3 Tips for Taking a Cruise After Covid

The cruise industry is planning for a post-pandemic world that allows travelers to experience the delights of life on the water while simultaneously keeping them safe from potential COVID-19 outbreaks. Determining the boundaries between public health safety measurements and personal freedoms and desires while on vacation might be a challenge, but companies are confident that they can introduce measures to encompass all aspects of cruising. Vacationers who aspire to return to the seas, rivers, or other water byways should anticipate a variety of changes when they resume cruising. Here are some tips for taking a cruise after COVID-19:

Be Prepared for Pre-Travel Medical Requirements

Some cruise lines might require proof of vaccination, whereas others might be satisfied with a negative Covid test taken within three days of travel. Luggage will need to be sanitized. Temperatures will be brought before embarkation on vessels, and passengers with high temperatures will not be allowed on board. Basic Covid safety measures such as wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining social distance will be enforced.

Be Aware That Onboard Activities Will Change

Passenger numbers will be capped to prevent overcrowding. Buffets will be eliminated and replaced by single-serve meals served to cruisers at staggered times. Staff and crew will need to spend a significant amount of time on deep-cleaning and sanitizing, especially in public areas. Ventilation systems will be replaced and upgraded as necessary to provide 100% fresh air to passengers. Shore excursions will still be an option, but they will be highly managed to control social distancing and sanitization protocols. Social distancing guidelines may impact the number of people allowed into onboard fitness rooms, entertainment venues, and sporting events. Typical spa activities such as showers, whirlpools, and saunas will be closed. Most importantly, crew members will need travelers to observe and respect best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Be Responsible Post-travel

Regardless of vaccination status, cruisers should be tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after the end of their cruise. Those who test positive need to isolate, while everyone needs to self-monitor for symptoms for two weeks. Maintaining safety guidelines will help to ensure that cruises can once again be an option for vacationers as a post-pandemic world opens again to those seeking adventure.

How to Make the Most of a Layover

An inevitable part of flying is dealing with layovers. And while some are only long enough to transfer from one plane to another, others are longer. Rather than dreading an extended layover, travelers can embrace the following ideas for enjoying it.

A long enough layover is an excellent opportunity for travelers to see a city they might not otherwise see. Even if all they have time to do is take a quick walking tour, enjoy a meal based on local cuisine, and maybe even purchase a souvenir. In almost every city layovers commonly occur and have something to offer. Sometimes airports will even provide a quick tour, led by a knowledgeable local.

Depending on the airport’s size where a layover takes place, they may offer what is called a transfer hotel. This one lets guests book rooms for the few hours they have until their next flight. Tired, weary travelers can use this opportunity to take a nap before their next flight.

Other airports may not have a transfer hotel, but some have a place where those passing through can take a hot shower. In some cases, airport lounges offer this luxury to paid members.

Yet another perk some airports offer are meditation rooms. For nervous travelers, stressed out, or both, this can be an easy way to relax and make the remaining travel seem a little less daunting.

Travelers that have a layover in a foreign country often pass the time by perusing the selections available on Netflix. Since the streaming service is offered in many parts of the world, each country with access to it has movies and TV shows that aren’t available in other countries. This can be a relaxing way for tired travelers to stay occupied.

Most international airports have a duty-free shop. These are good places to stock up on free samples of items that come in handy for travelers. Items offered typically include perfumes, lotions, and sometimes even small snacks or sweets.

Perhaps the most low-key way to take full advantage of a long layover is to spend it people watching. For creative types like artists and writers, this might inspire new ideas they can use in their work.

3 Tips to Get Back Into Shape

If you have always lived a sedentary lifestyle or have been inactive for a considerable length of time, getting in shape will probably be more challenging than you assume. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. As long as you don’t expect to see unreasonable results, you can start slowly and build your way up to a more intensive workout. Just 25 minutes a day is enough to start, and the following tips can help you succeed at your long-term fitness goals.

Practice Consistently

As you get started with a fitness plan, don’t worry about the intensity of your workout as long as you’re getting in the same amount of time each day. If you start with workouts that are 25 minutes long, make sure you do those 25 minutes every day. It’s also okay to take breaks as you work out. You won’t be in the same physical condition as you once were, and it’s unreasonable to expect to be able to exercise like a seasoned athlete. Do what you can until you can do more.

