Category Archives: Health

Got Back Pain? Try an Inversion Table!

These days, a lot of people have back pains. It amazes me that as early as 25, I already experienced lower back pain as if I was already aging.

I guess I can blame it on posture and the very little time I spend exercising and focusing on blood circulation.

What’s an Inversion Table?

If you haven’t heard of it yet, an inversion table is like a cot where you lie down, strap yourself to it, and control it to a position where you are suspended upside down.

It’s like being in a handstand except that you are not putting your weight in your hands.

An inversion table is the main equipment used in inversion therapy. Inversion therapy is a technique that focuses on shifting gravity in your body to allow proper blood circulation and muscle relaxation.

Although there are barely any studies that prove inversion therapy’s effectiveness, the logic of the whole technique was enough for me to try it.

Benefits of Inversion Therapy

Of course, I still did research before deciding to buy an inversion table. I found that there are many benefits to doing inversion therapy, here are just some:

1. Fewer Back Pains

Since I always get back pains, I wanted to look for something that will address this above anything else.

Fortunately, buying an inversion table can focus on lessening the back pains that I have since it targets the muscles around my back and the spine itself.

There’s even a study that shows the reduced chances of getting back pain just by spending 3-minute sets on the inversion table.

2. Stronger Spine

The spine is one of the most underrated bones in the body. Without it functioning properly, you could cease to walk, jump, stand, or do anything that you love.

Going through inversion therapy can help increase the fluids that protect the spine and all the bones that make it.

3. Relaxed Legs

We spend most of our days standing up or sitting down. Either way, our feet carry all our weight so it just feels right to let it relax.

The best way to do it is to go upside down so that you shift all your weight from your feet to the inversion table.

Picking the Right Inversion Table

If you’re wondering where to buy inversion tables, you can buy online or at brick-and-mortar shops so that you can see each model for yourself.

But before doing this, I suggest that you know what to look for in an inversion table.

First, you have to check the sturdiest brands. It should be able to support your weight or heavier. If possible, you can look at videos or ask for a demo so that you can see how sturdy it is when someone is already lying on the inversion table.

Second, you want to consider its design. It’s more than looking nice and sleek. The design I’m talking about is its ergonomic design.

When it comes to going upside down, you have to make sure that its design will help support not just your back, but also your neck.

Another thing I recommend checking is the handlebars. Well, you have to know how many angles the inversion table is allowing.

For inversion therapy, going upside down isn’t the only position that can help relieve back pain. In fact, you have to do a few sets of different angles.

And lastly, I personally would buy an inversion table that has other features. For example, if it has heating pads, then that would be nice since heat helps warm the tension in my back.

There are a lot of inversion tables out there but before you shell out money for this, know your preferences and standards in inversion tables.

5 Factors to Consider When Buying an Exercise Bike

Biking brings about numerous health benefits, which is why a growing number of people nowadays have become bike enthusiasts and gyms consider exercise bikes as staple equipment. Among the benefits are increased cardiovascular fitness, improved circulation, weight loss, stronger bones, and more toned muscles.

Despite the advantages, not all bikes are created equal. There are those that cause accidents and those that do not fail to deliver results. Some are intended for athletes while others are specially designed for beginners. If you are intending to buy one for personal use, here are some factors you need to consider:

Noise

Exercise bikes are stationary machines run by applied leg force. Old exercise bike models create noise, either humming or squeaking, when in full motion. While the noise may appear tolerable, it unconsciously seeps in through your mind, disrupting your focus. In Australia, there is a plethora of exercise bike options to choose from and among those with noise-free design is the Vortex V1600.

Size

The size of your bike matters, lest you stretch a specific muscle group unnecessarily. If you’ve tried riding a big mountain bike when you were six or a mini kiddie bike when you were 30, you know exactly about the body strain caused by a bike-body size mismatch. Ideally, you must be able to reach the pedals comfortably. The distance between your body and the handlebars should be at an arm’s length, enough for you to slightly bend your elbows or to fully rest your forearm on the bar. Again, different sizes and features are available nowadays. So it certainly helps to read Australian exercise bike reviews, so you would be better guided.

