Selfcare guide: ways to relieve back pain

If you experience back pain regularly, you may have had ailments that lead to walking difficulties, problems sitting comfortably and sleeping restfully too. Thankfully, you can turn to the power of selfcare to help ease your back pain. Through searches online, you’ll of course find lots of helpful options, from exercises with a tennis ball and acupuncture to a sports massage. Here’s our top three ways to promptly take action and deal with backaches.

ways to relieve back pain
Image by mohamed_hassan on Pixabay

Hot baths can work wonders for tight muscles in the back

The NHS recommends heat as one of its top tips for Image by typographyimages on Pixabay. Heat packs are good, but hot baths are better for relieving arthritic pain or other musculoskeletal disorders that affect the back. The buoyancy of the water will help release pressure and strain on the joints, according to EverydayHealth.

The heat of the bath will also ease any tight muscles in your body, including your back. Plus, heat is intrinsically relaxing; you probably haven’t done much of that since your back pain started. The hot bath encourages circulation and, according to PainScience.com, wins out over heat packs because hot baths can increase the temperature of the muscle itself by deep heating.

You can turn your hot bath treatment into a real treat with some bath bombs and scented candles. After all, your back hurts — you deserve to be pampered.

Try gentle exercise to build strength in the back

It’s probably the last thing on your mind when you have back pain. Chances are, you want to lie down and not move until the pain subsides. But EverydayHealth and the NHS both agree that gentle exercise is far more beneficial for back pain. In fact, too much rest can make some types of back pain worse.

You don’t need to reach for the sweatbands, though. Just a slow, gentle walk can help, or a few stretches. If you feel up to it, yoga can be great for chronic lower back pain – a review in the Clinical Journal of Pain revealed strong evidence of this. Yoga builds strength and reduces tightness in the muscles, both of which can help with back pain.

Try and do a little bit of movement, even if it hurts a little. Obviously, if the pain gets worse, or it is bad enough to prevent your movement, seek medical attention.

Reduce initial swelling in the back with anti-inflammatories

It might seem obvious, but usually the simple solutions are the best! Taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory can help reduce back pain, says the NHS. Paracetamol, however, isn’t recommended to treat back pain on its own. If you can, try taking ibuprofen instead, as it is an anti-inflammatory, where paracetamol is not.

An alternative to ibuprofen would be a pain relief gel. Gels can be a great option for people who hate swallowing pills, or if you’re looking for more targeted action against backache. These pain relief gels can help alleviate discomfort and swelling in the muscles, making them a top choice for dealing with back pain.

Be sure not to use diclofenac-based gels alongside ibuprofen. It’s important to always read the label of any medication you take and seek your GP’s advice if you’re unsure about anything. If the pain in your back doesn’t improve, or gets worse, see your GP.

Sources:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/treatment/

https://www.everydayhealth.com/back-pain-pictures/ways-to-ease-back-pain.aspx

https://mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/6-tips-for-managing-back-pain

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/features/manage-low-back-pain-home#1

https://www.spineuniverse.com/treatments/alternative/unusual-treatments-back-pain

https://www.painscience.com/articles/bathing.php

https://www.londondoctorsclinic.co.uk/about/blog/2016/october/24/ibuprofen-vs-paracetamol/

 

 

 

How to keep your immune system as high as possible in the winter

We can all notice a change in our mood during the winter months. With a shorter amount of daylight hours, colder and dull weather, it’s really not the best combination. However, it’s more than just our mood that needs a boost during the winter months. This period can cause issues for our immune system too, making us more likely to get ill. But, what exactly can we do to boost our immunities and keep our systems as high as possible?

 immune system

Here, with vegetable seeds suppliers, Suttons, we take a look at what your immune system is and what are the top ways to make sure you stay fighting fit.

What is your immune system?

The immune system is what it says – a system. It’s not one single entity that you can pinpoint. It’s a network of cells, organs and tissues that work in unison to protect you. This ‘barrier’ helps destroy germs and parasites by trying to get rid of any unfamiliar bodies. If your immune system is healthy, then your body can fight off any harmful bacteria.

