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Core Products Blog

  • How Massage Therapists Can Benefit from Board Certification with the NCBTMB

    Posted on August 14, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    massageMassage therapists who wish to boost their credentials, unlock new opportunities, or expand their knowledge and training can all stand to benefit from board certification with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB). That’s because board certification is nationally recognized as the highest voluntary massage therapy credential, and gives massage therapists greater legitimacy and recognition, especially in the healthcare industry.

    What Is Board Certification?

    Board certification is a voluntary credential - provided through the NCBTMB - that massage therapists can pursue. Upon becoming board certified, therapists can include the credentials “BCTMB” following their name. They’ll also be nationally recognized by the NCBTMB and gain several other perks and benefits.

    The requirements for board certification are standardized across the country. Requirements include:

    • Completing 750 hours of education
    • Completing 250 hours of hands-on professional experience
    • Passing the BCETMB exam
    • Passing a criminal background check
    • Agreeing to uphold NCBTMB’s code of ethics and standards
    • Agreeing to oppose human trafficking

    Hours you’ve completed in an NCBTMB-approved school will count toward the education requirements, and you’ll have two years from the date you graduate to complete your work experience requirement. Once all requirements are met, you can become board certified.

    Board certification is not the same as state licensure, although many massage therapists will sit for their licensure and board certification exams around the same time. Board certification isn’t required to practice, but there are many tangible benefits to getting your certification.

    What are the Benefits?

    Board certification isn’t simply an arbitrary credential; it’s nationally recognized and has several benefits:

    1. Greater Legitimacy
    According to the NCBTMB, board certification demonstrates that therapists have gone above and beyond the entry-level requirements needed to operate as a massage therapist. Since board certification has such strict requirements, clients and employers can be confident that certified therapists are committed to lifelong learning and continued growth.

    2. Job Opportunities
    Board certification grants access to opportunities and career paths that may have previously been unavailable. Many employers, especially those in the health care industry, will require board certification for available job opportunities. Some spas and massage practices may also require board certification.

    Therapists can place the “BCTMB” credential, which stands for “Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork,” after their name to indicate that they’re board certified.

    3. Greater Online Visibility
    Once a therapist becomes certified, they are listed on the NCBTMB’s directory of certified massage therapists. The public can search on the site, using criteria as simple as a zip code, to locate nearby board certified therapists. In this way, board certification can help you connect with new clients.

    4. Networking Opportunities
    Becoming part of the NCBTMB community unlocks online networking opportunities, including social media groups that can help therapists continue their career growth. For example, NCBTMB has a Facebook group for approved providers to post continuing education courses, helping connect board certified therapists with the industry’s top educators.

    5. Access to Online Marketplaces
    The NCBTMB runs an affiliate program with some of the massage industry’s top brands and services. Active members get access to exclusive deals and promotions on products and services that can help their business.

    There’s also a public online marketplace that reserves exclusive savings and discounts for board certified members.

    6. State Licensure Requirements
    States don’t require board certification for therapists to do business within their borders. However, many states do allow continuing education from NCBTMB approved providers to count toward meeting licensure renewal requirements.

    7. Continuing Education
    Therapists will get the opportunity to connect with continuing education classes, providers, and resources. Continuing education classes help therapists gain experience, encounter different issues in the field, and further their professional development.

    How to Get Started

    No matter your current standing as a massage therapist, you can apply your existing education and experience toward board certification with the NCBMTB. Board certification can open up access to new opportunities and resources to massage therapists at all levels. To learn how to get started, visit the NCBTMB website.


    This post was posted in Education

  • Eight Tips for Keeping Your Bedroom Cool in the Summer

    Posted on August 3, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    bedroom-blogWhen outdoor temperatures start to heat up, it can be difficult to keep your bedroom cool enough to get a good night’s sleep. This is especially true if you want to keep your air-conditioning costs down or you don’t have central AC at all.

    But a good night’s sleep is essential for a number of physical and psychological benefits, so you have a strong interest in keeping your bedroom comfortable, even if you can’t or won’t rely on air conditioning to get it done.

    Here are eight tips for keeping your bedroom cool in the hot summer months without cranking the AC.

    1. Place Fans Strategically

    Strategically placed fans can help dramatically cool a room. If you leave your windows open, window fans can lower the temperature in the room. Multiple fans placed correctly can increase the cooling effect. One method even involves placing a bowl of ice behind a fan, further cooling the air.

    Placing fans strategically in your bedroom can help keep you comfortable. The best fan placement will depend on your bedroom’s layout, whether you run the AC or leave the windows open, and other factors.

