Health And Wellness


Health Tips

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Heart Health

How Might Regular Cardiorespiratory Exercise Affect Hypertension? What You Should Know
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Breathing and Health

The Breathing Technique That Helps You to Stay Cool in Summer

After a sweaty HIIT workout, when you’re emotionally heated or angry, but also and especially on a hot summer day - the ancient yogis have thought of you. Maybe not about the HIIT workout, but it works all the same.

The yogis, by sitting in the Himalayas and observing nature and animals’ behaviour have created two breathing exercises that cool the body. Most of the breathing exercises, also called Pranayama, warm up your body, so Sitali and Sitkari are two exceptions.

Good for us! And it gets better: Both exercises also suppress hunger and thirst and their techniques are very simple to do, anywhere, anytime.

Let’s start with Sitali:

The name comes from Sanskrit, Sita means cooling or soothing.To start Sitali, sit comfortably in a seated position or meditation pose with a straight spine. If you’re out and about, maybe on a hike where you are longing for some cooling, make sure you stand upright of you can’t sit.

Now fold up your tongue up on the sides, leaving a small passage in the middle for the air to pass, and stick out your tongue a little bit. Only part the lips as much as you need to for the tongue to come through.

When you’re ready, take a deep breath in through your mouth, or better through the tongue, and exhale through the nose. Inhale through the mouth, exhale through the nose.

It’s advised to repeat this for two to three minutes. If you have more practice, you can keep doing Sitali for up to ten minutes.

Learn more on this Guide:

For everyone who cannot roll the tongue, Sitkari is a great alternative.

Sitkar means hissing in Sanskrit and it describes the sound that’s produced during the breathing exercise. You will hear it in a minute coming from your own mouth.

For Sitkari we start in the same upright position as for Sitali: Straight spine, shoulders relaxed.Now bring your teeth together gently, but don’t tighten up your chaw, and open your mouth slightly.

To start, inhale deeply through your mouth and through your clenched teeth. The sound you hear should remind you of your last visit at the dentist. Sorry for bringing that memory back, guys! Then exhale through the nose. You can do up to 20 repetitions.

The main benefit of both Pranayama exercises is the cooling of the body.

How does this work?

1. If you breath in through your mouth, the air doesn’t get warmed up (as it does when inhaling through the nose) and reaches the lungs with the temperature of the outside environment, which is usually cooler than our own body temperature.2. When inhaling through the tongue or teeth, the air gets moistened.

The combination of these two elements - cold and wet air - has a cooling effect on your body.But that’s not all. Here is a whole list of benefits you can experience after a regular practice of Sitali and Sitkari.

The breathing exercises affect the endocrine gland in a positive way, and help to control hunger and thirst. Isn’t that useful for all of us, when the munchies arrive or when stuck in traffic without food? The Pranayama also reduces excess biles and lowers fever.

Due to its activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, the exercises calm and relax your body and mind, lower blood pressure and improve sleep, even help with insomnia. They also improve digestion.

Used for Ayurvedic Cooling

According to Ayurveda, the science of nature, an imbalance of Pitta means the body and mind holds too much heat and fire. Ayurvedic therapists therefore recommend Sitali and Sitkari in this case, to help people cool down. Mentally and physically.

Sitali and Sitkari are also a common exercise in Kundalini yoga that works mainly with breath and quick movements.

Contraindications: Don’t practice in extreme temperatures

There is one important thing you should be aware of!

Don’t practice Sitali and Sitkari in too hot or too cold temperatures. As explained above, the air reaches your lungs in the same temperature that it is inhaled in, so if the air is of a too extreme hot or cold temperature, it can hurt your lungs.

Besides this there is not much to worry about. Anyone can do it. However if you have generally low blood pressure, observe if the practice makes you feel good, as it can lower the blood pressure even further. Stop and keep breathing normally if you feel drowsy.

So have a go next time you feel hot. As winter is at our door step, just wait for your next workout session. I’m sure Sitaliand Sitkari can come in handy.

You don’t need a teacher or any experience to benefit from these cooling breathing exercises, as long as you listen to your body and stop and breathe calmly in case you don’t feel well.

The techniques are very simple and there is nothing you can do wrong. Enjoy!

About the Author

Kosta Miachin is the creator of VIKASA Yoga method - a unique, challenging and effective approach to yoga. He is also the founder of VIKASA Yoga Academy. You can find him online: http://www.vikasayoga.com

What is the Purpose of Breathing Exercises? Here is What You Should Know

Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be relaxing, energizing and even aid in alleviating stress-related health problems, from digestive orders to panic. Since breathing is something we can regulate and control you’re probably wondering; what is the purpose of breathing exercises? Well, the truth is that breathing exercises are a useful tool for a relaxed and clear state of mind.

When performed correctly, breathing exercises are not only essential for living longer but also for having a good mood and keeping your performance at its best. Before we can look at the different breathing exercises you can perform, let’s get some insight on the purpose of breathing exercises.

Purpose of Breathing Exercises What is the Purpose of Breathing Exercises?Detoxification and Release of ToxinsBreathing Exercises Release TensionRelieve Body PainBreathing Exercises Improve Body Posture Types of Breathing Exercises You Can Perform Power Breathing ExercisesDeep Breathing ExercisesRelaxed Breathing ExercisesWrapping Up

Breathing exercises are not only essential for living longer but also for having a good mood and keeping your performance at its best

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What is the Purpose of Breathing Exercises?

Most of us often take our breath for granted. It is always there after all and does not seem like something we should have to concentrate on. However, breath is powerful. Learning to harness your own breathing can aid in controlling your states of mind and body. It is a secret weapon. So what is the purpose of breathing exercises?

Detoxification and Release of Toxins

The body is naturally designed to release up to 70% of its toxins through breathing. As a result, if you’re not breathing properly, it means that you’re not properly ridding your body of its toxins. This means that other body systems will be overworked which could result in illness.

Breathing exercises increase the volume of oxygen intake in your body which results in better nourishment of the nervous system.

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When you perform breathing exercises, you get rid of carbon dioxide – a natural waste product of the body’s metabolism that has been passed from the bloodstream into the lungs.

Breathing Exercises Release Tension

Just think of how your body feels when you are stressed, angry, scared or tense. In such instances, your body constricts, the muscles become tight. And your breathing becomes shallow and as a result, you’re not getting sufficient oxygen into your body.

Breathing exercises increase the volume of oxygen intake in your body which results in better nourishment of the nervous system. A well-nourished nervous system causes the nerves to calm down and the muscles follow naturally.

Besides releasing body tension, deep breathing exercises can minimize the occurrence of muscle stiffness and boost your sense of overall well-being.

You may need to read : how are breathing and cellular respiration similar?

Relieve Body Pain

Although it is difficult to understand the connection of breathing exercises to how you feel, think and experience life, the truth is that these exercises are a natural painkiller. Breathing exercises trigger the release of endorphins – natural, feel-good painkillers- created by the body.

Breathing exercises trigger the release of endorphins – natural, feel-good painkillers- created by the body.

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In fact, studies have revealed that when we feel pain, the most instant unconscious reaction is to hold our breath. Breathing deeply and breathing into the pain helps to release it.

Breathing Exercises Improve Body Posture

In most cases, poor body posture is directly linked with incorrect breathing techniques. Try breathing exercises and you’ll be surprised to discover how your body naturally straightens up as you breathe deeply. Moreover, filling up your lungs encourages you to straighten your spine for a better posture.

Types of Breathing Exercises You Can Perform

Optimal breathing accords you more vitality and a better quality of life. When you perform breathing exercises on a daily basis, you will reap benefits such as reduction in blood pressure and stress, better blood flow, and healthy sleep among others.

And since quality breathing strengthens the mind, here are the three most common breathing exercises you want to try.

Power Breathing Exercises

Power breathing exercises are meant to increase the strength of your entire body. Power breathing exercises should be performed with strength and power and should be done first thing in the morning when you wake up.

On the other hand, these exercises can also be done at the completion of an intense workout session, such as cardio training since they help bring you back to normal breathing very quickly.

When you’re totally exhausted or completely out of breath from intense workout, that’s the perfect moment for power breathing exercises. What power breathing does it that it increases your body’s ability to absorb large volumes of oxygen thus allowing oxygen to be forced into the bloodstream in large quantities.When performing these exercises, you must exert physical strength by tightening the body muscles which helps strengthen your lungs and prepare you for an intense physical fitness session.

Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises, mostly used in meditation, yoga and Tai Chi involve taking long, slow breaths deep into your diaphragm which allows oxygen to get into the bloodstream gently.

When performing deep breathing exercises, your mind must be relaxed and in a very calm state. In addition, such exercises may also be performed with slow body movements coordinated with the breathing.

Relaxed Breathing Exercises

Relaxed breathing exercises are common in traditional meditation, relaxation, Chi Gong and yoga.

With these exercises, you’re supposed to slow down your breathing to at most two breaths per minute.Such breathing exercises are usually very long, very soft and slow therefore aid in relaxing your mind and the entire body at large. Better yet, relaxed breathing exercises are excellent for tension and stress release.

Wrapping Up

While breathing exercises have a ton of benefits, it is important to be careful if you’re performing them for the first time since you may feel weak or dizzy. If that happens, take a breather for a few minutes until you feel better.

Additionally, in order to breathe properly, you must breathe deeply into your abdomen and not just your chest. And just to reiterate what we mentioned earlier, the purpose of breathing exercises is to:

Release body toxinsRelease tensionRelieve body painImprove your posture

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Infographics – Get a Handle on Anxiety With These Breathing Techniques

If you’re like many people, there are different things or events that make you anxious or worried. Perhaps flying in an airplane is a trigger for you. Or maybe that weekly meeting that you have to have with your supervisor gives your stomach a case of the butterflies. And maybe, like most people, you think there’s nothing you can do about it. While anxiety might be something that we accept as part of life, it doesn’t have to rule your life.

There are some simple techniques that you can use—related to your breath, of all things—that can help to calm your body’s responses and return your flight/fight reflex back to normal. Many of them simply ask you to perform conscious exercises with your breath—breathing in slowly and holding it for a set count, for example. What breath exercises can you put to use for your anxious times? This graphic can help.

How Is Blood Flow Related To Lung Function During Exercise? It’s All Here

Most of us are pretty much already aware that exercise is good for the body, but when you understand how exercise changes the body, it makes getting off your bed and into the gym much easier. The body is a complex machine, and a lot of changes typically take place when you start working out.

When you exercise, one tends to breathe faster than usual, and this has prompted so many people to ask the question: How is blood flow related to lung function during exercise? Well, the answer to this question is easy but in requires a better comprehension of the changes that occur in the body when we exercise.

Blood Flow Related To Lung Function During ExerciseHow Is Blood Flow Related To Lung Function During Exercise?Importance of Breathing Properly During ExerciseHelps in Maintaining PostureImproves PerformanceImproves Fat LossNasal Breathing vs. Mouth BreathingNasal Breathing.Mouth Breathing. Conclusion

How Is Blood Flow Related To Lung Function During Exercise?

As mentioned earlier, a lot happens to your body during exercise, and the very first thing you will probably notice is that you are out of breath and your pulse is high. However disconcerting it may feel, it is a normal body response. If that is the case, then how is blood flow related to lung function during exercise?

When you exercise, the blood vessels are dilated so as to increase the volume of oxygen carried in the blood, and as a result, the lungs work harder to satisfy the body’s oxygen demands.

Also, the blood circulation volume increases when you exercise, making your body more efficient; hence the lungs must work just as hard to maintain the body’s efficiency level.

Importance of Breathing Properly During Exercise

It is not a secret that you have to breathe properly when performing aerobic activities, like running or swimming, or other types of exercise such as bodyweight training or strength training. Besides ensuring that your connective tissues and workout muscles get sufficient oxygen, here are other benefits you will accrue from following the right breathing pattern.

Helps in Maintaining Posture

When you inhale during exercise, the chest expands, and as a result, it aids in keeping your back straight. This is crucial when exercising because a majority of the exercises we perform require that our back be in line.

Besides, the right workout posture provides safety and ensures that you work your target muscles properly.

Improves Performance

When you follow the right breathing pattern during exercise, you take in oxygen that’s distributed throughout your body to provide your muscles the power to push on. The more power your muscles have, the more improvements you get in your overall body performance.

Also, breathing properly during exercise means there will be more oxygen for your body to use for other functions.

Improves Fat Loss

The body requires water and oxygen to convert body fat into energy. The more oxygen you take in – through proper breathing, the more your body gets rid of fat, toxins and stored water resulting in weight loss.

Breathing in properly fuels this process and therefore allows you to shed the fats faster and more efficiently.

Poor breathing slows down your metabolism since the body’s trying to cling onto the resources it already has, which in turn produces fat. With improved breathing, however, you can reverse this process.

Nasal Breathing vs. Mouth Breathing

There’s always the tendency for people, whether adults or children, to breathe through the mouth instead of the nose. Whether you’re going about your daily life, sleeping or exercising, it’s preferable to breathe through the nose than through the mouth.

Mouth breathing causes the brain to perceive that carbon dioxide is leaving the body too fast and as a result, it stimulates the production of mucus in an attempt to slow the breathing.

Breathing through the nose is more efficient that mouth breathing with regard to supplying oxygen to the body. When doing cardiovascular exercise, it is advisable to inhale and exhale through the nose to facilitate filtering and warming of the inhaled air.

Nasal Breathing.

Breathing through the nose is way healthier than mouth breathing for some reasons. The lungs take oxygen from the air, and most of the oxygen absorption occurs on exhalation. Exhaling through the nose causes higher air pressure and as a result, a slower exhalation which gives the lungs more time to extract large volumes of oxygen.

Mouth Breathing.

This is common in people whose nasal passages are restricted or blocked. For instance, a small nostril size can cause one to breathe primarily through the mouth. Mouth breathing is greatly discouraged because it is inefficient and can result in hyperventilation, which worsens the symptoms of asthma.

Conclusion

When you exercise, the lungs and blood circulatory system respond differently to satisfy the body’s demands for more energy. The most commonly felt response is a rapid heartbeat and a more powerful lung function to deliver sufficient oxygen to the body muscles.

Besides facilitating optimal oxygen intake, here are some other benefits of breathing properly during exercise:

Improves performanceHelps in maintaining postureImproves the body’s fat burning capabilities

We hope you enjoyed this article and we would love to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to drop us a comment.

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How Does Breathing Change During Exercise?

Think of your last workout. Did you breathe more rapidly? Did your breaths seems shallow? Were you not paying attention to breath at all? Often, breath patterns change during exercise, and it sometimes changes in ways that can make it harder for you to get your muscles the oxygen they need for effective performance. Below, we'll consider how patterns of breath can change during exercise, as well as some tricks and exercise hacks you can use to make your breathing - and your workout - more efficient and rewarding.

It Often Becomes More Shallow

From a logical standpoint, frequent, shallower breaths make sense when you're exercising. However, this means you are getting less oxygen per breath.

Researchers Al Lee and Don Campbell explain that, by building strength in the diaphragm and in the intercostal muscles, athletes were able to use oxygen more efficiently when training. These athletes were trained using a technique known as respiratory resistance training

However, you don't need specialized training to reap at least some of the benefits of this training method. Whether you like to run or prefer a spin bike for consistent cardio, deliberately focusing on taking deeper breaths will allow you to train yourself to bring in more oxygen with each breath.

