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Travel-Related Resolutions to Achieve Before Planning Your Next Trip

Travel-Related Resolutions to Achieve Before Planning Your Next Trip

A majority of us want to get out and see more of the world, but very few take action to fulfill that. Travel has become one of the most perennial New Year’s resolutions, yet the hardest to execute.

There’s nothing wrong with placing travel at the top of your New Year’s resolution list, but it isn’t as simple as it seems. Studies report that only about nine percent of people feel they were successful in achieving their resolutions.

All resolutions are correlated to each other, and ever so rarely can we pursue to complete one without the other. “Exercising” for example, has to go hand in hand with “eating right.” Efforts will be partially thrown out the window if you continue consuming the same amount of calories despite your workouts. If this is the case, at least make sure your calisthenics are twice as intense.

There’s more to wanderlust than just packing your bags and leaving.

1. Make Sure Your Plans Are Measurable

Whether your carry-on baggage is an extension of your wardrobe, or your infant, be realistic in terms of money, distance and personal capabilities.

There is such a thing as a “comfort zone” when it comes to travelling. Get to know your own city, region or province first before stepping out onto faraway lands and uncharted waters – literally. Whoever said travel requires a passport or connecting flights never delighted in taking small trips.

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Mix it up; go outdoorsy and hike. Then, immerse yourself in culture and concrete jungles on your next voyage. No one’s stopping you from going somewhere totally far and new, but if you’re more worried than secure, that’s not usually a good sign.

Although there are plenty of budget friendly itineraries and places to visit, don’t be easily fooled by the offers and deals you see. Cold tolerance quite low? Hit up tropical destinations instead. Pick locations you know will nourish your body and soul, and won’t put your well-being in jeopardy.  Having a timeline of your plans for the whole year is beneficial if you have more than one trip planned.

2. Be Organized

Leaving everything behind (no matter how temporary) in exchange for an escapade will always have consequences. The last thing you want to think about while sunbathing and lounging in Bali is the unfinished research paper on your desk at home. Delays and failing to meet deadlines also have the ability to ruin, push back or affect your ready-made plans. Work first, before relaxing and focusing on the fun.

Always have a backup. More often than not, itineraries are never followed to the last detail. What if the bus or train system fails? No one has an extra copy of the itinerary. Your luggage never emerged from the conveyor belt. We’re not saying you should over-pack and bring things “just in case,” but it’s always a good idea to have a plan B in case of emergencies. This includes medical or car insurance, should anything unfortunate occur on the roads.

Don’t get too excited and use up all your vacation days in one trip. Spread it out instead. If planned well, your stops and destinations can all be visited and enjoyed at record times.

3. Learn How To Manage Finances Better

It may be true that some aspects of travel have become very affordable – some are even free – thanks to couch surfing, Airbnb, hostels and backpacking trends.

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If the dates can be easily rearranged, stay on the lookout for promotional air fares and discounted accommodations. Know that there is a risk to jumping into things too quickly. No matter how willing you are, always remember to check your wallet. Coming back home poorer than you were before the trip is “normal” – just as long as you’re not flat-out-broke.

Try investing in travel gear that can endure every rough handling from airports everywhere. Packing cubes save you more space to avoid overweight baggage at the airport’s scale. Racking up your frequent flyer miles will also benefit you when you spontaneously book a trip.

 4. Take Better Care Of Your Health

So many resolutions revolve around overall health. From losing weight, gaining muscles, toning up, and eating less processed foods, there is no doubt that all of us have one of these in mind.

Sightseeing while an oxygen tank trails behind you isn’t exactly the most convenient way to be a tourist. Traveling in tropical, oriental and Asian cities require a lot of walking. Weak knees and ankles will easily get sore and suffer.

On the other hand, if your plans include more outdoorsy activities like hiking up various mountains, prepare beforehand by building up your stamina.

Squeeze in a set of workout clothes in your luggage, try to wake up an hour earlier than usual, then go for a quick run. Travel is actually the perfect motivator when it comes to jogs or runs – you get to enjoy a new view daily, and surprises await you in every corner.

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5. Reconnect With Friends

Travel allows you to connect with people, whether or not you just met them minutes ago or have known each other for decades.

Out of the social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, one of them will gladly play detective with you and help you find your long lost elementary or high school bff. Before you know it, you’ll be making plans to reunite. If you offer, you might even be lucky enough to have all your accommodations covered. You just saved yourself a one hundred bucks or so, depending on the location.

6. Regulate Your Sleeping Schedule

Adjusting sleeping schedules accompanied by jetlag is one of the top struggles of travelers. Some of us are fond of booking round-trips that are on sale and red-eye flights, thinking it won’t seriously affect us.

Once you get the hang of putting yourself to sleep effortlessly, being in a different time zone and unfamiliar environments will no longer suck up your remaining battery. Refrain from relying on sleep medications and over the counter sleep aids. Ah, the advantages of being someone who can sleep anywhere.

If world leaders can travel between various time zones and still manage to run a country, getting your days back to normal shouldn’t be too difficult.

7. Learn A New Language

Although English is a universal language, not everyone you come across will be able to speak it. You don’t need to be fluent in the native language to survive in your temporary host country. Getting by with just basic phrases are more than enough. Striking up conversation with locals is the easiest way to unconsciously lessen the impact of culture shock.

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Learning a new language also builds self-confidence. You don’t even need to enroll in an actual academy to improve your bilingual skills.

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Work on small goals first. Once you remind yourself that your trip is a long-term goal being put to action, all the hassle and stress fades away.

We don’t always have to plan trips down to the last, little detail. Leave some room for spontaneity and surprises, too. We live in a digital world where “wifi” is an international commonly known term. As long as you can read, interact with people well, have common sense and a smartphone, you’ll never be totally lost.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.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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