Features

You should be able to track down the number of cycles you’ve undertaken without the arduous task of manual counting. That said, exercise bike features truly matter. Purchase those that have an embedded digital counter. Also pay attention to the bike seat; it should be comfortable and durable enough to withstand the weight of the users. Handlebars should preferably be adjustable and the controls should be user-friendly. If you want, you can even choose exercise bikes with a heart-rate monitor. This feature helps avoid medical emergencies, such as stroke and heart attack.

Most importantly, when deciding on features you should be able to realistically assess your skills and health condition. Upright exercise bikes are better suited for beginners as they resemble closely the traditional bikes. Recumbent exercise bikes, on the other hand, offer the riders a reclining position because of the back rest. They also allow more rigorous training and wider coverage of muscle toning. Then again, the decision rests mainly on your expertise level.

Alternative Programming

Focusing on a single exercise regimen over and over again for a long period of time is stifling. You definitely need a breather in the form of an alternative exercise set. Your exercise bike programs, therefore, must be able to accommodate different resistance levels and other fitness requirements. For instance, the York Fitness’ C410 model allows a complete 12 variations in resistance levels, thereby enabling the users to achieve their fitness goals, apart from offering them an elegant design. Furthermore, there are newer models that allow users to watch videos, play music, or play games while exercising through the embedded video screens. This creates a fun experience.

Budget

The average price of exercise bikes is within $200 to $2,500, depending on the features and brand. If you are new to the routine or still testing the waters, it is recommended that you purchase the low-cost bikes first, lest you find the exercise inappropriate for your health status or personal preference. From there, you can gradually upgrade to more advanced features.

While biking is great, it may not be for everyone and spending $200 at the very least is no joke. You need to ensure the value for your investment. Consider the 5 factors above and surely you will make wiser purchase decisions.

Physiotherapy Helps Me in My Duties as a Mother

physio-2For many women, being a mother is one of the achievements that make them feel whole as a human being. I know how it feels because I am now a mother of a healthy and smart kid. I am now in my mid 30s and am happily raising my kid together with my loving and responsible husband. Since pregnancy up to the early years of my baby, felt really whole as a woman but I had to endure sacrifices and pains such as when I was giving birth. Then, I had to endure sleepless nights during the first few months of my baby. When he was able to walk and did not require much attention as when he was a baby, I returned to my work so I can help in keeping the family financially stable. My husband earns enough but I want to contribute and I also have other plans that require money.

Over the years, it was apparent that I have been working very hard as a mother to my child and as professional in my chosen career path. Though I make sure to take a rest whenever things start to get stressful, I really actually don’t pay that much attention to the slight joint pains I feel whenever the day ends. This usually happens at the workplace and during days when we are demanded to accomplish a lot of task. At first, I didn’t mind it. But when I also started feeling pain in my thigh muscles that was when I started to get a little worried. So I asked my closest friends, some of whom are my colleagues also, about the best way to get rid of the joint and muscle pains that have been bothering me for days. They all recommended several remedies but what was common among the recommendations is physio or physical therapy.

I live in Werribee and I don’t have any plans of going somewhere far just to look for a physiotherapist. That’s why I also asked them whether or not there is a licensed and reliable Wyndham Physio clinic in Werribee VIC. They suggested some names but they also advised me to do some research online. After browsing a few websites, I decided to choose one and contacted them immediately. I want to relieve my joints of pain in the soonest time possible. I ask the staff who answered me if I can have an appointment the next day. Luckily, I was told that they can still accommodate me.

I told my daughter and my husband about my appointment the next day and that I need to rest early. They were both supportive and did not bother me to stay up late. On the day of my appointment, I had a short shower and light breakfast because I was expecting that some massage and related therapeutic methods will be performed on me. When I arrived at the clinic, I was immediately introduced to the therapist I was assigned to. We talked for about 15 minutes so she can have a background about my physical condition. I told her everything about my work as a professional and as a mother. I told her that there are many times that I have to carry light to slightly heavy objects every day. I was also asked whether I follow regular exercise or not. I responded no because of my busy schedule at home and at the office.

After the short interview, she performed some stretching on my hands and legs. She also asked me to do some poses and whether these are affecting my joints and thigh muscles. After that, she discussed some illnesses and body pains that can be treated with certain physical therapy methods. Then she proceeded with the first session of my therapy. She emphasized that there will be only light massages and movements because there is a need to help the body avoid shocks. The pain I feel may get worse if she exerts too much pressure on my body and if I perform too much movement. I learned that they key to the slow but sure way of relieving my joints and muscles of pain is to have a scheduled plan of a series of therapy sessions.