Spinning, in particular is often a high-intensity workout, and mastering this breath technique will help you get through even extremely challenging rides, whether you're taking a spin class or spinning in the comfort of your home.

It Can Help Increase Your Lifts

There's plenty of debate surrounding breath techniques and lifting. Generally speaking, for non-maximal lifts, it's best to exhale during the concentric ("lifting") phase, and then inhale on the eccentric ("lowering") phase.

This is because, since you're generally expending more effort on the concentric phase, it's simply easier to inhale during the eccentric phase when your body isn't working quite as hard.

For those who are attempting one-rep maxes or similarly challenging lifts, the right breath technique, along with the sturdiest weight benches and other equipment, can make the difference between a poor lift and a personal record. Some powerlifters use the Valsalva maneuver, which refers to exhaling against a closed glottis.

This increases pressure in the abdomen, supporting the spine and allowing you to lift more weight.

However, as Jesse Irizarry of T Nation explains, this method is only meant to be held for a few seconds at a time, and it should not be used routinely. Because it spikes blood pressure, it may not be suited to those with existing hypertension or those with cardiac issues.

The Right Meditative Breath Techniques Can Improve Performance

While many athletes use special breathing techniques to support relaxation and recovery, adventurer Wim Hof, who is better known as "The Iceman," advocates a distinct pattern of breath exercises before submerging oneself in ice.

He claims his breath exercises can support better health, and surprisingly, research backs him up.

In a study comparing 12 people trained by Hof to 12 controls, the people who had practiced Hof's breath and mindfulness techniques were able to fight off an injected strain of E. coli significantly better than the controls.

Hof also believes his breath exercises are the reason he has been able to perform unusual athletic feats, including climbing Mount Everest shirtless and running a barefoot marathon in the arctic.

While you may not want to challenge your body's tolerance of cold to this extent, using these breath techniques or others might be able to help you improve athletic performance and even fight off infections.

The More Fit You Become, the Less Exercise Affects Your Breath

If you have just started exercising, you may be discouraged by running out of breath quickly. However, if you maintain your motivation to exercise through this phase and increase your level of fitness, you will find that you don't breathe as hard when you reach similar levels of exertion.

This is because, in fit people, exercise does not raise the rate of oxygen intake or the levels of lactic acid in the blood as much as it does in an unfit person. Plus, as your fitness increases, you will need shorter recovery times than before.

If you are currently in the early stages of an exercise program, it may be helpful to give yourself longer rest periods as you build a level of base fitness. Additionally, practicing taking deeper breaths will help ensure you get enough oxygen even during especially tough workouts.

While running out of breath quickly can certainly be challenging, it may be helpful to understand that this will not always be the case.

Breaths Through Your Nose and Through Your Mouth Have Different Effects

Just as there's long been a debate over the best breath techniques to use when lifting, you've likely heard plenty of opinions on taking breaths through your nose versus breaths through your mouth.

The truth is that there's no one clear winner in this debate - nose breaths may work for some, while breaths taken through the mouth may work better for others.

Each technique has its own benefits. Breath expert Alison McConnell recommends breaths through the mouth, since this is easier and allows you to take in a greater volume of air.

Breaths through the nose, on the other hand, can help warm up cold air before it hits the lungs. For this reason, this technique is favored by Ironwoman Terra Castro. Plus, while taking breaths through the nose can be a bit more challenging, it increases blood CO2 saturation, and this may promote feelings of relaxation, even duringa workout.

Conclusion

Breathing all too often becomes an afterthought during exercise. But by making it a focus of your training can dramatically improve not just your performance, but your general wellbeing as well. By being mindful of how breath changes during exercise and by training in a way that uses your breath wisely and efficiently, you can expedite your journey to improved fitness.

Guest Post - by Mike Jones

Mike Jones is a healthy living and fitness enthusiast and endorser. Mike is regularly blogging on the benefits of smart, not necessarily hard, workouts and natural remedies towards inner and outer health. He is a contributor to Exercise Bikes Expert


Sleep and Health

The Secret To Fixing Insomnia And It’s Simpler Than You Think

When you can’t sleep, your entire perspective of life shifts. Reality is a haze; you can’t seem to remember anything, and you’re never sure if you are awake or dreaming. Major sleep deprivation can affect your cognitive function, appetite, mood and impulse control. Basically, you don’t have a grasp on your life and all you want is to be able to close your eyes and actually fall asleep.

Luckily, we have the answers here for you to help you return to real life and get back on track with a normal, healthy sleep schedule. If you have tried almost everything and you’re feeling helpless, we have uncovered these seven tips to help you regain your footing. Some of these tips outline how to practice healthy sleep hygiene, eat a sleep-happy diet, and what kinds of supplements help with sleep.

Taking natural supplements stimulate the natural sleep hormone in your brain called melatonin. Be aware that any supplement online could worsen your symptoms or have no effect at all. Check out these Research Verified reviews to ensure you are purchasing a quality sleep aid.

1. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Just like you have a schedule in your daily life for work or school, you must schedule time for sleep as well. You need to treat your sleep schedule the same way that you would treat a workout schedule: with some skepticism, flexibility and a touch of sincerity.

Don’t have a workout schedule either? Read ahead to see how exercise is key to help you get some sleep. There is no magic number about the amount of hours you need each night, but most experts agree an adult needs at least seven hours of quality sleep a night.

Unlike most people, someone with insomnia cannot set their alarm to when they need to wake up and hit the sack. Bedtime is usually a stressful situation, involving procrastination, frustration, and feelings of helplessness. What use is an alarm clock when you’re lying in your bed, staring at the ceiling, watching the hours tick by?

That’s why scheduling a bedtime is so important. Maybe you’ll feel embarrassed, like you’re a kid again and you want to beg your parents for just five more minutes to stay awake, but going to bed at the same time every night helps your brain relax and you can actually train yourself enough to eventually feel sleepy around your bedtime.

2. Regulate Your Sleep/Wake Cycle

How does this work, you ask? The natural sleep/wake cycle of your body is called your circadian rhythm. Your whole body functions in cycles regulated by hormones, and your hormones inform you if you are hungry or tired or happy or upset.

Your circadian rhythm is adjustable, which is good if you are recovering from jet lag but bad if you have insomnia. If you are used to a time zone that is seven hours ahead, your circadian rhythm starts sending out the hormone melatonin to help you feel sleepy, but your melatonin levels arrive much earlier than you need. After a couple nights of catching up on sleep, your body can adjust to the new time zone once again.

However, insomnia confuses your sleep/wake cycle so much so that you constantly feel jetlagged. Your melatonin levels may be too low late at night because you are going to bed at different times. To stabilize your melatonin levels and regulate your sleep cycle, you need a specific bedtime to let your body know when you are going to sleep.

3. Eat To Sleep

Unfortunately, there is not just one food you can eat and immediately fall asleep. There are also misconceptions about foods that supposedly make you feel tired because they contain tryptophan, like turkey. If you eat a large meal or large amounts of tryptophan, it may make you feel tired, but this is not an ultimate solution for someone suffering from insomnia.

In fact, eating a large meal before bed could keep you awake longer and eventually lead to unwanted weight gain. A better solution is to eat healthy meals. Who knew? A nutrient-rich diet can provide your body with the correct amount of vitamins and minerals to function properly.

There are many vitamin deficiencies that cause you to feel exhausted or even inability to fall asleep, like lack of iron or magnesium. Eat well-balanced meals full of leafy greens and nuts to provide much-needed nourishment for your body to function.

You can try eating almonds, walnuts, chickpeas and salmon to see if they enhance your sleep quality. Those specific foods contain both tryptophan, which releases melatonin in your brain, and vitamin B6, which helps relaxes your muscles. When you fall asleep in a more relaxed state, you are more likely to reach REM sleep and stay asleep for longer.

4. Switch Your Coffee With Green Tea

This may be the most difficult step for you if you have been relying on coffee to function, but eliminating caffeine from your diet can do wonders to improve your sleep cycle.

If you are a hardcore caffeine addict and cannot cut it out completely, even moving down to just one cup of coffee a day can increase the amount of melatonin in your brain and slow your heart rate, both functions that you definitely need to fall asleep.

If you are bleary-eyed after a long, sleepless night, it’s common to drink coffee throughout the day to push yourself until you are awake enough to function.

However, after your caffeine splurge, when you get home you remain wired and unable to fall back asleep, restarting the unhealthy cycle. Instead, switch your second cup of coffee to a lower-caffeine tea such as green tea.

Green tea perks you up while also providing antioxidants to help stimulate healthy cell growth. Limiting your caffeine consumption can help you calm down enough to fall asleep when you get home.

5. Can’t Sleep? Get Out Of Bed

You can actually fall asleep faster if you don’t spend restless nights tossing and turning in your bed. Have you noticed your brain overworking and calculating each minute you are missing while awake? Is your list building of things to be stressed about now that you have sleep deprivation on there?

Staying in bed and letting your thoughts run away from you is a disaster for anyone trying to fall asleep. Sleep experts urge you to get out of bed and even go sit in another room.

Try a relaxing activity like reading a book in low lighting, taking a relaxing bath, or meditating.

Instead of a quick exercise that you think will tire you out, try yoga or tai chi to stretch your muscles. Raising your heart rate with strenuous exercise actually wakes you up and diminishes your chances of falling back asleep.

6. Accept Help

Taking a supplement to help you sleep can do wonders not only for your sleep cycle but also your mood. Sleep deprivation can lead to confusion, dizziness, moodiness and even depression. Sometimes you have such a hectic schedule that it is impossible to stick to a healthy sleep schedule or have time to eat regular, healthy meals. Whatever the reason is for your insomnia, a sleep aid is a great solution.

Look for supplements that contain melatonin and amino acids like L-ornithine, which help stimulate the sleep cycles in your brain and assist you in reaching REM sleep. Calming ingredients like chamomile, valerian root and lemon balm are help additions to a supplement that help relax your muscles.

7. Sex or Exercise: You Choose

Raising your heart rate for twenty minutes every day helps your overall heart rate and sleep cycle. Although you should not exercise immediately before bed as it reduces the amount of melatonin in your brain, you can try exercising or having sex an hour before bedtime so you can fall asleep quickly.

Whether your preferred method to do this is a quick 20-minute run or a steamy hookup with a hottie, you can be assured you can get some sleep that night. Just like you practice healthy sleep hygiene, you should have scheduled exercise (or sex) to ensure you are keeping your heart beating at a healthy rate.

8. Soak Up Sunlight

Another thing that affects your circadian rhythm is sunlight. If you are not getting enough sunlight during the day, you will feel tired and restless. Being exposed to as little as twenty minutes of sunlight a day can help adjust your circadian rhythm and remind your brain what time of day it is.

On the same token, being exposed to bright lights before bed can trigger your brain into thinking it is time to wake up. Now that we are so exposed to so many technological gadgets, the time you spend scrolling through Instagram can be detrimental to your melatonin levels in your brain.

Turn off all your screens including TV, phone, or iPad and switch to low lighting at least an hour before bed. This can boost your melatonin levels and shorten your time lying awake.

About the author

Francesca Parreno is 29, a middle school swim instructor, amateur baker, and a long-time sufferer of insomnia. She hopes by researching more about the subject and promoting healthy sleep habits she can help others get through sleepless nights.

10 Best Cooling Pillows That Will Keep You Cool All Night

It’s crucial that you get a good night’s sleep, so you have plenty of energy for the following day. However, ordinary pillows usually don’t offer enough comfort for people to drift into subconsciousness easily. Fortunately, cooling pillows do a much more effective job, even if they are a little more expensive. Below, are 10 of the best cooling pillows you can buy.

1. Iso-Cool Memory Foam Pillow by SleepBetter

This comfortable cooling pillow is made of 100 percent cotton and has integrated microscopic PCM beads that help absorb heat while feeling cool at the same time. Also, it has a visco-elastic memory foam plush filling for maximum comfort for side sleepers. The pillow measures 23 x 15.5 x 5 inches and is made in the USA.

2. Blue Gel Memory Foam Pillow by Deluxe Home

Deluxe Home’s cooling pillow uses advanced cooling blue gel technology that helps absorb heat from your head, neck, and shoulders to help you sleep better at night. Its memory foam filling will help you sleep deeper at night due to its agronomic design. Also, it’s hypoallergenic to soothe people with allergies. The pillow measures 26 x 17 x 6 inches.

3. Gel Pillow by Sleep Restoration

If you’re looking for a super plush pillow, this gel cooling pillow by Sleep Restoration is the one for you. Not only is it mildew, dust mite, and mold resistant, but they’re also chemical and allergen free. If you’re worried about stains, Sleep Restoration’s gel pillow is both stain and fade resistant as well. Not to mention, this pillow also comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

4. Gel Pillow by Beckham Luxury Linens

Beckham Luxury Linen’s cooling gel pillow is among the highest rated pillow on the market. It’s made of a super plush gel material that helps you sleep in the most comfort you can get out of a pillow. Also, it’s fade, stain, dust mite, mold, and mildew resistant. If you have respiratory problems or enjoy eating in bed, this pillow is among the best you can get for your bed. Also, Beckham Luxury Linens provides a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

5. Reversible Cool Gel and Memory Foam Pillow by Classic Brands

This reversible cooling pillow has a memory foam layer for cooler nights and a gel layer for warmer nights. It also has a memory foam filling to provide comfort to your shoulders and neck while you’re sleeping. It has a medium-plus feel and five-inch height, which makes it perfect for side, back, and stomach sleepers.

6. 1800 Series Gusset Gel Pillow by Sleep Restoration

Produced by Sleep Restoration, their 1800 Series Gusset Gel Cooling Pillow is among the best constructed cooling pillows on the market. The pillow is made of gusset construction, which makes offers a fuller pillow feel and create lasting comfort. It’s also fade, stain, dust mite, mildew, and mold resistant. Sleep restoration offers a full 30-day satisfaction guarantee to ensure both quality and comfort.

7. Reversible Memory Foam Gel Pillow by Cr

If you’re looking for a reversible cooling pillow, Cr makes some of the best ones manufactured. The pillow measures 24 x 16 x 5 inches and is covered by a white spandex fabric. This reversible pillow has a cool gel side that offers a cooler sleeping experience while helping your body effectively disburse your body heat. Also, the pillow is mold, bacteria, and dust mite resistant. Noted by Cr, it’s perfect for side, back, or stomach sleepers.

8. Deluxe Cooling Shredded Memory Foam Pillow by Plixio

Made of 40 percent bamboo rayon and 60 percent polyester, the deluxe cooling pillow by Plixio may be one of the most comfortable ones you can buy. Its bamboo memory foam pillow uses a special type of shredded foam, which is infused with a cooling gel, designed to help keep you cool all night long. Also, the bamboo cases are made of ultra-plus, hypoallergenic covering for a more breathable feel. The pillow measures 28 x 18 x 7.5 inches and comes with a two-year warranty.

