Ever suffer from back pain? A long day at work, heavy lifting, a new workout, an uncomfortable mattress, or even chores around the house can cause an aching back. You may feel like taking it easy, but staying active with back exercises will help relieve back pain and bring healing faster than rest.
If you’re prone to back aches and pains, these stretches are for you. Just 10 to 15 minutes a day of these simple exercises will stretch and strengthen your back muscles as well as surrounding support muscles. And lucky for you, most of these exercises are done on the floor with little to no equipment needed. Repeat each exercise three times at least once a day.
Do note that if you’ve suffered a back injury or have osteoporosis, consult with your physician prior to doing these stretches.
Lower Back Rotation
Get on the floor and lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. While keeping your shoulders against the floor, roll your knees over to the left side. Hold this position for 10 seconds, and then bring your knees back up. Now roll your knees over to the right side and hold.
Knee to Chest
In the same position on the floor as the lower back rotation (on your back with knees bent), take both hands and reach down and grab your left knee. Pull it up toward your chest and hold it there for 20–30 seconds. Return to the starting position. Now pull the right knee up toward your chest and hold. Lastly, pull both knees at the same time and hold.
As a variation, work another back muscle by crossing your right knee over your left knee and raising your left knee toward your chest. Switch legs and repeat.
Another back exercise is the bridge. Again, start by lying on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Keep your head and shoulders on the ground and contract your abs and glute muscles. Raise your hips up toward the ceiling and hold this position for about 30 seconds and lower. Repeat.
Arch Like a Cat
On the floor, get on your hands and knees. Let your back and belly lower toward the floor. Slowly raise your abs toward the ceiling, making an arch with your back. You’ll look like a scared cat. Lower your abs down, and repeat several times.
Seated Lower Back Rotation
To do this exercise, get off the floor. Sit up straight in a chair with your right leg crossed over your left leg. With your left elbow against the outside of your right thigh, twist your torso and stretch toward the right side. Hold for 10 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
This is a good back exercise to do several times during the day if you’re sitting at a desk for long periods of time.
Lower back pain is often caused by a tight hamstring muscle. Lie on your back with your legs straight. Bring your left knee up to your chest, then straighten your left leg and lift your foot towards the ceiling. Lower your leg back down, and repeat with your right leg.
Another exercise you can do while sitting in a chair is a hamstring stretch. Sit on the edge of the chair, straighten one leg and lift your foot as high as you can.
Stretch and strengthen your back muscles as well as your core and abdominals with the bird dog exercise. Get on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Point your fingers forward, and keep you back straight. Lift your left arm straight in front of you at the same time you lift and straighten your right leg behind you. Lower, and then raise your right arm and your left leg. Continue alternating sides.
Following a head injury, there are many things of which to be concerned. Top on the list is often a concussion. An injury to your brain that affects the way your brain works, a concussion can be scary business and should be treated seriously. So if a concussion is suspected, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Whether a person is severely shaken or has a blow to the head while playing contact sports, suffers from a bad car accident, or takes a hard fall, how can you know if he or she has suffered a concussion? Here’s what to look for following a head injury and what you can do to reduce the risk for long-term injury.
It’s often difficult to tell if someone has suffered a concussion because symptoms may not appear immediately but may take several days or weeks to present themselves. In fact, a concussion can result with an injury that seems relatively minor. There may be no outward sign of trauma or cuts, bruises, or a bump where the head was impacted, but a concussion may be lurking.
Since a concussion is a brain injury, it will temporarily alter a person’s feelings of consciousness, thoughts, and normal brain function. Dizziness, unusual tiredness, ringing in the ears, and confusion are common. Most concussions do not result in loss of consciousness.
What to Watch For
Perhaps your son plays football and sustains a blow to the head. Maybe your toddler fell off the top bunk. If you’re worried a concussion is possible, look for the following symptoms:
- nausea or vomiting
- difficulty walking, loss of balance, or decreased coordination
- weakness or numbness
- slurred speech
- trouble sleeping or being overly tired
- loss of short-term memory
- sensitivity to light
- unable to taste or smell
- unusual irritability or crankiness
- fuzzy vision or unevenly sized pupils
If you notice any of these symptoms following a head injury, seek medical attention. There’s no such thing as a “minor” brain injury, so all concussions should be evaluated by a professional. If you’re unsure if there’s a concussion, play it safe by calling a physician anyway.
Diagnosis and Treatment
To determine if someone has a concussion, the doctor will perform a neurological exam and brain imaging tests (usually a CT scan). It may take time, but most people experience a full recovery following a concussion. Unfortunately, severe cases may lead to long-term memory and problem-solving impairments. The more concussions a person experiences in life, the greater the risk of long term damage. (So football, rugby, and other contact sport players beware!)
