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10 Must-Do Things to Prepare for an Awesome Road Trip

10 Must-Do Things to Prepare for an Awesome Road Trip

Road trips are fun. You get to explore new places, meet new people, try new things, and maybe even do a little soul searching.

This is the perfect time to plan a road trip, what with the summer coming up. However, preparation is the key to a fun, hassle-free road trip. If you do your prep work right, you can be as spontaneous as you want to be once you’re on the road.

Here are some things you should remember before venturing out on an adventure of a lifetime.

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Don’t cut too far into your budget, you might have an emergency

Always have something extra for a rainy day, and this isn’t about bringing an umbrella! Although…But we digress, even if you are on a strict budget, you always, always need to have some money on hand in cash. Many unexpected things can happen while you’re on your road trip. Your car might break down, you might need to stay an extra night, and so on. You should also bring a credit card in case your cash is not going to cut it. Make sure the card will be honored wherever you’re going.

Important tip: If you are going to buy souvenirs or be taking a stroll in a busy marketplace, keep your wallet in a safe place, and have small amounts of cash in your breast pocket to discourage pickpockets. A belt bag might be a good idea, but keep it in front of you instead of fashionably slung over your butt.

Rent a campervan/travel vehicle for a long trip with your friends

You might think to save money by bringing your own car, but if you’re bringing friends along, you will soon chafe at the close confines. Divvy up the cost to rent a campervan if you want to be comfortable in your travels. In Australia, you can even hire a motorhome on campervanfinder online for lengthy trips. You can offset the cost by not having to pay for accommodation.

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Bring some toys and kits when you are bringing kids on your trip

Going on a road trip with small children is a challenge for many parents. They get tetchy and cranky, and they always want to know if you’re there yet. You can keep them entertained by bringing along their favorite toys and some board games. Bring along inexpensive bubble tubes, they’re good for hours of fun for the whole family.

You should also have a kit for cleaning their Sippy cups when running water is not an option (denture tablets) and a well-stocked first aid kit for those cuts and scratches. Have a couple of carabiners and a bungee cord handy so you can keep a leash your active five-year-old when you’re in crowded places.

Be friendly to your fellow travelers, to the locals, and well, to everybody

Leave your sense of entitlement back home. Carrying around an attitude can land you in trouble when you’re outside your territory. Be friendly to everyone you meet—within reason, of course—as you may need to be in their good graces at some point. Observe how the locals act and follow their lead. Be unfailingly polite, and keep your opinions to yourself. You never know what might offend the people you meet.

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Bring key accessories with you

Since you’re on a road trip, travelling light is not as applicable as when you travel by air. You can afford to bring essential accessories such as a tote bag, sun block, water bottles, universal adapter, flashlights, batteries, portable steam iron, laptop, and a portable gas stove. Have a good supply of handy wipes and toilet paper, and don’t forget an ample supply of any prescription medications.

Be sure to bring all essentials

Make sure to bring necessary items. Arrange for the appropriate insurance and make sure you have all your travel documents in a waterproof bag. Have a duplicate in the glove compartment. Choose wrinkle-free clothes carefully, and make sure you can mix and match them. Depending on where you are going, bring just two sets of footwear, sandals being one of them. Have enough blankets and travel pillows for everyone, and make sure you bring your chargers.

Prepare your body and mind before going on a trip

Be sure to have plenty of rest so that you are at peak physical condition. A road trip is fun, but it is also tiring. You don’t want to set off with a compromised immune system and get sick, which can ruin the whole thing. Have a complete physical check up prior to a long road trip, and get the green light from your doctor, especially if you have a medical condition. If you plan on engaging in rigorous activities such as surfing, tone your body several weeks before your trip.

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If you are travelling by plane, be on time at the airport, and bring your tickets with you

This might sound obvious, but if you have to travel by plane to get to the start point of your road trip, make sure you don’t miss your flight. Pack your bags the night before and give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Don’t forget your tickets!

Look for an affordable but pleasant hotel, and you should know its reputation

Book your accommodation for each of your planned stops in advance to get the best deals. You will have the opportunity to check online reviews so you avoid doing the funky chicken with the cockroaches. If you rent a caravan or motorhome, it would be a good idea to find likely campsites. You can save a bundle if you can spend a couple of nights under the stars!

Have fun, and leave your problems behind

Plan your trip carefully to make the most of what is available along your route. However, don’t be too obsessive about following a schedule. You might have missed something in the planning stage, so allow enough time for unexpected detours if you find something interesting along the way. Allow yourself the freedom to relax, forget all your worries, and just have fun.

Conclusion

A road trip is fun because it is rife with possibilities. However, that doesn’t mean you should leave everything to chance. Expect the best, but be ready for the worst. That way, it will be a road trip to remember for all the right reasons.

Featured photo credit: Sem Vandekerckhove via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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