9. Cooling Gel Memory Foam Pillow by Hankey

Hankey’s cooling memory foam pillow is the hypoallergenic soothing pillow you’ve always been dreaming of. It’s made of cooling gel memory foam to help you fall asleep while providing comfort to your head, neck, and shoulders at the same time. In fact, the reversible foam pillow uses thermoregulation technology to help avoid you from overheating at night. Hankey also offers a full five-year warranty to ensure comfort and durability.

10. Tempur-Cloud Breeze Cooling Pillow by Tempur-Pedic

Tempur-Pedic’s Tempur-Cloud Breeze Cooling Pillow is made of 50 percent polyester and 50 percent cotton, offering ultimate comfort at night. This pillow is perfect for any kind of sleeper and Tempur-Breeze Gel Layers help provide cooling feelings during hot, irritable nights. Its Temper material also offers support to the shoulders, head, and neck.

Conclusion

Although it can be hard to choose what kind of pillow to purchase for your bed, we highly suggest investing in cooling pillows to help you get a better night’s sleep. Hopefully, with the help of our suggestions above, you can find a pillow that will help you sleep more soundly. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to buy yourself a cooling pillow and get some z’s in.

Author bio:

Amina Spencer is the Senior Editor of TodayBestReviews. She reviews different products that belong to various niches. Amina worked as a Content Marketer for almost two years, but she decided to make a change in career. That is why now she provides useful information about different products to her readers. She graduated from International Marketing, Hult International Business School.

The Importance of Sleep for Training Performance Gains

You are a gym enthusiast. You carefully measure the optimal protein intake to maximize your muscle growth. You take the highest quality anabolic supplements and strictly follow the workout dictated by your personal trainer. Still, you didn’t gain as much as you hoped for. What went wrong? According to Nick Ebner, a prominent fitness trainer, sleep is equally important for muscle gain as exercising and healthy diet. Find out what happens during sleep that helps build muscle gain and how to ensure a healthful night's sleep.

Why is Sleep Important for Muscle Gain?

You should never think about sleep as an intruder into your work, play or leisure activities. Sleep is vital for staying healthy. In order to meet the demands of daily activities, lots and lots of essential nutrients are being spent. The only way to replenish those lost nutrients is through food and sleep.  During sleep, our body rebuilds and recharges, preparing us for the day ahead. Deep stages of sleep are particularly relevant to bodybuilders and gym enthusiasts because, during deep sleep, muscle repair and anabolic growth occur.

During sleep, the brain recharges. This is also very important for building muscle because a rested mind is a motivated and focused mind. Simply put, when you sleep, you recover. When you recover you replace, repair, and rebuild muscles. All three are needed for optimal training performance progress.

Do Muscles Grow Only During Sleep?

Muscles don’t grow specifically during sleep. When you exercise on a daily basis, your body is continually breaking down and rebuilding muscle. This happens even if you don’t train at all. However, the key to gaining muscle by hitting the sack is that during various stages of sleep, your muscles break down and rebuild faster.

For example, in some cycles of sleep, the body releases androgenic hormones into the bloodstream at drastically higher levels than when you're awake. Androgenic hormones are essential both for muscle recovery and protein synthesis. Simply put, sleeping is like getting a natural hit of steroids in the middle of the night.

Levels of hormones, especially testosterone, are highest during REM sleep, also known as rapid eye movement. REM sleep lasts longer than other sleep stages and becomes more intense later in sleep cycles.

Resting in bed won’t lead to this hormonal release because it occurs only during REM sleep. However, getting rest after a workout is good for you because you need to relax your muscles.

What Happens to My Muscles If I Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

People, who don’t sleep 7 to 8 hours a night or have troubles with interrupted sleep, tend to test lower for anabolic hormones such as testosterone. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t build any muscle at all. Without sufficient sleep, muscle build will occur, but much slower.

When you are not getting enough sleep, muscle gain should actually be the least of your worries. Sleep is one of the most important things your body needs. You equally need sleep as you need food and water. In fact, people can go without food for 72 hours, but when it comes to losing 72 hours of sleep, you will already start to lose your mind and become delirious.

If you're having trouble sleeping, it is vital to consult with a medical professional and also try to improve your sleeping situation. Sleep is essential for your overall recovery and significantly impacts mental and physical performance.

Sleep Helps Muscle Injury Recovery

Muscle injury can happen to anybody at any time. However, it happens more often to athletes, weight lifters, and bodybuilders. Quality sleep is a significant aid that can speed up the recovery process and get you back in the game in no time.

A minor muscle injury can consist of a muscle pull, strain or tear. Pulls, strains, and tears occur in the muscle fibers or tendons. During injury, small blood vessels are damaged which can cause bruising, local building and, of course, irritating pain. Signs you have a muscle injury are swelling, bruising, redness, pain when resting or moving the affected muscle or joint, and weakness of the muscle. In some cases, you may even not be able to use that muscle at all. Also, the worse the pain, the bigger the injury.

The reason sleep is so helpful during the muscle recovery process is due to growth hormones and blood flow. Growth hormones help cell reproduction and regeneration. They also regulate your body’s metabolism to repair your muscles while you sleep. Since you are asleep and your general energy consumption is lowered, your body can put in more effort and energy to restore your bones and muscles. Muscle and bones restoration both occurs through an increase in growth hormone production and an increase in blood flow to the damaged area.

An interesting fact is that during wakefulness, most of our blood flow is sent to the heart and brain. However, in deep sleep, the 40% of usual blood flow that goes to the brain is now sent to the muscles to help restore energy. During deep sleep, a hormone Prolactin is released. Prolactin has anti-inflammatory properties that speed up joint recovery. This is why after a good night’s sleep, you feel refreshed and fully prepared for the day ahead of you. 

Can Sleep Be Optimized for Greater Muscle Gain?

The food we eat can also affect how well our muscle build and repair during sleep. As we sleep, and the energy consumption is decreased, our body is allowed to use high-quality food we ate during the day to build muscle. So, if you want to optimize your sleep for greater muscle gain, make sure you eat lots of protein and healthy foods. There is no need to eat before bed. In fact, heavy meals before bed may disturb your sleep. Sticking to your healthy diet is sufficient to optimize your sleep and gain muscles around 10% faster.

Foods that can both help you build muscle, stay healthy and have a better night’ sleep are bananas, dates, yogurt, oatmeal, turkey, tuna, chicken, and grapefruit. These foods are recommended for better sleep because they contain high amounts of an amino acid called tryptophan that is a natural precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is a precursor to melatonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates our sleep and wake cycle.

Quick Sleep Tips for Gym Enthusiasts

The following sleep tips can be used right away to improve your odds of getting to sleep faster and staying asleep longer. These guidelines for quality sleep should be combined a progressive training schedule and healthy nutrition.

Relaxing Bed Routine

Since your day is full of stimulating activities, you should plan a gradual transition from stimulating activities to the ones that are less active. Things such as reading, listening to music, taking a warm bath or taking a walk 2 hours before bed may help you sleep better and fall asleep faster. You don’t have to have the same routine every night (this is only important for kids), but it is important to occur in roughly the same hours.

Comfortable Mattress

Regularly working out, lifting weights, or jogging will make your muscles sore. To take good care of your muscles, it is vital to sleep on a quality mattress. Bodybuilders and weight lifters usually prefer to sleep on a mattress of medium firmness that is cool and provides quality support. However, a wide range of factors impact how a mattress feels to different individuals. Luckily, Mattress Buying Guides can help you make an informed decision you won’t regret.

Sleep-Inducing Foods

Around 2 hours before bedtime, don’t eat heavy meals. If you are hungry, eat only foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates and tryptophan. Foods that contain vitamin B or a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium may also help you sleep better. Caffeinated beverages and alcohol should be avoided at least 6 hours before going to bed.

No Exercise before Bedtime

Exercising in the evening is not recommended because it is an activity that stimulates your body and mind. All stimulating activities may disrupt your sleep, so it is best to avoid working out at least 4 to 6 hours before sleep. If your only option is to work out closely before bedtime, do it. Training closer to bed is definitely better than not exercising at all.

Tune Your Inner Clock

If you have troubles falling asleep or staying asleep, your circadian rhythm may be mistuned due to stress or hectic job and work out schedules. Try to tune your inner clock again by synchronizing your sleep and wake time with the sunlight. Sunlight is important because it stimulates the production of melatonin, and melatonin is a neurotransmitter that actually regulates our sleep and wake cycle.

Since it’s not possible to always go to sleep when the sun sets and wake up near the time when it rises, you can reinforce your basic sleep pattern by sleeping in a dark and quiet room, and expose yourself to bright sunlight when you wake up.

About the Author:

My name is Ben Trapskin, and I run Sleep Sherpa, a mattress review site that was created after I went through a rough period of sleepless nights. Since this took a major toll on my physical and psychological health, I have decided to embark on a mission to help people get a better night’s rest.


Pain & Pain Management

Steroid for Back Pain Treatment

Back pain affects mobility, and it results in hindering your daily activities. The pain itself can be unbearable. In most cases, a visit to the doctor is the best treatment, and it often results in the prescription of medication as the first treatment. The drug may be in the form of an injection, or it may be a pill, both of which are good in relieving the pain.

Causes of Back Pain

Back pain is often caused by an injury, arthritis, degenerative disc disease or inflammation within your spinal cord. With the spine being the nerve center, any injury or inflammation does result in excruciating pain. If left untreated, the injury may worsen and could cause permanent damage to your spine. It is necessary to seek medical treatment immediately if you experience any of the following issues.

Pain that extends to your legs from your back.Any pain in the back that is as a result of any fall or trauma.Three-week-long persistent back pain.Sharp continuous pain any time you lift your leg or bend over.If the pain results in numbness of your legs.When the pain worsens every time, you rest.

Treatment of Back Pain

Before any treatment can begin, the immediate action is to relieve the pain. Steroids come in handy in such situations. As an anti-inflammatory drug, steroid use in back pain treatment has proven to be useful over the years. In most cases, the pain is resolved within six weeks. Steroid use on back pain is a short-term treatment plan and is not recommended for long-term treatment.

Turinabol steroids have been helpful over the years to many back pain patients. Turinabol steroids share a similar structure to Dianabol, the first approved steroid for human use in the US. Some shared properties make its use in treating back pain effective.

Lifestyle Adjustments to Incorporate For a Healthy Lower Back

Incorporating certain aspects of lifestyle adjustments in your everyday routine will be of great help in treating and preventing back pains.

Exercise

Exercise is as vital to those recovering from back pain as it is to those who have never experienced it before. Physical activity strengthens your overall mobility and fitness. Any physical training adopted be it, bodybuilding, cycling, jogging, stretching among others, should pay attention to strengthening your core. This goes a long way towards improving your back’s health.

Avoid Slouching

This goes for individuals who are used to slouching on the couches, in their office seats, or in school seats. Slouching puts a strain on the lower back. Well, the pain may not be evident immediately, it gradually develops over time. To avoid this, consider changing your sitting position. Sit upright, and if your seat is the problem, get a more comfortable one.

Weight Check

Extra weight may not be a cause of pain, but it sure scales it up. With excess weight, the pressure is put on your back to support the extra pounds. It further disorients your posture thus putting more strain on your back to correct this. By eating healthy and cutting back on excess weight, you are sure to prevent any back pain in future.

Seeking Medical Assistance in cases of back pain

The rule of thumb is to find medical assistance whenever you feel back pain. Not addressing it on time could result in further pain complications that prove to be costly. Further, it is in your best interest to adopt the proper use of steroids such as turinabol steroids, in your pain management plan.

You are at the core of any treatment of back related issues. Taking care of your health is important.

Sponsored by Turinabol st​eroids

Find The Best Posture Corrector – All You Need To Know

Awkward posture can result in numerous back problems and what’s even worse is that it not only affects how we look but also has an influence on our mood and overall health. A majority of back, neck and chest pain problems we experience today are as a result of poor posture. All the same, there is a reason to smile because the best posture corrector could end your woes.

Anyway, what is good posture and why is it essential? In simple terms, posture is the body’s positioning and alignment with respect to the force of gravity. Although poor posture can be easily corrected through discipline and sheer will, some people still need the best posture corrector for this. If you’ve always wanted to know more about posture, read through this article for some insight.

Quick Navigation The Benefits of Good Posture Eliminates Neck and Back PainImproves Circulation and DigestionA Healthy SpineBreathing is optimizedIncreases Your Productivity at WorkGood Posture can Help Reduce Your StressHelps Your Joints and Muscles Attributes To Consider When Buying the Best Posture Corrector Ease of Use.Comfort.Style. Cleaning. Top 5 Best Posture Corrector Reviews StabilityAce Upper Back Posture Corrector Brace StandUp Str8 Posture Corrector Oppo Medical Elastic Posture Aid Yosoo Back Posture Corrector TOROS GROUP Posture Corrector Brace The Winner

The Benefits of Good Posture

Many people have always lived with the notion that excellent posture is only for the models and beauty queens. However, the truth is that there are numerous health benefits associated with good posture apart from a good physical appearance. Some of these benefits are:

Eliminates Neck and Back Pain

When you maintain the right posture, the bones and spine are able to easily and efficiently support and balance your upper body’s weight. With poor posture, however, the tendons, ligaments and muscles are forced to constantly work so as to support the same weight which can result in tension headaches, back and neck pain.

Improves Circulation and Digestion

When the digestive system is at stake, the right posture allows the abdominal organs to maintain a natural position without much pressure which can alter the normal flow and functioning of the intestinal track.

In addition, research indicates that a poor, slouched posture is a major contributing factor to numerous digestive problems, from hernias to constipation and acid reflux.

A Healthy Spine

Although maintaining the right posture may sound pretty simple, it is a crucial way to keep the spine and other sensitive parts of the back healthy. Lower Back Support is particularly essential for individuals who spend most of their time standing or sitting in an office.

Failure to maintain the right posture and sufficient back support can strain your back muscles and exert more stress on your spine. With time, the stress resulting from improper posture can alter the anatomical setting of the spine, resulting in the possibility of constricted nerves and blood vessels.

Standing and sitting in the right postural alignment lets you work more efficiently with very little fatigue and strain on the back muscles and ligaments.

Breathing is optimized

A poor, slouched posture inhibits prime air flow into the lungs. On the other hand, maintaining the right posture aids in breathing by straightening and clearing all your airways.

Besides, the right posture opens the chest cavity thus letting more oxygen into the body. Better yet, more oxygen intake translated to better breathing, which is the body’s natural way of keeping you relaxed.

Increases Your Productivity at Work

Powering through some of the most difficult tasks at work could be as simple as adjusting your sitting posture. Maintaining the right posture at work lets your body expand and alerts your brain and more testosterone is released, which leads to better productivity.

Better yet, sitting straight and upright helps improve alertness, focus and concentration. Therefore, if you’re struggling to meet upcoming deadlines, you can try stretching your back and you might be surprised by the manner in which your working pace will increase.

Good Posture can Help Reduce Your Stress

Research has revealed that a proper posture can aid in building your resilience to tight deadlines and to-do-lists. Adopting a good posture in the face of stress can heighten your self-esteem, reduce your negative emotions and give you a positive mood.

Helps Your Joints and Muscles

Maintaining the right posture aids in keeping the joints and bones in the right alignment so that the body muscles are used correctly thus minimizing the wearing of joint surfaces which could result in joint pain and degenerative arthritis.

