Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Top 5 Exercises You Can Do Indoors

Man doing sit ups - iHealthSphere

As winter advances, temperatures decline, along with our desire to go outdoors. The warm welcome of the sun in summertime invites us outside to play, soak up vitamin D and exercise—all actions that improve our mood. During winter, the shorter days and cooler temperatures can really bog a person’s spirits down. Get rid of the winter blues with these indoor exercises to boost your mood and energy!

Yoga
Woman doing yoga
When it comes to increasing flexibility and strength, relieving stress and improving general state of mind, yoga is one of the longest-standing and most effective practices. While yoga classes are informative and helpful, you can practice yoga anywhere, including your living room floor or even your bed. Here are two simple yoga poses to try at home.

Downward Dog

  • Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips.
  • Walk hands a few inches forward and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into your yoga mat.
  • Curl toes under and slowly press hips toward ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing shoulders away from ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Hold for 3 full breaths.

Cobra


  • Lie face down on the floor with thumbs directly under shoulders, legs extended with the tops of your feet on the floor.
  • Tighten your pelvic floor, and tuck hips downward as you squeeze your glutes.
  • Press shoulders down and away from ears.
  • Push through your thumbs and index fingers as you raise your chest toward the wall in front of you.
  • Relax and repeat.
Resistance Bands
If you want to improve strength without investing in various weights, a resistance band is a great alternative for targeting specific muscle groups and improving coordination. Inexpensive, light, and flexible, resistance bands are perfect for a quick workout at home when it’s too cold to make a trip to the gym. Here’s one way to use this toning tool.

Bicep Curl
  • Stand with both feet together, holding the handle of a resistance. band in either hand. Step both feet onto the middle of the band, hips-width distance apart.
  • Inhale, and as you exhale, simultaneously bend both elbows. Make sure you have the correct alignment.
  • As you inhale, straighten both your arms, coming back to the starting position. This counts as one rep.
  • Perform three sets of 15 reps.
Squats
Although many people like to utilize weights during squats, your own body weight is sufficient for toning muscles in your legs and glutes. Try these squats in the comfort of your home this winter, or switch things up with the pulsing variation.

Regular:
  • Just get into basic squat form, feet hip width apart, feet slightly pointed out. 
  • Squat down to where your knees reach a 90 degree angle. 
  • Try to maintain the weight through your heels as you push yourself back up to start. 
  • Remember to not lean forward and to maintain a flat back throughout the exercise
Pulse:
  • Get into basic squat form. 
  • Once you reach the bottom of the squat, instead of coming back up all the way, only come half way up, and then lower back down into the squat. 
  • Repeat this multiple times to “pulse”. You will really feel the burn with this one!

Stability Ball
Exercise balls (or stability balls) are more than just fun to bounce on. They also improve strength, cardio, and balance. These inflated balls are great for post-injury exercises because they can help reduce strain and pressure during workouts. Try this hip raise exercise to strengthen your whole body while practicing balance.


Hip Raise
  • Start by sitting on a stability ball and roll your body down by walking your feet forward until the ball meets your shoulder blades and your head is resting on the ball.
  • Place your hands on your hips, and keep your feet and knees hip-width apart and heels grounded. 
  • Squeeze your glutes and push your hips up to the ceiling creating a straight line from shoulders to your knees. 
  • Drop your butt back down and repeat.


Planks
Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of the “plank” pose. This move strengthens your core, glutes, and hamstrings, supports good posture, and improves balance. Because they primarily target your core, planks are also good for reducing back pain. These two simple plank variations can be performed anywhere in your home where there’s flat ground.

Regular Plank:
  • Plant the hands directly under the shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width apart) like you’re about to do a push-up.
  • Ground the toes into the floor and squeeze the glutes to stabilize the body. Your legs should be working in the move too; careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees.
  • Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond the hands. Your head should be in line with your back.
  • Hold the position for 20 seconds. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising form or breath.
Elbow Plank:
  • Get in the proper regular plank form.
  • Place the forearms on the ground with the elbows aligned below the shoulders, and arms parallel to the body at about shoulder-width distance. 
  • If flat palms bother your wrists, clasp your hands together.


Did any of these exercises make it into your routine? Let us know in the comments!


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Relieve Chronic Joint Pain and Arthritis with Premax Muscle Cream

Winter is a physically troubling season for many. Whether you are an athlete or someone who suffers from seasonal joint pain, the achiness that tends to creep up during long winter months can be extremely debilitating. While joint pain can arise in individuals at any point during the year, the cold and wet months of the winter tend to make the pain much more difficult to cope with.

Although changes in temperature and weather are not directly correlated to the development of arthritis or other joint pains, these environmental changes can greatly worsen preexisting symptoms in individuals. In cold temperatures, our bodies tend to restrict blood flow to outer extremities, like our hands and feet, so it can focus on supplying vital organs with the nutrients it needs. Consequentially, our joints receive less blood and nutrients, making them more susceptible to pain and discomfort. Doctors have also noted that in the cold weather, the soft tissues around the joints become less pliable, so joints tend to feel tight and stiff. This stiffness is extremely hard to bear and can make the winter one of the most painful times of year for thousands of people nationwide.

Arthritis is one of the most common joint conditions, affecting nearly 4 million Australians. While it has the ability to affect people of all different ages, the condition is found primarily in older individuals above the age of 50. As we grow older, the cartilage that cushions our joints gradually diminishes, leading to painful rubbing of bone on bone. There are several different kinds of arthritis, but all of them involve the same problem, which is pain and inflammation in the joints. It is important to note that if your pain persists throughout the entire year, you consult your doctor about treatments that may be of a benefit to you.

But age isn’t the only cause of arthritis. Many athletes also tend to suffer from joint and muscle pain. In these cases, the pain doesn’t derive from the weakening of cartilage, but rather from overly strenuous work out routines. Athletes who continuously overwork their muscles often run into joint and muscle pain that can be especially debilitating as they grow older.
Luckily for both individuals and athletes, there are a variety of options to help minimise pain! Premax Original Muscle Cream is Australia’s most trusted massage cream, providing instant relief for even the most severe joint pain. Naturally made from a combination of beeswax, aloe vera, Vitamin E, lavender oil and peppermint oil, this cream is an excellent alternative to massage oils and carries a light, refreshing scent. Noted for its firm resistance, this cream allows the user to ‘gain traction’ to their painful area, making it easy to unknot tight muscle and joint pains. Premax Original is best suited to small to medium size treatment areas such as a calf, hamstring, neck or quadriceps and is perfect for both professional and at-home use. The muscle cream can be used for a wide variety of applications, including:


  • Sports Massages
  • Deep Tissue Massages
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Remedial Massages
  • Myofascial Release
  • Frictions
  • Neuromuscular Massages


Rehabilitating yourself from workout injuries or seasonal joint pain is easy with Premax massaging cream. To use, simply apply a small or large amount evenly to the affected area and massage as required. You will feel instant relief as you work out tense muscles and doing so will also promote blood flow to your joints, giving them the necessary nutrients and support they need to function properly.

Another problem that tends to arise during the winter season is dry, rough, or cracked skin. An added benefit of these creams is that they moisturize and help restore dead or dry skin cells. If you are experiencing any kind of joint pain—whether it be seasonal or due to physical activity—the Premax cream and lotion range can offer you the support and relief you deserve!