A vacation can do wonders for reducing stress levels, but it can derail a healthy fitness regimen. Even some of the most die-hard exercisers find it difficult to stick with a workout program when away from home. Sure, many have good intentions. They may even pack their workout attire. Unfortunately, their gear never makes it out of the suitcase until they’re back home.
But travel from home doesn’t have to result in an interruption or complete abandonment of your healthy habits. You can still fit in exercise time when away from home, regardless of whether you find yourself in a warm or a cold climate. Even if bad weather forces you into seclusion in your hotel room, there are exercises you can complete without a single piece of equipment.
Below are some tips to help you stay fit while traveling and avoid coming home with unwanted extra baggage.
Here is a quick, simple circuit workout that only requires a resistance band and can be done anywhere. Complete at least one set of 8-12 reps of each exercise.
I remember once when I was working a trade show, and was leaving my hotel room with my luggage. I closed the door to my room, turned the corner, and felt a sharp pain in my right knee. Fortunately, there was no one in the hall. I put my luggage down, and proceeded to massage and knead the area around my knee, for maybe 5 minutes at most. I got up, and my knee was like new!
Body Rolling is a form of body work that was developed by Yamuna Zake. It involves rolling on a special ball in a very specific way. I learned about it in 1998, and my life has never been the same. Using the ball has made it unnecessary to go to the chiropractor, and reduced my need for massage. I have attended all of the trainings available, and am a certified body rolling therapist/teacher.
Many people think that there is some magical or complicated technique required to give a massage. My experience is that anyone can learn how to use their hands in a way that will give pleasure and comfort to themselves and others.
The easiest way to learn is to sign up at a local massage school or community college for a massage basics class. If that is not possible, purchase a massage basics video. There are a few that we could recommend. Next would be a book. And lastly, just practice! On yourself is a good start, and then on a friend or lover. Just ask them to give you feedback. I’ve been giving massages for over 20 years, and I still ask my clients and friends for feedback. Everyone is different, so don’t take the feedback personally. You are just trying to find the pressure and kind of touch that that person prefers.
MASSAGE, CHIROPRACTIC & ACUPUNCTURE
These are 3 primary forms of Alternative Medicine. If I can’t fix the problem myself, they are my first line of help. They do cost a bit of money. In an ideal world, we would get some form of treatment on a regular basis. I’ve never forgotten the fact that Bob Hope got a massage every day! I often arrange to do trades with friends or colleagues.
Massage is good for you because our bodies love to be touched. And a good therapist can help remind the body to relax and let go of unnecessary tensions. In the past, massage was about getting the muscles worked on. The field of massage is expanding exponentially, and now there are forms of massage that work on the nervous system, the lymphatic system, the craniosacral system, and on. Start with what is available, and as you learn more, more opportunities will present themselves.
FREQUENCY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN DURATION
This seems to be a basic principle; even if you were trying to learn a new instrument, the teacher would tell you that 4 sessions of 15 minutes is better than one 1 hour session. Notice how long it takes for your body to become painful. Then plan on getting a massage a bit earlier.
PROPER POSTURE/BODY MECHANICS
We live in a culture that is very mental and very sedentary. Sitting has become the dominant posture. It is also the worst possible position for the lower back, since all of the weight of the upper body is directed onto the lower back. As a result, lower back pain has become a big business.
My recommendation to you is that you try to move as much as possible. The human body was not built to stay in one position for a long time. The problem with long term sitting is that the muscles used to sit have to stay contracted for extremely long periods. If you moved around, got up, and stretched, your body would be much happier.
The next most important thing is to try and keep the natural curves of the spine in place. This requires that you keep the lower back arched, and the head aligned, as if you were a puppet, and there was a string coming out the top of your head.
Next, be careful when bending over, and when lifting objects. Use your legs for both; bend the knees rather than the torso. And keep boxes close to the body. Imagine yourself as a lever; the further away the object, the more weight imposed on the torso. AND TRY NOT TO TWIST!! Lifting and twisting is the perfect formula for pain.
As a Marriage and Family Counselor, I have seen the power of the mind cause pain and illness. It used to be called psychosomatic illness. Now we know that probably 90% of all illness is psychosomatic.