    2. Run Your Ceiling Fan the Right Way

    If you have a ceiling fan, you’re already enjoying the airflow benefits. But you might want to make sure your fan is spinning the right way. Many ceiling fans can be set to run clockwise or counterclockwise. In the hotter months, running celling fans counterclockwise can create a wind-chill effect in your bedroom.

    3. Get a Portable Evaporative Cooler

    Evaporative coolers are portable, don’t take up too much space, and can be used anywhere. They draw in the surrounding hot air, cool it down, and then circulate it back into your room. It’s important to note that evaporative coolers work best in hot, dry climates. Because they work by passing dry air through water, they aren’t as effective in humid, damp climates.

    4. Switch to Cooler Sheets

    If you’re still using flannel, satin, or polyester bedding, it’s time to switch to cooler sheets and pillowcases. Lightweight cotton and linen sheets tend to be the best bet, as they are breathable and aren’t heavy.

    5. Get a Cooler Pillow

    If you’re using a memory foam pillow, you may want to consider getting a cooler alternative. That’s because memory foam tends to retain heat. If you find yourself sweating into your memory foam pillow, a fiber alternative may be a better option for summer.

    6. Use Shades and Curtains

    The sun shining through your windows drives up the temperature of your home during the day. Keep your shades and curtains closed to maintain cooler temperatures, especially in your bedroom.

    7. Create Cross-Breezes

    Closed doors and windows block airflow. Where you can, leave doors to rooms open to let air circulate throughout your home. If you don’t run air conditioning, try to create drafts that run between open windows from room to room, keeping your bedroom cooler.

    8. Move to Lower Ground

    Heat rises to the highest areas of the home. If you have multiple levels in your home and you sleep upstairs, you may be sleeping in the hottest region of the house. If you have a spare bedroom downstairs and you’re really desperate for a cooler night’s sleep, you may want relocate for the summer.
    Sources:
    https://www.energystar.gov/products/lighting_fans/ceiling_fans/installation_usage_tips
    http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/heating-and-cooling/swamp-cooler.htm


    This post was posted in Education

  • Seven Quick Facts for National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

    Posted on July 25, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    juvenile-arthritisArthritis is a family of conditions that is often associated with older adults. But for many children and young adults, arthritis is an everyday reality. Nearly 300,000 American children have been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, and the condition affects children and their families alike.

    July is National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, aimed at raising awareness of the condition and helping organizations advocate for the children and families affected. With that in mind, here are seven quick facts about juvenile arthritis.

    1. There Are Many Kinds of Juvenile Arthritis
    Juvenile arthritis is actually a blanket term that covers many different autoimmune or inflammatory conditions. While the different types of juvenile arthritis may share symptoms including pain, joint inflammation, and swelling, they can affect the body in distinct ways. The most common form is juvenile idiopathic arthritis, but other forms include juvenile lupus, juvenile dermatomyositis, and fibromyalgia.

    2. Juvenile Arthritis Can Affect Body Development
    Juvenile arthritis is particularly worrisome because it can hinder physical development as children grow and move through adolescence, resulting in smaller stature and even delayed puberty. In some cases, bones and joints can grow in uneven ways. In around 10% to 20% of children with the most prevalent form of arthritis, an inflammation of the eyes can cause visual problems.

    3. There Are Many Symptoms
    Symptoms can include joint swelling, pain, and stiffness, especially in the extremities. These symptoms may be worse after waking up. Other symptoms can include limping due to knee soreness, clumsiness, fever, persistent skin rashes, and swelling of the lymph nodes.

    4. Diagnosis Can Be Difficult
    Children may not report painful symptoms, and symptoms can be easily misdiagnosed or dismissed by parents as normal injuries or growing pains. There is no single lab test to diagnose juvenile arthritis, and diagnosis may require a combination of blood tests, physical examination, and X-rays.

    5. There Is Treatment, But No Cure
    Researchers are still working to find a cure for juvenile arthritis. The causes aren’t currently understood. Treatment for juvenile arthritis varies between the type of arthritis and the individual child. Many children need a a combination of treatments, which may include drugs, physical therapy, consultations with rheumatology specialists, and more.

    6. Activity Can Help
    The pain and stiffness resulting from juvenile arthritis can prevent children from engaging in some activities, but physical activity is still important. It can help reduce symptoms, strengthen muscles, and maintain joint function and range of motion. Most children with juvenile arthritis can participate in sports or physical activities when their symptoms aren’t flaring up.

