Travelling can keep your heart and brain healthy

Jun 10,2015

You already know going on a vacation can put the colour back in your cheeks, as well as do wonders for your sanity. The effects can even be infectious, especially if you come back bearing gifts or snacks for the office. Studies have shown that there are more benefits to going on a holiday!


Creative Boost




Research have shown the correlation between how your brain is wired for creativity and travelling. Novel experiences such as the smell of a foreign cuisine, hearing conversations in new languages, alien sensations, sounds, and sights can change the way you think and feel. It can also open the floodgates to your creative juices, reported news site The Atlantic.


Professor at Columbia Business School Adam Galinsky is an author of many studies on such relationships. “New experiences can help to developing thinking and connect diverse concepts. It can also increase cognitive flexibility and depth,” said Prof Galinsky. Cognitive flexibility is described as the brain’s ability to transition from one concept to another, explained mentalhealthdaily.com.


However, he was quick to caution creative thinking only happens when there is a multicultural exchange. You need to engage, immerse and adapt to a new environment, he explained. Just going on a holiday may not increase your creativity – but living with the locals, learning and interacting with them might.


Heart & Mind


Aside from sparking creativity, getting exposed to new experiences can boost your mental health. Pittsburgh-based psychologist Paul D. Nussbaum said trying new things can help to develop nerve cells in the brain called dendrites. A study by the University of London found cabbies, who had to cope with the complex navigational routes, reported expanded brain functions. Citing the UOL research, Dr Nussbaum said people navigating unfamiliar territory can get the same benefits.


Reports such as the one by Dr Nussbaum, collected by the Global Coalition on Aging in the United States also said holidays can benefit heart health. The Framingham Heart Study, conducted in Framingham, Massachusetts, reported women who travelled twice a year faced a significantly lower risk of getting a heart attack or coronary disease compared to those who vacation once every six years or less. Another study reported men who took annual holidays were at a reduced risk of dying from any cause, especially from heart disease. The subjects were at high risk of coronary heart disease.


One of the best ways to expand your horizons is to spend time in Jakarta, the capital of one of the oldest cultures in Southeast Asia. The city offers a blend of western and eastern values and a history rich in visual and performance arts. To plan your therapeutic holiday, book your stay with the Millennium Hotel Sirih Jakarta today!


However, he was quick to caution creative thinking only happens when there is a multicultural exchange. You need to engage, immerse and adapt to a new environment, he explained. Just going on a holiday may not increase your creativity – but living with the locals, learning and interacting with them might.


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