So, if you have back pain, ask yourself some questions:
How am I feeling?
Do I have any unfinished issues/conflicts with anyone in my life?
If my pain could speak, what would it say? Who would it say it to?
Metaphysically, lower back pain is considered to have to do with survival issues, i.e., money problems. Upper back pain is more about withheld resentment, and being overburdened.
Taking care of your emotional life will have profound results in terms of all therapist
evaluating pain in your body. Every experience you have ever had that has not been resolved is held in the muscles and organs of the body. If your Dad hit you when you were young, and you couldn’t strike back, that is all still sitting in your shoulders, waiting to be expressed.
I highly recommend taking advantage of the many counselors and therapist services available to us nowadays. Our parents weren’t so fortunate; they really didn’t have anyone to go to, other than maybe their priest or minister. Prevention keeps your back pain free!
Regular exercise is an important component of any balanced, healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, for many people chronic lower back pain makes exercise-or just about any other type of activity-painful and sometimes impossible.
Lower back pain affects each of us at some point in our lives and is one of the leading causes for physician visits. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), approximately six million Americans each year see their physician because of lower back pain, and nearly 500,000 require hospitalization.
However, as medical professionals learn more about the causes and effects of chronic back pain, their approaches to treatment are changing. For example, fewer doctors prescribe bed rest. Not only can that course of treatment result in stiff or weakened muscles, but physical inactivity can lead to more serious long-term problems, such as weight gain, heart disease and diabetes. Today’s patients have a range of treatment options, with most encouraging at least some type of physical activity.
Experts say that moderate exercise, three to five times per week, will not only improve overall fitness but will also decrease the likelihood of further back injury. Here are a few tips from the North American Spine Society and The Physician and Sports medicine Journal to help get you back to a regular exercise regimen:
Use physician-approved stretches to loosen the lower and upper back and related muscles, including hamstrings and quadriceps.
Strengthen muscles that support the back and work to improve the back’s flexibility.
Do exercise with proper form to maximize benefits and minimize strain.
“We always try to perform treatments that help patients maintain and even increase their level of activity. A person in good physical shape is much less likely than an inactive one to injure their back during work or daily activities,” says Nagy Mekhail, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Pain Management at the Cleveland Clinic. “Healthy living means lower-back-pain sufferers see better results. Those who cannot be active take longer to recover.”
When lower back pain interferes with daily activities and exercise, patients should consult a physician to learn more about their condition and treatment options.
For some patients, nonoperative therapeutic treatments such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and physical therapy may provide relief. For others, lower back pain can be traced to the slow degeneration of the vertebral discs, a condition known as chronic “disc-related or disco genic” lower back pain. With age or injury, cracks and fissures may develop in the wall of the disc. Small nerve endings find their way into the cracks causing chronic pain. Patients with this type of pain may benefit from aggressive procedures such as spinal fusion and disc replacement surgery or minimally invasive approaches, such as the Intradiscal ElectroThermal Therapy procedure.
Clinical studies indicate that 60 to 80 percent of IDET procedure patients achieve a 50 percent reduction in lower back pain following the procedure. Studies also show that patients require less medication after the procedure to manage pain, and are more likely to return to work.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, it is possible that you will benefit from a carefully constructed exercise program. However, those who have fibromyalgia are often not in the best of shape, so it is important to implement the exercise carefully and with a plan in mind. Here are some exercise tips for fibromyalgia sufferers that can help you to feel better and get your active lifestyle back again.
If you have fibromyalgia, you may not feel like exercising. So, then, why do it? Part of implementing exercise to cope with fibromyalgia is understanding why you would do that.
Exercise can lessen your pain and prevent weakness of your muscles. Endurance exercise, like walking and cycling, can help you become stronger overall and give you additional energy. In a nutshell, exercise will help you feel better overall. As long as you do it the right way, exercise can be one of the most effective treatments for those who suffer from fibromyalgia.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you know that you are not usually energetic and that your body has likely become somewhat stagnant. Because of the blow to your overall physical fitness, you should make sure you start slowly. With that in mind, one of the best exercise tips or fibromyalgia suffers is to go from low amounts and intensities in your workouts and work up to the higher ones and longer sessions. Helpful exercises for those with fibromyalgia include low impact exercises, walking, and anything that may be designed for those with arthritis. Water exercise classes and programs, in fact, are as good as any for those with fibromyalgia.
