Advertising
Advertising

5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Holidays!

5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Holidays!

Have you ever been super excited for a holiday, only to get back feeling highly disappointed? It isn’t a great feeling at all! We all want to come back raving about the great holiday we had, yet for some of us, we might come back feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. It’s doesn’t need to be that way!

I am a HUGE fan of traveling; in the last 2 years I’ve been in over 16 countries; you might say that I am a bit of a travel junkie! The truth is that we all have different reasons for travelling, however, I think we still share something in common: we all want to get the most out of our holiday – whether the objective is just to relax and disconnect, or have an action-packed planned trip, or even both!

Here are 5 of my secrets to getting the most out of your holiday and why!

1. Connecting with the WHY

You always get better results in life if you are proactive and not reactive. Sometimes we just do things and we don’t even question why we are doing them. When we start to ask ourselves, “why do I want this?” or “why am I doing this?” we can start to shape our experiences into more enjoyable ones that match our desires.

Advertising

Be more purposeful in creating the type of experience you want; when you know what you want and why you are more likely to have it. You always get more out of your holiday when your why is being answered.

Before traveling, check in with yourself and ask yourself:
• Why am I going to THIS city/town/country?
• What would I love to experience? And Why?

“Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman

2. Planning for fun

I know you will have fun on your holiday regardless, but why not plan for fun as well? I always include fun activities on my to-do list; that way I prioritize them. I include them in my week and I have more fun in life. This is the same idea; planning some fun activities helps you to destress, focus on less, and you have less hassles.

Advertising

For those of you who don’t want to pre-book tours, you can still plan to have fun by exploring the local activities available, and you will save money and see more in the end. Don’t waste time thinking what you are going to do that day, plan for fun – it works!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

3. Opinions always count!

Have you ever gone to a restaurant or stayed in hotel that was absolutely terrible? Don’t you wish someone would have warned you? Reviews are so important; most often websites will only tell you what they want you to hear, but when you read people’s actual experience, you get the low-down on what it’s really like.

You don’t want to be disappointed, to waste time, to have a bad experience, so whatever you plan to do, check out the reviews! You might also come across some other great recommendations or ideas by doing a little bit of research beforehand.

Advertising

“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” – Matthew Karsten

4. Be open to learning

When you are traveling, there is so much to take in and learn, from the people, to the food, customs, way of life, culture, and geology (to name a few). What you focus on expands, so if you are open to learning more, you will, and you will have a much better time. You will understand more and you will also go back with more knowledge.

Every place that you travel has a history, monuments, and important things to see, which gives it its uniqueness, and it should be a large part of why you are visiting there. Informing yourself and educating yourself on the place you are in will add to the richness of your travel because you will understand more. After all, they say that traveling is one of the best forms of education.

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

5. Be Present!

Finally, you can’t underestimate the power of being present. If you want to make the most out of your holiday, being present should be high on your list. Most of the time our thoughts are in the past; thinking about things that have happened, or will in the future; thinking about things that might happen, or what we must do.

Being present in the moment is in fact the only place our thoughts should be directed most of the time, especially on holiday! Take in the smells, the sights, the sounds, and the feelings. When you try the food, really taste it, smell it, understand the culture of the country and how it’s influenced its cuisine, for example. You will remember so much more and enjoy your holiday on another level.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury

Just like any experience in life, we make it what we want to be; we are in control. Direct your focus on creating a holiday that is unforgettable. Put all your energy into enjoying it, exploring it, understanding it, and making the most out of it.

Advertising

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2018 Updated) 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life How to Be More Productive: 4 Tiny Tweaks That Will 10x Your Productivity The First Thing All Amazing Startups Work on for a Refreshing Beginning 5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Holidays!

Trending in Lifestyle

17 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day 210 Surprising Benefits Of Dragon Fruit You Never Knew 311 Benefits of Almond Milk You Didn’t Know About 411 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits) 510 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

    Advertising

      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.

          Advertising

          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

              Advertising

                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.

                  Read Next