Exercise, diet, and vacations: The perfect combination of good health

By Blair Morris

December 14, 2018

A study ensures that vacations are necessary to stay healthy.

Nowadays almost nobody questions that exercise, a good diet and a healthy mind is the magic cocktail of health. Therefore, different meditation techniques such as mindfulness, enough sleep or avoid stress are some of the recipes that health professionals add to any plan to stay in shape. However, science says that is not all, because vacations seem to be the key so that in the long term we have fewer health problems and we manage to keep in shape.

A study by the University of Helsinki, Finland, has shown this. According to the researchers, enjoying a few days of vacation from time to time potentially extends life.

The research presented at the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology 2018 has lasted nothing more and nothing less than 40 years. Yes, for 40 years the University of Helsinki followed 1,222 executives who were born between 1919 and 1934. The entire sampling group had some cardiovascular risk factor such as cholesterol, high blood pressure, tobacco …

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The sample was divided into two groups. The first one underwent a health check-up, where a follow-up was done with a balanced diet, exercise and good habits of life, while the second group did not receive any specialized medical control, so they did not modify their life habits.

After the first 5 years of study, the first group presented a 46% decrease in the risk of suffering cardiovascular disease, so in principle, everything seemed to indicate that the key to health was in good nutrition and exercise. However, after 15 years, it was observed that more members of the first control group had died than of the second. What had happened? The University of Helsinki decided to increase the temporary range to 40 years to find out.

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To do this, they began to take into account other factors that had not previously been set, such as hours of sleep, type of work and vacations. And voila! They realized that vacations and the type of holidays interfere with life expectancy.

According to the study, there is a correlation between the decrease in life expectancy and men in the control group who had taken only short vacations during their lives (less than three weeks a year). However, life expectancy increased significantly in those who took vacations for more than 3 weeks a year. Of course, in the second group holidays did not have a significant impact on their health, since their lifestyle habits were not healthy enough.

In short, the lesson that this study gives us is that stress can be as harmful as an inadequate diet or a sedentary life. Therefore, the important thing is to keep balanced these three facets of life: diet, exercise, and mind. And, of course, take a good vacation whenever we can.

About Blair Morris