Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Easing Digestion With TheraBand Stretches

Whether you've just finished a big holiday meal or you combat indigestion on a regular basis, stretching with TheraBands can help. You don't need to be a yogi to get into these poses. Simply set aside 15 minutes, grab a few bands and find a spot with some floor space where you won't be disturbed.

All of these poses can be accomplished with or without a TheraBand. However, having a TheraBand by your side will ensure a stronger and more sure grip, which will allow you to stay in these beneficial positions longer and with greater ease.

Begin by taking a seat on a carpet or mat, one leg out to your side and the other bent toward you.
Inhale slowly, reach up and then reach over toward your straight leg.

Hold this position for at least 30 seconds, relaxing into the stretch with each exhale. Breathe slowly and be mindful of your posture. Don’t collapse forward or lean back, rather lean straight up and over in a moon-shape.

Use a light TheraBand to enhance this stretch by holding one end in each hand. Gently pull on the TheraBand with your resting hand to help your body achieve a greater moon-shape.
Repeat this exercise on both sides several times.

This pose stimulates the digestive organs by applying gentle and relaxing pressure.
Begin with both legs out in front of you. Bend each leg at the knee, draping one leg over the other.

If this step is too difficult for you, simply bend both legs and let them fall over in the same direction.

 Now, slowly and mindfully twist the top portion of your body toward the direction of your bent foot (or feet). Hold this position for at least 30 seconds
Use a light to medium resistance TheraBand to enhance this stretch by laying the band across your lower back before you begin. The band should stay taut behind you as you hold it in both bands.
Repeat this exercise on both sides several times.

To further stimulate the digestive organs, lie on your back now with a medium to heavy resistance TheraBand in both hands.

Flex both feet, then slowly bring your right knee toward your chest. With the TheraBand draped comfortably over the area just below your knee, begin to pull both ends toward the floor. Breathe slowly and mindfully until your knee as reached your chest (or you no longer feel comfortable.)

Hold this position for 30 seconds, then gently lower the leg. Take a moment to rest before moving on to the other side. Repeat this exercise on both sides several times.

This exercise is great for anyone who suffers from discomfort and fullness from bloating. In a laying position, bring both knees into your chest.
Using a medium or light TheraBand, squeeze both knees into your chest while you round your back. Inhale deeply, then exhale while bringing your forehead to your knees.
Hold this position on the exhale, then relax this pose with every inhale. Breathe slowly but naturally, being mindful to relax your shoulders and neck completely as you bring your head down.

Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds to one minute before taking a rest.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Five Healthy Alternatives to Your Favorite Holiday Dishes

The holidays are all about food and family. Nothing beats having a great meal while being surrounded by your favorite people. Unfortunately, the comforts of special occasions often lead to expanded waistlines for all. While some weight gain is expected during the holidays, you don't always want to feel like a hot air balloon full of cement after a home-cooked meal. Good eats don't have to be heavy, high-calorie eats. We bet that you can still enjoy traditional holiday flavors with these healthy and delicious alternatives.

1) Yoghurt-based Vegetable and Fruit Dips Are Better

A healthy snack or side dish is easily prepared using salad greens or a variety of raw vegetables and fruits. But some healthy intentions are quickly undone with creamy toppings, dips or sugary concoctions.
A creamy store-bought dressing is a favorite for carrots, broccoli or celery – otherwise harmless foods, and can speed up your weight gain faster than you might  realise. A large portion of a ranch dressing is made using full-fat sour cream high in calories and saturated fats. Some ranch dressings contain buttermilk and mayonnaise as well, both of which aren’t easy on the waistline. The combination of sour cream, mayo, and buttermilk is a triple threat to your heart and gut. Just a few tablespoons of these creamy dressings can easily add up to a calorie equivalent of a slice of pie.

We recommend that you substitute the high-fat ingredients above with Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt has approximately a quarter of the calories of full-fat sour cream and provides abundant amounts of protein for revving up the metabolism, building muscle, and burning body fat at faster rates. If you prefer the traditional taste of sour cream, go for a low-fat or nonfat variety. These will reduce your calorie intake by at least half.

2) Baked Sweet Potatoes Over Candied Yams

Keeping weight off isn’t about total restriction, it’s about making better choices. Eating only celery sticks on a special occasion is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Holiday foods don’t just provide physical satisfaction, they’re a source of emotional comfort, too.

If one of your holiday favorites are sweet yams topped with sugary marshmallows, don’t despair. Sweet potatoes are a perfect healthy alternative. This root naturally contains an abundance of sugar, which is particularly noticeable when a sweet potato is slow roasted.  When moderate amounts of natural sugar are eaten in combination with fruit or vegetable fibers, your body is able to process it better. While any regular over-abundance of sucrose in the liver will ultimately lead to an expanding waistline, consuming small portions of natural sugars from foods high in fiber is a clear winner over canned foods drenched in syrup.
Try slicing sweet potatoes into thick slabs and baking them in the oven. Add a pinch of sea salt and drizzle with olive oil for a tasty side dish that'll make your taste buds and body happy.

3) Fresh Green Beans Instead of Casserole

Casseroles are a holiday favorite: easy to make, creamy and delicious. Unfortunately, even when your base ingredient is a vegetable, the combination of butter, cream, salt and fried toppings may have the night ending in heart palpitations.
This holiday get-together, serve fresh whole green beans instead. Sprinkle on some garlic salt, slivered almonds, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil for a tasty and healthy side dish that you won't regret coming back for more.

