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Travel is Key to Building Social and Emotional Life Skills

Travel is Key to Building Social and Emotional Life Skills

Travel lays a foundation for learning and absorbing new cultural systems and reasoning from scratch to break down any taboos and stigmas one may attach to the way they view the world. The key is to keep an open mind and start any adventure – locally or in a land far, far away – with a bright attitude and embrace the new experiences that await you on your journeys. Although it can be a daunting thought to abandon the comfort zone that has made you the person you are today, there will never be a better time to start an adventure.

Here are five reasons why travel needs to be a part of the next chapter in your life story.

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1. It strengthens social skills

When traveling alone, you have the potential to meet more people than you would at home. You have a choice to enjoy your own company or interact with those setting out to try experiences just like you, many for the first time. Because your mindsets are better aligned, conversation flows more smoothly, and the topics you talk about come from a good place – the inquisition is genuine, and that helps form friendships. Not all personality types are prone to sparking up conversations with strangers and therefore it can take a little courage in doing so, but the rewards far outweigh the fears of what that other person may think of you.

Cheat: try these seven travel conversation starters to help you meet people.

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2. It builds character

Travelling presents the opportunity to try something new, whether that is a lifelong ambition or a weird and wonderful surprise you may have never dreamed of doing in your previous lifestyle. Because these new experiences are limited to the time you are there you can’t let yourself shy away through the fear of the unknown. Climbing a mountain might seem difficult but people conquer them on a daily basis; funny looking food might make you queasy, but they are delicacies throughout the world; swimming with sharks may terrify you, but there are safe ways to try it. Each encounter helps your inner confidence grow, it enables you to become a stronger person all-around.

Cheat: try these 9 ways to build your character.

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3. It broadens the mind

Travel helps remove what some researchers have called ‘habitual closed-mindedness’. The more you see of the world, the less stigmas and taboos you will hold attachments to; your journey will constantly challenge you to see things in a new light, which may break down preconceived ideas about what you thought a certain type of person should do, act, or behave; or where they live should look like, or how it makes you feel. The only way to evolve that way of thinking is to experience it first-hand.

Cheat: try these 15 tactics for thinking differently.

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4. It creates unique memories

Every travel experience has its own story. What makes them special is that no two stories are the same. Those memories are personal and therefore precious – from the friendships you strike up in hostels or on trips, to the local experiences, to the sights that belong to only certain parts of the world. Another motivator to seek out memories is that the world as you know it may not be around forever so see as much of it as you can before it’s too late. Natural wonders such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is diminishing and at some point that experience will be ruled out completely.

Cheat: learn how to make your memories last longer.

5. It makes you appreciate what you have

Being away from home and acknowledge how people live in places worse off than yours is both an eye-opening experience and a wake-up call. You are lucky to be in a position to travel and see the world; whereas 80% of the globe’s population aren’t. Carrying that notion with you will make you more humble and want to squeeze every last drop of joy from the experiences that lie ahead of you. You are in charge of your own destiny, so make every minute count.

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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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