I was advised to have a twice a week therapy at the clinic. After one month, I can feel a huge difference in my physicality and in my energy. I feel like my muscles are able to move comfortably and that I have a lot of energy to accomplish my day to day tasks both at home and at work. I learned later that the sessions were able to help me have better muscle flexibility and bone movement. I also followed the advice to follow certain exercises routines everyday for a few minutes.

With everything I have experienced, I can say that I am able to become a better mother and professional because of effective and safe physiotherapy. At times when I get tired and exhausted, I make it a point to have massage therapy so that can experience relief from my hardened muscles. I’d like to share my experience about having massage therapy. Check it out here.

Drumming to Help Burnt-out Moms

drum lessonsBeing a wife and a mother of three children makes my life happy and fulfilling, but also stressful and exhausting. There are many roles to play: the family driver, the kids’ teacher, and the homemaker. My check lists and to-do lists seems never-ending with the numerous duties, chores, and errands I have to do. I believe that busy moms like myself deserve some downtime, a break from the daily routine of endless responsibilities. 

Choosing a stress reliever can be perplexing. Nowadays, mothers choose regimens that not only distance themselves from their packed schedules, but also guarantee body and mind advantages while doing the practice. Recently, I was surprised to learn that drumming has numerous health benefits. Usually, we think that handling and playing an instrument is only restricted to musicians and artists. But several studies have shown the effectiveness of drumming therapy for stress, regardless if the person is musically inclined or not. 

After reading many sites, journals, and articles regarding these benefits, I decided to educate myself with the drums by enrolling in a music school. As a partner, mother, and a professional, I wanted to attend classes near to my house, the kid’s school, and my office. Fortunately, Red Drum Music Studios was just around the block. I immediately went to check out Red Drum Music Studios page and saw what type of arrangement suited me and my hectic lifestyle.

Red Drums Music Studios is one of the best schools for beginners like me, hobbyists, and professionals. They have a variety of classes, even for piano and vocal instructions. One of the reasons that pushed me to join this school is that all their teachers are trained and licensed. Plus, the mentors and the employees were very welcoming, patient, and hands-on. After a few sessions in the studio, I can now attest to the advantages stated in music and health magazines and websites.

Music has always been a popular choice as a stress reliever, but it felt entirely different when I was the one producing music and making beats with my drumsticks. Unconsciously, hitting the drums released all my negative energy and thoughts, frustrations, anger, pressures. Somehow, drumming became therapeutic for me since I let out all the tensions of my mind and body. As I was learning a certain beat or tempo, I had to focus on my actions and forget about all my worries. Drumming took my mind off of things and taught me how to enjoy and relax at the moment. 

Moreover, I found the activity physical, but refreshing. Drumming exercised my arms and hands; thus, enabled my body to naturally release endorphins. Endorphins are known as the “happy hormones” which explained why I was always in good spirits when I played. For the rest of the day, I found myself in a positive mood because I attended classes. More than just feel-good producers, endorphins are also considered as the body’s painkillers. Because of these, they reduce the chronic pain and sometimes control it. Eventually, I no longer felt my back and neck pain that has been irritating me for weeks. I was able to perform with more ease and comfort compared to my pre-drumming days. 

Since stress is known to take a toll on our overall condition, I was glad that this stress management of mine boosts my immune system. The immune system is the usual target of anxiety and distress, and since I have addressed this issue, I was less prone to sicknesses despite my tiring circumstances. I learned that it had increased my number of white blood cells that counter bacteria and diseases. Overall, drumming sessions that mainly addressed stress, made me physically stronger and healthier as well.  

Additionally, attending this music school expanded my network. I made new friends, who were actually my neighbours. Since my usual route was home – school – work and back, my social circle was limited to those. Now, I feel more comfortable in the community I am living in. Likewise, I was able to establish a connection with my fellow classmates every time we had group sessions. Though we played music together more than we spoke with each other, we instantly had a bond since we all shared a common ground, which was drumming. 

