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12 Jaw-Dropping Vacation Spots That Will Leave You Awestruck

12 Jaw-Dropping Vacation Spots That Will Leave You Awestruck

When is a beach not just the shore? When it takes your breath away at every turn! If you’re looking for a new beach to explore, why not try one or two of the 12 listed below? Each has its own appeal, and all afford the opportunity to discover a new area.

1. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

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    No passport? No problem! Lanikai Beach is in the United States, although it feels like you’ve stepped onto another planet. It’s a very small beach located near Kailua – it’s only a half-mile long, but it’s as pristine as they come. It’s constantly highlighted as a tranquil place where you can get away from all the stressors of daily living. You’ll feel close to nature here, not to mention encircled by pure splendor.

    2. Playa Norte, Mexico

    Isla Mujeres, Christmas 2009

      Snorkeling enthusiasts and folks who like to play hard at the beach will appreciate Playa Norte. This Mexican beach area offers a warm lagoon with crystalline waters. Not only is it perfect for floating with fish, but it’s the perfect place to boat as well.

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      3. Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island, Bahamas

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        According to U.S. News and World Reports, Cabbage Beach is quite possibly the most popular Bahamian beach. This means you’ll find other tourists lounging there, but don’t worry: There’s plenty of beach to discover, and you’ll never feel crowded! Rent a beach chair and read that book you’ve been putting off, or take a swim in the balmy, blue waters.

        4. Bandon Beach, Oregon

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          Looking to go to a beach for some peace and quiet? Bandon Beach in Oregon is definitely the spot for dreamers, writers, poets, artists and thinkers. You’ll be mesmerized by the stunning environment and marine sounds as you wander around the surf or just sit on a rock and let nature inspire you.

          5. Ocean City, New Jersey

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            Sometimes the beach that you’ve loved your whole life is one of the top places in the world. Such is the case with Ocean City, where miles of boardwalks accompany immaculate beaches. Do a little bit of footwork and you’ll soon find pockets of beach that are untouched by human hands and just waiting for you to discover them. Don’t forget to watch the sunrise in the morning here, it’s a sight to behold!

            6. Venice Beach, California

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              Venice Beach is one of those California “must sees.” Not only will you be able to do a little people-watching, but you can enjoy family-friendly fun and shopping while you’re there. Plan on bringing your camera fully charged, because you’ll definitely want to snap shots of the local beach characters who delight the crowds.

              7. Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada

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                While not always known for its beaches, Canada does have a few that will have you doing a double take. Cavendish Beach on Prince Edward Island is one of those treasures of the Great White North. There are miles of ecological wonders just waiting to be discovered in this paradise. Even during the off-season when it’s too cold to swim comfortably, you’ll be serenaded by the lapping waters and incredible surroundings.

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                8. Panama City Beach, Florida

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                  Located along the Gulf Coast, Panama City Beach is clearly one of the top travel beaches. There, the sand is white, the Gulf waters are typically warm and there’s even a park next to the beach area. You’ll quickly forget you’re in a city, and you will only be able to focus on the relaxed ambience.

                  9. Warwick Long Bay, Bermuda

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                    Want to take a trip to the land that time forgot? Warwick Long Bay in Bermuda could be your beach destination. The coral reefs there are stunning, and you can even ride horses up and down this half-mile stretch of beach. Bring your swimsuit for a quick dip; it will refresh both your body and soul.

                    10. Hidden Beach, The Marieta Islands, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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                      The Hidden Beach in Mexico is exactly as its name implies – an out-of-the-way nirvana where you can even swim in the buff in some areas. This makes it ideal for couples and singles, although kids are probably best left at home.

                      11. Plage de St. Jean, St. Barths, French Caribbean

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                        The north beach area, known locally as Plage de St. Jean, is a magnet for swimmers and sailing fanatics. Although it’s a popular beach, it still keeps a strong tether on its inherent charm. You won’t be counting down the days until the end of your visit here; in fact, you might like the atmosphere so much that you wind up making this region the site of your second home.

                        12. South Beach, Miami, Florida

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                          If you haven’t heard of South Beach, you need to find out as much about it as possible. This is the go-to beach for people who want the driving nightlife of Miami and the sun-sational beaches of southern Florida. South Beach is a place to be seen; don’t be surprised if you spot a Hollywood starlet basking on the sand. At night, you can cruise the soft, sandy beach with a loved one and enjoy the beauty of a tropical sunset.

                          Of course, every beach has its own unique qualities. The key is to find the one that speaks to you and to keep exploring new beaches that will help you unleash new levels of enjoyment.

                          Featured photo credit: Keith Robinson via flickr.com

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                          Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                          How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                          How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                          When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

                          So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

                          1. Exercise

                          It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

                          2. Drink in Moderation

                          I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

                          3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

                          Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

                          4. Watch Less Television

                          A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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                          Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

                          5. Eat Less Red Meat

                          Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

                          If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

                          6. Don’t Smoke

                          This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

                          7. Socialize

                          Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

                          8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

                          Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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                          9. Be Optimistic

                          Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

                          10. Own a Pet

                          Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

                          11. Drink Coffee

                          Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

                          12. Eat Less

                          Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

                          13. Meditate

                          Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

                          Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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                          How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

                          14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

                          Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

                          15. Laugh Often

                          Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

                          16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

                          Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

                          17. Cook Your Own Food

                          When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

                          Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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                          18. Eat Mushrooms

                          Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

                          19. Floss

                          Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

                          20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

                          Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

                          Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

                          21. Have Sex

                          Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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                          Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
                          [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
                          [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
                          [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
                          [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
                          [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
                          [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
                          [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
                          [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
                          [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
                          [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
                          [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                          [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                          [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
                          [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
                          [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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