You already know that mini-vacations and weekend getaways are good for you; now new information backs it up and gives you more reasons to plan your quick trip and start reaping the benefits of Chicago getaways.
You will be stunned to discover how utterly relaxed you can become in the short time between leaving the office on a Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon after brunch when you return to your normal routine. From the heavenly massage and spa manicure you will enjoy, to the 9, 18, or 27 holes of golf you get in, say nothing of the strolling, shopping, pool-lounging, and heavenly food you will delight in during your weekend away from the ordinary. Whether you choose the resorts fitness room, or the howling fun you’ll have staying up late on Friday playing pool or enjoying the music in the lounge, you will unwind quickly and wonder why you didn’t get away sooner. You will literally feel the stress hormones leaving your body.
We are now discovering more studies that say: Have fun! That’s right, having fun will relax you and provide you with rest, rejuvenation and fewer health issues down the road. A recent study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, engaging in enjoyable leisure activities lowers stress hormones and blood pressure while making you feel better and reduce your waist circumference and body mass index. Word of caution though, an outstanding all-you-can-eat Sunday Brunch buffet probably will cancel out the weight loss benefits.
In the study, 1,400 people reported how often they participated in activities like vacationing, going to clubs, playing sports, or just relaxing. People who spent the most time doing engaging activities reaped the most benefits.
“When you are under stress, the usual thing is to cut back on enjoyable activities because you are feeling uncomfortable and you need more time to deal with the stress. But these data suggest that is the wrong thing to do, and that continuing enjoyable activities can be helpful,” says study coauthor Karen Matthews, PhD, a professor of psychiatry, epidemiology, and psychology.