Why Do You Get Unwell On Holiday?

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Why do you get unwell on holiday?

Many people become unwell when on holiday. We often put it down to the change in climate, different food, dehydration or simply over-indulging, but this is not always the case. Have you heard of the ‘Leisure Sickness’ or ‘Paradise Syndrome’?

During your holidays you rest, this lowers your immune system and as a result we are more susceptible to catching a virus and infection. This is not limited to holidays and can occur over a weekend or any leisure time.

Why does a working week combat sickness?

Adrenaline is released when you are in a dangerous situation or performing physical activity and when psychological stress is present. High stress levels are often present during your working hours and as a result, the level of adrenaline in the blood is increased. When adrenaline is released into the bloodstream, the activity of the cardiovascular system increases, raising your blood pressure and pulse. This increases your blood flow and the organs (such as the heart and brain) receive a higher level of oxygen. The body adapts to this living condition and you will find that you have a continuous supply of energy that helps you endure the stresses of work. In addition, the continuous release of adrenaline builds up a resistance to disease, but this only works until the above system fails. This is when you set off on your holidays or relax over a lazy weekend!

How do I avoid Leisure Sickness?

Here are a few tips to help you stay fit and healthy when on holiday and over weekends. Try and incorporate the below into your everyday life to avoid Leisure Sickness:

  • Spread regular short breaks over your working day
  • Switch off from work and participate in fun activities and hobbies
  • Do not check emails or take calls from work colleagues out of your working hours
  • Take part in regular exercise or sports activities
  • Avoid working additional hours before your holiday
  • Do not fill all of your free time with lots of activities…. learn how to relax!
  • Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques


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