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Life-Changing Trips: Visit These 7 Cities To Boost Your Personal Growth

Life-Changing Trips: Visit These 7 Cities To Boost Your Personal Growth

Traveling has the power to transform us and change your outlook on life and yourself as an individual. Here are seven destinations that are guaranteed to open your eyes and give you plenty of moments of self-reflection.

1. Kyoto, Japan

This tranquil city which was Japan’s capital for 1,000 years is the perfect place to unplug from the rush of everyday life. Take your time wandering through the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, that include reflective gardens and stunning temples. Kyoto is the complete opposite of the frenzied pace of Tokyo, Japan’s current capital and is the perfect pace to stop and do some serious self-reflection in this highly spiritual place.

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2. Istanbul, Turkey

This city not only has a rich layered history, but is also a perfect blend of east and west, and preserving tradition, while simultaneously embracing present-day culture. It is the perfect place to travel to grasp a better understanding of the need for balance in one’s life and how it’s possible to have many different aspects of yourself co-exist simultaneously and harmoniously.

3. San Francisco, USA

This city welcomes people from all walks of life with open arms and teaches all those who come through its Golden Gate to do the same. It is hard not to visit this beautiful City By the Bay and not feel the urge to open yourself up to new experiences that will broaden your horizons and make you more open-minded. Whether you try a new cuisine or immerse yourself in a neighborhood whose culture is a bit foreign to you, San Francisco will teach you how to become more open-minded and tolerant of those around you.

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4. Cape Town, South Africa

This city at the very southern tip of Africa will help you step out of your comfort zone and educate you about the horrible racial injustice that has taken place in this area of the world. You will be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s struggle and leadership to bring his country out of the shadows of discrimination and in turn reflect on your own cultural identity in your community at home and in the world.

5. Grindavik, Iceland

Find a sense of peace within the natural healing powers of this coastal Icelandic city. One of the main draws of this place is the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa that is the perfect place to cleanse both your body and your mind. There is no place quite like this on the planet and spending time here in this surreal environment will put things in your life into a new perspective.

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6. Krakow, Poland

This Eastern European city takes hold of you the moment you arrive and leaves an impression on you long after you leave. Feeling like you are in a modern-day fairytale wandering around the Main Square, around the castle grounds of Wawel or exploring the dragon’s lair (the city’s mascot) it is hard to not feel like you are in a dream. Krakow is not all about dreams though, since it holds reminders of the tragedies that it experienced during the Holocaust. It is a perfect place to educate yourself about the history’s sometimes dark moments and learn about the power of the human spirit that fights through it all.

7. Christchurch, New Zealand

This beautiful city with snow-capped mountain ranges as a backdrop, makes for a tranquil and unique destination to experience. With nature all around this urban landscape it is hard not to reflect inwardly and think about your own life. This city is a great example of recovery after heartache left from 2010 and 2011 earthquakes that devastated the city and shows all who visit that it is possible to bounce back from unexpected hardships.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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