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12 Truly Relaxing And Picturesque Hot Springs In The World

12 Truly Relaxing And Picturesque Hot Springs In The World

Rejuvenate in the world’s most relaxing hot springs. Mother Earth heats the water then gently infuses it with mineral rich nutrients. All you have to do is slip in.

There is nothing that makes you feel better, physically, mentally, or emotionally, than a long soak in hot mineral spring. Your aches and pains fade away along with your stress and cares. Your skin and hair look radiant and vibrant. Your spirit becomes more vital.

Are you ready to take part in the study of balneology? Oxford dictionary defines balneology as “The study of medicinal springs and the therapeutic effects of bathing in them”.

Here are 12 unique places to begin your relaxation:

1. Banff Upper Springs, Alberta, Canada

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    Set in the awe-inspiring peaks of Banff National Park, these spring fed pools sit under the majestic Mount Rundle. Discovered in 1884, these soothing waters are loaded with sulphate, calcium, magnesium, sodium and bicarbonate. After a day of skiing, snowboarding, hiking, or sightseeing you can relax and ease your sore muscles in the natural hot spring water.

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    2. Pamukkale, Denizli, Turkey

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/44048265@N00/4995883630

      At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site. Surrounding the ruins calcite-laden waters have created an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins given the name of Pamukkale. After exploring the sites you can float in the Sacred Pool gazing up at the cerulean Aegean sky or down at the 2,000-year-old Greek and Roman antiquities scattered on the pool’s floor.

      3. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone, USA

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/cumulus_humilis/9087683673

        Grand Prismatic Spring was first mentioned by geologists in 1871 who named them for their striking coloration. The vivid colors in the spring are the result of pigmented bacteria in the microbial mats that grow around the edges of the mineral-rich water. The bacteria produce colors ranging from green to red; the amount of color in the microbial mats depends on the ratio of chlorophyll to carotenoids. In the summer, the mats tend to be orange and red, whereas in the winter the mats are usually dark green. The center of the pool is sterile due to extreme heat.  Although you are not able to soak in these hot springs, the sheer beauty of them is awe inspiring.

        4. Bains De Dorres, France

          Situated in the Pyrenees, close to the Spanish border, the baths date back to Roman times and offer visitors the chance to soak away their worries in water that is typically between 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.6 degrees Celsius) and 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) surrounded by stunning views of the valleys below from an altitude of 4,800 feet.  This little known hot spring is a must do for anyone wanting a relaxing soak without the crowds.

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          5. Myvatn Nature Baths, Iceland

          https://www.flickr.com/photos/skarpi/4990648690/

            Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is one of the country’s headlining attractions. However, the Myvatn Nature Baths, located in the more-remote northern part of this island nation, offer equally stunning landscapes and pools that are much less crowded than Reykjavik.  Laze in the temperate waters on a long summer’s day when the sun never sets, or under a delicate sprinkling of snow in the dark of winter when you may catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Located in the heart of northeast Iceland, a mere 65 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Lake Myvatn was shaped through the years by repeated volcanic eruptions and seismic activity. At an altitude of more than 900 feet, the landscape around the lake is a panorama of lava, crater and cave formations, mountains, and sweeping wetlands.

            6. Puyuhuapi, Chile

            https://www.flickr.com/photos/wild-places/6964506606

              Puyuhuapi Hot Springs are located 213 kms northeast of Coyhaique. This is one of the most important springs in Chile, and also one of the southernmost. Puyuhuapi is located within Dorita Bay of the Glacier Inlet, in the middle of the Chilean Patagonia and surrounded by a thrilling wildlife scenery of native forest and enormous ferns. The name Puyuhuapi means “place of puyes”, which is a species of fish that is greatly sought after by fishing lovers. The waters of the inlet are source of underground springs of the Melimeyu volcano.

              7. Edipsos, Greece

              https://www.flickr.com/photos/81189848@N00/9555875577

                Edipsos has to be one of the most amazing resorts in the world when it comes to healing mineral baths. There are more than eighty individual springs with waters ranging from 28 to 86 degrees Celsius, which can be quite hot. There are also many privately owned spa facilities, baths and pools, some of which belong to the hotels. Nature has also chipped in for a rare combined experience where the warm water gushes from the sea bed, a rare phenomenon that is difficult to find anywhere else in the world.

                8. Strawberry Spring, Colorado, USA

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                https://www.flickr.com/photos/7430002@N06/3855908938

                  Steamboat is home to natural hot springs that are located throughout the area. Upon first hearing a chugging sound, early trappers believed that a steamboat was coming down the river. When the trappers saw that there was no steamboat, and that the sound was coming from a hot spring, they decided to name the spring Steamboat Springs. The area has two hot springs that are open to the public. The largest is at the Old Town Hot Springs, with multiple pools and two slides. Located in the hills a few miles out of town is Strawberry Park Hot Springs, with two pools and natural rock features. Strawberry Park Hot Springs offers excellent stargazing opportunities due to the lack of ambient light.