Immunisations

Over the winter months, you may be required to have several immunisations in order to give yourself a good chance of remaining fit and healthy. For those who are most at risk during the winter months, such as the elderly, you will be entitled to free flu jabs. Some workforces also offer this service to their staff to try to restrict sick days. If you don’t fall into either of those categories, you can still pay for the immunisation at selected pharmacies. While the NHS recommends that you get your flu jab in October or November, you can still have the injection at any point of the winter.  

Diet

It’s essential to eat enough fruit and vegetables. Your immune system is like any fighting force and needs good nourishment to perform well. You should stock your daily diets full of foods enriched in vitamins to give yourself the necessary requirements throughout the year, not just in winter.

Certain micronutrient deficiencies, including zinc, folic acid and iron, have been found to alter our immune systems. Therefore, you must make sure you’re doing your upmost to eat foods rich in these nutrients. Items you should be adding to your shopping basket over the coming months include citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, poultry and sunflower seeds. Each are packed full of nutrients to help keep your immune system in good condition.

Vitamin supplements

Health supplements are great way to give your body a boost if you can’t get enough vitamins into your diet through your food intake. There are many vitamins in tablet and liquid form that can help you maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

It’s sometimes hard in winter to get the required levels of vitamin D through just your diet. Temperatures and a lack of sunshine mean that we don’t receive our natural dosage of the vitamin via the sun’s rays and need to receive our intake elsewhere.  Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters available to us. If you don’t receive enough of this vitamin form in your diet — kale and oranges are two nutrient-rich foods — be sure to take a supplement to help keep your levels high. After all, if you lack in this vitamin, you’ll be more prone to getting sick.

You must not that supplements should not be used constantly as a replacement to actual food. It’s much more beneficial for your body if you get these nutrients through a food source as it’s easier to absorb.

Exercise

Exercise may not be high on your to-do list when you look at the dull, dark and cold skies. You may feel more inclined to curl up in front of the fire, but this isn’t necessarily the best option. Exercising can help reduce your chances of getting a cold, flu or other illness as it can help flush bacteria from your lungs and airways. The change in body temperature can also play a part in preventing an illness. This is because the rise during and straight after exercise can prevent bacteria from growing and ultimately fight any infection in a similar way it would if you had a fever.  

Relax

While it’s of course easier said than done at times, you must make sure you’re relaxed if you want to stay in peak health. This can include monitoring your stress levels. This is an area in which scientists are actively working to discover the exact link as it can be difficult to pin down exactly what a stressful situation means to a certain individual. However, stress has been found to have a strain on your immune system as well as your personal or work life.

While you should always look to cut any stressful situations wherever possible, you must also ensure you get enough sleep. Without this, you will find yourself being run down, leaving your body susceptible to catching the common cold. During sleep, your immune system releases cytokines proteins. Some of these proteins can aid your sleep, while others can fight off infections and inflammation, meaning it’s crucial to get a good sleep if you are to properly protect your body. It’s recommended that you aim for between seven and nine hours sleep each night.

Keep yourself right this winter. It can be a long slog before we reach the bright summer nights once again, but by keeping your immune system working, you won’t feel worse due to illness.

 

Sources

https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/heart/2013/01/getting-vitamin-d-during-the-dead-of-winter/

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/3-vitamins-best-boosting-immunity/

http://whoami.sciencemuseum.org.uk/whoami/findoutmore/yourbody/whatdoesyourimmunesystemdo

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system#sunflower-seeds

Image credits: pexels.com

 

 

Stress-buster: 7 Ways to Manage Stress

Career, work related demands and family responsibilities are the most common causes of stress. Stressful situations cannot be totally avoided but can be controlled and handled well through proper management.

 manage stress

Stress can drain and weaken your energy which can make you irritable and unproductive. It can make you feel and look older than your actual age. It also causes different illnesses such as heart problems, headaches, high blood pressure and other medical conditions.

To manage stress is to learn how to deal with it. Here are helpful ways on how to manage stress.

