10 Travel Tips for a Healthier Experience | Travel vacation

You have dreamed about it. You have planned it and now your vacation is getting closer and closer. You can taste the ocean air or feel the bright reflection off the perfect powder on the best snow day of the year. You can see the rain forest that you’ve only seen in pictures or feel the gentle sway of the ship. Or even better, there’s a hot home cooked meal waiting for you. Whatever awaits you in your vacation paradise here are 10 easy to follow travel tips to assist you in your before and during exploits.Before you pack and hear the call “All Aboard” follow these tips and make the journey and arrival easier, healthier and fit.1. Start your trip fit- No matter where you are going most of the time you are bound to be walking more and taking on different adventures than your day to day life. With that in mind get fit before your trip so that your adventures are easier to complete and you aren’t the one holding everyone else back. There’s nothing worse than getting to your dream destination and you can’t go the last bit because you’ve totally lost all energy. Or there are no elevators and you just can’t do one more stair. Or one problem you may have is the family wants one excursion and it is the one you know you can not complete.Six months or more prior to departure start a workout journey to make your play journey a breeze. Walk every day and keep increasing your mileage. Join a gym or create weights at home. Fill gallon jugs with water and lift it and curl it.. One gallon of water is equivalent to 10 pounds. Pack your suitcase with the equivalent of what it may weigh on your trip and practice moving with it, carrying it, lifting it up to table height and back down and lifting it overhead (airplane overhead bins). Move and bend and squat and be the fittest going into your vacation so that the vacation is a simple joy.2. Travel with Snacks- While some airports are getting better food and snack options, most are still lacking in this area. So instead of making bad snack choices take your own healthy travel snacks to avoid the airport/airplane fast foods. Not only will you be eating healthier you’ll also be saving money since most airport convenience foods are pricey. Nuts and snack bars slip easily in bags and cause no issues with airport security.3. Book it wisely- When traveling and staying in a hotel you have many options. Look for a hotel with a gym or kitchenette. Hotel gyms range any where from a few pieces of cardio equipment to a full on gym with cardio, machine weights and free weights. So ask or look over the amenities prior to booking that room. A few extra dollars for a hotel with a full gym will be worth every penny.Also look for a room with a kitchenette or access to a kitchen. You may think, “I don’t want to cook on vacation” but I personally can only eat out so often before I want to cook what I’m eating and know what’s going into my food. Most of the time a room with a kitchenette will cost a little more but when you compare that to the expense of eating out,one meal in will cover that cost. Plus, how hard is it to prepare breakfast in your kitchen versus a brunch costing $15 plus per person. The kitchens are usually stocked with the essentials and consider it a bonus when it has a dishwasher. Washing dishes is not on my vacation plan.Vacations are meant to be rejuvenating and uplifting. Once your on the journey here are some tips to keep you on track.4. Most believe vacationing equals freedom from exercise and freedom to eat and drink everything and anything. Traveling/vacationing is not an excuse to ignore what you know you’ll only regret later. Different experts out there state to keep up with any where from one third to one half of your regular workout regimen. But I ask why reduce? Why not complete your regular fitness regimen? You are being too easy on yourself and opening up the possibility of getting out of your routine so that when you return to regular life it’s hard to get back on track. By keeping up with your fitness on vacation you’ll be right on track when you return home.5. Walk it, ride on it, climb it and move it. Don’t ride in it. Instead of the taxi, walk to your destination or rent a bike and bike around your vacation get away. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. Move your body the “old fashioned” way and your body, the human machine, will ride smoother and longer. By walking, riding the bike and climbing the stairs you will be strengthening your entire body.6. Avoid appetizers, breads and chips before the meal arrives. Yes, I said it. No more bread or chips while you wait for your entrée. No more appetizers before the entrée. Each are a carboholics dream and each provide a poor substitute for a good fuel for the body. If you want a single piece of bread or let’s say 10 chips, have it with your entrée. All you have to do is ask the wait staff to take the bread or chips away or simply not to bring it at all. Otherwise you will fill up on the pre meal food and not consume the fuel (protein, good carbs and good fats) your body will be provided from the good entrée selection you choose.7. I can’t believe I ate/drank the whole thing. Just like during the holidays, many binge eat and drink on vacations. Refrain from the temptation of the 32 ounce anything or the 6 lb lobster or the “largest drink on the island”. Just because they have it doesn’t mean you have to consume it. Portion control is just as important on vacation as it is at home. Fuel your body with calories from food and not all the calories in mixed drinks. Basically, if it has an umbrella in it, stay away.8. Plan your splurge. Okay there’s only so much good one can accomplish before one will go crazy if one doesn’t splurge. Plan your splurge. You plan big purchases like a car, a home and other big ticket items. So do the same for your splurge meal. Splurge on quality food not fast food. Not cheap beer or wine. Make it worth every yummy calorie and then sit back and smile because you know it was worth it. No guilt. No regret. Just pure joy because you earned it. Food is meant to be enjoyed but if it’s bad food then it’s hard to enjoy it. Eat just enough so you don’t feel bloated or have to undo the top button of your pants. Oh, and no elastic waist bands.9. Fast food is not the best food. Really, does this need to be explained? Fast food is the lowest on the “food chain” of food options out there. It may fill the empty pit of your stomach but it doesn’t fuel your body. It works only short term and not long term. Short term to stop the hunger but what your body needs is long term fuel to move you, enable you, and create a stronger you. Yes, sometimes there are healthier options of fast food. But when you compare it to the fried food selection, the meats with 50% plus in fillers and the breads that do nothing for you, of course there are healthier options.10. Fitness on the go. The great thing about exercise is that you can do it any where and with no equipment. You can do squats and lunges in line at an amusement park or on the beach. You can lift your child up and over your head and back down again. They think it’s a game but for you it’s work. You can walk faster from point A to point B and make it a workout. If you have access to a gym then take advantage of it and complete a full body work out each time just in case you don’t get to the gym as often as you would want. If you don’t have gym access then pack an exercise band in your luggage and the exercise band will allow you to complete a full body workout. You can also do these 3 exercises:1. Push ups- complete 3 sets of 15 to 20 standard push ups or knee push ups. If you are beginning, place your hands on the dresser top and do push ups from the higher angle. They are not as intense but you are building strength and endurance.
2. Stand up, sit down- Use anything to sit down on (preferably not on wheels so it doesn’t roll away). Place your heels directly under your knees. Hands in front of you or beginners on the tops of your legs. Stand up then sit down. Stand and sit without swooping up or down and no dropping fast. Complete 3 sets of 15 to 20. Once you progress past stand up, sit down complete the same sets as full squats (no chair required).
3. Lunges- You’ll want to be careful here if your knees “talk” to you. Step forward with one foot and lower your back knee towards the floor. Your front knee should never go past your front toe. In fact, it’s best right over the heel. Lower the back knee to almost touching the floor and back up, stepping back beside your other stationary foot. Repeat on one side or alternate. Again 3 sets of 15 to 20 on each leg.These 3 exercises incorporate a multitude of muscles and will keep you on track for when you return to your normal work out schedule.To recap, plan ahead so you can have a great time on vacation while eating wiser and staying fit. Find accommodations with a gym or kitchenette. Staying on track with your fitness and food during vacation will make returning home a breeze. You won’t feel the need to go on a strict diet just to lose the 5 or 10 pounds you gained while on the trip. In fact, you may find that you lost weight on vacation. Indulge but don’t abandon your healthy life habits. Have fun and relax while taking in the sites and the events around you and know that you can and should taste most but just don’t eat it all. Wherever you go, whatever you do bring home the memories and the good times you had. Once you get home get back in gear and start planning the next get away.