Besides, a good sitting posture minimizes the stress on all the ligaments holding the spinal joints together thus reducing the likelihood of suffering from spinal injuries.

Attributes To Consider When Buying the Best Posture Corrector

Whether you want to purchase a posture corrector for men or women, there are some key attributes that will determine your choice for the right posture corrector. If you overlook one of these aspects or just pick on one blindly, the chances are that you’ll not reap the desired benefits after using it.

Here are some of the most important aspects you should consider:

Ease of Use

via Amazon

When shopping for a posture corrector, it’s important to consider its ease of use. Depending on your demands, it’s advisable to go for a posture corrector that incorporates simple enclosures that make it easy for you to either take off or out on.

Comfort

This is by far the most crucial attribute to consider when purchasing a posture corrector. The chances are that you’ll not wear a posture brace all day if you feel uncomfortable in it.

You need to look for a posture brace that will not result in irritation or back pain. It would be a great mistake to judge a product’s comfort based on its physical appearance.

Style

via Amazon

Although this attribute is not as sensitive as comfort, it is equally important to consider it. There are people who would prefer to wear their brace underneath their clothing while others would prefer it on top of their clothing.

If you prefer wearing your posture brace on top of your clothing, then its style is extremely essential.

Cleaning

In most cases, the cleaning and care instructions for most posture braces are overlooked for no apparent reason. It should be known that some posture correctors should be hand washed whereas others are machine washable.

It is therefore important to take into account the cleaning and care requirements because for instance, hand washing is less convenient when compared to machine washing.

Top 5 Best Posture Corrector Reviews

StabilityAce Upper Back Posture Corrector Brace

via Amazon

This posture corrector brace from StabilityAce boast of a soft, comfortable velvet or foam padding that makes it perfect for posture correction and clavicle fractures. The thick cushioned straps offer a firm hold and guarantee you the right posture positioning.

What’s even more exciting about this posture corrector brace is that it is unisex and is available in seven different sizes from XXL to youth large, based on the chest circumference.

This posture corrector can either be worn over your clothes or underneath, easily adjustable and is the best solution for shoulder instability, sprains, fractures and collarbone pain. Its excellent “bag pack” design helps pull back your shoulders for optimal postural support.

Learn More About It On Amazon

PROS

It is easy to adjustIt’s a unisex posture corrector braceIncorporates a clever designGood quality constructionThe thick padding makes the brace comfortable

CONS

This brace can be difficult to put on properlyIt seriously limits your movement

StandUp Str8 Posture Corrector

via Amazon

If you’re looking for a way to reverse your years of bad posture within two minutes daily, then this is the posture brace to go for. StandUp Str8 Posture Corrector helps eliminate back pain, tension headaches and back pains associated with slouching shoulders and an overall poor body posture.

This product is an easy-to-use, portable and posture-correcting device that’s designed to strengthen the muscles between the shoulder blades.

StandUp Str8 Posture Corrector boasts of two cushioned arm loops that make it comfortable to wear at any time. In addition, the arm loops are fully adjustable for a customized fit for various body sizes and increased tension. This device also comes with an instruction card that you can use to learn how to get the most out of this posture corrector.

Learn More About It On Amazon

PROS

Comes with an instruction cardThe lower back feels stronger when you’re in this braceYou can wear it under your clothes comfortablyThis device targets the key muscles

CONS

It’s almost not elastic at allThe posture corrector is poorly madeThe price is somewhat high

Oppo Medical Elastic Posture Aid

via Amazon

This elastic posture aid clavicle brace from Oppo Medical is highly recommended for correcting shoulder slump and incorrect posture. This posture corrector helps align the joints and bones to relieve round shoulder issues and collar bone fractures.

What’s more exciting about this posture corrector is that it has an adjustable loop and hook that facilitates proper fit and normal movement while performing your daily chores.

This product is available in a natural color and there are many different sizes from which you can make your selection. This posture aid’s triangle configuration helps distribute pressure to the tip of the shoulder so as to minimize the amount of stress exerted on the back.

Learn More About It On Amazon

PROS

Helps reduce upper and mid back painThis is a snug posture correctorYou can easily put it on and off like a shirtThere is very little pressure on the spineThe soft fabric feels good against bare skin

CONS

Rolls under your shoulder after 30 seconds of useThe quality is poorIt looks awful after the first washIt hurts the armpits

Yosoo Back Posture Corrector

via Amazon

If you are looking to make your slouched, hunched shoulders a thing of the past and regain your confidence, then the Yosoo Back Posture Corrector is the product you need. This posture support brace pulls your round shoulders back so as to align your spine as it should be.

What sets this level on a level of its own is that it offers a simple, non-surgical way to minimize back pain. This posture corrector is lightweight, washable and can be worn at work, at home or at the gym.

This product can be adjusted from 48 inches all the way down to 28 inches of chest circumference all thanks to the adjustable straps. Better yet, this product comes with a 60-day warranty which means that you can have it replaced if it falls apart or if you simply don’t like it for a particular reason.

Learn More About It On Amazon

PROS

This product is lightweightMachine and hand washableOffers excellent supportThe product is excellently designed

CONS

Complaints of skin irritation when one puts on this posture aidVery hard to put onThis posture brace is very uncomfortable

TOROS GROUP Posture Corrector Brace

via Amazon

This posture corrector brace is ideal for both adults and kids and can serve as a remedy for lordosis, winged scapula, kyphoscoliosis and kyphosis. Better yet, this product is an excellent rehabilitation tool for victims of upper lumbar and thoracic injuries and surgery.

Ideally, this posture brace should be worn close to 3 to 4 hours in a day and it aids in building muscle memory for the right posture. The Toros Group posture corrector brace is made of 100% cotton and comes in six different sizes to suit individuals with different chest circumferences.

Both the shoulder straps and waist belt are completely adjustable to offer a custom fit that blends into your body just perfectly. For optimal comfort, it is advisable to wear this brace over an undershirt and you’ll have every reason to fall in love with this product.

Learn More About It On Amazon

PROS

It’s a well-made, sturdy posture correctorIt also provides lower back supportIt covers more of your back for a better postureRelieves your back discomfort from day 1

CONS

The color options are limitedThere are no directions on how to put it onThis item is not returnable

The Winner

After reviewing the top 5 best posture corrector braces, StabilityAce Upper Back Posture Corrector Brace emerged the winner of the roundup. What sets this product on a level of its own is the fact that it offers a cheap solution to all your posture problems. Besides having a good quality construction, this product boasts of a clever design and it can be worn by any gender.

See more:

Top 5- Best Acupressure Mat for Back Pain Relief Finding The Best Shoulder Brace: All You Need To Know – 2017 ReviewHow to Choose The Best Ankle Support – Get the Cues HereThe Best Back Brace for Lower Back Pain: All You Need To Know
Best Ice Packs For Injuries Reviews and Buying Guide

Exercising takes on many forms.

Whether you like MMA or basketball, weight training or rugby, the discipline might vary but there’s one common factor…

However you train, you’re likely to pick up an injury.

Today, we’ll take a look at some of the best ice packs for injuries.

If you can remember your mother getting out a bag of frozen peas to act as a makeshift ice pack, you’ll be aware of the benefits of cold therapy. We’ll look today at how to use an ice pack and why to use one in the first place. After that, we’ll show you 5 of the best products on the market to make your job easy.

So…

Why bother to use an ice pack for your injuries in the first place?

Best Ice Pack for Your Injuries Comparison Among 05 Best Ice Packs Why Use an Ice Pack for Your Injuries? How To Use an Ice Pack How Often Should You Use an Ice Pack? When Not To Use an Ice Pack What To Look For When Buying an Ice Pack For Injuries SizeMaterialHow Long Will It Work?Does It Work as a Hot Pack As Well?Frequency of Use and UserBudget 5 Best Ice Packs For Injuries Reviews Chattanooga ColPac Cold Therapy Ice Pack NatraCure Universal Cold Pack Ice Wrap FlexiKold Gel Cold Pack Ohuhu Hot Cold Ice Bag 3 Pack Koo-Care Large Flexible Gel Ice Pack & Wrap Wrap-Up

Comparison Among 05 Best Ice Packs

Why Use an Ice Pack for Your Injuries?

Extremes of temperature have been used for many years to deal with pain and to bring down swelling.

Icing, also known as cryotherapy, has a number of applications. Full body cryotherapy is continuing to gain popularity.

In its most simple form, ice packs and compresses provide welcome relief for a number of painful knocks and strains.

In general, if you have a soft tissue injury with swelling, an ice pack is the obvious choice.

Regardless of any long-term results, ice really helps with pain management in the immediate aftermath of an injury.

With any bruising, strain or sprain, it’s only natural that there will be a degree of bleeding to the underlying tissues. Swelling along with pain ensues. By treating the area with ice, you can bring down that swelling while enjoying some temporary relief.

Using ice will:

Minimize bleeding into tissuesBring down swellingSoothe inflammationLessen muscle painReduce spasmNumb the area to manage pain

Once this stage of the injury has been dealt with, the object of therapy changes…

With the pain and swelling in check, you want to get back to normal functioning. Alongside exercise, ice therapy can still be helpful.

How To Use an Ice Pack

It’s a smart move to rub some oil on the area of skin where you’ll place the ice pack. Cooking oil will doDo NOT use oil if you have stitches or broken skin. In the event of these situations, cover the area with a plastic bag. This will help prevent the wound from getting wet If using oil, pop a wet flannel over the top of the oilPlace the ice pack on top of the flannel (or plastic bag)Wait 5 minutes then check the color of your skin. If it’s red or bright pink, remove the ice pack. If your skin is not yet pink, replace the ice pack for 5 minutes then check againLeaving an ice pack on your injury for 20-30 minutes is fine. After that, it’s a case of diminishing returns. Beyond that, you risk damaging your skin and negatively impacting the healing process. Less is moreApplying gentle pressure throughout can make the process even more effective

Note: Oil, a wet flannel or plastic bag help to minimize any chance of frostbite from the ice pack. Make sure you bear this in mind.

How Often Should You Use an Ice Pack?

First thing’s first, try to get the ice pack onto your injury within 10 minutes of it happening. Getting in early will help.

You can repeat the ice pack procedure every couple of hours for the first 48 hours.

For the first 48 hours, the aim is to restrict bleeding and swelling. After that point, you want to stimulate the tissue through exercise and stretching.

When Not To Use an Ice Pack

An ice pack is not for everyone.

Steer clear of heat or ice treatment in the following situations…

On any areas with poor circulation On skin in poor conditionIf you suffer from diabetesWhen there is any infection presentOn areas with limited hot/cold sensationAround the left side of your neckOn the left shoulder if you have a heart condition

In all other cases, ice therapy is well worth trying out.

What To Look For When Buying an Ice Pack For Injuries

As with any product, there are a few standard things to watch out for when looking for the best ice pack for your injuries.

Size

Before thinking about the size of the ice pack, consider its intended usage.

If you’re likely to be using it on your hands or knees, there’s obviously no need to buy a huge pack. For relief on larger body parts, the arms and shoulders for example, you’ll want something beefier.

Make sure the ice pack you have in mind will fit around the body part completely.

Err on the side of a larger pack rather than getting something that’s not fit for purpose. That said, don’t go for something unnecessarily heavy.

You’ll be keeping it in the freezer so think about storage logistics as well.

If you take these factors into account, it’ll be self-evident which size ice pack would work best for your needs.

Material

You need to look for ice packs that are rugged and very flexible.

Seams are obvious weak points. Look for build quality that won’t let you down.

If there is any gel inside, check user reviews to make sure there’s no feedback about this leaking onto clothing.

How Long Will It Work?

The most common complaint with ice packs is that they don’t stay cold for long enough. This is another area where it pays to scour some user reviews and do some research online to make sure you don’t buy something that will run out of steam.

You’ll want an ice pack that will stay nice and cold for at least 20 minutes, ideally for half an hour.

Does It Work as a Hot Pack As Well?

If you think you’ll also make use of a hot pack, some of these ice packs serve double duty…

Simply toss it in the microwave and you’ll be good to go.

Think about this. Only you know if this is something you’d find useful. Look at here for more benefits of it.

Frequency of Use and User

Is this an ice pack for a single use or do you plan to press it into action on a regular basis?

Ask yourself who in the family will use the ice pack and buy accordingly.

Budget

Price is always a factor in any buying decision. The important thing is that it should not be the only factor.

Ice packs are not expensive. You’re much better to invest in a decent pack that will deliver results.

Rather than being motivated purely by the bottom line, remember this old saying…

Buy cheap, buy twice…

OK…

Now you have a good idea about the basics of ice pack therapy, we’ll quickly walk you through 5 of the best ice packs for injuries so you can get back to full fitness in no time without breaking the bank.

Since these are such basic products, we’re not going to waste your time with needlessly long reviews. We’ll simply outline the benefits of each ice pack to save you the time of hunting high and low for the market-leading products.

Time for the reviews…

5 Best Ice Packs For Injuries Reviews

Chattanooga ColPac Cold Therapy Ice Pack

via amazon

The choice of trainers and physios, Chattanooga has been making professional ice packs for years so you are in safe hands.

Inflammation can strike at any time. Ice therapy is a smart move to bring swelling down and soothe inflamed areas.

Whether you need relief from fever or bruises, strains or sprains, the Chattanooga ColPac in blue vinyl takes some beating.

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Highlights:

11 x 14 inches offering superb coverage30 mins of ice more than adequateUser-friendly: just freeze when flat then applyDurable blue vinyl is latex-free and built to lastFilling stays flexible even when frozen _

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NatraCure Universal Cold Pack Ice Wrap

via amazon

NatraCure make use of biodegradable products and manufacture some first-class ice packs for injuries.

This clay cold pack will stay colder for longer than a regular ice pack. It’s very comfy to wear while still delivering outstanding therapeutic benefits.

This pack is also great for people with plantar fasciitis and Carpal tunnel syndrome.

Check it out today for outstanding ice therapy at a price you’ll love.

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Highlights:

5 x 10 inches so suitable for smaller areasGets cold in less than an hourWashable and removable for complete convenienceSimple to replace ice packVery soft and flexible for comfort and results _

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CONS

Slightly small and thin for a heavy duty bag so be honest about your size

FlexiKold Gel Cold Pack

via amazon

One of the consistent best-sellers when it comes to ice packs, FlexiKold offer a number of sizes. We checked out the Standard size.

The gel ice pack stays freezing cold for longer than most competing packs.

This pack is pretty thin with a little gel double-sealed inside. The lack of gel adds to the flexible and supple nature of this pack.

Although it’s more expensive than some other ice packs, it’s still extremely cheap so don’t let that put you off.

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Highlights:

10 ½ x 14 ½ inches for generous coverageMaterial super-simple to keep cleanConvenience of multiple sizes: something for everyone Tailor-made for back injuriesDurable and built to stay the distance _

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Ohuhu Hot Cold Ice Bag 3 Pack

via amazon

This 3-pack of hot and cold bags from Ohuhu offers a versatile therapy solution.

You have 3 sizes to choose from ranging from the dinky 6-inch pack through to the much larger 11 incher.

Whether you’ve got swellings or strains that need icing or a headache and soreness that demand heat therapy, you’ve got all bases covered.