  1. A positive disposition will greatly help, learn how to prioritize your activities, take in charge of your thoughts and emotions. Smile and appreciate the beautiful things around you.
  2. Take a moment to do some meditation on your free time.
  3. Regular exercise has proven to be especially effective in combating physical effects of stress.
  4. Give your body enough nutritional support to stay strong and resistant. Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Joining in drinking sprees is not a solution but will only worsen the situation.
  5. When the mind is tense, the body is also stressed, relaxation techniques like listening to music, watching a good movie or a good body massage can increase blood flow and can make the mind and body lighten up and unwind.
  6. Health experts recommend the The Four A’s in dealing with stressful situations.Change the situation:Avoid the stressorAlter the stressor.

    Change your reaction:

    Adapt to the stressor

    Accept the stressor

  7. When you’re tired it may cause you to think illogically. Fuel your mind and relax your body by getting enough sleep.

Do not allow stress affect every facet of your life; get rid of the silent killer.

 

5 Tips to caring for your body after a heavy workout

heavy workout

A fit life is all about results and gains but these two goals wouldn’t be possible without good rest and recovery. Keep in mind that the exercises you do when working out are taking your body and all of your muscles and joints to their limits. Without allowing them proper recovery, you could produce terrible consequences to your body. Instead, take your time and allow a good recovery before your next workout. Here are some great tips to care for yourself and prevent an injury from working out. You will be surprised how simple some of them are!

1. Protect your joints: It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise program you follow, almost all of them require you to take your joints to their limits. This can produce long term consequences if they are not allowed to rest properly. To prevents this, use an ice bag at the end of your training and rest it on or tie it to your knees. This will help to reduce swelling and will help with the recovery. After a few minutes, you can use a knee sleeve to make sure that your knee, which is weak due the extra effort, doesn’t make a false movement. The sleeve will keep it strong and firm until it gets fully recovered.

2. Use a muscle recovery beverage: Amino acids are the most popular elements to add to drinks to help you recover. Using them after a heavy work out will help your muscles to rest. There are many brands in the market, so research the products available near you and make sure that you use a reliable brand. At the end of the day, it is our body that we are talking about and putting a random substance in it is definitely not a good idea.

3. Use the sauna, the jacuzzi and the cold tub: If you go to a full gym that has these facilities, take the time to use them everyday. The extreme temperature change is always good for muscles that are tense and tired after a heavy workout. After you work out, get into the sauna for a couple of minutes to relax your body. After that, change to the hot jacuzzi and lay there for a few minutes. To finish this circuit, get into the cold water. These temperature shocks will help to relax your muscles and will help with a quicker recovery.

4. Consume food that aids your recovery: The food that we ingest after working out is very important. Be sure to drink a lot of water to reduce soreness in your muscles/ Also eat meat and fish with high protein content to help with recovery and also add to your gains. Blueberries and dark colored fruits help to reduce muscle soreness and green vegetables help with the stress cortisol hormone. Almonds and nuts help to recover the tissues damaged by the effort of weight lifting, however, you have to consume them in small quantities because they have high-fat levels.

5. Stretch and sleep properly: Once you finish a heavy work out session, take the time to stretch your muscles properly. This will help you to prevent injury and cramps. It will also help to relax the muscle and help it to recover fast. Another very important thing is to have the correct amount of rest. Make sure you sleep about seven to eight hours daily. This is very important in your fitness routine because without resting, results will be delayed and you will be feeling more tired than you should be.

5 Tips to Take Care of Your Health

Your body is a temple that you must take care of. You simply cannot leave your health to chance because you will be the only one to suffer in case things go south.

Taking care of your health is not as daunting a task as you think it is. You just need to do the basic minimum, and occasionally go the extra mile, to ensure that you are always physically and mentally fit to go after your goals and dreams. Secure your future while enjoying the present.

Start by following these five tips religiously.

