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7 Ways To Improve Your Well-Being Through Travel

7 Ways To Improve Your Well-Being Through Travel

The day to day stresses and frustrations in most everybody’s daily lives can really start to build up and take their toll on us all. Whether you’re a student terrified of upcoming exams, or a high-flying business person who just no longer has any passion for their work, a short or, if possible, extended break could really be something that allows you to get things in perspective and help you approach life with some new found vigour. 

A trip in and of itself might not necessarily do much to lift you up out of a rut, but if you approach it with some focus and as an opportunity to learn and explore not only the place you are going to visit but also yourself, your next journey could well end up completely changing your life. 

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1. Start A Photo Blog

A great way to get fuller appreciation out of a trip is for you to capture it in images that you can share with other people and then look back on yourself in the future. Taking the time out to be fully aware of your new environment by grabbing photos of the moment is a great way to hold onto that place or feeling forever and use that as an inspiration for wanting to find even more beautiful shots and experiences in the future. 

2. Escape to Nature

Life wears us all down at some point. Whether you live in the big smoke of London, or a little town in the middle of nowhere, it can become very monotonous when all you see is the same places and faces every day. Getting out into nature is an excellent way to recharge your batteries and remember that there are amazing places out there other than those you have become so wearily accustomed to.

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The beauty of nature is that it is almost always a lot closer than you think. If you have the time, brilliant, take off on a year’s trip hiking all over the mountains and rainforests of the world. If you only have the weekend, however, there is still almost certainly a wonderful spot of nature not much more than a hour or two away by train or car. Get out there and reconnect, even if only for an afternoon. You’ll be surprised just how much of a positive impact the experience will have on you.

3. Keep a Travel Diary

Many people find a travel blog or diary to be a really simple way to get at some of the deep-rooted things that have been building up inside without you even realising it. In its simple form you write to document the things you do, the people you meet, and the places you visit, but you will often also find that a travel diary becomes a way for you to get a better grasp of where you really are on your own much more personal journey. 

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4. Be Active 

Travel by its very nature will impel you to get up and about and do more than you would if you were just sitting on the sofa at home on another empty weekend. If you go somewhere, however, you should try to make it about more than just lying on the beach under the sun. This is great, of course it is, but make an effort to discover the place you’ve gone to in a little bit more detail. Not only will this open your mind to a new culture, but you will have got off your backside and added a bit of physical activity to your trip too. 

5. Make New Friends 

A lot of people can sometimes feel wary about heading off onto a trip to a new place because they don’t know anyone there. This is pretty silly as this is one of the very reasons why you should go in the first place. Whether you are travelling alone or with your partner or a friend, there are few better ways to get to know new people than heading off to somewhere new.

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Staying at home in the comfort zone with the friends and family you’ve had all of your life is fine, but studies show that having a wider circle of friends and more social interactions can have a positive impact on health and well-being, especially in late adulthood. 

6. Challenge Your Plate 

For some people travel often ends up being nothing more than the same old things in a different environment because they are too afraid to take risks. Unless you are really going off the beaten track you can almost always find the tried and trusted things that you eat at home. There is nothing wrong with this per se, but why not challenge yourself and make an effort to sample the local cuisine?

Not only will you get the chance to try something new and probably very tasty, but because you don’t know much about what it is that you’re going to eat, you’re more likely to ask questions about the choices on offer. When you start doing this, you’re beginning to learn new things about the culture you are in and broaden your own horizons without even realising it. 

7. Have a Go at the Local Lingo 

If you truly want to get the most out of a travel experience, you need to talk with the locals in their own language. This can be as simple as learning how to say “hello,” “please,” and “thank you.” Your hosts will appreciate little efforts like that a lot. But if you really want to get full value out of a new place, and improve your mental well-being while you’re at it, sign up for a language course and dive into what will literally be a whole new way of looking at the world.

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Tom Willis

Web Marketing & Content Producer

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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.

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    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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