No matter what exercise you choose to help you with your fibromyalgia, you have to stretch first. No matter what, one of the top exercise tips for fibromyalgia sufferers you will get is to stretch. Stretching helps your body warm up before activity begins. Additionally, it is its own type of exercise and can improve blood flow. You will also greatly reduce the risk of injury as you exercise if you remember to stretch first.
Soreness is Okay
Another one of the exercise tips for fibromyalgia sufferers is to expect some soreness. Listen to your body and make sure you don’t overdo things, but when you start a new exercise program, you are going to feel some soreness. As you continue your program and become stronger, though, the soreness will likely begin to subside. If, though, the pain gets worse or is intense, then it is time to cut back on the exercise. Additionally, talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program to make sure your fibromyalgia will cause no complications. If he or she gives you the okay then you will be on your way to feeling better and being happier.
With the help of these exercise tips for fibromyalgia sufferers, you can aid in your own treatment. Exercise will help you feel stronger and increase your stamina. Before you know it, if you plan it right, you will be exercising more and feeling your fibromyalgia less. In the end, isn’t that the only goal you really have?
The thyroid regulates the rate of energy production in the body’s cells. Thyroid disorder reduces the body’s metabolism and makes you feel sluggish.
Thyroid disorder also increases your risk of degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis and your risk of widespread infection. In severe cases, the energy level in the body’s cells cannot even sustain a basic level of metabolism, creating a life-threatening situation.
One major problem with thyroid disorder is that it’s often missed in diagnostic tests. Even if tests show that you do not have a thyroid disorder, you might still be at risk. If your body is highly acidic, your risk of thyroid disorder increases.
Thus, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with thyroid disorder, it’s important to check your body’s overall pH level and take dietary and other steps to reduce the acid level in your body.
You will not only reduce your chances of developing thyroid disorder or making an existing thyroid disorder even worse. You will improve your health overall and reduce your vulnerability to degenerative disease.
Accumulation of acids in your body, due to insufficient digestion of food, food allergies and consumption of acid-forming substances, can cause thyroid disorder. Acid-related causes of thyroid disorder also include exposure to heavy metals and toxic chemicals in the water supply and in highly processed food. When your body’s acid level rises too high, your thyroid function will be depressed and your metabolism will slow.
Lack of digestive enzymes, also caused by over-consumption of processed foods, further causes your thyroid disorder. Your body’s ability to neutralize acids is further reduced. As you get older, the more toxins you’re exposed to, the more likely you will develop a thyroid disorder if you haven’t already.
With a thyroid disorder, your body’s cells and organs will not metabolize as quickly as they should. The presence of excess acid only makes the problem worse. Your cells and organs will become overrun with acid that they need to eliminate, but your thyroid disorder will reduce their ability to deal with these acids. The acid, in turn, will perpetuate or worsen your thyroid disorder.
For example, a sluggish thyroid reinforces the digestive problems that cause acid to accumulate in your body. Because a thyroid disorder slows your cellular metabolism, it reduces your body’s ability to eliminate acid waste. The more acid-forming substances you consume, the more this cycle repeats.
Thyroid disorder also reduces your immune system function, leading to chronic infection. With the accumulation of acid in your body, infection will spread quickly, further reducing your body’s ability to neutralize acids.
As with other organs, the thyroid needs glucose and oxygen to function. When acid waste accumulates in the bloodstream, these vital substances cannot get through. Without adequate oxygen and glucose, thyroid function is reduced. The resulting thyroid disorder further reduces the body’s ability to clear the bloodstream of these acids that prevent the oxygen and glucose from getting through.
THE BENEFITS OF A BALANCED pH
Because thyroid discover causes so many other degenerative diseases, a thyroid that functions properly can restore health in so many other areas of your body. When you neutralize the acids in your body and eliminate acid-forming substances from your diet, you give your thyroid a chance to heal. Improved thyroid function will, in turn, help your other body organs function properly.