With a concussion, the most important treatment is rest. Taking it easy and avoiding activities that require focused attention (playing video games, watching TV, or using the computer) will help your brain heal. Tylenol can be taken to relieve headaches.
The most dangerous type of concussion is one that happens soon after a previous concussion before the first one has had time to heal. In such a case, a concussion may cause permanent brain damage or even death. This is why rest is so important following a concussion. Recognize when you’ve suffered a concussion and avoid activities that put you at risk for subsequent blows to the head until you are sure a concussion is fully healed.
While you can’t avoid all concussions, there are steps you can take to lessen the likelihood of head injuries. A good first step is to always wear a helmet while participating in any kind of contact or dangerous sport or when riding a bike.
Additionally, never dive in a pool that’s less than 9 feet deep, wear a seat belt whenever you’re in a moving vehicle, and never drive intoxicated. Inside your house, take steps to ensure your home is as accident proof as possible. Keep the floor clear of toys, secure area rugs, install safety gates and handrails on stairways, and pad sharp corners.
(Get in Shape and Help Dearborn’s Homeless Animals!)
Dearborn, MI – January 9, 2013 Nick Lopez, CEO/Founder of Dearborn based Weapons 4 Weight Loss, a Dearborn fitness boot camp/personal training program, is going to donate $1000 to Friends For The Dearborn Animal Shelter in order to help local homeless animals. Lopez will accomplish this by donating $50 for every new client that joins his fun, high-energy boot camp program from January 15 to Febuary 15.
Claim your FREE week of boot camp ===> CLICK HERE
“I’m finally in a position to donate back to the community. The shelter does so many great things, with their help, I’m now able to help more people lose weight AND help all these animals find a loving home.” Lopez said.
The Weapons 4 Weight Loss program is perfect for any fitness level and incorporates fun, fat-burning exercises in an addictive sweat-inducing workout. A full nutrition guide and personalized meal plans are also included to ensure maximum fat loss.
The mission of the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter is to provide loving care and sanctuary to animals, encourage adoptions and reunions, and promote respect, responsibility, and compassion for all animals.
The indoor fitness camp meets Mondays through Friday at 6:30am and Tuesdays through Fridays at 8pm at Sokol Cultural Gymnastic Center in Deaborn Heights. New times and locations will be added in the coming weeks.
Sessions include muscle strengthening and toning, cardiovascular conditioning, core stabilization, balance and flexibility training. Lopez guarantees twice the calorie burn in half the time of traditional health club workouts.
To get started with the Weapons 4 Weight Loss Bootcamp Program please contact Nick Lopez at (313) 686-1989
Claim your FREE week of boot camp ===> CLICK HERE
Improve your memory with these tried and true techniques.
Oh, if you only had the memory of a child! Kids can memorize and remember facts so easily. They remember conversations you had months ago, nail down their times tables in a matter of days, and spout off the bones of the body as if it’s no big deal.
Well, you may not consider yourself to be elderly, but that doesn’t mean your brain is working at the speed of kid. Seeing an old friend and not being able to remember her name or being unable to recall a phone number you’ve dialed so many times are unnerving experiences.
Yes, aging plays a role in memory loss. Each passing decade, the part of the brain responsible for memory (the hippocampus) shrinks five percent. In addition, as you age, your body produces less and less of a key neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory.
However, these facts shouldn’t depress you. Your brain still has the power to learn and retain new information. By incorporating the following techniques into your daily life, you can enhance your memory capabilities.
Exercise Your Mind
Muscles that don’t get used will shrink and turn to flab. The same goes for your brain. A strong mind is one that’s used a lot. Sitting on the couch watching TV all day isn’t going to do much for your brain. In order to keep your memory sharp, do activities that stimulate your mind. Do a daily crossword or sudoku puzzle, read the newspaper, practice a musical instrument, volunteer in the community (communicating with others and facing new situations helps your brain), and play online brain-training games.
Exercise Your Body
Regular physical activity is vital for a strong, healthy brain. Obesity increases your risk for Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, both which are responsible for damaging your brain. Clogged arteries strain your heart and prevent adequate amounts of blood to flow to the brain. Exercise combats this by increasing blood flow to all parts of the body and delivering the oxygen and nutrients the body needs for optimal functioning.
Don’t believe it? Research has shown that people who exercise have bigger brains! Get 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week and your brain will stay as large as possible. Go for a walk, ride a bike, or go swimming—whatever you prefer. Just get moving!