Fashion Design Skills 101 – Skills That Fashion Schools Don’t Cover Nearly Enough | Fashion

In fashion school, most of your time was spent learning to create fashion illustrations, draping, sewing, and flat patternmaking. While these are good skills to have, they aren’t very practical when you’re trying to land your first job in the fashion industry. In the real world you’ll be expected to know how to create computerized flat sketches, develop garment specs, CADs, and presentation boards. And I know some of you are thinking “But I learned those things in school too!” To which I reply: You think you know, but you have no idea! Take it from experience: fashion schools don’t focus on those skills nearly enough to fully prepare you for your first design position. In this article I will discuss each skill and its importance in the fashion industry.Draping and Patternmaking – Low ImportanceWhile patternmaking and draping are valuable skills, they usually only come in handy when you deal with a lot of fits. However, fittings are usually conducted by technical design teams so if you got into fashion for creative reasons, you’ll most likely be miserable in this type of position. On the creative side of design, all you need is a basic understanding of what creates a good fit, and how to fix a bad one. In the majority of design positions, hands-on patternmaking skills are not necessary, unless you plan to enter Project Runway!Sewing – Low ImportanceOn the creative side of design, sewing isn’t that relevant. Yes, it’s good to understand the general concepts of garment construction, but you don’t need to be a great seamstress. On the job, if you need to know how a certain garment is constructed, there are tons of references available: from clothes at the stores, to “how to” books and online articles. The point I’m trying to make is: if you’re sewing skills leave something to be desired, don’t stress over it.Illustration – Almost UnnecessarySadly, fashion illustrations are a dying art in the industry – they are scarcely used by designers in the real world. The fashion illustration has been replaced with computer drawn stylized technical sketches (floats) or more accurate technical flats, which are faster to sketch and much more practical. Not only do they present a clear representation of design concept, but they are a must have for production. Flats can be turned into CADs and can be used in mood/presentation boards. Fashion schools have not followed this shift and still focus more heavily on illustrations, and not enough on flat sketching.Computer Programs – Must KnowI can’t stress enough the importance of knowing popular computer applications for creating floats, flats and CADs. Most companies expect proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Excel since they are relatively affordable in comparison to more industry specific software. Unfortunately, the coverage of Illustrator and Photoshop provided by fashion schools does not meet the actual demands of the fashion industry. Many companies are also requesting knowledge of WebPDM, so if your college offers a course in this program, it would be to your benefit to take it. If your school does not teach this program, find a school or venue that does offer this program and take it!Flat Sketching – Must KnowWhile interviewing candidates for design positions, we’ve seen applicants’ portfolios filled with beautiful illustrations and then say “That’s nice, but can you flat sketch?” If flats are included in their portfolios, they are usually basic, lack important details, and are not visually appealing. If the candidates sketches are halfway decent; my next question is “do you know Illustrator and Photoshop? ” Almost everyone says yes, but it’s usually far from the truth.A lot of fashion school grads seriously believe that they know these programs well, but what you learned in school isn’t enough – fashion schools don’t teach these skills well enough for entry level designers to be competent within the fashion industry. Schools just cover basics, which are usually forgotten without practice. Take the extra effort to practice and become comfortable with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and other programs beyond what schools teach: read books and take additional courses (offered in either classroom or online settings).Creating Specs in a Copycat Industry – Must KnowKnowing how to spec (measure and detail) a garment to create garment specifications, or “specs” is a fundamental skill. Many companies create their spec sheets using Excel. Although garment sizes and measurements vary from company to company, depending on different market segments and categories, if you know the principles, you’ll be able to quickly adapt to the standards of any company. You don’t even need to know how to develop specs from scratch!As a head designer, to set spec standards for a company, I usually went to different stores, found garments with a good fit and copied the basic measurements. This is quite common – the fashion industry is a copycat industry- most fashions hanging in the stores are knock-offs of another company. Once, during a shopping trip in London, a store salesperson noticed I was a fashion designer collecting style ideas. He mentioned that his store received a constant flow of American design companies such as Calvin Klein, whose designers come to knockoff their merchandise. That’s right – even top designer brands use knockoffs for their ready-to-wear collections. There are even official terms: a “knockoff” is when a style is copied and a “rub-off” is when patterns are copied.Educate Yourself!Many fashion schools such as FIT in New York (Fashion Institute of Technology) offer important classes like “flats and specs for the fashion industry”, but believe it or not, these courses are not required by the curriculum! Another handy course that should be taken is “creative fashion presentation.” Salespeople use presentations a lot as visual aids. In addition they create a good impression and convey creativity level. If you can make outstanding presentations you’ll be assigned to do them often, and believe me it’s more fun to make boards than do fits or send faxes and organize showrooms.To sum up: in order to get a job before the rest of the entry level fashion design candidates, you need to focus on refining skills that are highly demanded in the industry. Become proficient with flat sketching, include flats in your portfolio, and be extremely comfortable and knowledgeable in Illustrator and Photoshop. Not only will you be ready with the skills you need to succeed in fashion, but discussing how you went the extra mile to keep up with industry standards will definitely impress any prospective employer!For your reference and use, we have posted lots of industry standard flat sketches and CADs in JPEG and vector (Illustrator) formats on DesignersNexus.com. If you can improve your skills to reach the quality of those shown, you’ll be in a very good shape© 2008 Designers Nexus Inc. All rights reserved. Originally published at DesignersNexus.com. This article may be reproduced unedited, unaltered and in its entirety. This copyright, author bio(s) and all active links must be preserved and included when reproducing this article. Contact us for approval if you wish to publish it contrary to these guidelines.