To neutralize acids and restore your body’s pH balance, you need to reduce or eliminate consumption of acidic foods and other acidic substances. Adding more alkaline foods and minerals to your diet can help restore thyroid disorder. As your acid level falls, you’ll find that your thyroid function will increase. Your body’s metabolism will increase as a result, and you’ll be able to neutralize acids even further. The end result will be restored health, higher energy, and a decreased risk of thyroid disorder.
Guaranteed weight loss is a goal that millions of people in the developed world are striving for. Sometimes losing weight can be vital to even staying alive, and that only adds to the pressures. Whether you are in that extremely serious situation, or whether you just want to lose a few pounds for appearance’s sake, guaranteeing weight loss is not easy. Keep reading to discover some methods which will guarantee your weight loss, so long as you apply them.
This is a very intense form of aerobic exercise, and is sure to produce results if you can keep up a consistent regime of a few minutes each day. Boxers use skipping as part of some of the most arduous training regimes in sport. Keep up a consistent skipping regime, and you will lose weight. It also has the advantage of being cheap, and it is even possible to skip indoors.
2. Replace other carbohydrates with baked or boiled potatoes.
Not all carbohydrates are equal, and some, like fries, have been cooked in oil or fat. A baked or boiled potato will still be filling, but without the extra calories of so many of the other choices. Keep this up consistently, and it can make a major difference.
3. Weight loss means hard work.
For most of us, weight loss is not that hard. So much comes down to consistently applying the method you have decided on. More often than not, the people who are not seeing the desired results are the ones who are not consistently following their plan. Provided your plan is sound and coherent, hard work will guarantee success.
4. Don’t rely on just diet, or just exercise.
Trying to lose weight by only concentrating on one side of the equation is very much doing things the hard way. We especially see people relying on diet, and not doing any exercise. This will mean that the metabolism of the body is not stimulated to burn fat as well as it should be, making the dieting that much harder.
So many people dream of being able to lose weight in a guaranteed way. That dream is not impossible, provided you are prepared to work hard at it.
Fibromyalgia is a neurological chronic condition that affects the musculoskeletal tissues of the body. The disorder is mostly responsible for inducing discomfort, pain and fatigue in the muscles, ligaments, tendons and in the areas surrounding the joints. People who suffer from fibromyalgia are constantly confronted with intense pain that tends to reoccur on a regular time basis. The pain caused by the disorder is felt deep inside the muscles and in certain points called trigger points. A common feature to all people with fibromyalgia is the location of the pain; to all patients fibromyalgia pain occurs in the same trigger points. Although people with fibromyalgia perceive the pain at different intensities, they claim to permanently feel a different level of pain in their soft muscular tissues.
An interesting aspect of fibromyalgia is that it can be very difficult to detect in some patients. The symptoms of fibromyalgia are common to many other conditions and therefore they can be misleading in establishing the appropriate diagnose. Although some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia may resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis, people with fibromyalgia seem to be in perfect health when they are examined by a physician, revealing no signs of muscular dysfunctions. Basic physical examinations and common laboratory tests usually don’t reveal the presence of fibromyalgia. This is due to the fact that pain, fatigue and discomfort are mentally induced to patients with fibromyalgia, as a consequence of abnormal activity of their nervous system. Although they show no physical abnormalities or dysfunctions, their experienced pain is real!
Abnormal brain activity is considered to be the main cause of fibromyalgia and there are two areas of the brain thought to be involved in the process. A high output of the mesencephalon (the upper region of the brain) accelerates the heart rate, increases blood pressure and raises the body temperature. People with fibromyalgia often experience sudden changes in body temperature and sometimes they sweat abundantly and even have fever. Also, a high activity of the mesencephalon is responsible for difficulties in falling asleep and inconstant sleep patterns. Most people who suffer from fibromyalgia have trouble sleeping and in some cases they even suffer from insomnia. Therefore, the cause for fibromyalgia lack of sleep is thought to be the abnormal activity of the mesencephalon. The permanent fatigue felt throughout the whole body by people with the disorder is amplified by inappropriate sleeping patterns, un-refreshing sleep or insomnia.
