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Are You Doing Your Part for Ecotourism?

Are You Doing Your Part for Ecotourism?

The expansion of tourism across the globe is partly responsible for both positive and negative change to the environment on a grand scale. On one hand, we are more educated than ever before on detail of cultures thousands of miles away, how to travel there and immerse ourselves in ways unfamiliar to our daily routines. On the flipside, the demand of more people visiting global destinations year after year comes at a cost. Aircraft pollute the skies, wildlife depletes, and inhabitants lose lands they once claimed as their own.

But it doesn’t have to always be this way. Change can happen and examples must be set to ensure that a conscious effort is being made to protect the destinations we travel to and the surroundings we encounter, not only for our generation but for those in the future.

Cue the term ecotourism, which is a contemporary form of travel that seeks to rebalance the scales and make travel more sustainable – for the benefit of our culture, our environment and our economy. It has been defined by The International Ecotourism Society as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education”.

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How is ecotourism different from other forms of tourism?

There are certain attributes that bring ecotourism into its own, predominantly involving the following:

–       Conscientious, low-impact visitor behaviour

–       Sensitivity towards, and appreciation of, local cultures and biodiversity

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–       Support for local conservation efforts

–       Sustainable benefits to local communities

–       Local participation in decision-making

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In summary, the act of ecotourism allows the places we visit to receive their fair share of the revenue generated from tourism trade.

Why is ecotourism so important?

Travel and leisure companies that facilitate the travel to countries they do not operate out of make profits that are not reinvested in the local community and environment. To put this into perspective, about 80% of travelers’ expenditures go to the airlines, hotels and other international companies and it does not go to local businesses or workers. In places such as Thailand and the Caribbean, the consideration for ecotourism is so low that it is estimated 70-80% of income from tourism goes elsewhere. To champion sustainable tourism would mean that a larger majority of revenue is allocated to the preservation of these regions long term.

What is driving the change for ecotourism?

In this day and age, a holiday offers an experience and those that are unique to their location are the most natural and pure to come by. We all want beaches and landscapes and gems that we can’t find at home but beyond that there is now a global community spirit to ensure we are not leaving such places in a worse state than we find them. For every action there is a reaction; our lasting impact should be that of making the world a better place in any way we can.

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Time waits for no man so getting to see natural worldly wonders in all their glory is a challenge worth taking on. Sustainable living website Litter Bins has created a handy guide for 10 places on earth known for eco tourism to start with, they are:

  1. Costa Rica, which is also en route to becoming the first carbon neutral country by 2021.
  2. Galapagos Islands, which has plants and animals that are not found anywhere else in the world.
  3. Borneo, which is known for rainforest protection and orangutan rehabilitation centres.
  4. Peru, which is home to tropical rainforests and jungles that have always been important ecosystems in our world.
  5. Patagonia, which is home to glacier ranges that are diminishing because of climate change.
  6. Bhutan, which is known as the world’s most eco-friendly and carbon-negative country.
  7. Slovenia, which has a well-deserved reputation for clean, green travel in Europe.
  8. Botswana, a country committed to preserving its natural heritage and wildlife.
  9. New Zealand, which has striking landscapes and expansive untouched wilderness regions.
  10. Vietnam, which is rich in lush green mountains, green rice paddy fields, and national parks.

For further reading on ecotourism and sustainable travel, you may be inspired by the work of international campaigners and green living tips. Stay safe and happy travels.

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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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