                  9. Takaragawa Onsen, Japan

                  https://www.flickr.com/photos/kcfoo24/2580180633

                    Takaragawa Onsen is located deep in the mountains of Minakami. The onsen is world famous and one of the most scenic hot springs in Japan. It sprawls along the banks of the Takara River which is home to wild boar, bear and river fish. The onsen had four outdoors of hot springs as well as two indoor bath and several smaller ones. One large open air bath faces a spectaular mountain stream. This bath also claims to have the best healing properties.  The traditional Japanese architecture and open air baths situated along the beautiful mountain stream all join in harmony to create a relaxing balanced experience.

                    10. Heviz, Hungary

                    https://www.flickr.com/photos/lajapuma/9513539915

                      The Heviz Lake is a geological curiosity, Europe’s largest thermal lake – a warm water lake situated in a peat-bed. The lake is surrounded by a nature conservation area which provides a tranquil setting within which to relax. Springs of different temperatures merge in a narrow cave and become a constant 38.5 degrees Celsius temperature when entering the lake. Beautiful water lilies, brought to Hungary at the end of the 19th century, dot the lake, supporting the eco-life. The lily leaves help to slow down evaporation and creepers protect the medicinal mud on the bottom of the lake.

                      11. Palia Kameni, Greece

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                      https://www.flickr.com/photos/chagiajose/10909213036

                        The turquoise springs on this volcanic island in the Santorini caldera are known for their therapeutic sulphuric mud. ‘Old Burnt’ in Greek, Palia Kameni is accessed by boat from Santorini – visitors are required to swim from a moored vessel to reach the main seaside spring. These healing waters consist of large amounts of iron and manganese. If you are looking for a different hot spring experience this one is for you.

                        12. Peninsula Hot Springs, Victoria, Australia

                        https://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkgeoenergy/6435577915

                          Peninsula Hot Springs is the only natural thermal mineral springs bathing and day spa facility in Australia. It has two main facilities providing relaxation and recreational spa experiences. One facility caters to adults and the other to families. Relaxation, rejuvenation and fun can be found in the 20 plus bathing experiences including a cave pool, reflexology walk, hydrotherapy pool, thermal stream gully, sauna, hilltop pool offering stunning 360 degree views, massaging thermal showers, family pools and many more.

                          Where will your next hot spring experience take you?

                          Featured photo credit: Saturnia/aurelio candido via flickr.com

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                          Published on November 14, 2018

                          Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                          Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                          With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                          For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                          In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                          Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                          Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                          It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                          For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                          Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                          Symptoms of Fatigue

                          Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                          • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                          • mental blocks
                          • lack of motivation
                          • headache
                          • dizziness
                          • muscle weakness
                          • slowed reflexes and responses
                          • impaired decision-making and judgement
                          • moodiness, such as irritability
                          • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                          • reduced immune system function
                          • blurry vision
                          • short-term memory problems
                          • poor concentration
                          • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                          Causes of Fatigue

                          The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                          • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                          • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                          • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                          • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                          Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                          Medical Causes of Fatigue

                          If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                          Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                          Anemia

                          Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                          Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                          There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                          Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                          Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                          This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                          Diabetes

                          Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                          Sleep Apnea

                          Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                          Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                          Thyroid disease

                          An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                          Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                          • Lack of sleep
                          • Too much sleep 
                          • Alcohol and drugs 
                          • Sleep disturbances 
                          • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                          • Poor diet 

                          Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                          • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                          • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                          • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                          • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                          Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                          Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                          • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                          • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                          • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                          How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                          Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                          1. Tell The Truth

                          Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                          To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                          Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                          The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                          One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                          • How you feel
                          • What time of day it is
                          • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                          • How your mind and body reacts

                          This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                          2. Reduce Your Commitments

                          When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                          If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                          When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                          Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                          3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                          If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                          Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                          If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                          Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                          Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                          4. Express More Gratitude

                          Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                          It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                          Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                          5. Focus On Yourself

                          Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                          There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                          But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                          We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                          6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                          Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                          Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                          The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                          Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                          7. Take a Power Nap

                          When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                          Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                          This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                          8. Take More Exercise

                          The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                          Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                          The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                          You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                          9. Get More Quality Sleep

                          To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                          Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                          My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                          10. Improve Your Diet

                          Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                          Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                          On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                          To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                          Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                          Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                          11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                          Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                          When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                          Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                          My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                          12. Get Hydrated

                          Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                          Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                          If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                          The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                          The Bottom Line

                          These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                          If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                          Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                          [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                          [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                          [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                          [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                          [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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