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Highlights:

6, 9 or 11 inches for all your therapy needsExtremely rapid reliefLeak-resistant cap for ease of fillingIncredible value for moneyAdded bonus of heat therapy _

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Koo-Care Large Flexible Gel Ice Pack & Wrap

via amazon

The last ice pack on offer is from Koo-Care, a name you can trust when it comes to ice therapy.

A sizeable 11 x 14 inch pack, you can use it comfortably on any part of the body that’s feeling the strain.

Equipped with comfy and supportive straps, you’ll have no problem with your ice pack toppling off.

Check out the Koo-Care today and make sure you’re protected when things go wrong.

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Highlights:

11 x 14 inches for substantial coverageNon-toxic gel pack for performance and comfortSoft bands and straps to keep ice pack snugly in placeVersatile and great for all body partsBrand you can trust while still affordable _

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Wrap-Up

We trust you’ve found these ice packs for injuries reviews have been useful and informative.

If you strain yourself when you’re training, proper recovery is essential. You need to do the best you can to get back to fitness as soon as possible without any lasting harm. The best ice packs are a superb weapon.

Contact us with any questions or feedback at all. We love to hear from our readers and we’re always more than happy to help. You’re welcome to share any of our articles on your social media.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions at all.

You’re also always welcome to share our articles on your preferred social media channels.

Now go and rest up!

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Top 5- Best Acupressure Mat for Back Pain ReliefBest Back Brace For Your Back Pain
Top 5- Best Acupressure Mat for Back Pain Relief

These days, a lot of people are suffering with back pain (either lower or upper). I was also one of these sufferers, but I found out the ultimate solution to my back pain: an acupressure mat. An acupressure mat is a great choice for relaxing your back naturally and there are many options to choose from in the market. In this article, I am going to help you find the best acupressure mat for back pain relief (and for your budget!)

Best Acupressure Mat For Back Pain Relief Advantages Of Using Acupressure Mat Acupressure Mat Does More Than Just Relieve Back PainAcupressure Is NaturalAcupressure Mat Costs LowAcupressure Session Is Short And PortableDurable And Low MaintenanceCompatible With Yoga Who Should Use Acupressure Mat The Best Acupressure Mat For Back Pain Relief Spoonk Cotton Pagoda Acupressure Massage Mat Nayoya Acupressure Mat HemingWeigh Complete Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set The Zensufu Acupressure Massage Mat ProSource Acupressure Mat Wrap Up

Advantages Of Using Acupressure Mat

via Amazon

An acupressure mat comes with several benefits and is a no strings attached purchase. I have benefited amazingly from it and have recommended my friends and family to try it to. Why? See the reasons:

Acupressure Mat Does More Than Just Relieve Back Pain

Well, the number one priority for me to purchase an acupressure mat was to get rid of my horrible back pain. But this product is not simply for one job.

Any acupressure mat comes with 8000 acupressure points which provide your whole body with instant relaxation. These points have been uniquely chosen to target specific body regions and will increase the blood flow in your whole body.

This allows your sore muscles to get reenergized. After using the mat for some time, you are going to notice that your sleep pattern has improved, along with your metabolism and digestion as well. I came out feeling very refreshed after a session of lying on acupressure mat.

Acupressure Is Natural

In the age of chemical medicines, this is a breath of fresh air. There are no harmful chemicals that will affect your skin or hair, nor is there any requirement for mechanical or electrical energy to use it. This means that your healing does not leave behind any carbon footprint or other side effects.

Acupressure Mat Costs Low

While I was searching for an acupressure mat for myself, I realized that this product is very in expensive. In fact, most of the mats in the market cost between $30 and $150, which is much cheaper than a therapeutic massage session, and is only a one time hassle! The investment to value ratio of this mat is quite great.

Acupressure Session Is Short And Portable

I did not know that it would only take me twenty minutes to get rid of my back pain, but that is what I discovered when I first lay on an acupressure mat. If you are living a busy life style, then buying an acupressure mat will be a wise option as you are going to relax your whole body in a short amount of time.

Moreover, since the mat can be rolled up into a small pack, it is very easy to carry it around where ever you are going. You can have your acupressure session in your room, office or on the beach.

I cherish this advantage as I can carry the mat with me anywhere and do my session, after which I feel like I am ready to tackle the hurdles of the whole day.

Durable And Low Maintenance

There is no trick involved in longing the life of an acupressure mat. Before I bought one, I was worried that it would be a sensitive thing and I would have to be careful around it or else risk spoiling the mat.

But after making the purchase, I realized that an acupressure mat is in fact very rugged and durable. Moreover, you can also keep one in shape by washing it regularly, preventing any body odors from developing on the mat.

Compatible With Yoga

While I am not a big yoga fan, I have learned that doing yoga on an acupressure mat allows you to enjoy the benefits of both their worlds. You can perform all kinds of yoga exercises on the acupressure mat by just using it as a substitute for the traditional yoga mat.

Who Should Use Acupressure Mat

via Amazon

There is no limit of age or gender for the use of an acupressure mat. It is meant for anyone who is having pain in his or her back, joints or neck. It can also be used if anyone is suffering from insomnia or muscle soreness. Some of the recommended user types are:

Sufferers of chronic painSufferers of stressSufferers of body painAthletes or heavy stress workers like construction workersPregnant womenAdventure sport fans And many more!

Do note that you cannot use the mat if you have an open cut or tear on your back. Moreover, when you start using the mat for the first time you are going to be uncomfortable due to the presence of the little pock marks on the mat.

It took me a couple of sessions before my body got used to the pock marks, but once that was done, everything went smoothly ahead.

While I was no expert in acupressure mats until recently, I started researching about them and trying out the various options in the market. I was surprised at some mats which were so much more proficient than others.

This testing took me a couple of days but I was finally able to pick an acupressure mat which I liked the most.

To help you save time, I am going to do a list of top five acupressure mat review below. I will discuss what I liked about the mat and what I found to be problematic.

The Best Acupressure Mat For Back Pain Relief

Spoonk Cotton Pagoda Acupressure Massage Mat

via Amazon

I found Spoonk to be one of the most popular and reliable acupressure mat brand. The Cotton Pagoda massage mat comes with 6200 acupressure points that reach all the main points of your body and give superb relaxation. I checked the product and was a fan from the first session.

Moreover, the mat pock material is a nontoxic ABS plastic which is not reactive to human skin and will not cause any allergies. A high quality cotton filling ensures that you are very comfortable while lying on the mat.

Spoonk recommends this mat for women who are in pregnancy, people with cardiac conditions, diabetes, skin inflammation, joint pain, etc.

Check More About It on Amazon

PROS

6200 acupressure pointsSturdy filling for solid but relaxing comfortHigh quality cotton used for fillingFoam derived from organic technologyCarry bag includedManufacturer’s warranty of 5 years / 30 days money back guaranteeAvailable in multiple colors (choose from 5 options)Reviewed in top American shows – Dr Oz’s Best Advice Ever!

CONS

This is very pointyYou may have to use an old sheet as a layer to cut down on the intensity at the start Results take some time to show (30 mins)

Nayoya Acupressure Mat

via Amazon

Nayoya pressure point massage mat was another great choice I found while studying the market. This mat utilizes the advantages of pressure point massage to enable your body to repair itself. It has 6210 pocks and can help lessen the pain in the back, neck, shoulders and hips in just one session.

I found out that the mat can relieve you from a wide range of stress, for example, back agonies, weariness, a sleeping disorder, hypertension, and soreness. It can also cause the body to discharge endorphins, as they soothingly affect the brain and body.

The mat enhances your muscles to recuperate from exercises, and improve insomnia. There are so many ways to use this mat to target different body sections. Truth to be told, after using it a couple of times, my body started craving for it, which is insane!

Check More About It on Amazon

PROS

Works astoundingly on back agoniesTargets head, neck, back and hip at the same timeIncredible for sciatica fibromyalgia alleviationEnhances flow of bloodLonger utilization gives you more solaceLight and versatile

CONS

No directions on the duration required to utilize itHurts at first until the point that you can get accustomed to itJust a single color option

HemingWeigh Complete Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set

via Amazon

This was one of my favorite products and one that came with the most pressure points. The HemingWeigh mat is intended to enhance rest quality, increment blood circulation and relieve, stresses and muscle soreness. It is a good choice for individuals experiencing strain, weariness, a sleeping disorder and or other conditions.

The mat measures 29 x 17 x 1 inches and contains 8,820 contact points. It is produced using quality materials with no glue involved. The HemingWeigh mat additionally accompanies a carrying case which is a pleasant add-on, considering that you are going someplace that you know has awkward resting conditions.

For greatest advantage you might need to turn on some relaxing music and get some aromatherapy treatment in a diminished, orange light. This together would make a perfect unwinding or resting condition.

Check More About It on Amazon

PROS

High quality materials, made without any glueFeatures 8820 contact points• Increases energy levels and improves sleepProven to alleviate acute, sub-acute, or chronic back pain and help with soreness / insomniaReleases endorphins and oxytocinHas been used by Indian yogisFeatured on the Dr. Oz ShowLess expensive than other similar options

CONS

This is very pointyYou may have to use an old sheet as a layer to cut down on the intensity at the startResults take some time to show (30 mins)

The Zensufu Acupressure Massage Mat

via Amazon

I found the Zensufu pressure point massage mat great for its modest cost and general performance. This mat has 6,210 pressure points which help individuals who are stressed, rested inadequately, have low energy, tired, or have muscle strains.

I think that this mat is not reasonable for kids under 18, as they can't take the pressure on uncovered skin without hurting themselves.

You can utilize this mat to relax over bed, floor, couch, seat and other spots where you want to sit. On the off chance that you feel the pocks are too sharp, you may place a thin towel to shield your skin from the pain.

The mat also accompanies a neck cushion with over a thousand acupressure points, which is pretty sweet in my opinion.

Lightweight and versatile, you can easily carry this mat on your outing in its vinyl carry pack. I believe that you can make the most of its full advantages by just lying on the mat every day for a couple of minutes.

Check More About It on Amazon

PROS

Reasonably priced even if you have a low budget6,210 pressure points for pain reliefUseful for muscle alleviationCompact and light100% cottonHigh quality ABS plastic used to prevent allergiesIncorporates a carry sack

CONS

Pocks may give an initial pain for up to 2 minutesMay feel cheap compared to better brands like Spoonk

ProSource Acupressure Mat

via Amazon

On the off chance that you are continually combating back pain and stresses, ProSource's pressure point mat can be a good choice for you. It is intended to enhance blood flow and diminish muscle strain, migraine and back pain.

Produced using 100 percent thick cotton and plant-based ECO foam, the, mat has 6,210 pressure points while the neck pad has 1,782 pressure points.

To appreciate these advantages, you should lay on the mat regularly for 10 to 30 minutes each day. The mat discharges endorphins to relieve agony and unwind the muscles in the back, feet and neck. This set incorporates a pad with acupressure pocks for neck support.

Again, this is a great feature and one which I appreciate a lot. For patients experiencing a sleeping disorder, the mat promotes rest when utilized before sleep time. All things considered, this is an entirely strong choice.

Check More About It on Amazon

PROS

6,210 acupressure points for the mat and 1,782 acupressure points for the neck pillowCan help with inflammations and serious stiffnessBudget friendlyHigh quality material and plant based foamRecovery is quick7 color choicesEasily portable

CONS

For the first time, you may need to wear a thin shirt till you get used to itPocks on the neck pillow may fall off after regular useNo BPA free certified plastic used

Wrap Up

After testing the options in the market, I think these are the best acupressure mat I have come across. Of course, each individual may have a different opinion or experience regarding the mentioned product, but I am sure most of you are going to appreciate any one of the products I have listed.

From the five choices, my personal favorite is the Nayoya Back and Neck Acupressure Mat. I believe that it is a great first step towards a pain and stress free lifestyle. The mat and pillow combo is easy to use and carry around while you are moving. It only requires a small time out of your day to work effectively and for all that is worth, it is a premium product with a solid reputation in the market.

If you found this review helpful, you may share it with any friends or family who might need it. (Hint: Any of these acupressure mats can make for a sweet surprise gift for them!)

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How to Choose The Best Ankle Support – Get the Cues HereFind The Best Posture Corrector – All You Need To KnowThe Best Back Brace for Lower Back Pain: All You Need To KnowFinding The Best Shoulder Brace: All You Need To Know
How to Choose The Best Ankle Support in 2018 – Get the Cues Here

How many instances have you unknowingly slipped off a curb and rolled your ankle? Well, if it has happened to you, don’t worry because you’re not alone. Ankle injuries are one of the most common injuries in everyday sporting activities and the suck.

Ankle braces are designed to provide your ankles the stability, alignment and extra support they need for optimal performance no matter what the job is – whether it’s assisting you while you sprint or keeping your ankle protected during injury recovery.

On the other hand, choosing the best ankle support is often like choosing a car. The options have become limitless and as a result choosing an ankle brace has become difficult. While you are likely to spend several weeks researching dozens of ankle supports, comparing aspects such as level of support, comfort, quality, and functionality among others, we have narrowed it down to the top five which you’ll compare in order to make the best choice for your needs.

Best Ankle Support Why Do You Need A Good Ankle Brace?Tendinitis/ Ankle Sprains Achilles TendinitisPlantar FasciitisTypes of Ankle Braces Available for You Compression Braces Semi-Rigid Brace Hinged Braces Rigid Braces Top Five Best Ankle Support for Jogging ASO Ankle Stabilizer Physix Gear Sport Plantar Fasciitis Socks With Arc Support McDavid 195 Ankle Brace Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks Sleeve Stars Plantar Fasciitis Foot Sleeve with Ankle Brace Strap Winner of the Round-Up

Why Do You Need A Good Ankle Brace?

When you injure your ankle or engage in an activity that requires fast-paced weight changes, some extra support can ensure that your ankle stays protected at all times. This is where an ankle support comes in.

There are numerous ankle braces in the injury recovery market and you can select one based on the amount of support required or your level of injury. Here are some common reasons why you need a good ankle support:

Tendinitis/ Ankle Sprains

An ankle sprain occurs when the ankle muscles and ligaments are exposed to a rapid impact when they are not ready for it. What happens in such a case is that the ligaments tear and as a result, an inversion injury is likely to occur.

However, the most common sprains occur when the foot rolls underneath the leg or ankle. Ankle braces are used to aid in recovering from a sprain or preventing it from happening.

Achilles Tendinitis

Also known as Achilles Heel, Achilles Tendinitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue connecting calf muscles at the back of your lower leg to the heel bone.

Normally, this overuse is usually gradual in time and can result from simply walking and running. This injury results in stiffness and pain at the back of the heel and can be treated with compression ankle braces.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. This kind of injury involves the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs through the bottom of your foot and connects your toes to the heel bone.

In most cases, this injury is as a result of excessive running, walking, standing or any other activity that involves being on your feet for a long period of time. People who are overweight and those who wear poorly cushioned shoes are at a high risk of plantar fasciitis.

Types of Ankle Braces Available for You

Compression Braces

Elastic or neoprene compression braces are used in aiding the treatment of tendinitis and mild ankle sprains. In most cases, elastic braces consist of a light weight stretchable material and give the ankle joint compressive support. Compression enhances joint support and balance, while still facilitating the motion necessary for sport activities and daily functions.