Find Different Activities

Strength training is necessary for your fitness goals, but hitting the gym just three or four times a week is enough. The other days should be spent doing other things you enjoy. You can go running one day, swimming another day, and play a team sport on the weekend. Engaging in a broad range of physical activities will help you strengthen more muscle groups throughout your body. Additionally, it will keep things interesting to ensure you won’t give up on your fitness goals.

Hold Yourself Accountable

One of the best ways to make sure you stick to your fitness plans is by teaming up with a friend or joining a class. A fitness class is beneficial in a couple of ways. Since you’re paying for the class, you’re less likely to skip it. Once you arrive, you’ll feel more motivated to join the workout. Additionally, organized classes are designed to provide safe and challenging workouts. If you do injure yourself in class, the instructor will make sure you get medical treatment as soon as possible.

Before you start working out, you should consult your doctor. A checkup will help identify any medical issues that you need to consider in creating a fitness plan. Additionally, your doctor can offer you recommendations for safely starting your exercise plan so that you won’t put your health at risk.

Outdoor Workouts to Try This Summer

Summer is the perfect time to exercise under the sun to burn calories and stay in shape. These are some fun and productive workouts to explore during the summertime.

Sprinting up a Hill

Hill sprints make people better runners and strengthen their bodies because they run against gravity to make it up the hill. This type of workout also helps people to burn calories and lose weight. Running uphill 12 times and walking down the hill after each run is a satisfying and productive workout with appropriate rest time.

Running Backward

Everyone knows that running forward is an exercise option, but not many people know that running backward is also a beneficial workout. This type of running is safer for the knee joints than running forward and allows people to utilize the other muscles in their legs, such as their calves. Another great thing about this workout is that people can do it anywhere they want as long as they have enough space to run.

Jumping Rope

Jump ropes are not just for children. Jumping rope can help people burn plenty of calories, leading to significant weight loss, as it provides a workout for the whole body. This fun outdoor exercise can also improve coordination.

Jogging on the Beach

Jogging anywhere is a classic and well-liked outdoor exercise option, but specifically, beach jogging is incredibly beneficial. Going for a jog in a beachy environment provides more comfort for the feet because the sand creates a softer cushion for the feet than pavement or other surfaces.

Hot Yoga

Yoga is an excellent workout for both the body and the mind. This exercise helps people improve their strength and coordination through various poses and movements, making it a beneficial activity for physical health. Also, yoga is helpful for mental health because it improves focus and concentration. Practicing yoga under the hot summer sun can help people burn calories while relieving stress.

Hiking on Mountains

Hiking will put anyone’s muscles to work along with burning calories, making this activity a great workout. A scenic mountain hike on a warm summer day will provide anyone with a rewarding day of exercise and beautiful views.

All of these outdoor workouts can help anyone get in shape while having fun.

4 of the Best Fitness Streaming Platforms

With every new year comes the usual onslaught of resolutions to get healthy, lose weight, eat better, and get that rocking ‘beach body’ that we’ve always wanted. And, as usual, it seems, many of these well-intentioned resolutions fall short. In some cases, far short.

So, what can you do to keep your fitness goals in sight? You could sign up for a gym membership. Being around like-minded people going for the same fitness goals as you can be quite motivating. But then you remember how self-conscious you are exercising around other people. Luckily, there are streaming programs out there that can help you reach your fitness goals in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Let’s explore 4 of them.

Beachbody on Demand

Ah, there’s that ‘beach body’ reference again. The popular Beachbody on Demand streaming channel debuted in 2015, featuring workouts like P90x and Insanity. Today, Beachbody on Demand has grown to over 600 life-changing workout videos. Supported streaming devices include iPhone and Android phones, ROKU, Google Chromecast, and Apple TV. Subscribers without a streaming service can use an app to download videos and play them later.

Cost to subscribe: Under $10 per month.

Grokker

The Grokker subscription service gives you a 3-pronged approach to reaching your fitness goals by offering workout and yoga streaming videos and videos for cooking. You can sort your videos by length, type, and skill level to make it easier to find the videos that suit you best.

Cost to subscribe: Under $20 per month.

Omstars

Tailor-made for Yoga practitioners, Omstars offers a 2-week free trial, after which you can continue with a paid subscription. With the Omstars streaming yoga service, you will be able to access thousands of streaming and live classes.

Cost to subscribe: Under $100 per year.

Daily Burn

You’ll feel like you’ve hired your fitness coach when you subscribe to Daily Burn. Answer questions about you and your fitness goals, and Daily Burn pops out a plan made just for you. This streaming fitness platform offers classes in Pilates, Yoga, Weightlifting, and more. A fabulous value for the money.

