Did you know Americans take less vacation then almost any western country in the world? On average employees in the U.S receive 10 days of paid vacation a year, compared to 20 in most European countries and Australia. On top of that only 23% are actually using all of their vacation days. According to a study by job site Glassdoor, the average American employee uses only 54% of their annual vacation time, and 66% admit to doing some work while vacationing.1 No wonder stress is such a prevalent issue in our society!
If this sounds like you, commit to taking time off to reboot your system and your routine this year. You work hard for those vacation days…make sure you enjoy them by getting outside and doing something you love. Some of the benefits are HUGE and being refreshed will make you a more productive employee and a better athlete in the long run:
Reduce your stress levels
The stress we put on ourselves to train for races and be a perfect employee can cause a plethora of health issues. Increased risk of infection, disrupted sleep, poor digestion, depression, and an increased risk of injury are just a few of the symptoms that can be caused by stress. Taking time-off from your daily routine to enjoy a vacation can help break through that stress level and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on all of your responsibilities with a new enthusiasm.2
We are constantly beating ourselves up for not working out enough, for eating those french fries, drinking that 3rd glass of wine, or staying up too late. On vacation you should do all those things guilt free and savor them. Enjoy other activities like hiking in a national park or learning how to surf instead of forcing yourself to stick to your regimented training routine on vacation. Once the vacation is over you will come back feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to commit to your healthy routine again.
Don’t let your significant other become a Strava widow/widower (aka married to someone obsessed with Strava 😉) Taking a vacation with your loved ones (and without your GPS watch) is the perfect time to reconnect and strengthen your bond. Between work and training, quality time with these people in your life often gets pushed aside. Plan a trip around the activities that you both enjoy and will allow you to spend some distraction free time together.