    7. Things are Getting Better
    The treatment of juvenile arthritis has made leaps and bounds in the last twenty years. Advances in medicine, advanced imaging diagnosis, and many forms of treatment have provided a much sunnier outlook for modern children who are diagnosed with juvenile arthritis.
    Sources:
    https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Juv_Arthritis/juvenile_arthritis_ff.asp
    https://www.curearthritis.org/juvenile-arthritis-awareness-month/
    http://blog.arthritis.org/news/juvenile-arthritis-awareness-month/
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3278938/
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/juvenile-rheumatoid-arthritis/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20014378
    https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2014/07/072214_article-juvenile-arthritis.php
    http://radiology.ucsf.edu/blog/juvenile-arthritis-current-treatment-and-future-advances-0


    This post was posted in Education

  • Everyday Ways to Reduce Muscle Tension

    Posted on July 19, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    tension-blogMuscle tension is a condition in which muscles stay contracted for an extended period of time. It can occur in any area of the body, but is very common in the neck, shoulders, and back. Over time, muscle tension can cause extreme discomfort.

    While many factors can contribute to muscle tension, one of the most common culprits is stress. If you’re experiencing muscle tension in your shoulders, neck, or back, there’s a good chance that stress could be a contributing factor.

    Luckily, there are actions you can take to fight muscle tension resulting from stress. Here are six:

    1. Get a Massage

    You probably can’t manage to get a massage every day. But a periodic massage is a great way to relieve muscle tension. A talented massage therapist can work out tense muscles, giving extra attention to the most affected areas. Massages can also help you feel calm, rejuvenated, and relaxed for some time afterward.

    2. Take a Yoga Class (or Just Stretch)

    Whether you take a yoga class or just do some light stretches in the morning, daily stretching can help relieve existing tension and reduce your vulnerability to tension in the future. And while you should always stretch and warm up before a workout, daily stretching can provide benefits no matter what you have planned for your day.

    3. Apply Some Heat

    Applying heat to tense muscles promotes circulation and blood flow, which can reduce pain and help your muscles relax. There are a few ways you can apply heat to tense muscles. One of the best is hot and cold therapy packs, which can be heated and applied to any part of the body. A hot bath is another great method.

    4. Use a Foam Roller

    If you frequent a gym, you might have seen members rolling out tight or sore muscles with a foam roller. But even if your muscle tension is strictly stress-related, you can use foam rollers to roll out the tight muscles in your back and shoulders. Foam rollers are inexpensive and easy to use, and you can roll out just about anywhere with a little floor space.

    5. Practice Good Posture

    If you’re hunching at your desk, slumping to play with your phone, or even sleeping the wrong way, you could be unwittingly making matters worse. At all times, practicing good posture can help you avoid further contributing to your muscle tension. When you sleep, the right pillow can help you maintain proper posture overnight.

    6. Relax

    Relaxation can help reduce the stress that contributes to your muscle tension. This doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and go live on the beach. Instead, find some time to do the things that help you relax. There’s no one right way to relax, and your relaxation methods could include mindfulness techniques and meditation, outdoor activities, reading, or just about anything else that helps lower your stress level.

    In Closing…

    Ideally, a medical professional should diagnose the cause of your muscle tension and recommend the appropriate intervention or treatment. But if your muscle tension is caused by stress, some of these techniques can help prevent or relieve that tension.

    Sources:
    http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-symptoms/muscle-tension.shtml
    http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/signs/muscle-tension
    https://www.spine-health.com/glossary/muscle-tension
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273886/


    This post was posted in Education

  • Use These Hacks to Sneak Exercise Into Your Daily Routine

    Posted on July 13, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    stairs-blogRegular exercise can help reduce the risk of health problems, improve sleep, increase energy, and even provide psychological benefits. But people with jobs, families, and other obligations may have difficulty finding the time to exercise while simultaneously meeting their commitments.

    The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. If you can’t carve out an hour to go for a run or hit the gym, you might want to sneak exercise into your daily routine. Here are seven hacks to work exercise into your busy life:

    1. Exercise When You Wake Up

    If you’re really ambitious, you can get up early to walk the dog or go for a long morning run. But even a short workout can help you get a good start to your day. Before you hop in the shower, you can take a few minutes to stretch, walk, or do some light exercises like pushups and sit-ups.

    2. Add Some Steps to Your Commute

    No matter how you commute, you can probably extend the time you spend walking. If you drive to work, you can park at the far end of the parking lot. If you take the bus, get off a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way. Finding ways to walk a little further will contribute to your daily exercise.

    3. Take the Stairs

    Stairs can help you squeeze exercise into your routine. Climbing stairs is a cardio workout that gets your heart and lungs pumping, builds bones and muscles, and could even reduce your mortality rate. Next time you have a choice between the elevator and stairs, take the stairs.

