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Support eco-tourism as a traveller

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New Delhi, June 4: Planning to go on a vacation? Try being a responsible traveller. With global warming and rising pollution levels, we need to care for our mountains, beaches, hills and the very air we breathe. Walk more, carry your own bag while shopping, suggest experts.

Aloke Bajpai, Co-founder at ixigo and Narayan Menon, Co-founder at Wandertrails, have shared tips on how you can save the environment while travelling:

* No vehicle roads: Explore a new city on foot like the Mall Road in Shimla, Cinque Terre (The Italian Riveria) and Giethoorn village (Netherlands) where vehicles are not allowed. Walking is the best option to soak up the local flavour.

* Say no to plastic bags: If you are travelling to any of the hill stations in India, be sure to carry your own bag while shopping. You won’t be getting any plastic bag even for food items!

* No smoking zones: A vacation in cities like Beijing, Chandigarh, Chennai, Liverpool and Mexico will mean that you have to leave your cigarette case at home as all these places are no-smoking zones.

* Go for green transportation: Bid goodbye to your traditional transportation modes and go for the new, trendy e-bikes and cycles which will be your best bet. Brands like Hero and many others have a whole new range of e-bikes that you will enjoy riding.

* Choose eco-friendly dwellings: Go beyond swanky hotels and air-conditioned rooms. And choose a homestay instead. Many of them are built with eco-friendly materials and exercise initiatives like water recycling. A farm stay will offer ample opportunities to experience life at a working farm firsthand and learn valuable lessons of sustainability.

* Travel in packs: Don’t forget your cars can seat four people comfortably. Find people travelling the same route and pool together for a road trip. Save some petrol money and also do the environment some good.

* Eat local, buy local: Living in a plantation is your chance to experience the earth beneath your feet in a different way. Join the farmers in harvesting the local produce. Buy local, organic food and give back to the land that’s hosting you.

* Leave it the way you found it: Your keywords here are conserve, re-use and recycle. Don’t leave behind any plastic and spoil what’s perfect. Don’t use plastic at all. Dispose your waste responsibly and don’t litter your surroundings.

* Sightsee a little differently: Forget taxis and cabs and take the local transport instead. Cycle along the meandering paths and watch gorgeous sights scurry past you. Sightseeing is way more fun on two wheels.

* Plant a tree wherever you go: While you take back memories and incredible experiences from a place, leave behind a little something for the land in return. Plant a tree wherever you like, in the backyard of your stay (with permission) or sow a seed on the street, and whisper a small thank you to the place for being a wonderful host.

IAns

Health

Exercise 4-5 times daily to delay ageing

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New York, May 21: Want to stay young for long? If so, start exercising four to five times a day as it may help keep your heart stay healthy and slow down ageing, according to researchers.

Research showed that different sizes of arteries are affected differently by varying amounts of exercise.

While exercising for about two to three days a week for about 30 minutes may be sufficient to minimise stiffening of middle-sized arteries, exercising for about four to five days a week is required to keep the larger central arteries youthful.

The study would help “develop exercise programmes to keep the heart youthful and even turn back time on older hearts and blood vessels”, said one of the study authors, Benjamin Levine from the University of Texas.

With age, arteries — which transport blood in and out of the heart — become prone to stiffening, increasing the risk of heart diseases.

For the study, published in The Journal of Physiology, the team examined 102 people over 60 years old, with a consistent lifelong exercise history.

The participants were divided into four groups depending on their exercise history — Sedentary: less than 2 exercise sessions per week; Casual Exercisers: 2-3 exercise sessions per week; Committed Exercisers: 4-5 exercise sessions per week and Masters Athletes: 6-7 exercise sessions per week.

A lifelong history of casual exercise (two-three times a week) resulted in more youthful middle-sized arteries, which supply oxygenated blood to the head and neck.

However, committed exercisers (4-5 times per week) also had more youthful large central arteries, which provide blood to the chest and abdomen, in addition to healthier middle-sized ones.

Larger arteries need more frequent exercise to slow down ageing, the researchers said.

The findings will help see “if we can reverse the ageing of a heart and blood vessels by using the right amount of exercise at the right time”, Levine explained.

IANS

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Lifestyle

A check list before your road trip starts

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New Delhi, May 18: Before you set out for the adventurous road trip on your holidays, it is imperative to carry certain things to make your life easier. A grooming kit, adequate liquids and insurance are the most important, suggest experts.

Saunak Ghosh, Chief Marketing Officer at OneAssist Consumer Solutions Pvt Ltd, and Akshali Shah, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Parag Milk Foods Ltd, have listed a few must-haves.

* Backpack: When you’re constantly tossing bags in and out of the car, they better be able to handle plenty of abuse. Certain bags available in the market are made in such a way that they sustain in all kind of weathers and situations.

* Personal care kit: It takes extra amount of care to keep yourself well-groomed and hygienic. Always stay hygienic and carry the essential personal care kit on your road trip.

* Hydration: Road trips in summer bring a lot of excitement and a need to keep our bodies energised and hydrated. Summer is the perfect time to try out different hydration drinks. Flavoured milk or buttermilk can be your helpful companions on the journey as it keeps you away from dehydration and gives instant energy, without compromising on the taste.

* Insurance: Insuring your travel is something you would feel is unnecessary but you never know that taking a chance on it might become the biggest mistake committed.

It is also advisable to insure your priced possessions like your phone, laptop, wallet, debit/credit/ATM cards. Usually taking insurance creates an image of a tedious office, hours of wait and long queues. But with protection and assistance services platforms you can do it within no time and insure all your possessions.

* Spare chargers and powerbanks: Always arm yourself with spare chargers and powerbanks for worst case scenarios.

* Emergency and first aid kit: Always have a first aid kit in your car. Also, keep a check on everything which is inside the first aid box and upgrade whenever you see the necessity.

An emergency kit should contain battery booster cables, two light sticks, reflective vest, emergency rain poncho, warning triangle, whistle, tyre pressure gauge and window breaker.

IANS

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Lifestyle

Indians taking more spiritual trips this summer: Study

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New Delhi, May 17: Spiritually motivated tourism has emerged as one of the most vital components of India’s tourism industry with places like Puri, Varanasi, Tirupati and Shirdi topping the list, says a study conducted by travel marketplace ixigo.

According to the study, more and more Indians are travelling to connect with their religious roots. With a rise in spiritual tourism, popular pilgrimages, such as Varanasi and Puri are witnessing higher hotel bookings than other cities this summer.

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Puri Jagannath Temple

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The Great Ganges Ghats of Varanasi

The study reveals that there has been a month-on-month growth of 60 per cent for Puri, 48 per cent for Varanasi, 34 per cent for Tirupati and 19 per cent growth for Shirdi in the hotel bookings, said a statement.

Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala, Tirupati

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Sai Baba Temple, Shirdi

Travellers plan a short-stay of an average two days during their visit to religious destinations. Also, Indians prefer to keep a low hotel stay budget. Around 82 per cent tourists prefer budget hotels in Varanasi, followed by 78 per cent, 68 per cent and 73 per cent in Shirdi, Tirupati and Puri respectively. Only 32 per cent Indians prefer 4/5 star hotel while visiting Tirupati followed by 27 per cent for Puri.

Commenting on the findings Aloke Bajpai, ixigo CEO and Co-founder said: “Looking at the spike in bookings, it’s safe to say that spiritual travel is now being considered as one of the offbeat travel trends in India. It is fascinating to see that young adults are showing quite a high inclination towards exploring indigenous cultural experiences in our country.”

IANS

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