For those adamant about having green bean casserole, substitute a low-fat cream of mushroom soup. For every half-cup portion eaten, you'll intake about 40 fewer calories. That might not sound like much, but it sure adds up quick when you go back for seconds, thirds or fourths.

4) Replace Eggnog With Cider Drinks

Eggnog is delicious. It primarily consists of egg yolks, whole milk, heavy cream and sugar. Sounds like a recipe for weight gain and soaring cholesterol levels to us. Instead, try a spiced apple cider with cinnamon and nutmeg. Add a small squirt of caramel sauce for some extra "Mmm." We know you'll love this simple drink, and your family and friends will love you for it too. To add an adult twist, simply stir one shot of whipped cream- or apple-flavored vodka.  (I like this but we try not to make too much of an emphasis on people’s weights, rather to live a healthy lifestyle) 

5) Eat White Meat, Avoid Dark Meat and Skin

If you really want to save calories wherever possible, leave the skin on the side of the plate. Per gram, fat contains five more calories than carbohydrates or protein. While calories aren’t all created equal, we think it’s important to pick your battles with fat wisely. Just an ounce and a half of turkey skin can add an additional 250 calories to your plate.

White meat also has lower fat content than dark meat. For health-conscious individuals, we recommend choosing breast meat over leg or thigh.

The best part of any holiday is the food. Now you know how to dine without all the guilt and heartburn. The appetizing suggestions above should ensure that you and your family remain cheerful this upcoming holiday season, because there's nothing worse than depriving yourself of traditions just to save a few calories. If you think about it, there's always a smarter and healthier way to prepare a meal. You just have to be open to trying something new!

Top Braces for Water Sports Injury Recovery

As we discussed in our last blog post, water can provide an ideal environment for sports therapy because it offers buoyancy, resistance and a variety of calming effects. We believe that one of the reasons so many of us are drawn to the water, whether it be ocean, lake or pool, is because of the many positive physical and psychological effects we experience when swimming or floating. For those with a bit more of an adventurous spirit, there are a variety of water sports available, such as waterskiing, wakeboarding or surfing. Adding a sports element to the mix adds to the fun and excitement but it also increases the risk for injury. If you are currently recovering from an injury sustained while surfing or skiing, you've likely been ordered to rest, compress and stabilize. We can help.

Ankle injuries are one of the most common watersports injuries, particularly for water skiers. Sprains occur during falls when the ligaments on the foot are stretched or torn as the foot is quickly turned inward our outward past the normal range of motion.  Symptoms of a sprain include swelling, pain, the inability to put weight on the affected foot, bruising and stiffness. It's important to see a doctor for a proper x-ray and examination because other foot injuries, such as a bone fracture, can exhibit similar symptoms.

The Thermoskin Ankle Defence Brace is designed to provide the rigid support you'll need after
sustaining a ligament injury. This brace provides support on both the medial and lateral side of the ankle, and uses stabilising straps to position your foot at a 90 degree angle, which prevents additional stress on the ligaments. This brace can comfortably be worn to bed and with shoes.

Knee sprains and strains can be very painful and can take long periods of time to heal. Your physician should properly diagnose your knee injury before you decide on a brace and any other supplemental treatment plan, since the some knee injuries will require surgery.
If you've suffered a knee sprain or strain, you'll likely experience pain, knee buckling, swelling and bruising, all of which can be alleviated with rest, compression and OTC painkillers.

The Thermoskin Thermal Knee Support Brace is designed to provide the support and protection you'll need while your knee takes time to heal.
This brace features an anatomical 3-piece design that's easy to wear day and night to prevent further injury from accidental twisting or hyperextension. The Trioxon lining captures your body's natural heat to help increase blood flow. Increased blood flow allows oxygen and vital nutrients to saturate damaged tissues, helping to speed up the healing process.

Shoulder pain in swimmers and surfers most commonly results from overuse of the rotator cuff. The
rotator cuff is made up of a group of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder, and repeated motions such as paddling on a surfboard can cause irritation and damage, which causes swelling and subsequently pain. If you have a rotator cuff injury, your pain might have come on suddenly and be acute. Rest and light stretching are vital in order to regain full motion from rotator cuff overuse.
The Thermoskin Shoulder Brace is an adjustable solution for tendon strains and shoulder instability. Its unique V-Stability System is designed to provide customizable support for either shoulder.

Neck injuries are by far the most dangerous of sports injuries, and any suspected injury to the neck must be properly diagnosed before treatment can be applied. If you've been diagnosed with a neck injury that can be treated at home, you're likely suffering from whiplash or wry neck. These types of injuries are caused by damage to the neck muscles, tendons or ligaments, and are commonly seen in wakeboard enthusiasts or surfers.

Neck injuries can occur in the water when your neck is pushed past its normal range of motion. A wry neck is normally characterized by unilateral pain and stiffness, which oftentimes results in the chin tilting to one side. Whiplash is characterized by tightness, tenderness and decreased range of motion. Both of these conditions greatly benefit from heat, massage, controlled stretching exercises and a neck brace designed to provide stability and limit range of motion.
The Thermoskin Neck Brace accomplishes this and in addition provides soothing heat and gentle compression. Its contoured design is available in six sizes to provide customized support without interfering with everyday activities.

Injuries from sports can affect anyone. Reduce your risk by ensuring you have the proper skills and training before attempting a new sport. Warm up muscles and stretch out after exercising, whether in water and on land. Whether in open water or in the pool, don't swim alone, and never swim or participate in water sports while impaired.