Nearly all of us, confronted with a stress headache, would pop a painkiller, right? But while that might provide a measure of temporary relief, for most of us with busy lives the stress is always there, and the headaches come back. For something more long-term, it’s been proven (scientifically, even) that one effective key to across-the-board stress reduction and health promotion is leisure travel. Going on holiday and “getting away from it all” has for example, been shown to improve heart health, quality of sleep, and work productivity.
And furthermore, to some extent you can even tailor destinations to your particular health needs. For example, a spell in warm, humid climes can do wonders for folks suffering from arthritis and respiratory problems. An added bonus comes from the balmy, ionically-charged sea breezes at beach destinations in places like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Florida, Southern California, or Spain’s own Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, and long, long Mediterranean coast.
A touch of depression, blues, or ennui? As the 1960s Petula Clark chestnut so memorably and bouncily put it, “things’ll be great when you’re downtown” amid the bright lights, big city of destinations like New York City, Madrid, and of course Petula’s own London – or with a touch of more far-flung exoticism, Tokyo and Shanghai.
Rio de Janeiro as well as Havana and Buenos Aires could also be a way to relieve arthritis and stiff joints if you indulge in some salsa, samba, and tango dancing (perhaps lubricated with a tot of rum or cachaça).
Feel like maybe your sense of taste or other senses are sliding? A touch of pleasant “shock therapy” might be just what the doctor ordered. Give your palate a bracing wake-up call with the spicy cuisine of Mexico (honestly, your local Mexican restaurant might be great but just isn’t the same) or the exotic, savoury flavours of Morocco (ditto re your local couscous joint). And speaking of bracing, how about some full-body therapy with a piping-hot sauna followed by a cool-to-frigid dip in places where the locals swear by this, such as Norway and Sweden?
It’s also been proven that when it comes to health, preventive beats curative every time. Improve your lifestyle, and your body will thank you. That includes making holidays a priority (not that we at Iberia are biased! ?). So here’s to your health, and happy, healthy trails!