Another part of the brain that is considered to be responsible for inducing other fibromyalgia symptoms (anxiety, depression, lack of concentration, poor cognitive abilities, loss of short-term memory and confusion) is the cerebellum. A lower activity of the cerebellum is thought to be the cause of other fibromyalgia symptoms and the majority of people who suffer from the disorder reveal abnormal activity of both cerebellum and mesencephalon.
Fibromyalgia is considered to be a serious condition. Due to the chronic character of fibromyalgia, patients require ongoing treatment and therapy. If left untreated, fibromyalgia can cause other symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and swelling, vomiting, internal distress. Many people with fibromyalgia also seem to become depressed as the disorder develops and sometimes they even indulge in suicidal acts. Therefore, it is vital to spot the presence of fibromyalgia in time and appropriate measures must be taken in order to prevent further complications and undesirable effects.
The word aerobic literally means “with oxygen” or “in the presence of oxygen.” Aerobic exercise is any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously for a long period of time and is rhythmic in nature. Aerobic exercises utilize oxygen as the major fuel for sustaining activity for relatively long periods.
In general, aerobic exercises are those activities that require large muscle work, elevate the heart rate to between 60 percent and 80 percent of maximal heart rate, are continuous in nature and are of 15 to 60 minutes in duration. An aerobically fit individual can work longer, more vigorously and achieve a quicker recovery at the end of the aerobic session.
Aerobic exercises fall in two categories:
Low to Moderate Impact aerobics – These include walking, swimming, stair climbing, step classes, light water aerobics, rowing and cross-country skiing. Nearly anyone in reasonable health can engage in some low- to moderate-impact exercise. Brisk walking burns more calories than jogging for the same distance because it takes more time to walk than jog that distance and poses less risk for injury to muscle and bone.
High-Impact aerobics – Activities that belong to this group include running, dance exercise, tennis, racquetball and squash. High-impact aerobics should be performed on alternate days. People who are overweight, elderly, out of condition or have an injury or other medical problem should do them even less frequently and only with clearance from their doctor.
Here are some of the many aerobic exercises you can do and because of the variety you have to choose from, it can not only take the boredom out of doing it, it can make doing it downright fun as well.
Walking is a popular form of exercise because it requires little in terms of equipment or facilities. Walking an extra 20 minutes each day will burn off 7 pounds of body fat per year. Longer, moderately-paced daily walks are best for losing weight.
In jogging or running, an individual is able to cover greater distances in a shorter period of time. Therefore, greater numbers of calories can be burned per time spent.
Choreographed aerobic dance is a very popular form of exercise throughout the world. Aerobic dance helps in toning up the muscles of the body and many people find it fun to do as well.
Step aerobics incorporates the use of a step or bench typically about one foot wide and three feet long and about six inches high. Instructors use many moves that require participants to step up and down from the platform. This way, the activity will not be boring and tiring, but will be lively and motivating.
Water aerobics incorporates a variety of movements from both swimming and land aerobics to develop vigorous routines that are aerobic in nature. It utilizes the resistance to movement that water creates to elevate heart rates and also helps you if balancing yourself on land is difficult. It is a good way to lose weight.
Swimming is a very popular form of regular exercise. Due to the resistance of water, the amount of energy required to swim a certain distance is greater than that needed to run or walk the same distance. In other words, swimming can burn more calories than running per time spent.
Stationary cycling or bicycling are excellent forms of aerobic exercise when done continuously. Like swimming, cycling is a non-weight bearing activity that builds muscular endurance and strength and improved flexibility of selected muscles of the legs and thighs.
Jumping rope can be a great aerobic workout as long as it is performed at a slow to moderate pace and is done continuously for a relatively long period of time (15 minutes or more).
The key to effective weight loss is through use of a healthy exercise program which is performed on a regular basis while following a healthy dieting & nutritional plan. Aerobic exercise is good for weight loss because it uses more calories than other activities and helps raise your metabolic rate.
This helps your body burn calories at a faster rate. It is an effective way to lose fat only if you are motivated enough to do it frequently. Aerobics only burns fat during the workout itself. So if you want encouraging results you need to be able to exercise daily and for longer periods.
