July 13, 2012
July 12, 2012
This morning, you probably didn’t think twice about slinging a work tote over your shoulder or picking your sneakers up off the floor. But there may come a time when one of those simple motions will trigger a backache bad enough to cause you to call in sick, see a doctor, or at the very least, take a few painkillers . According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, four out of five women will develop a back injury at some point in their lives. But with a few simple changes, you can prevent yourself from becoming a statistic. The trick, says Douglas Chang, M.D., chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center, is separating the misconceptions from the facts. We asked Chang and other experts to set the record straight on how to best prevent and heal aches and pains.
MYTH #1 Lifting heavy objects will strain your back
Just grabbing a pen off the floor? It’s still important to be careful, because simply twisting the wrong way can harm your back. “One of the worst moves is bending over to the side while staying seated with your feet planted on the floor,” says Rahul Shah, M.D., an orthopedic spine surgeon in Winter Park, Florida. “Twisting your back  in two directions at once may strain the disks that cushion your spinal vertebrae.” This repetitive trauma builds up over the years and can weaken your spine. “If your back is already vulnerable,” says Shah, “the wrong movement could easily trigger an injury.”
MYTH #2 Sitting up straight keeps your spine in line
What’s a woman to do? Adjust your posture a few times a day, recommends Shah. “Lean back in your chair with your feet on the ground and make sure there’s a slight curve in your lower back.” That way, he explains, you’ll distribute your body weight more evenly, as your shoulders  and upper back muscles  will take some of the pressure off your spine. If you often find yourself slouching at your desk at the end of the workday, consider using a cushion to support your lower back and keep your spine in alignment.
What may be even more important than sitting correctly is taking frequent breaks from your desk throughout the day. To boost circulation in your back  muscles and lessen fatigue, stand up every half hour and take a five-minute stroll or stretch every hour. Do some of your work while standing up to give your spine a little reprieve. Take a phone call on your feet, or place a report on top of a waist-high filing cabinet so you can stand and read it.
July 11, 2012
Feeling sore and achy? Discover four highly effective self massage moves that will bring you quick relief!
Ease tight leg muscles
Sit on the floor with legs extended. With hands in fists, press knuckles into tops of thighs and slowly push them toward knees. Keep pressing down as you return to start position and repeat. Continue, changing your direction and pressure to focus on sore spots, for one minute.
Soothe sore forearms
Make a fist with left hand, elbow bent and palm facing up. Wrap right hand around left forearm, thumb on top. Rotate left forearm so that palm faces the floor, then turn it back up. Continue for 30 seconds, moving right hand around to focus on tender areas. Repeat on opposite arm.
Work out back kinks
Sit on a chair with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and bend forward at the hips. Bend arms behind you, palms facing away from you, and make fists. Knead circles into your lower back on either side of your spine. Continue, working your way up, for a minute or more.
Relieve Foot Pain
Sit on a chair with feet on the floor and place a golf ball (or a tennis ball, if that is all you have) under ball of left foot. Slowly move foot forward and back for 30 seconds, then in circles for 30 seconds, pressing harder on the ball when you feel a tight spot. Repeat on right foot.
July 10, 2012
According to SHAPE Magazine, there are a few other solutions to treating sore muscles. Charlotte Anderson shares with us these non-traditional remedies.
You won’t need a spoonful of sugar to help this medicine go down! Tart cherry juice has rapidly become one of the hottest super foods, thanks to its high level of antioxidants (even more than pomegranates!) and other benefits—one of which is decreased muscle soreness. Try adding a splash to your post-workout smoothie.
One of the few supplements to hold up under research scrutiny, creatine has been shown to help lessen the pain and duration of muscle soreness from an intense strength-training session. Creatine is an amino acid whose job in your body is to funnel energy to your cells, particularly your muscle cells. So more creatine in your system means more energy is available for building and repairing those toned biceps you’ve been working on. Even better, reported side effects like bloating or upset stomach are rare and generally mild.
Funny story: A bunch of Chinese goat herders noticed that their furry friends appeared much peppier after eating a certain type of mushroom. So they did what any curious goat herder would do; they ate some too. Fast forward through a slew of lab and research experiments and now the cordyceps mushroom is available to all, no goat necessary. The ‘shroom works by activating ATP, the energy powerhouses in your cells, to give you “clean” energy without resorting to stimulants.