The advantages of compression braces include:

Decreases muscle stiffness and keeps the ankle area warmProvide compression which minimizes the swelling associated with ankle injuriesThey are a universal fit for either the left or the right ankle

Semi-Rigid Brace

The lace-up ankle brace is the most common type of semi-rigid ankle brace. Semi-rigid ankle braces are used for mild to moderate ankle sprains or for the prevention of repeat ankle sprains that occur with strenuous foot activity.

Lace-up braces are designed to prevent the ankle from rolling side to side as well as the up and down ankle motion, typically providing full ankle support.

These braces come in various types, including those with and without figure-8 strapping systems. Braces with external straps provide a figure-8 strapping system that permit quick tightening without having to re-lace the entire brace. These braces need more time to take off and put on, particularly those with the figure-8 strapping system.

The benefits of lace-up braces are:

Provide more support than compression braces and fit in most shoesThe combine durability with a comfortable, lightweight feel.

Hinged Braces

Hinged ankle braces are a type of semi-rigid braces that are designed to prevent rolling the ankle from side to side without affecting the up and down motion of the ankle.

Most of these braces feature padded sides for optimal comfort and either one or two Velcro straps for quick adjustment and easy on and off application.

The benefits of lace-up braces are:

Increased side to side support compared to compression bracesThese braces are designed to fit in most shoesThey are constructed to fit contour of the left or right ankle

Rigid Braces

The rigid stirrup ankle support is perhaps the most widely used brace in sports today because of its effectiveness and versatility in treating stress fractures, ankle sprains and chronic ankle sprains.

A stirrup ankle brace is made of a hard plastic shell that extends up both sides of the ankle and is strapped into place with easily adjustable Velcro straps.

Although rigid braces provide more side to side support that semi-rigid braces, they may be difficult to fit with some shoes.

Some of the benefits of rigid braces include:

Better side to side support compared to semi-rigid bracesProvide compression which reduces the swelling associated with ankle injuries.

Top Five Best Ankle Support for Jogging

Although there are hundreds of ankle supports that are reliable and durable, each comes with a unique design that's created to fit particular needs. Some ankle supports come with lace-up braces while others come with stirrups. You can even find traditional braces or ankle wraps.

Whatever your preference is, I am positive you will find a pair in this list that is a good fit for you. So without further ado, here are the top five best ankle supports that you can get online today:

ASO Ankle Stabilizer

via Amazon

This ankle brace is the ankle support choice for most professional athletes. What makes this ankle support a force to reckon with is its ability to combine support, comfort and durability in a since product. What’s even more is that this ankle brace protects the feet from injury, shock or discomfort that might result from prolonged walking, sporting or other activities that may pile up pressure on the ankle.

Another reason to love the ASO Ankle Support is that it slides into your foot just like a sock with extra straps and modifications. The laces help you tighten the brace so that your foot will not slide out, without cutting off blood circulation. The brace’s stitching is solid and well-constructed, so you don’t have to worry about it falling apart even with prolonged use.

LEARN MORE ABOUT IT ON AMAZON

Pros

Has good side stays for supportQuick and easy to put on without causing any painEffective in relieving pain from muscle aches and workoutsThis brace fits snug enough to fit under your boots

Cons

The laces easily loosen up if not well fastenedThe comfort level is quite low

Physix Gear Sport Plantar Fasciitis Socks With Arc Support

via Amazon

Are you suffering from Plantar Fasciitis in one or both feet and can hardly walk? Worry not because we have the solution. These remarkable foot sleeves will give you all day relief from the throbbing foot and heel aches.

The comfort level of these socks is just exceptional. Made of 80% nylon and 20% spandex, these braces will hold your foot and ankle at the correct angle with the right level for healing compression.

This ankle support sleeve is not only lightweight but also lightweight and durable, all thanks to its innovative fabric. What’s even more interesting is that this ankle support will remain dry even during your toughest and most sweaty workout.

LEARN MORE ABOUT IT ON AMAZON

Pros

These socks are very comfortable to wear and increase blood circulationThey do not lose their shape and compression even after months of steady wearProvide optimal comfort and relief for a nagging foot painSlim design which ensures they fit neatly under clothing

Cons

The fabric is weak and can rip off in just a few weeks of wearThe compression might not be enough to support a severely injured ankle

McDavid 195 Ankle Brace

via Amazon

This popular ankle brace is the epitome of solid construction and it incorporates thick wrapping bands in a figure-6 style. This brace comes in an array of sizes so you should not have trouble finding one that suits all your needs. Besides, the exceptional design of this brace simulates the functions of an athletic tape.

This brace is made of a single-layer nylon fabric that makes this product a lightweight, breathable and durable ankle brace. Designed with a universal fit, the McDavid 195 boasts of a built-in anatomical arch that keeps your foot comfortable all day long. The stabilizer strap is made of an elastic fabric so you can adjust the tightness to your liking, giving you a customized fit any time you want to have it on.

LEARN MORE ABOUT IT ON AMAZON

Pros

This brace is fully adjustable without removing or unlacing your shoesLightweightGives plenty support while allowing you to engage in different activities

Cons

It is bulkyCan only be used to prevent injury, not when you’re already injured

Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks

via Amazon

Combining truly effective compression and an anatomically correct design, this ankle brace from 1st elite is not only the ultimate solution for your ankle and foot pains but also a perfect training accessory to aid you in getting the most out of your feet with minimal pain.

With a pair of these socks, you will enjoy breathability and improved relief. Plus, the low profile of these socks makes them perfect to put on with any footwear.

These compression socks also come in electric blue, hot pink and classic black colors that are just irresistible. This 1st Elite product is an excellent relief for your plantar fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, ligament tears and sprains.

Whether you use them while you hike, run, bike or when you go to bed, you are assured of optimal comfort and your feet will thank you.

LEARN MORE ABOUT IT ON AMAZON

Pros

These socks are great to run inSpeeds up recovery from sprains, Achilles Tendonitis and Plantar FasciitisExcellent foot comfort

Cons

Compression behind the toe area is extremely tightCan cut off circulation around the ankle

Sleeve Stars Plantar Fasciitis Foot Sleeve with Ankle Brace Strap

via Amazon

The sleeve stars plantar fasciitis foot sleeve presents the ultimate solution for weak, stiff, sprained or injured ankles. If you want to recover faster and reduce the swelling, discomfort or pain, then the Sleeve Stars ankle support is what you need.

This sleeve offers superb ankle support while also accelerating recovery and minimizing joint, tendon and muscle inflammation, soreness or pain. This strap offers extra support and compression, which are both vital for times when you’re active and aid in preventing new injuries.

What’s even more breathtaking is that this ankle brace is made of a high-quality fabric that’s quick at absorbing sweat thus keeps your feet odor free and dry. The fabrics inner texture also gives you a soft and smooth touch feel.

LEARN MORE ABOUT IT ON AMAZON

Pros

Machine washable and easy to care forThis is a unisex braceDoes not limit your range of motion

Cons

It’s hard to get this sleeve on comfortablyThe strap can irritate plantar fasciitis if it is too tight

Winner of the Round-Up

Although the products on our list are equally excellent, the ASO Ankle Stabilizer wrestles them all. This ankle support has the right balance of movement and support to keep you active while protecting your ankle. It also has an invisible seam to offer superior comfort.

Besides being made from a crisp yet light material that makes it less clunky, this brace has a minimalist strapping configuration that makes it easy to take off after a long, tedious day. With that in mind, the ASO Ankle Stabilizer is sure to help your ankle recover from a sprain or fracture in the shortest time possible.

You may read:

The Best Back Brace for Lower Back Pain: All You Need To Know​Finding The Best Shoulder Brace: All You Need To Know – 2017 ReviewTop 5- Best Acupressure Mat for Back Pain ReliefFind The Best Posture Corrector – All You Need To Know
Pain after Exercise? Here’s How to Correct It

When trying to cope with muscle soreness and pain after exercising, there are a few remedies possible to employ. If you are starting exercising or haven’t done so in awhile, there is likely to be soreness and pain. The body needs time to recover. Fatigue and pain can be normal, but if it is sustained or accompanied by weakness, fever, or breathing difficulties, more care is needed by a doctor. Below are a few tips for personal support during times of pain.

Keep Moving

After a workout, keep moving; this is a true way to avoid soreness. Go slowly such as taking a bike ride or walk will help speed up your recovery. Just like warming up or stretching, using your muscles helps you to avoid the buildup of lactic acid and keeps your movement fluid. Take a little walk after your run. Do a few standing jump-ups after weight training. Or simply pace back and forth to keep your muscles warmed up and let them cool down slowly.   

Use an Ice Pack

If you have muscle swelling or joint pain, sometimes an ice pack can do the trick. Wrapping the ice pack in a thin towel and placing it on sore muscles for 15 minutes can really help. Heal packs can also alleviate pain where there is no swelling present. This will boost circulation. 

Stretch

Stretching after a rigorous workout can prevent sore muscles. Before exercising, be sure to warm up your body by simple stretches and calisthenics like arm swings, marching, squats, or slowly walking and then picking up your pace. Stretch all muscles you will be using to best help your muscles recover. Warming up can also help you to prevent pulling a ligament, tendon, or muscle during a workout.

OTC Pain Meds

There are ways to ease your pain using non-opiate-pain-killers. Sometimes when natural remedies are not enough, certain medications such as Advil and Tylenol can ease this. Topical pain treatments can also be applied directly to the skin to help aid this healing process. These use menthol, or other oils, and can reduce the risk of side effects that are associated with any oral medications. Use caution however when they are applied as skin must not be broken or irritated as this can make things worse.

Lightly Exercise

Muscle soreness is normal and after a workout means your muscles are stretched and slowly are growing in strength. Use your muscles with an activity that is light after pain to help keep your body tuned to exercising. This can also speed up lactic acid that builds up in your body.  

Take a Warm Bath

The warmth helps to loosen muscles and boost circulation by providing temporary relief. Epsom salts can aid as a soak and the magnesium in them helps to loosen and relax tight muscles. Warm baths can also have a detoxing effect like a sauna that helps you to release toxins that may have built up in your muscles after exercise. Besides that, it helps promote a restful sleep, which is also a very good way to recover after an intense workout.

Pineapples or Tart Cherries

Bromelain is an enzyme in pineapples and has anti-inflammatory properties. Cherries or cherry juice also have this property and can significantly reduce inflammation in the body. Supplements containing bromelain can be purchased at health food stores or online as well.

Hydrate

Staying hydrated is so important to you before, during, and after a workout. It decreases muscle soreness and inflammation. Water is always the best choice, but if you have been excessively sweating, sometimes electrolytes and sodium need to be replaced through a sports beverage or electrolyte powder. There can be many good choices of these including some natural brands with only minerals and vitamins included.

Take an Ice Bath

After significant workout, a cold bath can actually do the trick as well. This can be used instead of a hot bath and vice versa. This staves off muscles soreness that can set in the next day. It decreases inflammation and helps ease the pain.

Rest

Muscle pain and be the body’s way to say you really need a time-out. Taking this short break from working out can give your muscles this time to heal. Resting is the body’s way to repair and recover and allows you to be able to restore energy for the next big workout.  

Remember that sore muscles are perfectly normal and are the body’s way of strengthening. Muscles ache and cause pain because of tiny tears in the fibers and connective tissues. This condition can easily be remedied in normal and natural ways without using harmful drugs and risking their side effects. The good news comes that after you get accustomed to a new sport and exercise, there will be little to no soreness experienced. In the meantime, use these helpful remedies to help alleviate your pain and soreness.  

Author Bio - Amanda Maurois; Proud mompreneur, graphic designer, enthusiastic traveller and blogger who loves to write about healthy lifestyle, entrepreneurship, time management and more. She is also a lead writer and editor at HowTonight lifestyle magazine. https://twitter.com/mauroisamanda
5 Ways to Speed Recovery From an Injury

Even a slight injury like a mild ankle sprain or shin splint can sideline your workout or training routine drastically. While an individualized treatment and recovery plan might be strategized with your doctor, there are a handful of key actions to always keep in mind to bolster your body’s natural healing abilities.

5 Ways to Speed Recovery From an Injury RestDiet ModificationsCross TrainingIce TherapyMindset

Rest

Ever heard of the the RICE injury treatment plan? Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. This go-to recovery tactic is an easy one to remember and naturally effective at supporting the body while it heals damaged tissue.

Recovery from an injury absolutely requires rest. Not complete and total prolonged bed rest by any means, but essentially giving your body a break from the typical sports play and workouts.

Compression and elevation can help fight painful inflammation and even reduce redness and tenderness around the affected area of a torn ligament or strained tendon.

The best way to encourage yourself to rest when all you want to do is get up and go is to bide your time elsewhere. Find a yoga class you can take part in that won’t exacerbate your injury, see a movie, call your mom, discover a new hobby, and just fight the urge to “suck it up” and work out through pain.

Without rest, not only can you prolong recovery, but you can cause further damage and significantly extend your timeline to resuming normal activity.

Diet Modifications

You likely know all about refueling with protein and hydrating liquids following an intense workout or weight lifting circuit, but can you feed your body to assist with injury recovery?

Absolutely. Just as your body is repairing torn muscle tissue after a workout, it uses the same immune response to heal damaged tissue after an injury.

Protein plays a critical role in this response so incorporating more lean meats, cottage cheese, whey, legumes, eggs, milk, nuts, and seeds into your diet is going to be important.

Additional nutrients like zinc and Vitamin C equip the body with the tools it needs to heal faster as well. Zinc stimulates cell division and growth as well as supports a strong immune system, and can be found in foods like seafood, spinach, dark chocolate, and flax seeds.

Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron as well as form proteins which are needed to rebuild vascular tissue, skin, and ligaments.

Stock up on citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits for your Vitamin C fix as well as bell peppers and broccoli.

Cross Training

Cross training? What about that whole “rest” thing? Well, when normal training isn’t feasible but cross training is, it introduces beneficial fitness to a body in convalescence.

While cross training may be defined as learning more than one role or sport/exercise to improve performance in the original, when it comes to aiding an injury, cross training provides an outlet for maintaining activity levels without exacerbating an existing injury.

Depending on the severity of a foot or leg injury, runners who can’t hit the trail for awhile can benefit from cycling or treadmill work. Injured swimmers may tackle indoor rowing to avoid further shoulder or arm injury but still maintain some upper body strength and tone.

And if your weight lifting routine is halted by a back or shoulder injury, switching to bodyweight exercises like wall sits, planks, and burpees can help you stay in shape while you recover.

Ice Therapy

An essential component of the RICE treatment, and likely the first thing you go for when you notice swelling of an injury, ice therapy is an interesting one.

Did you know that the application of an ice pack to your body actually slows the conductivity of nerve endings, stops any nerve spasming that was sending pain signals back to your brain, and thus temporarily numbs the area?

This analgesic effect is the key to quick pain relief when you’re wincing and and struggling to go about normal activity.

Ice packs, ice massage, and even ice baths also constrict blood vessels to the area of application, narrowing them and slowing down blood flow to prevent further swelling.

When the ice treatment is removed, not only do underlying tissues warm up, but whoosh!, blood rushes back in rich with oxygen and nutrients and flushes out built-up waste products and lactic acid, giving the tissue proteins all the fuel they need to get to work on repair.

