We’ve all been told how important it is to take time for ourselves, especially when we’re stressed out, but how many of us really do it? I recently had the chance to interview emergency room physician, Dr. Leigh Vinocur who discussed how detrimental stress can be and the importance of taking a vacation. She dished on the major benefits of vacationing and how long of a vacation we really need to take to reap the stress reducing benefits.
Candace Rose: What’s your role as a vacation doctor?
Dr. Leigh Vinocur: “Well, I’m an ER doctor and I’ve seen firsthand how stress related illnesses detrimentally affect our health, heart attacks, strokes. There’s an endless list – depression, anxiety. I partnered with Diamond Resorts, they have a public service campaign to let people know that vacations are important for your health. We are a vacation starved nation, we’re not taking our vacations.”
Candace Rose: What are some major benefits of taking a vacation?
Dr. Leigh Vinocur: “Well, there have been studies that show it can help reduce stress and stress related hormones that contribute to all these diseases. It’s important as eating right and exercising. Diamond Resorts commissioned a Nielsen Study that showed that people were happier, healthier, had better relationships when they took regular vacations. There’s a famous heart study that showed that men that didn’t take regular vacations actually had a 30% increased risk of heart attack, so vacations are seriously beneficial to your health. They’re not a luxury, they’re a necessity.”
Candace Rose: How long of a vacation do we need to commit to?
Dr. Leigh Vinocur: “Well, that’s the beauty of it! It doesn’t really matter, it’s just the key of taking a regular scheduled vacation. It could be a long weekend here and another long weekend there. If you think about the cycle of taking a vacation, we’re very excited when we plan it, the anticipation and that makes this makes us feel good and the surge of all the good endorphins. And then when we go on the vacation we relax, we recharge, we energize and then when we come back we have all those memories. We relive it with photos, so it’s the cycle of staying vacationed that’s so beneficial to your health.”
Candace Rose: What kind of vacations do you suggest?
Dr. Leigh Vinocur: “You can take any kind of vacation you want. Americans leave a billion vacations on the table – three quarters of those are paid vacations. They’re forfeiting the money, they’re forfeiting their health. The most important thing is to just make yourself a priority this New Year’s. It should be your number one resolution, and take a vacation.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Dr. Leigh Vinocur: “Well, if you go to DiamondResort.com, there’s more information there about the benefits of vacation. I’m sure there are lots of vacation tips and destinations there.”