    4. Stand Up and Walk

    If you have a desk job, you should be taking regular breaks to get some exercise. Long periods of inactivity have been linked to a number of health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Breaking up your time at your desk can help counteract this effect. Getting up to talk to a coworker rather than send an email or make a phone call can give you an excuse to leave your desk. You can set a periodic calendar or phone reminder to get up and walk on a consistent schedule.

    5. Exercise While You Watch TV

    If you set up a treadmill, stationary bike, or other exercise machine in your house, you can catch up on your shows while breaking a sweat. If that’s too expensive or you don’t have the space, you can do body weight exercises, lift weights, or stretch while you watch TV.

    6. Perform House Maintenance

    If you’re paying someone to mow your lawn or clean your house, you might be missing out on a prime opportunity for burning calories. Most chores require light to moderate activity, and some tasks like mowing the lawn or raking leaves can really make you break a sweat.

    7. Make Exercise Social

    When people get together with friends and family, the default activity is often dinner and drinks. While you may not want to replace this ritual, you could start mixing in activities ranging such as tennis, hiking, golf, yoga, or even walking around a museum. Exercising with a friend can make it much less of a chore.

    Sources
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/464931-what-does-stair-climbing-do-for-your-body/
    http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#.WTlb2GjyuUk


    This post was posted in Education

  • Seven Ways to Relieve Your Pregnancy Back Pain

    Posted on July 5, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    preg-blogBack pain is a common side effect of pregnancy, with studies estimating that at least half of pregnant women will suffer from lower back pain during the course of their pregnancy. Sudden weight gains, a change in posture, hormones and stress can all contribute to back pain of varying levels of intensity.

    But back pain isn’t something pregnant women simply must endure. There are many ways to fight your back pain. Here are seven.

    1. Practice Prenatal Yoga

    Prenatal yoga is specifically designed to benefit pregnant women, and involves breathing techniques, gentle stretches, and relaxation. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the benefits can include decreased nausea and headaches, better sleep, and reduced back pain.

    2. Maintain Good Posture

    Poor posture can exacerbate back pain during pregnancy. Standing and sitting up straight without slouching can reduce the amount of pressure placed on your back.

    Even when you sleep, proper posture is important. Side sleeping is common among pregnant women for comfort reasons, but this position often doesn’t provide enough spinal support. A full body pillow can help maintain your spinal alignment as you sleep.

    3. Get a Prenatal Massage

    Prenatal massage can be an important aspect of a woman’s overall prenatal care. The American Pregnancy Association states that massage therapy can relieve back pain, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and even improve birth outcomes for pregnant women.

    4. Wear a Maternity Support Belt

    Maternity support belts lift the belly during pregnancy, helping to provide welcome relief to backaches, abdominal stress, and pressure on the pelvis and bladder. These products lift some of the pregnancy weight, helping reduce the work your body has to do to carry your pregnancy. While they likely aren’t the only thing you’ll need to keep your back feeling 100%, they can play an important role in back pain relief.

    5. Hot and Cold Therapy

    Hot and cold therapy can help relieve strains and assorted aches and pains, including your pregnancy related back pain. Best of all, hot and cold packs are do-it-yourself, relatively inexpensive, and easy to use.

    6. Exercise

    Consistent aerobic exercise strengthens your muscles and increases your flexibility, thereby boosting your body’s resistance to back pain. While it’s not a cure-all, exercise does have transformative powers. For pregnant women, mild activities such as walking and swimming are perfect sources of exercise. And, exercising before you’re pregnant reduces the risk of experiencing lower back pain during pregnancy.

    7. Acupuncture

    Acupuncture is an East Asian medical technique in which fine needles are inserted into your skin. Studies have shown that acupuncture can relieve lower back pain symptoms during pregnancy, increase your ability to exercise, and reduce your reliance on pain relief drugs. While more research on long-term effects needs to be done, these studies are definitely promising and acupuncture is a widely accepted aspect of many medical treatment plans.

    Sources
    http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/prenatal-yoga/
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3306025/
    http://www.webmd.com/baby/posture#1


    This post was posted in Education

  • Eight Tips for Surviving Flights When You Have Knee Pain

    Posted on June 29, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    airplaneLet’s face it: air travel can be tedious. You’ve got airport security, in-flight meals, and crowded cabins to contend with. And that’s without factoring in aches and pains.

    If you suffer from knee pain, sitting in cramped airplane seats can only make things worse. But common sense and pre-flight preparation can help you keep the worst of your pain at bay.

