5 reasons why traveling is good for the brain
Traveling is one of the favorite hobbies of many families, especially in summer during school holidays. In fact, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) in 2015, Spaniards made 175.5 million trips, of which just over 47% were motivated by holidays, mainly summer. And it is also a very pleasant activity, we tell you what are the 5 reasons why traveling is good for the brain.
The trips made during the holidays are one of the most anticipated activities of the year because they allow us to enjoy, make important changes in our daily routine, in addition to regain strength and rest. But also, according to the Spanish Society of Neurology, travel has important benefits for our brain because they are very stimulating and this stimulation is what allows us to keep it healthy and in good shape.
Traveling: getting out of the routine stimulates our brain
Numerous studies have revealed that any new learning that poses a challenge to our brain helps to develop neural connections. Thus, when we learn things or carry out new activities for ourselves, we are training the brain, causing different synapses - connections between neurons - in the brain and thus we strengthen our neuroplasticity and improve our cognitive reserve.
Specifically, travel is especially stimulating for the development of these neural connections and helps to keep our brain active.
"Contrary to what was believed for a long time, our brain is changing throughout our lives, which is what is known as neuroplasticity, our neurons can create new connections, even new neurons can be formed, but for that it is key to train and stimulate our brain And there are three key elements to do it: face our brain to the novelty, variety and challenge Travel meets all three, "says Dr. José Manuel Moltó, Vocal of the Spanish Society of Neurology.
Since routine is harmful to our brain, traveling and facing new places, sensations, smells, sounds or tastes makes us oblige our brain to use all its capabilities, keeping it active and healthy. "When you travel to another place, especially if this one is unknown to you, you are forcing your brain to be in a continuous process of solving problems and overcoming challenges." Traveling mainly requires learning and memorizing everything strange until everything is normal and known, this is a challenge for your brain and it is like an accelerated training ", explains Dr. José Manuel Moltó.
5 reasons why traveling activates our brain
1. Stimulates the ability to adapt. The need to adapt to new sensations -linguistic, visual, aromas, flavors, ...- learn new streets, make a mental map of the place where you are, communicate in another language, etc. are some of the activities that stimulate our brain, make it more plastic, more creative, and give us more ability to understand. Something that is very favorable for our brain.
2. Develop new learnings. The trips train and stimulate our brain on the basis that the days are full of novelties, variations and challenges. Facing new places and sensations makes us force our brain to use all its capabilities, keeping it active and healthy. Travel stimulates our brain, makes it more plastic, more creative, and gives us more capacity to understand.
3. Increase happiness and decrease stress. Traveling also has many emotional benefits to increase our well-being. During trips and holiday periods we are more relaxed and this feeling positively influences our sense of happiness. It has been scientifically proven that travel increases happiness and reduces stress, generating a cluster of positive emotions that strengthen our neural networks, the opposite of what happens when we experience stressful episodes.
4. It allows to be physically and mentally active. Do physical exercise, participate in social activities or perform intellectual activities, are aspects that have shown benefits for brain health at all ages, even in patients who already have a neurological disease. "And when we travel we walk more, we make excursions or we spend more time doing some kind of sport, we also spend more time reading, doing cultural activities or doing other group activities ... In short, traveling gives us many opportunities to be physically and mentally active ", highlights Dr. José Manuel Moltó. These beneficial aspects for brain health are positive at all ages, even in patients who already have a neurological disease.
5. Prevents premature aging.Training and stimulating the brain allows our brain to be more resistant to the deterioration of age or the symptoms of neurological diseases. "It is important to train and stimulate the brain because, over time, a greater number of connections implies a greater cognitive reserve, which allows our brain to be more resistant to the deterioration of age or the symptoms of neurological diseases. the richer our life and the more different experiences we have, the more likely we are to reach an age with a healthy brain, "says Dr. José Manuel Moltó.
Advice: Dr. José Manuel Moltó, Member of the Spanish Society of Neurology.
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