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5 Reasons Kids Make Better Travel Companions

5 Reasons Kids Make Better Travel Companions

Compared to taking a solo trip, traveling with children as a guardian or a parent means worrying about another set of feet getting tired or about when you’ll hear the grumbling of a little stomach. Through kids’ eyes, however, you will see a whole new side of the world.

1. You’re constantly on the move

No matter how well behaved someone is, airplanes have a way of making kids (and adults) irritable. The amount of luggage you take with you will usually depend on your child’s age. Two years old and below? Dragging that stroller along everywhere is non-negotiable.

When it comes to planning out your days, as a guardian or parent, your schedule always starts hours earlier than the kids’. You have no choice but to wake up earlier to prepare for the day and help get them ready, too.  Time management in a different time zone is not as flexible in your home country.

One minute you’re inside a toy store, and before you know it, you’re off running after your children on unfamiliar streets, making sure they stay on the sidewalk. Any trip can feel like a marathon when you are trying to keep up with children.

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But, the extra exercise you will get is a good thing. Even picking up after kids’ messes helps you squeeze in crunches you wouldn’t normally make time for. Wherever there are kids, a mess will exist. Carrying an infant or a toddler burns about 211 calories per hour. Babywearing burns about 400 calories. So, your kids can actually help you lose weight or tone up those upper body problem areas.

2. Involuntary healthy eating

A healthy diet can be a nonexistent concept while you travel. But, when you travel with kids, there will be times when you consider skipping out on ordering a lavish meal because you know you won’t be able to eat it in peace anyway. You just saved yourself an extra few bucks and a pile of calories. Losing weight is inevitable when you’re sharing with a picky eater.

Overall health doesn’t have to be dictated by your diet alone, though. Generally, travel helps boost our overall well-being – salad or no salad. Being on the move in a foreign country will lift your mood and give you extra exercise. You have all the right to indulge and spoil yourself.

On the other hand, children usually have a major sweet tooth, so expect to buy tons of sweets and calorie-filled sugary goodness. Sharing is optional.

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3. Kids make you even more financially mindful

Kids often get 50% off bus and transportation fares, which is definitely a plus. However, little ones literally point at anything that catches their attention for more than five seconds and decide they want it. Immediately. This instant.

To buy or not to buy?

Before making you way to the cashier, first ask yourself: why?

With kids, you can visit the simplest places and just enjoy nature with no problem. No slides? No problem. We can just roll down this hill.  Natural, scenic destinations and places that don’t call for entrance fees offer just as much excitement for you and your kids without burning a hole in your pocket.

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4. Carefree and cordial

Strangers approach kids with more ease. This makes it easier for you to strike up a conversation with a local and even make a new friend. It’s not exactly manipulative; you’re just being resourceful.

Kids are nature lovers at heart. Instead of confining them within the walls of hotels and theme parks, take part in interactive and exotic adventures outdoors.  There are so many more places you should explore and visit at least once in your life. Time may be ticking, but travel has no time limit. Let kids bring you there.

5. Thrifty Transactions

You and the kids eventually develop certain rules and unspoken contracts. They know that acting out or throwing a tantrum mean less dessert and an earlier bedtime.

From negotiating with your child, you also learn to negotiate and strike deals with people you meet everywhere, whether they are vendors, random strangers, or your hotel crew members. Having a child is reason enough to ask for (possible) discounts and more comfortable services and accommodations, right?

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A study from Cornell University reassures us that travel experiences make us healthier and happier. Travel is not about collecting refrigerator magnets for every new country visited (guilty) or bringing back exotic souvenirs to exhibit.

Toddlers and children dictate where you eat, what you do (the small things, at least) and how long you stay in one place, but by letting them lead the way, you give them room for growth and empathy.

You also teach kids one of the biggest, most important lessons by travelling with them: the world doesn’t – and won’t ever – revolve around you, no matter how privileged or entitled you feel.

Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via pexels.com

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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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