The ice packs should never make direct contact with skin, but rather be applied with a barrier like clothing or a towel. You should also apply ice packs only 10 to 20 minutes at a time, three to five times a day for optimal results.

Heat therapy should only be conducted once ice therapy has reduced inflammation, typically 48 to 72 hours post initial injury.

Mindset

The frustration of taking time “off” to heal while your fitness gets put on hold can be overwhelming. You might imagine your physique deteriorating because you are unable to maintain your normal level of intense training or workout.

Stress sets in and makes muscles tense and sore. Your regular kick of endorphins from daily exercise diminishes, and an air of negativity seems to follow you around.It’s easy to get bogged down mentally by an injury, and that is why mindset plays such an important role in recovery.

A positive mood combined with a motivational outset to healing can empower you to keep up with healthy behaviors like eating right and self-care which ultimately benefit your overall well being.

Simple mood boosters might include yoga, cooking, aromatherapy, coloring, catching up with old friends, volunteering and massage. Massage was actually shown in a 2012 study to not only help reduce inflammation in sore muscles, but to stimulate mitochondria, the energy sources for cells which are essential to function and repair.

Injury doesn’t have to be a death sentence to your fitness routine. And recovery won’t always require invasive procedures or pharmacological intervention. Staying active while prioritizing positive thinking, eating right, rest, and self-care can actually speed up recovery times and empower your future training with a newfound appreciation for your own body.

- Guest Post By Joe Fleming From Vivehealth.com

10 Common Sport-Related Infections and How to Treat Them

Sportsmen and women push their bodies hard to optimize performance. They expose themselves to all types of situations during exercise. As a result, there are some sport-related infections to which they are more susceptible than other segments of the population.

Some of these diseases require sophisticated treatments. Other infections in the same category can easily be handled using home remedies and other simple interventions.

Whether an infection is severe or simple, the affected sportsman or sportswoman needs to deal with it effectively. The reason why they ought to handle it conclusively is that they need to be in near perfect shape to win in the competitions they participate.

A slight discomfort may mean the difference between winning and losing in a competition pitting sports people who are in the same range of ability.

The following is a list of common infections falling under this category:

1. Athlete’s Foot

Fungi cause this condition. It is usually found in parts of the skin where there is a high possibility of being wet. Humidity in these hidden parts of the surface provides a suitable habitat for fungi which causes the condition.

The best prevention for athlete's foot, therefore, is keeping the feet dry. This disease is more common in teenage and adult men than it is in women.

Some of the most common symptoms include itch and scales in the affected parts of the skin. this condition is commonly treated by applying for antifungal medicines. The antifungal drugs used to come in the form of creams or lotions.

Over and above these drugs, there is also a considerable number of home remedies for athlete's foot. Some of these include applying garlic, using unflavored yogurt or a mix between baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

2. Impetigo

Impetigo is another infection that affects wrestlers. It is spread through close skin to skin contact. The condition is also common in children. It is characterized by the appearance of red sores on the infected parts of the surface. The red lesions start oozing puss at a later stage. They usually heal by themselves.

To prevent this infection, the sportsmen and women should always keep their carpets clean. The use of antibiotics can expedite healing.

3. Herpes Gladiatorum

This disease is prevalent with wrestlers. There have been instances in which it has affected entire wrestling teams. Herpes Gladiatorum is characterized by skin rashes which are akin to a herpes simplex rash.

The outbreak usually is domiciled on the shoulders, neck, arms and the face. This infection is spread through close contact. This mode of transmission is the reason why it is common among wrestlers; their sport is a contact sport.

This condition can be controlled by keeping wrestling mats clean. However, it is difficult to manage because if a competitor from another gym has it, they spread it even to those who try to keep it at bay. Once infected, a patient can use anti-viral medication to make the infection subside faster than it would if left alone.

4. Toenail Abnormality

This condition is also known as Onychodystrophy. It is characterized by the separation of the toenail plate from the toenail bed. This abnormality occurs when a runner's toe is forced into the toe of the shoe.

The condition can be prevented by athletes trimming toenails. If the condition goes to extreme levels, it may have to be treated surgically. Athletes can also keep this problem at bay by lacing their running shoes a little loose.

5. Tetanus

Athletes are typically involved in physical activity that may lead to injuries. These injuries if not properly tended may lead to tetanus. The risk of tetanus is unusually high in sportsmen and women who have to be involved in rigorous exercises.

This is because when the body is exerted during rigorous workouts, it loses its ability to protect itself against diseases. The best way to deal with tetanus is through immunization.

There is an active vaccine that works against Clostridium Tetani, the pathogen that causes tetanus. If the victim was not vaccinated as a child, they need to be immunized every ten years as adults or as soon as they suffer a deep cut.

Tetanus is one of the more dangerous common sport-related infections, although immunization has considerably subdued its prevalence, it is still relatively high among athletes.

6. Upper Respiratory Infections

There is a high prevalence of this condition in athletes. The high prevalence in athletes is notwithstanding the fact that URI is one of the most common infections in humans. These diseases are the cause of between 30% and 40% of visits to sports clinics all over the world.

The possibility of infection increases with the increase in physical exertion an athlete is involved in. Thus, sportsmen and women engaged in low to medium physical activity are less susceptible.

These infections are of different types, and various types of viruses cause them. URIs are infectious, and they can be transmitted from one person to another through aerosols. Thus, close contact with an infected person can lead to infection.

It is for this reason that close contact sports like wrestling are some of the leading culprits when it comes to transmission of these diseases.

Many of the patients can heal without taking medication. The use of Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs reduces the symptoms associated with these infections.

These drugs also shorten the cycle through which the disease goes thus providing the patient with faster relief than would be the case if they take no medication. A patient may also receive relief by eating fruits rich in Vitamin C.

7. Hepatitis

Hepatitis is transferred from one person to another through the transfer of body fluids. This mode of transmission means that there has to be close physical contact between the transferee and the transferrer for the infection to occur.

If athletes in close contact sports are suffering from a skin infection such as impetigo they are likely to transfer hepatitis among themselves. These skin infections are quite common among athletes involved in a close contact sport such as wrestling.

Hepatitis has no known treatment, but drugs may be used to slow down its advance. Usually, the disease ends by itself. However, there are instances in which it can advance to morbidity, and it may even lead to death. Hepatitis can be prevented among athletes by making sure that all open wounds and sores are dressed.

8. Jogger’s Nipples

This condition is more prevalent among male athletes than female athletes. When an athlete runs, they sweat, and the sweat is transferred to the fabric. The nipple then rubs against this material leading to crusting and bleeding.

The reason why this infection is more prevent in men than in women is that women typically put on bras as they go out jogging.

Nipples should be dressed in a hydrogel to treat this condition. The hydrogel can soothe the cracked nipples.

The cracking can cause the nipples to be infected. If they are affected, they can be treated with an antibiotic.

9. Ring Worms and Tinea

These are fungal infections that come as a result of the sportsman being always wet. The wetness is typically due to sweating. Tinea may occur on armpits, the athlete's head and other parts of the body. It is usually itchy with, and it causes a pale patch on the skin. It is treated using antifungal lotions and creams.

10. HIV/AIDS

There is a relatively high prevalence of HIV among sports people. While HIV can be transmitted by usage of needles to inject drugs, successful athletes are unlikely to be involved in drug abuse.

Use of illegal drugs would lead to disqualification and also lower the performance of the athletes. The most likely way that sportsmen and women may end up contracting AIDS id through unprotected sex.

Owing to the many opportunities for travel available to athletes, they are likely to be engaged in sexual intercourse with people other than their regular sexual partners. It is for this reason that HIV is categorized as a lifestyle infection. The athletes who have attained high levels of success in their sports are usually celebrities.

They are famous and have access to groupies, and this increases opportunity for casual sex. HIV has no known cure and those who contract the viral infection have to take Anti Retro Viral drugs to manage the condition for the rest of their lives.

Conclusion

From the list above, many of the common sport-related infections are dermatological. Involvement in sports exposes the body to many difficulties. The diseases are from all manner of causes. Some are bacterial; others are fungal while still others are viral. Athletes also suffer from cases of food poisoning this is most likely to happen when they travel to different cultures in which they have to eat food that is different from their native diet. Thankfully, with proper personal care and medication, all the illnesses above can be treated or managed.

Guest Post by Susan Hamilton

Author bio

Susan Hamilton is a food engineer and a health advocate. She tries to improve her life by using home remedies whenever possible and she writes about it on HomeRemedyBook. You can also get in touch with her on Twitter.

Finding The Best Shoulder Brace: All You Need To Know – 2018 Review

Choosing a shoulder brace can be daunting, particularly when there are hundreds of brands in the market. However, it does not have to be a difficult undertaking of you know exactly what you want. The best shoulder brace and support can be the difference between experiencing an agonizing pain and having a normal day. Read through this article for an insight on some ways to help you find the best shoulder brace, as well as the top five recommended products

Best Shoulder Brace and Support What Should You Take Into Account When Finding a Shoulder Brace?1. Type of Shoulder Injury2. Support Level3. MechanismTop Five Reviews of the Best Shoulder Support Brace1. Pro Ice Adult Shoulder/Elbow Cold Therapy Ice Wrap2. O2 Cold and Compression Ice Wrap3. ActiveWrap Shoulder Wrap for Hot or Cold4. McDavid 207 Compression Shoulder Wrap5. EVS Sports SB04 Shoulder Brace (Medium)Winner: #2 EVS Sports SB04 Shoulder Brace (Medium)

Product

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Pro Ice Adult Shoulder/Elbow Cold Therapy Ice Wrap

A

$$

O2 Cold and Compression Ice Wrap

A-

$$

ActiveWrap Shoulder Wrap for Hot or Cold

A

$$$

McDavid 207 Compression Shoulder Wrap

B

$

EVS Sports SB04 Shoulder Brace

A+

$$

What Should You Take Into Account When Finding a Shoulder Brace?

When searching for a shoulder brace, it is not just a matter of selecting the most-popular brand name or the best price. Instead, finding the right shoulder brace involves a plethora of factors concerning your chest’s size and why it is affected (e.g. instability, injury, etc.)

Knowing your body first will better gauge what will be the best shoulder brace to buy.

One great way is to first research any possible symptoms of your shoulder, so as to establish just what might be causing it to hurt or be weak. You might even need to consult with a physician if the matter is too complex for you to know. Once you discover what is bothering your shoulder, you can move on to selecting your shoulder brace for fitting.

That said, what should you look for in a shoulder brace? Here are some important points to take into account.

1. Type of Shoulder Injury

This is the first thing you ought to think about when searching. Many are used for different purposes, whether to treat arthritis, to rehabilitate sport injuries, or generally minimize shoulder strain when running.

As a runner, you’ll need to look into getting a shoulder brace specialized for your sport; here are the ones you might want to consider investing in:

Posture or Clavicle Related Injury:

If you spend a lot of time working at a computer or at your desk, there is the natural tendency of the shoulders to slump forward with time. Over time, this tendency can cause an impingement in the front of the shoulder joint. Needless to say, a clavicle or posture support can be a good solution.

Joint/ Rotator Cuff Injuries:

These shoulder braces hold your shoulder in place and provide soft tissue support through compression. Your choice of shoulder brace depends on the severity of the injury and the intended use. If it is a basic level injury, a stretch fabric support will work perfectly and its gentle pressure will prevent you from making sudden shoulder movements that could aggravate the injury.

If your injury is slightly more severe, a top level stretch fabric or moderate level neoprene shoulder brace would come in handy. For severe injuries, your physician will probably recommend immobilizing the shoulder for a period of time to prevent any further injury.

Arthritis/Frozen Shoulder:

The frozen shoulder is a very common condition affecting athletes and none athletes alike. With long periods of inactivity, the shoulder tends to become very stiff and painful to move. In this case, a heat therapy shoulder wrap is recommended since it gets blood flowing in the joint and loosens it up

2. Support Level

There are varying degrees of how much assistance you need from your shoulder brace. This list below offers the different levels for the item:

Basic Support:

These shoulder braces are normally smaller and can be made of light neoprene or stretch fabric. They are good for wearing during sleep or during a normal work day since they are fairly comfortable. When choosing a basic shoulder support to wear for long periods of time, it is advisable that one looks at the strap that holds the brace in place. Is it narrow or wide and where does it cut across the chest? Basic shoulder support braces are used for short, minor injuries, offering low assistance at a low cost.

Advanced Support:

Advanced shoulder braces made of neoprene normally cover more shoulder area and are made of thicker neoprene as compared to basic level braces. Some of the more comfortable fabric versions usually have more than a single strap. Durable and easy to adjust, advanced shoulder braces offer moderate support by reducing stress throughout the shoulder.

High Support:

The high support level shoulder brace is usually used for post-operative recovery or to completely immobilize the shoulder joint. A majority of high support braces are nor designed to be utilized for any sport or activity involving shoulder mobility.

3. Mechanism

After identifying the type of shoulder injury you have and the support level you need, the next step is to know the details of the brace, in order to know how it operates. Here are a few aspects you might need to look out for:

Shoulder Stabilizer.

A Shoulder stabilizer provides shoulder immobilization and an array of controlled range of motion for multi-directional, anterior, posterior and inferior instabilities, shoulder AC separation, rotator cuff deceleration and muscle strains. This kind if shoulder brace is designed to restrict, assist or stabilize movement of the shoulder post-injury and post operatively. The smooth, controlled restraint or assistance follows the natural movement of the joints and muscles.

Shoulder Sleeve

A shoulder sleeve is worn just like a shirt sleeve, where your hand just slips into it. Most of these products are designed to fit either the left or right shoulder and are perfect for the hard to fir areas of the lower and upper arm, shoulder, back and chest areas.

Shoulder Wraps.

There are adjustable wrap-arounds that help with compression and warmth. They serve for convenience since they can be slipped off and on easily.

Top Five Reviews of the Best Shoulder Support Brace

Now that you have done your research in finding the best shoulder brace to buy and wear, it’s time to go a notch higher and look at a few products. It’s by no means an exclusive selection but rather a way to help you get an idea of what works or doesn’t work for you and your body at large.

No matter your selection, know that it is essential to get your shoulder healed and back into doing what you love to do, namely, sporting!

Product

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Pro Ice Adult Shoulder/Elbow Cold Therapy Ice Wrap

A

$$

O2 Cold and Compression Ice Wrap

A-

$$

ActiveWrap Shoulder Wrap for Hot or Cold

A

$$$

McDavid 207 Compression Shoulder Wrap

B

$

EVS Sports SB04 Shoulder Brace

B+

$$

1. Pro Ice Adult Shoulder/Elbow Cold Therapy Ice Wrap

via Amazon

This premium quality shoulder/elbow ice wrap not only targets the shoulder but also the upper arm and elbow. If you play any kind of sport that requires the use of your shoulder and upper arm, this Cold Therapy ice wrap is perfect for you.

This shoulder wrap provides great coverage from the back of the shoulder right through to the front, targeting all the crucial muscle groups. As a bonus, the brace’s arm cuff covers the triceps and biceps. This wrap applies firm compression and offers a customized fit to the afflicted part. It’s designed to help you recover faster from shoulder operations and injuries.