Magnesium, the primary component of epsom salts, is essential for healthy muscles and is a gentle natural muscle relaxant. The salts, when added to a warm bath or compress, are absorbed by the skin and are actually more effective this way than by taking an oral magnesium supplement. But then do you really need a reason to go take a nice, hot bath?
Your morning latte just got a healthy halo, thanks to University of Georgia researchers who found that taking caffeine, about the equivalent of two cups of coffee, helped reduce muscle soreness in women after a strenuous workout. It works by blocking adenosine, a chemical released by your body in response to injury. Just be careful not to overdo this one, as too much caffeine can cause muscle spasms.
Cheap, easy to use, and according to many very enthusiastic adherents, the best cure for sore muscles since ibuprofen, the foam roller is making huge waves. Foam rolling involves a technique called self-myofascial release, which uses pressure and targeted massage to help prevent scarring of the connective tissue between your muscles (the fascia). Take it easy your first time though; while it looks as easy as falling off a log, falling off this particular log can be very painful until you get used to the amount of pressure you need to use.
July 9, 2012
We’re barely over a week into summer and already we can’t beat the heat.
In fact, this past week alone, more than 1,000 new records were set for daily high temperatures across the country, the AP reported, especially surprising considering records are usually set in July and August. “Any time you’re breaking all-time records in mid- to late-June, that’s a healthy heat wave,” Derek Arndt, head of climate monitoring at the National Climatic Data Center, told the AP.
But a heat wave also takes a toll on our bodies and our health. You’ll notice you start to sweat more as the temp creeps up; that’s your body trying to cool itself off.
You probably also already know to drink extra water on those hot and humid days. Doing so can keep you safe from heat illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and the possibly fatal heat stroke. Young children and elderly adults are especially at risk, HuffPost reported in May, because their bodies are naturally less resilient to the drastic changes in temperature. People taking certain medications may also have an increased risk of adverse reactions to the heat. And, even though a summer barbecue wouldn’t be the same without a cold beer, drinking alcohol outdoors can put you on the fast track to heat illness if you’re not careful.
But would you recognize the symptoms of a more serious reaction to the heat? Take our quiz to find out how to identify heat cramps from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Note: In all cases, no matter what your symptoms, there are some steps to take to ease heat-related illness, which include moving to a shady area or indoors to an air-conditioned space, drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages and taking a cool shower or bath. However, if you see someone exhibiting symptoms of heatstroke or think you may be yourself, seek medical assistance immediately.
July 6, 2012
July 5, 2012
July 4, 2012
July 3, 2012
Source: Organic Gardening
July 2, 2012
Just because you’re in a bad mood doesn’t mean that you have to stay stuck in one. Live these easy, scientifically proven strategies to turn your frown upside down.
1. Quench your Thirst – If you’re cranky or sluggish, that second cup of coffee might not be the best way to perk yourself up. Instead, try a glass of water or another nonalcoholic, caffeine-free beverage. Recent research in the Journal of Nutrition shows that even mild dehydration can cloud a sunny disposition.
2. Play Favorites – there is a good reason you want to watch Bridesmaids over and over. Losing yourself in a much-loved movie or book helps you recapture pleasant memories, according to the American University study. “When you rewatch a comedy you love, for example, your familiarity with the jokes produces a guaranteed high.” says lead author Cristel Russel, Ph.D., an assistant professor of marketing. And the benefits aren’t just limited to laughs: A sad novel can brighten your outlook by sparking self-reflection, which helps you view things from a new perspective and see how much you have grown.
3. Dress Up – “There’s psychological power to clothing, and choosing the right outfit can improve your mood.” says Karen Pine, Ph.D. a professor of developmental psychology at the University of Herfordshire in England. According to her research, “happy” clothes are well cut, figure enhancing, and made from bright beautiful fabrics.
4. Take a Whiff- Sniffing rosemary oil helped workers in a British study feel more content and even slightly improved their performance. And the higher concentration of rosemary in your system, the bigger the mood boost.
Source: July Shape Magazine