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10 Unbelievably Breathtaking Places That Will Humble Every Traveler

10 Unbelievably Breathtaking Places That Will Humble Every Traveler

Your face has felt the warmth of the sun as you crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and your toes have felt the sand of Oahu. At this point, your passport is pretty comfortable being stamped by solemn-faced customs agents across the globe. There comes a moment in any traveler’s life, however, when it’s time to take wanderlust to the next level.

If you’ve seen the rest, and you’re ready to experience the best, here are 10 breathtaking sites you don’t want to miss:

Uluru in the Northern Territory’s Red Centre Desert, Australia

Uluru

    Image credit: nosha

    Uluru, better known as Ayers Rock, is a stunning formation in the Northern Territory, Australia. The sandstone is remarkable in a geological sense, because its creation began over 500 million years ago. But it’s not just geologists that marvel at Uluru: people trek from around the world to see this majestic monolith. At sunset, the rock glows crimson red—you don’t want to miss it.

    Marble Caves in Patagonia, Chile

    marble cathedral

      Image credit: Javier Vieras

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      Formed by the crashing waves of Lake General Carrera, the marble caves of Patagonia are practically an art installation. The caves showcase a breathtaking array of colors and textures, and have earned the nickname of Marble Cathedral. While the journey to get here is a long and arduous one, you are rewarded with breathtaking formations dripping in character. The caves are a bit like a chameleon: in the spring, the water creates a turquoise tone on the walls, but when summer rolls around, the marble glow a darker blue.

      Sea of Stars in Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

      sea of stars

        Image credit: Will Ho

        You may usually try to avoid creatures in the water, especially the kind you can’t see. But in the Maldives, phytoplankton creates a marine bioluminescence that results in eye-catching neon stars just beneath the water’s surface. When the water is stirred, by a boat or even your hand, it lights up like a Christmas tree. If you ever find yourself in the Maldives, heading out after dark to experience this breathtaking natural phenomenon is a must.

        Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona

        Antelope Canyon

          Image credit: Moyan Brenn

          You might think you’re walking through a painting during your visit to the Antelope Canyon. The swirling rock formations look as if they were plucked from an artist’s canvas and meticulously draped across the desert landscape. Located on Navajo Nation land just outside Page, the canyon was slowly carved by flash floods over millennia. Today, you’re welcome to hike through the canyon chasing tunnels of light and marveling at the bright color palette that surrounds you.

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          Northern Lights in Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland

          Iceland Northern Lights

            Image credit: Moyan Brenn

            You can see the Northern Lights at various points across Iceland, but one of the best places to witness this awe-inspiring natural wonder is the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. What causes the Northern Lights, otherwise known as Aurora borealis? Long story short, when electrically-charged particles released from the sun enter Earth’s atmosphere, ribbons of vibrant color burst across the sky. It’s no surprise this place is often considered one of the most breathtaking sites on the planet.

            Great Blue Hole in Belize City, Belize

            Great Blue Hole in Belize City, Belize

              Image credit: Eric Pheterson

              Jacque Cousteau made this site famous, and now that the secret’s out people flock to the oceanic spectacle in droves. Just off the coast of Belize City, the Great Blue Hole is quite the sight from above. It pulls double-duty as a diver’s dream, sending a siren song to scuba enthusiasts around the world. Formed over time by changing sea levels, the sinkhole is home to a bevy of exotic sea life and the surrounding shoreline has caves worthy of investigation.

              Taj Mahal in Agra, India

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              Taj Mahal

                Image credit: Dennis Jarvis

                Not just breathtaking, this marble mausoleum might leave you momentarily paralyzed as you take in the elaborate architecture and meticulous calligraphy decorating the exterior. The building was constructed in the 1600s by Shah Jahan to honor his late wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It remains a meaningful monument and was named one of the New7Wonders of the World in 2007. Make time to stand in front of the reflection pool after you tour the building.

                Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France

                Palace of Versailles

                  Image credit: tom.Bricker

                  When you tour this ornate palace, it might be hard to picture it as a hunting lodge. But when Louis XIII first constructed the famous chateau, that is exactly what he used it for. The Palace of Versailles was later expanded into the ostentatious estate you’ll find today, dripping in gold and adorned with finishes such as polished marble and lush fabric. The chateau’s gardens are world-famous, and beg you to meander through them.

                  Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

                  Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

                    Image credit: Chrisian Junker

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                    The largest religious monument known to man doesn’t disappoint. This UNESCO World Heritage Centre was once a Hindu temple before evolving into a Buddhist temple and spiritual retreat for the modern traveler. It also happens to be where Lara Croft journeyed on her quest for the Triangle of Light, so you can visit sites where the movie was shot. Don’t miss an opportunity to catch the sun breaking over the temple at dawn. The breathtaking sight of a gold and amber sky showering the structure with a warm glow is a memorable one.

                    Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto, Japan

                    Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto, Japan

                      Image credit: Casey Yee

                      If you need a reprieve from city life in Japan, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is the perfect place to visit. Towering bamboo create grand spirals of light, providing this enchanting space with a sense of serenity. There is just one main trail through the forest, leading to the Okochi-Sanso Villa. While you’re here, visit the on-site temple and shrine.

                      Despite your temptation to take oodles of photos when you visit these breathtaking spots, why not slow down a bit and soak it in?

                      Challenge yourself to be present during your every moment in these 10 amazing locales, as you never know when you’ll have a chance to return.

                      Featured photo credit: Moyan_Brenn via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                      There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                      One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                      In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                      Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                      1. Cat Camel Stretch

                      Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                      Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                      Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                      Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                      2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                      This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                      Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                      The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                      Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                      Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                      3. Jumping Jacks

                      Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                      Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                      4. Abductor Side Lifts

                      Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                      Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                      5. Balancing Table Pose

                      This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                      Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                      ablab

                        6. Leg Squats

                        Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                        Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                        The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                        7. Push Ups

                        You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                        An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                        Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                        This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                        8. Bicycle Crunches

                        There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                        Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                        9. Lunges

                        Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                        Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                        This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                        10. Bicep Curls

                        You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                        Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                        Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                        Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                        Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                        These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                        You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                        Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                        More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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