Cost to subscribe: Under $15 per month.

What to Look for in Home Gym Equipment

The past year has brought about many challenges that we can transform into opportunities. You may have found yourself looking for new ways to stay fit or get in shape, and now you have decided to set up a home gym. As a beginner, you may not know where to start, so here are a few tips for choosing the best home gym equipment.

Space

One of the reasons people regret investing in home gym equipment is that it is usually an eyesore. Most home gyms end up stored in a closet, covered with blankets, or shoved to the furthest corners. Before investing in new home gym equipment, think carefully about how much space you have and are willing to dedicate to a workout space.

Choose What You Already Enjoy

Once you have a quiet space to work out, think about activities that you currently enjoy. If you love to walk outdoors, a treadmill might be a good option. If you are a hiker, check out climbers. If you enjoy quiet time, perhaps yoga is a good choice. Whatever your favorite pastimes are, you can find home gym equipment to let you do those things even more.

Time

How much time do you have to spend each day? This is where you will need to find a good balance between your current schedule and making time for exercise. There will be some necessary adjustments, but you can find a way. Make sure that you are not sacrificing too much of the time spent doing what you enjoy. Instead, the key is to strike a good balance.

Ease of Use

Once you have space and time, you can look for home gym equipment. Be sure to read reviews. Look for the positives and negatives, and then decide for yourself what suits you best. Allow yourself room to grow. What may seem intimidating right now may push you to gain strength and endurance, yet it should be only slightly challenging at first. Again, balance is key, and you should always look forward to the actual exercise that the equipment offers. You may want to start with a small investment and then invest in more complex home gym equipment later.

5 Summer Travel Destinations

Traveling for the summer season is something most people look forward to all year long. The destination they choose can make all the difference in how fun and memorable a vacation is. Here are the top five summer travel destinations.

San Diego, California 

San Diego is a top vacation spot with so much to see and do, where it’s summer all year long. Its many shorelines make it a popular destination for those who enjoy lounging on the beach. But San Diego has so much more to offer, including its world-famous zoo and attractions such as Balboa Park. For those that can appreciate an adult drink, this city is famous for its 150 breweries. The food and drinks scene in San Diego is impossible for many visitors to resist.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park can make for an excellent vacation spot. AT over 300,000 acres, there is plenty to explore. Visitors can pitch a tent and camp out in the park. They can also get a glimpse of the wildlife and hike one of the many trails. For younger visitors, the park runs ranger programs during the summer season. These programs cover topics like astronomy and bear safety.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Not to be outdone, Yellowstone National Park is also a popular summertime vacation destination. While the park is best known for Old Faithful, there are many other reasons to visit. A hike through the Grand Canyon is one of them, along with the Grand Prismatic Springs. Visitors can stay in one of the park’s many lodges and hike one of its many trails. During their stay, many visitors make a short trip to some of the towns nearby, each of which has its attractions and events to offer.

Chicago, Illinois 

Baseball fans may want to plan a visit to Chicago to take a game at Wrigley Field Millenium Park. Another highlight of a visit to Chicago is Millenium Park, which hosts various exhibitions and concerts. Visitors can also check out the city’s museums and Lake Michigan beaches.

Boston, Massachusetts

Equally popular for baseball fans is Boston. Aside from taking in a game at Fenway Park, the city has many historical attractions and a trendy food scene. Boston is also home to many festivals during the summer months.

How has Covid-19 Changed Travel Insurance Purchases

The relationship between the fallout of COVID-19 on travel and the travel insurance industry has been direct and not difficult to understand in a general sense. That is, a lot less travel resulted in far fewer travel insurance policies sold through 2020.

On the other hand, the pandemic produced a boom in sales of travel insurance in other ways.

A closer look illuminates some interesting breakdowns about how travel insurance has changed, including key shifts in the demographics of travelers.

A Change in Demographics

Up until pandemic times, older America purchased the majority of travel insurance policies because they did the most traveling to overseas destinations. Until 2019, the year before COVID took hold, the average age of a traveler was 50. In 2020, the average age for a traveler abruptly changed to 38.

Thus, the most likely market for policies migrated swiftly from Baby Boomers to Generation X.

Caribbean Destinations Rise

Trips to the sunny beaches of the Caribbean island nations have always been popular, but travel statistics show that they were not the dominant choice. Trips to Europe were by far the highest, comprising 45% of all bookings. After the United States enacted travel bans to Europe, that naturally dropped to 10%.

