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Plan a getaway today!

Take a Break for your Heart Health

Sue Riedl

Sue Riedl

Live better:

Trained chef and food journalist

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Taking a vacation might seem a luxury you can’t afford. A tough economy, a long workweek and family responsibilities may keep you from taking a break. Time to rethink that mindset. Studies show that more frequent annual vacation time can have positive impacts on health, including lowering risk of mortality associated with heart disease.

The good news is that you don’t have to fly to Cancun for two weeks to reap the benefits. By getting away for a weekend, you can still clear your mind with a good night’s sleep and the freedom to do nothing but have fun. Depression and stress have been found to be contributing risk factors for coronary heart disease so maintaining good mental health is vital.

A couple of days at a bed and breakfast or a weekend trip to a new city will cut the monotony of day-to-day routine, inviting new perspective. Whether you go with a partner, a friend or your family, connecting with your support group will ease the anxiety of life’s ups and downs.

If you’re living on a tight budget or have young children, you can still plan a getaway in the area you live—or enjoy a “staycation” in your home. Sleep in each day and don’t answer the phone. Take the kids to an amusement park one day and relax with a picnic the next. Explore the city or town you live in as if you were a tourist. Allow yourself a chore-free weekend and simply hang around and have fun. Doctor’s orders.

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