  1. Do NOT Skip Sleep:

It seems easier to forego some hours of sleep and finish off pending work, but this habit will harm you in the long run. You need to get an average of 7-8 hours of sleep every night if you want to be fit and healthy the next day. Sleeping patterns and needs do differ among individuals, but the negative effects of chronic sleep deprivation are the same. You will be in a crabby mood all day and unable to focus on work. Moreover, your memory, immunity and libido, will also take a hit unless you get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is also known to cause weight gain and depression.

Make it a point to sleep according to your schedule no matter what.

health

  1. Hydrate Yourself:

The importance of being hydrated cannot be stressed enough. You will be surprised to know that even mild dehydration can bring down your energy level drastically. You might think that skipping that extra glass of water in the morning will have no effect on your body, but you would be wrong. Dehydration can also affect your mood adversely apart from making you feel tired. The amount of water your body needs depends on your physical activity and weight, but an average person needs 2-3 liters of water each day. Start increasing your water intake and you will surely notice a difference.

  1. Provide Your Body with the Correct Nutrients:

Your body needs fuel, and it is your duty to provide that through the food you have. Unless your body gets proper nutrition, you will find yourself suffering from deficiencies that can escalate to more serious diseases. Start by cutting down on the junk food and sugar. Having fruits and vegetables when you are hungry instead of resorting to unhealthy food will have a positive effect on all parts of your body. A balanced diet must have all the main nutrients in equal proportions to work its magic.

  1. Exercise Regularly:

There is no reason why you should not exercise if you are thin. Everyone needs to exercise in order to remain fit irrespective of their weight.  Exercise can improve your cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of depression. It releases brain chemicals called oxytocin that will make you feel happier and more energetic. Exercising does not necessarily mean hitting the gym. Start small and then increase the intensity.

  1. Regular Check-ups:

Schedule monthly check-up appointments with your doctors from beforehand so that you can detect any problem that arises at the root.

Do not compromise when it comes to your health. If you want to know more about how to keep healthy, take a look at https://www.resetiv.com/

5 Things you should know about interviewing for jobs

The sole purpose of an interview is to sell you to the interviewer. You need to convince him or her that you are the best candidate for the job and you really know what you are doing. You should keep in mind that in an interview, your success and failure to get the job is entirely up to you. Below are some of the tips you should keep in mind when interviewing for jobs:

Be prepared. Preparedness goes all the way from being clean and presentable, comb your hair or get a good shave, apply a little deodorant to smell fresh and since you will be talking a lot, ensure you brush your teeth or carry a mouthwash. The first appearance has a great impact on anyone you meet and, in this case, your potential employer. Go further to ensure you dress appropriately for the job. Your clothes should be comfortable for you and the interviewer. The whole idea of preparing for an interview is to impact a great first impression by cleaning up nice.

Be confident and polite. In an interview, you should answer questions in a confident and polite manner. This not only portrays you as a professional but also as learned. Don’t use slang language. This could ruin your good curriculum vitae and reputation with the interviewer. No matter your relationship with the interviewer, whether you know each other or not, you should be polite and courteous in how you answer the questions and how you communicate in general.

Do your research. A quick detailed background check on your potential employer is crucial and vital before an interview. It gives you an idea of what is expected of you and an overview of the company. This will give you a head start on the questions you can be asked and how to answer them confidently. It will also enlighten you on how the company treats its employees and if you really want to work with the potential employer.

Be inquisitive. An interview goes both ways. Answering questions direct to the point as you wait for the next could be pretty boring to both you and the interviewer. You don’t also want the interviewer to yawn in the middle of your answer, this is a bad sign. Engage the interviewer also with questions about the company. Ask for clarification on matters you are not sure about.

Be sober. Intoxication and addiction is a guaranteed failure in an interview. Nobody will risk employing an addict or an intoxicated person and entrust them to uplift the company. However, if you are a victim of intoxication, there is a way to pass your test. There are three different ways to permanent cleanse your body in just a few days depending on your level of intoxication. You need to be clean both out and inside.

Remember to focus greatly on your strengths. Be enthusiastic when answering the questions and remember to smile. Sell your ideas positively and keep the interviewer interested wanting more from you. Ensure you thank the interviewer for giving you the chance and time for the interview.