Long-term stress, anger, anxiety, and depression are harmful to the areas in your brain that handle memory. One symptom of depression is trouble concentrating. Without concentration, you’ll have trouble learning new things and will forget things.
Depression and other stressors increase the body’s production of cortisol. High levels of this hormone diminish the size of the hippocampus. If you’re depressed, talk with your doctor about treatment options and learn healthy ways to manage the other stress in your life.
Have a Drink…or Two
The connection between alcohol and memory is complicated. Too much alcohol can have an immediate negative effect on brain function, and abusing alcohol damages your brain cells. On the other hand, if you are able to drink in moderation, go for it. A drink or two a day for men and women who are not pregnant is actually beneficial to memory and cognition. Studies have shown that one to two glasses of wine a day may reduce your risk for developing Alzheimer’s by 45 percent.
Go to Bed Earlier
Getting enough hours of quality sleep each night is a great way to improve your memory skills. It’s during sleep that your brain registers short-term memories into long-term ones. Additionally, as you sleep, cerebrospinal fluid is busy flushing toxins out of the brain to keep the brain healthy. It’s no wonder that you’re more able to stay focused, energized, and on the ball when you’re getting plenty of shuteye.
Seek Help When Needed
Slight memory lapses every now and then are disconcerting, but probably nothing to worry about. But if memory loss is interfering with your daily life and causing you anxiety, see your doctor.
How would you like to have a perfect start to every morning?
Here’s some tips to get out of the house happy, whole, and on time.
You had to coax your teenager out of bed. Your son couldn’t find his shoes. Your husband needed his shirt ironed. You ran out of milk right when your daughter is ready to eat breakfast.
Sound like a morning you’ve experienced? Getting everyone ready and out of the house on time can be a stressful event. Those rare mornings when everyone is cheerful and everything goes smoothly are like something out of a dream.
Why can’t more mornings be stress-free? Whether it’s too little time, a lack of sleep, or just bad luck, rough mornings are expected.
But here are some tips to make good mornings the norm rather than the exception.
The Night Before
A good morning starts about 12 hours before the morning. For things to go as smooth and hassle-free as possible, it takes a little planning and preparation. Part of your kids’ bedtime routine should include laying out clothes, socks, and shoes that are to be worn the next day. Homework should be finished and backpacks packed and set by the door.
It’s not just the kids who need to prep the night before. Adults should also. Lay out clothes for the next day. No more trying on three outfits before choosing the one you like. Make sure clothes are cleaned and ironed, and finally, take a shower before bed so you don’t have to in the morning.
No one wants to wake up to a messy kitchen. A sink full of dirty dishes is a depressing sight first thing in the morning. Make the morning more pleasant by washing dishes the night before. While you’re at it, check on breakfast and lunch food supplies to make sure you have what you need.
Want an even easier morning? Make lunches the night before. Kids can take part in this routine. Anything that doesn’t require refrigeration can be packed in their lunch boxes.
It’s amazing what a good night’s rest can do for everyone’s attitude in the morning. A regular bed and wake time each day helps ensure quality sleep, feeling refreshed in the morning, and having an easier time getting out of bed.
School-age kids need 10–11 hours of sleep a night, teenagers need 8.5 to 10 hours, and adults need between 7 and nine hours. Adjust bedtimes to ensure everyone is getting the sleep they need for a good morning.
Create a Routine
Kids function best when they know what’s expected of them and when it’s expected. This is why routine is so important. Every morning should progress in a similar manner.
It will possibly look a little different for each family, but for kids it may go something like this: turn off alarm, get dressed, put on shoes, do hair, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get jackets on, gather backpacks and lunch boxes, and go out the door. Kids begging to watch television? No screen time until they’re completely ready to go!
If you’re rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off more mornings than not, it’s time to reevaluate your routine. Start preparing at night or wake up a few minutes earlier than usual.
Remember—your kids pick up on your stress. Seeing you frazzled can stress them out and cause them to act out. When you’re struggling to get out the door, this is the last thing you need. When things get hectic, remain calm for your sake as well as your kids.
A Team Effort
Getting out of the house in a timely manner is a team effort. All it takes is one lost shoe to throw everyone off. If one person is ready, he or she should help others get prepared for the day. Though they can’t do everything, kids need to pull their own weight and learn responsibility and discipline. Mom and dad shouldn’t be relied on for everything. School-age kids should know how to dress themselves and pour their own cereal.
Team players encourage each other in their race to the finish. Stay positive and reward good efforts. Pretty soon, the good mornings will outnumber the bad!