LEARN MORE ABOUT IT ON AMAZON

PROS

This shoulder wrap reduces pain, inflammation and stiffness on the desired part of treatmentIt is the perfect treatment after a surgery for rehabilitation and a quick recovery.Versatile for all sorts of injuries, such as shoulder bursitis, and rotator cuff strains among othersThis brace is lightweight and easy to wash

CONS

The ice pack inserts can be tough for wearing with severe injuries or after surgery OWN IT NOW!

2. O2 Cold and Compression Ice Wrap

via Amazon

Are you looking for a shoulder ice pack to help you recover from a basketball or football injury? The O2 shoulder wrap has got you covered. Shoulder pains and injuries can result in great discomfort but with this wrap, you can keep away all the shoulder pains.

This wrap comes with a pump to compress air and thus achieve the required shoulder pressure for faster relief. What’s even more convenient about this wrap is that you can wear it over clothes since it is completely leak proof.

This high-compression ice shoulder strap will hands down offer the most intense therapy and best compression for the shoulder. If you are a high-level athlete, require intense treatment or recovering from serious shoulder injuries, this wrap is all you need.

LEARN MORE ABOUT IT ON AMAZON

PROS

Drip free fabric that allow breathingCan be easily worn over clothes without ruining themThis brace straps securely to your shoulderHas a pump to increase compression and alleviate pain faster.

CONS

The brace does not fit women with average size shoulders properlyPutting and taking off this wrap can be cumbersome if you are on your ownDoesn’t have full coverage on top of the shoulder OWN IT NOW!

3. ActiveWrap Shoulder Wrap for Hot or Cold

via Amazon

This shoulder wrap is designed to be a 2-in-1 brace, a shoulder heat wrap and an ice wrap. It treats all aspects of the shoulder with its versatile thermal compression wrap. Being a heat and ice shoulder wrap all-in-one, this brace is designed for unrestricted movement and injury specific adjustments during usage.

This product is the pinnacle of utmost comfort for all shoulder sizes and is easy for you to slip into without any extra help. With its unique strap design, this brace covers the shoulder, delivering the cold therapy deep to where you need it most.

This ergonomically made shoulder ice and heat wrap is lightweight, delivers conforming cold/hot therapy to all parts of the shoulder. This wrap is ideal for rotator cuff injuries and any throwing or shoulder-dependent athlete

LEARN MORE ABOUT IT ON AMAZON

PROS

LightweightThe wrap material is latex free, reusable and washable Unique rotator cuff strap design delivers the cold to where you need it

CONS

Not suitable for large upper armsThis brace can be bulky and stiff for a post-surgical shoulder. OWN IT NOW!

4. McDavid 207 Compression Shoulder Wrap

via Amazon

The McDavid 207 is a shoulder brace that wraps around your chest to offer optimal support to your upper back. This shoulder brace is designed to offer effective, safe, hands-free treatment for injuries with utmost convenience and comfort. This shoulder wrap boasts of an icy cold or hot therapy and an insulating neoprene material that helps maintain the desired temperature in the shoulder area.

This product integrates temperature therapy and compression therapy to great effect. If you have suffered an acute injury, you can instantly apply a cold compress with the shoulder wrap to reduce the pain and minimize swelling.

Applying a heated compression to the shoulder can be the solution to chronic joint pain since it improves blood flow to the affected area. This will help the body get rid of any cellular byproducts and relax your shoulder muscles.

LEARN MORE ABOUT IT ON AMAZON

PROS

This brace provides heat treatment for chronic injuriesHas an adjustable chest strapNeoprene material offers flexibility and long durabilityThis shoulder wrap offers hands-free injury treatment

CONS

They product’s gel packs are not completely microwave safeTo heat the gel pack, you will need to place the pack in boiling water for several minutes which is quite inconvenient OWN IT NOW!

5. EVS Sports SB04 Shoulder Brace (Medium)

via Amazon

The EVS Sports SB04 is a top-of-the-line sports shoulder brace that offers support and compression while allowing for a full range of movement. This shoulder brace will keep your shoulder in an optimal position which provides relief from chronic pain and reduces muscle tension.

This brace is made from high-tech materials that breathe and feel natural on your bare skin even without stretching out and losing its compression capabilities over time. Besides, the brace’s adjustable level of elasticity makes it an ideal option if you want shoulder support while you are exercising or working out.

The EVS Sports SB04 offers both impact protection and support in a low profile design for all day comfort. The product features a neoprene support along with a heavy duty molded nylon shoulder cup that helps protect your shoulder from direct impact. The SB04 adjustable D ring closure at the bicep area accommodates various size arms with ease and minimizes chaffing.

LEARN MORE ABOUT IT ON AMAZON

PROS

The adjustable straps offer customized fit and are used to fine tune the amount of support Offers optimal impact protection and supportThis brace allows full freedom of shoulder motion in any directionNeoprene supports provides compression and retains warmth for healing.

CONS

People who are unfamiliar with shoulder braces can have difficulty figuring out how to use the brace OWN IT NOW!

Winner: #2 EVS Sports SB04 Shoulder Brace (Medium)

Although it was a close call, ultimately, EVS Sports SB04 Shoulder Brace (Medium) did it for me. What made this brace stand out from its competitors was its ability to offer maximum impact protection, compression, and extra shoulder support, which was a huge bonus.

While wearing it, I experienced no shoulder movement restrictions and definitely maximum shoulder stability. On the technical level, this shoulder brace was good to wear for more than two months, since my injury needed a longer time to heal. Support level was on the advanced side, since I was able to use it for most of my moderate level activities.

See more: 

Top 5- Best Acupressure Mat for Back Pain Relief How to Choose The Best Ankle Support – Get the Cues HereFind The Best Posture Corrector – All You Need To KnowThe Best Back Brace for Lower Back Pain: All You Need To Know
The Best Back Brace for Lower Back Pain: All You Need To Know

At one point in life, pretty much everyone suffers from back pain of one form or the other. Even when this happens, resting does not solve the problem and we need help. Athletes performing over-the-top workouts and other individuals strenuously using their muscles can find relief using the best back brace. Besides overworking the back muscles, poor sitting posture has also been a great cause of back pain.

Many people assume that having some rest any time the back muscles feel fatigues is surefire way to overcome the throbbing pain faster. However, the truth is that if the back muscles don’t get the right amount of strengthening and activity, they will become less active and can aggravate your back troubles. However, no need to worry because we’ve got the best back support reviews for you right here.

Best Back Brace What Causes Lower Back Pain?Poor Lifting TechniqueCommuting and ComputingInjury to the Joints and BonesBenefits of Using a Back Support BeltBack Support.Pain Relief.Immobilization.Non Invasive Treatment.What Should You Consider When Buying a Back Brace?The Material Used (Fabric)Flexibility and StiffnessSize and ShapeReview of the Top 5 Back Braces in 2017AidBrace Back Support BeltMueller 64179 Adjustable Brace with Removable PadBraceUp Lower Back Brace and Support BeltComfyMed Breathable Mesh Back BraceNeoTech Care Adjustable Deluxe Double Pull Lumbar BraceThe Ultimate Winner

What Causes Lower Back Pain?

For the majority, back pains appears to be an unavoidable discomfort. However, the truth is that you may have more control than you actually think. You can wreck your back in numerous ways but a few major culprits stand out:

Poor Lifting Technique

Improper bending and lifting of objects causes lower back injury since it strains most of the spine-supporting muscles. This, however, can be prevented by engaging the abs to aid in supporting your back muscles. This ensures that the strength required to lift n item is distributed evenly across various body muscles.

Commuting and Computing

Sitting has been the norm – while driving to work, in your office and in front of the TV and this could be wrecking your back. The spongy discs that cushion the vertebrae in your spine usually have a poor blood supply.

When you move, blood flows into the discs but when you’re seated, blood flow to the discs is cut off, thus depriving them of the much needed nutrition. Spending a lot of time sitting in front of your laptop or behind the steering wheel adds mileage to the discs, which causes stress in your back.

Injury to the Joints and Bones

Fractures of the sacrum bone and lumbar spine mostly affect the elderly, particularly those who’ve been under prolonged medication. For such individuals, occasional or minimal stress on the spine can result in a bone fracture.

Such a fracture causes an instant onset of thrilling localized pain which may radiate around the waistline in a band-like fashion and can even be worse with body motions.

Benefits of Using a Back Support Belt

Although many people suffering from back pain are yet to embrace this amazing piece of medical technology, here are some benefits you will enjoy when you use a back support brace.

Back Support.

This is by far the most widespread reason why individuals with back support problems, low back issues and other troubles wear back braces. It should also be known that back support is more than just meant for the lower back – it involves the mid and upper back as well.

Pain Relief.

Almost all individuals that suffer from a back ailment will complain of pain. Besides, this pain is normally exacerbated when specific positions and movements stress the affected area of the back. A back brace, however, will limit all your movements allowing the affected area to heal.

Besides, a back support belt will also alleviate any pain symptoms by compressing the abdomen, which helps unloads the vertebrae and intervertebral discs. By minimizing your dependence on the pain pills to relieve back pain, you’ll reduce harmful effects and save money as well.

Immobilization.

Many spinal conditions and injuries require that the back be immobilized for a period of time. A back brace will immobilize your back which minimizes motion at the injured area, thus allowing it to heal in a short time.

Without proper immobilization, the chances are that you may inadvertently re-injure the affected area during your daily activities.

When selecting a back support belt, it’s important that you go for a design that limits an array of motions including flexion, extension, and rotation.

Non Invasive Treatment.

Many people suffering from severe back pain are often required to undergo invasive treatments such as nerve blocks and surgery. Wearing a back brace is a non-invasive treatment that is a good alternative to surgery. Besides, it’s also appealing to persons who do not fancy back surgeries.

What Should You Consider When Buying a Back Brace?

The Material Used (Fabric)

Before picking a back brace from any store, be sure to check beforehand the fabric used. Besides, the nature of the fabric should benefit you and offer a solution to your back problems. Neoprene is a material commonly used for manufacturing back braces. It’s known for its excellent hear retention qualities that make your back feel relaxed.

Flexibility and Stiffness

Depending on the amount of support that your spine requires, you may need to go for a flexible brace or a stiffer one. A stiffer brace may come in handy if you need to restrict the motion of your spine and back or if you are just from a back surgery.On the other hand, a flexible brace is enough to aid in maintaining proper back posture when you are driving to work or sitting in front of your computer.

Size and Shape

Be sure to choose a back support belt that is well suited for your body size. While a back brace is naturally designed to support your back, it should not limit you from moving freely. Always try wearing it before settling on the decision to buy it for you to ascertain that you are totally comfortable with it.

Review of the Top 5 Back Braces in 2017

AidBrace Back Support Belt

via Amazon

If you engage in strenuous physical activities, spend extensive periods of time sitting with minimal movement or suffer from lower back pain, you definitely need an AidBrace Back Brace Support Belt. This back brace offers excellent support to the abdomen, hip area and lower back to help relieve your back pain. Besides, the belts design is the pinnacle of optimal comfort and it easily conforms to all your daily activities.

This brace incorporates a breathable mesh and double side straps that facilitates good air-flow to reduce sweating and tighter tension adjustment respectively. In addition to incorporating industrial durability that will last for years to come, this back support belt comes in six different sizes from which you can choose one that suits your needs.

CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON

Pros

Supports the lower back and lumbar wellThe breathable mesh makes it comfortable to wearThis brace is easy to clean with water and some mild detergent

Cons

This brace has a poor constructionThis belt is way too bulky

Mueller 64179 Adjustable Brace with Removable Pad

via Amazon

Whether you need to correct your posture, recover from an injury, or your lower back just needs some extra support, the Mueller 64179 will offer all those in a single back brace. This back brace wraps around your lower back perfectly, and the removable lumbar pad makes it more appealing.

Although this product comes in different sizes, you can personalize with the outer elastic tension straps. In addition, the flexible steel supports positioned along the spine offer more stability to the wearer.

The amount of comfort and breathability you experience from this back brace is just magnificent. From sunrise to sunset, this brace will support you and keep you comfortable as you perform your daily activities. If you want your active lifestyle to go unaltered, then this is the lower back belt for you.

CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON

Pros

It is a great supportive beltGreat product for a reasonable priceEasy to put on and take offConstruction is excellent

Cons

This brace doesn’t stretch farVery restricting if you need to move around

BraceUp Lower Back Brace and Support Belt

via Amazon

Comfort and fit should always be your priority when purchasing a back brace, and this lower back support belt doesn’t disappoint in that regard. This brace offers comfortable support to your lower back while still allowing you full range of movement.

Its sleek, curved design helps reduce bunching and slipping in inopportune moments. Additionally, this lower back brace has two adjustable straps that allow you to wear it loose or tight, an invaluable choice for you.

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Pros

Allows a full range of movementThe curved design prevents the brace from slippingIncredible relief for lower back painThe Velcro does not wear out after washing

Cons

Poor back supportIt doesn’t cover much area

ComfyMed Breathable Mesh Back Brace

via Amazon

By opting for the ComfyMed breathable back support belt, you will own a medical grade accessory that offers sturdy back support for treatment of scoliosis, herniated disks, and sciatica. This back brace is durable and optimized for optimal back comfort and spine safety, and boasts of a washable material that neither slips nor irritates the body when in use.

This lower back brace also adjusts and stretches for any custom fit, has firm, easy-grip handles which ease adjustment, removal or wearing. If over-training or old age have taken toll on your comfortable life and not even a single remedy appears to offer a solution, this brace gives you a reason to smile.

CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON

Pros

Naturally and effectively relieves lower back pain caused by herniated disc, loose ligaments or nerve injuriesSuitable for everyday activitiesInnovative designBreathable meshLightweight

Cons

Has a very strong odor after few hours of wearing itThe belt shifts a lot when you walk around

NeoTech Care Adjustable Deluxe Double Pull Lumbar Brace

via Amazon

Engineered for optimal back support and strength, the NeoTech Adjustable Deluxe Lumbar Brace is ideal for people who are grappling with debilitating back pain. This lumbar brace is constructed from a tough, non-stretch material and its double pull up mechanism further enhances its strength.

The support provided by this lower back brace improves your posture to aid in treatment of back problems such as Sciatica and slipped disc disease. This brace is designed to help minimize unwanted twisting movements and is the right product for people with a sport or manual occupation where weight lifting may be involved.

The neoprene material used in this brace is water resistant and traps warmth which helps ease back muscle spasms and spinal stenosis.

CHEC IT OUT ON AMAZON

Pros

Highly breathable material for optimal comfortIts slim profile makes it ideal for wearing under clothesWide enough to help with lower thoracic painIt is a Unisex brace

Cons

This brace can be a bit small even when you order your sizeYou may have problems keeping the belt from slipping

The Ultimate Winner

With our list having the best back support belts in the market today, the gold award winner goes to the ComfyMed Breathable Mesh Back Brace. This back brace scored perfectly in a majority of areas of independent evaluations, including pain relief, design and suitability for everyday use.

Besides offering optimal back comfort and safety, this back brace is easily washable, can be adjusted for a custom fit and gives you a reason to smile all day. Developed to keep you cool when exercising or during the hot summer days, this product is by far the coolest lower back brace in the market.

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