The delicious feeling of warm sand squishing your toes, a refreshing drink in hand, and the view of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean is the reason many people choose to vacation in the Riviera Maya.
However, a recent study by the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging concluded that taking a vacation can be as crucial to your health as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and getting good sleep.
Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland recruited 1,222 middle-aged male executives born between 1919 and 1934 into the Helsinki Businessmen Study in 1974 and 1975. Participants had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, glucose intolerance, and being overweight.
An intervention group of about 612 men received oral and written advice every four months for five years to exercise, eat a healthy diet, achieve a healthy weight, and stop smoking. When the information wasn’t enough, the men in this group also received medication to help lower blood pressure. The remaining 610 men in the control group received no such advice during the regular course of their health care.
As predicted, the risk of cardiovascular disease was reduced by 46 percent in the intervention group compared to the control group by the end of the medical trial. However, at the 15-year, follow-up in 1989 there were more deaths in the intervention group than the control group.
Shorter vacations were associated with excess deaths in the intervention group. The men in the intervention group who took three weeks or less of annual vacation had a 37 percent greater chance of dying than those who took more than three weeks despite greater efforts to boost exercise and proper diet. Vacation time had no impact on the risk of death in the control group.
“In our study, men with shorter vacations worked more and slept less than those who took longer vacations,” said University of Helsinki, Finland Professor Timo Strandberg, “This stressful lifestyle may have overruled any benefit of the intervention.”
Strandberg continued, “Don’t think having an otherwise healthy lifestyle will compensate for working too hard and not taking holidays.”
One person’s vacation may be another person’s version of hell.
There are as many types of vacations as there are people. That’s why we at Loco Gringo think it’s important to craft the vacation experience to best suit your needs. Here are a five of our favorite ways to play in the Riviera Maya, Costa Maya and Yucatan.
Family – Family getaways, reunions, and multi-generational trips are the most popular. From spending a sun-soaked afternoon at your beachfront rental to horseback riding in the jungle, there are lots of ways to create lasting memories for you and your family. Check out our vacation specials, updated regularly, for deals on places to stay that accommodate small and large groups so that everyone can stay together.
Romantic – Time alone with your significant other might be what you need to soothe the stresses of daily life. Our hand-picked list of Adults Only accommodations, romantic views from your private condo, luxurious getaways, and beachfront condos are perfect for two. We also list romantic places to eat, intriguing tours for two and our personal favorites in our travel guide, Romance in the Riviera Maya.
Eco-Friendly – Mexico’s Caribbean coast is teaming with environmental and geological diversity for you to explore. To help you, we have visited over the years and compiled a list of destinations and vacation rentals that preserve the local environment and cultural diversity. Our “Green Travelers Guide to the Riviera Maya” is written by locals and shares some of the most precious places in the area.
Luxury – When it comes to vacations, some people like to go big or go home. Luxury in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan is often a combination of spectacular outdoor spaces and dramatic interiors. That means gorgeous outdoor views with stylized interiors in private, secluded venues. Amenities such as private chef services, spa treatments, infinity pools, rooftop living areas with chef kitchens, and other high-end amenities found in luxury rentals transform a getaway into a dream from which you won’t want to wake.
Cultural – Mexico is so much more than tacos and tequila. The three states that make up the Yucatan Peninsula have a cultural identity, history, and environmental diversity unlike other parts of Mexico. Taking a day-trip or vacationing in these areas will enrich your understanding of the region, the people who contributed to its development, and the stunning locations people love to visit.
For example, stay at a Yucatan Hacienda, a preserved plantation home, which couples the region’s vibrant cultural history with beautifully decorated, large living spaces and architectural accents. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula’s interior region, these historical sites and colonial cities are an intriguing contrast to a beachside vacation.
Ready to take a vital, yet fun, step to improve your health? Contact our reservations team to help you plan your best vacation yet.