNDER

Anthony Hill

When you put together the sum total of my 30 years of bodybuilding training, the contests, the vast array of diets I have experimented (tortured) myself with as well as the experiences I have been through with various training partners in the gyms I have trained in all over the world, it’s been a great ride and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to be able to do lots of personal training for private clients alongside my day job. For a few years during my 30’s, I moved to Asia and worked as the Fitness Manager and head personal trainer at one of Thailand’s leading gyms in Bangkok. Learn More

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