If you have hurt your neck in any way, the best thing to do is rest and call your Chiropractor. Lie back with an ice pack wrapped around the painful area for 30 minutes. Take an anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen 600 mg four times a day. Repeat cold packs 30 minutes, four times a day for two days. After a few days, gentle heat may be used intermittently to relax the area. Don’t overdo the heat, it can make you more sore. Limit it to about 20 minutes four times a day. Get back to your activities as quickly as you can. After a day of activity, an ice pack in the evening can reduce the next day stiffness.
Once you feel well enough, you will want to move onto the Rehab stage. Begin to restore your neck’s mobility. Begin by warming the neck for 10 minutes. Some light aerobic activity may help loosen the muscles. While sitting, tilt your neck forward until you begin to feel the stretch. Hold there for 30 seconds, relax a minute, then repeat 5 times. Do the stretch in the backwards direction, then tilting to each side (ear towards shoulder), then rotating (chin towards shoulder). Hold each stretch for 30 seconds, repeating 5 times. If the discomfort has increased after the stretches, cold-pack the neck for 30 minutes. Repeat the exercises twice a day.
For more active exercise, use the palm of your hand as a ‘graded resistance machine.’ Put your palm against your forehead, and push your neck against it. Slowly push the hand forward with your head until the neck is fully bent, then let the head return to the neutral position while continuing resistance.
Repeat 10 times. Do the exercise for backward motion (with both hands behind your head), then with side-tilt (with a palm against your scalp just above the ear). Do the exercises twice a day.
As with all exercise, you need to listen to your body, keep the back of the neck and spine lengthened and the rib cage lifted. Remember to breathe as you work with the different exercises.
However, seeing a doctor is vital for all strains with a significant mechanism of injury or for severe, persistent, or unexplained symptoms or problems. As with other conditions, supportive self-care is often enough for you to have a complete recovery. Your Chiropractor will be able to give you great advice on how to best treat a neck condition.
If you need to lose a few extra pounds but feel you’ve hit a plateau, there are several ways to get your body back in the weight loss mode. A plateau is when you’re no longer losing weight though it seems nothing has changed in your diet or exercise routine. Your body has adapted to the diet and now refuses to budge. So you must make some changes to boost your weight loss again. These five free weight loss tips can help.
One way to overcome a plateau while maintaining a healthy weight loss plan is to change your calorie intake. Monitor how many calories you’re eating and decrease them slightly to see if your weight scale moves again. You might try the zigzag method as well. To do this, decrease calories one day, and then increase calories the next. This helps shift your body out of its comfort zone. Only make minor adjustments and monitor your weight with each small change.
If you usually eat a chocolate bar as a mid-afternoon snack, try replacing this with a fruit or vegetable. Eat apples, bananas, carrots and low-fat dip, or celery and low-fat dip instead of chocolate. Fruits and vegetables are not only filling, but they also promote healthy weight loss.
Another way to boost weight loss and get your body moving again is to increase your exercise time. Instead of 30 minutes a day, try exercising 45 minutes a day. Walk every chance you get. Walking is a great (non-strenuous) exercise that helps your heart and promotes healthy weight loss. Park your car a little farther from the mall than usual when shopping. Walk your dog twice a day instead of only once. Take a walk during your breaks at work. These small changes can make a big difference in your weight loss efforts.
Are you eating mainly sugar and carbohydrates on your weight loss diet? If so, try replacing one or two of these with a protein-rich food. Protein is a proven fat burner and energy booster, and many weight trainers use it to boost their workouts. Protein also helps you fill full longer so you’re less likely to be hungry an hour later. There are protein snack bars on the market now so you can easily get a boost during the day. Other changes you can make include increasing your water and fiber intake if you feel you’re not getting enough of these.
Instead of eating three large meals a day, try eating smaller, more frequent meals. Reduce portion sizes at your regular meals, and add small snacks in between each meal. This helps boost your metabolism and keeps you from being hungry during the day and splurging at night.
Keep in mind that fast weight loss can be unhealthy, but you might lose fast at the start of any diet or when overcoming a plateau. This is normal. These tips are to help you break the plateau so you can start losing weight again. Weight loss diets can help you feel and look better than you ever have before. Use these ideas to break through your plateau today so you can reach your future weight loss goals.