If you are like scores of Americans who have yet to take a summer vacation, there is still some time left and health experts say do it now!

You see, going on vacation is more than just a frivolous pleasure. Studies confirm it is irrefutably good for your health.

Vacations protect health by reducing stress, a confirmed risk factor for many diseases. In fact, vacations have been shown to be more protective against death from coronary heart disease, known to be influenced by stress, than diseases such as cancer, studies conducted at the State University of New York and the University of Pittsburgh confirm.

In addition to alleviating stress, vacations offer unique opportunities to connect with healing behaviors such as engaging in more family and friend time and getting more exercise.

You don’t need to take a lavish or distant vacation to reap the rewards of a get-a-way. Visit a state park, spend a few days at the beach, or simply camp out in the backyard and relish the sun, moon and stars.

Anything that takes you away from work and its related issues will do the trick.

So go ahead and enjoy a vacation—doctor’s orders.

Image copyright Diane Alter

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