Advertisement

How can taking a vacation benefit my brain?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Sure, vacations are great for both your stress level and your sex life. But they can also help improve your cognitive skills.

How? Well, for one thing, you'll probably use a map or at least a complex set of instructions at least once. When you're driving, walking, or studying the subway system of a new city, you're using so many different parts of your brain at once. You're using visual-spatial skills to read a map, and then you need to translate it into verbal code to whoever's driving (Honey, turn left! Now!).

When you're driving, you need to make quick decisions about where to go, which involves processing information quickly. And then you store things in your long-term memory to remember where you just visited. Get lost? Even better. Figuring out how to get back actually contributes to the brain-building process.

Of course, that kind of all-brain training can even serve important purposes. For the vacationer, taking a wrong turn may lead you to a quaint antique shop you'd never have known about. For a soldier in war, however, taking a wrong turn can have serious consequences.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

More About this Book

YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

Continue Learning about Healthy Habits & The Nervous System

Slow Down Aging by Doing This
Slow Down Aging by Doing This
Wanted: Creative thinker. Is that you? It may not be part of your job description, but if you sharpen this skill, your health may thank you. Why? Bec...
Read More
How do I keep my mind young?
Kimberly Meyers , NASM Elite TrainerKimberly Meyers , NASM Elite Trainer
Never stop using it!   Read books, play games, go on adventures, or start a home business in retirem...
More Answers
How should I do push-ups to improve brain health?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Renowned neurologist Dr. Majid Fotuhi believes push-ups – yes, just good old-fashioned push-ups ...
More Answers
How Do You Teach Others to Change Their Lives?
How Do You Teach Others to Change Their Lives?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.