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5 Tips for the Perfect Weekend Getaway in NYC

5 Tips for the Perfect Weekend Getaway in NYC

A weekend in New York City…it’s something that everyone needs to experience at least once in their lifetime. And if you’ve never been to the Big Apple, then this summer is the perfect time to make it happen. Gather your friends and start planning!

1. Find a Good Hotel Room

Let’s be clear about one thing: New York City is massive. In order to sightsee, shop, and dine, you’ll need to book your stay accordingly.

Thankfully, there are a number of affordable and convenient hotels in the city. Assuming you want to experience the quintessential elements of the city, search for New York hotels in Manhattan or Midtown. This way, you’ll be right in the middle of the action.

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2. Make Time for “Must See” Attractions

There are certain sites and attractions that you must see while you’re in New York. These include the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Central Park, the Empire State Building, the Freedom Towers, and Grand Central Station.

Locate all of these sites on a map and strategically plan out your days so you don’t end up running in circles. Depending on your interests and budget, you’ll just want to see some of these sites, take a few pictures, and move on.

However, there will be other attractions where you’ll want to pay for tours and/or more in-depth experiences. Hint: If you get the chance to go up the Empire State Building at night, it’s worth it!

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3. Study Up on Transportation

While New York City is really big, it’s also fairly easy to get around. With that being said, it’s smart to have a plan before arriving. Trying to figure out the subway system or attempting to hail a cab without any understanding of where you’re going can be stressful. Do a little research and learn about your various options.

If you’re running around to different parts of the city, you’ll most likely be utilizing the subway. If so, you’ll need to purchase a MetroCard to access the system. You can then put cash on the card as needed to get you from location to location.

4. Make a Dinner Reservation for Saturday Night

There are so many different restaurants in New York City that it’s sometimes fun to just walk around and find something that suits your taste. However, you may want to set up a dinner reservation for Saturday night. Find a nice restaurant with good reviews and a classic New York view, and call a few days ahead of time. It’s nice to have a table reserved, as it eliminates the stress of finding a place in the middle of rush hour.

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5. Enjoy Some Downtime

During a busy day of sightseeing, it can be nice to pause, and take a leisurely stroll through Central Park. Not only does this iconic park serve as a sort of oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city, but it’s also a fantastic place to people watch. From street performers to the occasional celebrity out for a jog, you’ll see anything and everything here.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

While you can spend days and weeks planning your New York City weekend getaway, remember that not everything will go according to plan. No matter how careful you are, something will always change at the last minute. It’s also important that you leave some unstructured time in the itinerary so that you’re able to relax and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city without running yourself into the ground.

For the best results, you should plan the big things and let the small details iron themselves out along the way.

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Featured photo credit: Aurelien Guichard via flic.kr

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Larry Alton

Business Consultant

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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