The Caribbean islands were certainly not immune to COVID restriction, and some island nations found it necessary to ban incoming travel for periods. However, with Europe no longer an option, flights booked to Caribbean nations skyrocketed. For example, trips to Turks and Caicos jumped a robust 303%. Flights booked to the U.S. Virgin Islands soared by 207%.

Thus, travel insurance policies tailored to the risks associated with Caribbean travel instead of European travel saw huge increases, according to an analysis by Squaremouth, an insurance statistical data site.

More Demand for Special Coverage

Another way travel insurance changed was an increased interest to buy coverage for medical care, unforeseen disruptions, and trip interruption. Demand to be covered for these contingencies is a good way for travelers to hedge their bets against a trip that goes off track. For example, policies for “cancel-for-any-reason” ballooned by an amazing 500%.

Also, more people opted to buy travel insurance when they would not have before the pandemic. According to a spokesperson with Embark Beyond, 90% of the trips they booked carried travel insurance policies compared to just 58% before the pandemic.

3 Major Fitness Trends for the New Year

Almost every area of people’s lives have been affected by the events of 2020. Restaurants and bars largely remain closed, schooling is mostly virtual, and exercising at a gym is no longer an option for many. The usual routine of a simple workout is now a habit that millions of people need to change. These are some of the latest fitness trends that have been emerging for this new year.

Back to Basics

Mental Health, along with basic self-care have quickly outshined the previous need to be physically attractive, statistics say. Instead of feeling more inclined to have a six-pack, people are longing to feel more mentally healthy and at peace with themselves. In most areas of the globe, people are still being required to stay at home, which has resulted in an unprecedented increase in depression and anxiety. Meditation, yoga, and stretching have all been proven to help relieve anxiety and depression by calming the mind while strengthening the body. All of these practices have been shown to have both short and long-term effects when done consistently.

More screen time has been trending dramatically, with the increase in various digital fitness platforms. This new form of virtual exercise from home has opened the doors to endless possibilities. Not only does the wide range of workout options help eliminate any remaining excuses people may have, but it can also be a positive and productive respite from the monotony of a daily work routine. There are digital running and cycling classes that take you on a journey to the top of a mountain or yoga sessions on the most peaceful island. There are also countless workout platforms where a professional trainer is personally pushing you to reach your goals, something many people did not have the courage to try before COVID-19.

Get Out There

Being active outdoors is another rapidly-growing option for fitness seekers. Whether it is a trendy new open-air gym or taking up a new hobby like kayaking, there’s no debating that the combination of fresh air and sunshine can be the best cure for the standard workout.

Originally published

10 Tips for Beginning Yogi’s

Yoga benefits both body and soul, helping to manage stress, create balance and improve mood. There’s no expensive equipment to buy, and it can be practiced anywhere. These tips will help for a successful journey.

Respect the Trek

Eagerness is great, but like the smooth flow of poses and breathing yoga entails, the journey should be thoughtful. Patience and self-love are essential.

Gain Good Guidance

A good teacher is vital for success. They should put students at ease while properly teaching alignments. If in-person classes are unappealing, there are lots of free resources online.

Choose Comfy Clothing

Comfort is a must. Wear clothing that allows for movement without malfunction. There’s no need to run out and spend a ton of money. Students need attire that stretches without stress.

Temper Tummy Trouble

Bending and twisting on a full stomach is a bad idea. It’s better to wait 2-3 hours after meals to avoid discomfort. Drink lots of water throughout the day to help flush out toxins released during sessions.

Gradual Gains

A “no pain no gain” mentality has no place in yoga. True yoga gain can be measured by ease of position. Pushing a little bit past comfort will help progression but should never be painful.

Inhale, Exhale, Repeat

Breathing is essential. Inhale deep into the body, allowing the belly to expand. Use the exhale to move deeper into poses.

Say Cheese

A soft smile helps keep the body and mind on a positive plane. Much like the breath, it can also serve as a signal for strain.

Maintain Mindfulness

Stay in the present. Ignore others and their achievements. Notice feelings, both physical and mental. Accept the moment as it presents itself.

Winning Wind Down

Many classes end with the corpse pose, which involves lying flat on the floor and allowing every muscle to relax. Savor these few moments of total peace before racing off to the rest of the day.

Practice Makes Perfect

Quality, not quantity, matters most. It’s much better to incorporate small frequently rather than intermittent lengthy sessions. This will allow a more natural transition for the body.

Originally published