Other than all those aforementioned, playing the drums was also proven to engage mental thought and maintain mental clarity. Creating and following beats and patterns required both the left and right sides of the brain. Drumming is a great exercise to practice cerebral coordination and synchronization. As a result, people who have learned the instrument have less problems when it comes to developing insights, creating strategies, and expressing creativity. Likewise, according to research findings, the sound vibrations felt and heard catalyzes the discharge of negative cellular memories. 

In general, drumming for my health became time for myself, a time for relaxation. Having a toxic life can affect all aspects of one’s life, so it’s important to take a breather. I’m glad I take time weekly to go my drum sessions since it has definitely moderated my stress levels and affected my condition and outlook positively. 

The Health Benefits of Water

drinking waterHealth is considered the most important aspect in our lives but unfortunately, many of us disregard its importance not until a problem is encountered. The cliché ‘health is wealth’ is actually true and thus we should not take this for granted.

Even if we are feeling well, strong and energetic we should not forget the fact that sickness can always occur in the future. At one point or another, each person gets sick for reasons such weather change, acquiring a virus from a different place, or sometimes due to fatigue. At the onset of any health issue, seeing a doctor is the smartest move. In addition, practicing a healthy lifestyle should also be carried out. One way of living healthily is by keeping the body hydrated. This, therefore, brings us to the topic of drinking water. What exactly are the health benefits of water? Let’s go ahead and learn more.

Scientifically, our body weight comprises 60 percent of water. Our body uses water inside tissues, organs and cells so that these would function normally and at the same time regulate the temperature in the body. Knowing that our body loses water through digestion, breathing and sweating, this has to be replaced by means of rehydration or drinking fluids. Another healthy method of rehydration is eating foods which contain plenty water. In that case, fruits and vegetables are the best source.

There are a number of factors which affect the amount of water your body needs. These are: how physically active you are, climate you live in and whether an illness or health problem is being experienced. As recommended by health professionals, 8 glasses of water is the ideal amount to be taken every single day. While water is the best thirst-quenching liquid, it also promotes a number of benefits. Here they are:

Water Protects the Joints, Spinal Cord and Tissues

Water keeps the tissues in the body moist. When the tissues run dry, it can be associated to the feeling when your mouth, nose and eyes gets dry. Hydrating the body means allowing sensitive areas of the body such as bones, brain and blood to retain their optimum levels of moisture. Furthermore, water protects the spinal cord and functions as a lubricant in cushioning the joints.

Water Aids in Digestion

Digestion starts in the oral cavity where the breakdown of food is initiated with the aid of saliva, the basis of which is water. The process of digestion takes place through the presence of enzymes and liquid that help dissolve nutrients and minerals. Water aids in the digestion of soluble fiber which results to a healthy bowel movement.

Water Helps Your Body Remove Waste

The excretion of waste from the body is manifested through defecation, urination and perspiration. The liver, intestines and kidneys need water to flush out waste from the body regularly. Water eliminates the problem of constipation by helping move the food in the intestinal tract and softening the stool before excretion. One important thing note is that increased amount of water intake does not guarantee cure for constipation. Severe cases must be under the advice of a doctor.

Water Prevents Dehydration

When the body engages into vigorous activities such as exercise, dancing and running, plenty of fluid is eliminated from the body through perspiration. Loss of fluids also occurs when a person experiences high fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Fluid intake, particularly water, can help restore the body’s hydration level. In the case of urinary tract infection, bladder infection and renal stones, the doctor would recommend increased amount of water intake above the normal 8 glasses a day. For pregnant women or nursing mothers, water intake is also increased due to the utilization of more fluids in the body when conceiving or breastfeeding. Caution is required though on the amount that is why you need to consult with your physician.

Upon knowing how important water is in our lives, it is also necessary to learn the ideal amount that the body needs. This brings us to the question – how much water do you need?

One good indication whether or not you are dehydrated is by determining the color of your urine. If the color is clear, then you are pretty in good shape however, when the color is dark, you are probably dehydrated. Dehydration can be prevented by drinking enough water when you get thirsty. And in order to achieve good physical health, always include water or any healthy beverage with each meal of the day.

Water does not only facilitate proper digestion, it too does many wonders for the health which include, healthy skin and hair, cleaner teeth and gums, good hygiene and others. Make it a habit to drink water not only when you get thirsty but in between meals as well. Prevention is always better than cure therefore, make it a lifestyle to become a water drinker. It is the most inexpensive wellness regimen which is very safe for everyone.