With the start of the holidays, we want to get so much done. Go on a trip, schedule a long-overdue doctor’s appointment, visit relatives. But limited time is what we have. Is it possible to kill two birds with one stone? Absolutely. In this article, we’ve put together some ideas on how to combine travelling with improving your health on wellness retreats and not only.
Let’s whisper a bit up front – one of the ways mentioned below will be a retreat. If this sounds like the best way to combine travel with health to you too, it’s worth finding out more.
Walk or cycle
Forget about the tour buses that take you to all the tourist hotspots. Instead, put your feet up – walk or rent a bike. That way you can get to know your destination better – you can stop and go wherever you want.
But if you’re not sure that walking “on your own” is the best option for you, don’t worry. Guided walking tours are available in many destinations. There are places where such tours are provided free of charge or for a nominal fee. It’s a good opportunity to get moving and to get in-depth information. In addition, the guide will prepare the route for you.
Walking and cycling help to maintain a healthy body weight, strengthen leg muscles, improve the digestive system and have a beneficial effect on the nervous system. These are not the only health benefits: heart health, mood and vitamin D intake are also improved by being in the sunshine.
There are plenty of fantastic opportunities to be active while travelling. Like mountains? Go on a trip that includes skiing, snowboarding or hiking. Prefer sunny beaches? Don’t spend all day under the shade of a palm tree, but make time to get active. Surfing, swimming. If you love nature and animals, look into horse riding in scenic areas.
Sport boosts both physical and mental health. And it’s all part of travelling – so you can make new memories and see new places. Being active is also a good way to get out of your comfort zone. If you want to test your courage, you can choose activities that will give you a good adrenaline rush.
However, when it comes to health and adrenaline, moderation is a must. A little adrenaline is good for you – it can improve your breathing, your immune system and even slow down ageing. However, being frequently in situations that trigger adrenaline is more likely to have a negative effect on health.
Perhaps one of the best ways to take care of your physical and mental health while travelling is to have a retreat. No, it’s not just staying in a nice villa. Most wellness retreats include a variety of activities that benefit our overall well-being.
If you’ve been wanting to take more time for yourself, take a look at the endless retreats on offer. Most wellness retreats focus on two practices: meditation and yoga. Yoga relieves stress, improves mood, helps us stay fit, strengthens our heart and the list goes on and on. Meditation is also a great tool to become healthier. Meditation reduces anxiety, depression and anger. Energy levels rise, and one becomes calmer and more reflective.
Another aspect that is well thought of in welness retreats is nutrition. It is easy to forget about this when travelling, with all the tempting restaurants, new cafés and so on. Of course, getting to know the local cuisine is an indispensable part of travelling.
However, eating healthily is not always the case, and often – in busy travel schedules – meals are eaten in a hurry. Organic, fresh and healthy meals are rarely available. After all, it is a well-ordered diet that is one of the key principles of good health.
To find out more on retreats, check out a category of articles All about retreats to find more helpful information.
Destination – nature
You don’t always need to travel to crowded metropolises. While they are usually full of tourist attractions, there is just as much to see in less crowded places. The Japanese even have a term for this: shinrin-yoku, or bathing in the forest. This does not mean literally taking a dip in a bathtub specially placed in the forest. It is being in nature and trying to find a connection with that environment.
Being in nature has many positive benefits for our health. Being in nature makes you calmer, releases happiness hormones and improves concentration. Nature has a positive effect on mental health – anxiety and depressive symptoms, irritability are reduced. The body also benefits – blood pressure and cortisol, the stress hormone, are reduced.
There are many wonderful natural landscapes to see in this world. For example, one of Europe’s most spectacular natural parks, Plitvice Lakes National Park. If you want to experience the charm of Italy, head to Lake Garda. And of course, a nature lover’s dream – a trip to fascinating Iceland.
Taking part in a marathon
Another way to stay healthy while travelling is by taking part in a marathon. Marathons take place all over the world and are not just for professional athletes. However, it is not advisable to embark on such an adventure if you are new to sport, especially running. However, if you are confident in your abilities, consider it.
This way you can both create a new challenge and goal for yourself and choose the destination where you want to spend the winter. It can also serve as motivation. Preparing for this type of trip will also make it more enjoyable to train at home.
Maybe you already have a dream route as a runner that you want to run. Some of the most famous marathons include the Great Wall of China Marathon, the Berlin, Tokyo, New York and London marathons.
A SPA trip
If you want a peaceful and truly relaxing break, make a visit to a spa your top destination. The spa experts will take care of both your body and your mind. Yes, this great relaxation can improve our well-being! Spa visits can relieve headaches, stress, improve skin condition, blood circulation and stimulate the release of happiness hormones.
Another plus – whichever country you want to visit, you’re likely to find a spa there too. Europe’s best spas can be found in Tenerife, Turkey, Portugal, Greece and Switzerland. Wellness reatreats can be full of spa procedures too!