    Here are eight tips for surviving a flight with knee pain.

    1. Know Your Knees

    You should know the cause of your knee pain and the things that may trigger it. There are many different reasons your knee could be acting up, and if you have yet to receive a medical diagnosis, doing so before your trip is advisable. This can help you determine if you have any undiagnosed medical problems and how to treat or avoid that pain.

    2. Choose an Aisle Seat

    Aisle seats can make a big difference. If you fly with an airline that lets you reserve seats ahead of time, make sure to reserve an aisle seat early. You’ll be able to extend one leg, so make sure to choose the side of the aisle that benefits the knee that most needs the relief.

    3. Spring for Extra Leg Room

    Most flights have seat upgrades that can drastically extend the distance you can stretch out. With airlines continuing to shrink seat space as they look for ways to squeeze out more profit, it may be worth it to spring for a seat upgrade. You don’t have to like spending the extra dough, but it might be worth it when your knees aren’t jammed against the seat ahead of you.

    4. Stretch Out

    While you probably won’t be able to fully extend your legs, you can take advantage of the space beneath the seat in front of you. That’s if you haven’t crammed a carry-on item beneath the seat. You may want to try and leave that space free and empty so you can take advantage of every possible inch of legroom.

    5. Take Advantage of Layovers

    No one wants to extend their travel time, but layovers offer the opportunity to take a break and stretch your stiff knees as you move about the airport. You may want to consider breaking your trip into smaller flights, especially if it’s a long trip.

    6. Get Up and Move

    Sitting in your seat for hours on end can cause even the healthiest knees to feel stiff and sore. While the aisle isn’t exactly the ideal setting for a relaxing stroll, you should get up and stretch your legs a few times during the flight. This will be easier to do if you’ve secured yourself an aisle seat.

    7. Wear a Knee Brace

    Don’t leave your knee brace at home. Wearing it can help provide support and relieve stiffness as you fly. A metal-free knee brace provides additional convenience at the airport, as you won’t have to remove it to go through security.

    8. Request a Wheelchair

    Airports usually offer wheelchair assistance for people getting on and off airplanes, going to and from connecting flights, and even getting through security. If you need wheelchair assistance you’ll often get boarding priority. Don’t be too shy to request assistance if you need it, as it’s preferable to extreme pain or injury. You can request wheelchair assistance ahead of time or at the airport if necessary.


    This post was posted in Education

  • What to Expect (and How to Prepare) For Your First Full-Body Massage

    Posted on June 21, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    massageAccording to the American Massage Therapy Association, 19% of American adults received a massage between July 2015 and July 2016. Half of those cited health and wellness reasons, while 28% named relaxation and stress reduction as the primary motivator.

    But millions of Americans have never had a massage at all. If you’re about to experience a massage for the first time, you’re likely familiar with some of the benefits, but you might not know what to expect.

    There’s no need to be nervous - massage therapists are trained to make their clients feel comfortable. Nevertheless, knowing what to expect ahead of time can help to calm any jitters. Here’s what to expect before your first massage.

    *Note: For this article, we’ll focus on a standard full-body massage. Massage experiences for specific medical conditions or areas of the body may differ.

    Before the Massage

    The best way to approach your first massage is to relax and have an open mind. If you’re nervous, do some research on the massage therapist or practice you’ll be visiting ahead of time, and pick a business that sounds right for you before you book an appointment.

    You’ll want to avoid eating at least a few hours beforehand. It’s best to give yourself enough time to arrive 10 - 15 minutes early.

    When you arrive, your massage therapist may ask you to fill out a client intake form. These forms may ask about medical history, aches and pains, and emergency contacts.

    Once your paperwork is complete, your massage therapist will ask questions to tailor the massage around your specific needs. At this point, you’ll want to inform them of any specific areas you want addressed (such as shoulder tension) and any areas you want them to avoid. Don’t be afraid to ask questions at this stage - it can help you feel at ease and help your massage therapist understand your concerns as a client.

    During the Massage

    Your massage therapist will likely have a dedicated massage room with a massage table. They’ll direct you to undress to your comfort level and lie down face up or face down beneath a sheet. The therapist won’t expose any private areas and only the body part they’re working on at the moment will be in the open air. Don’t forget to remove any jewelry that might get in the way.

    The therapist will then begin to massage your body at an agreed-upon level of pressure. For a typical full-body massage, they could work your scalp, face, arms, hands, abdominals, legs, feet, sides of your glutes, and back, and they’ll pay specific attention to any areas you request.

    If at any point the pressure level is too light or too intense, make sure to let your therapist know, as all clients have different preferences. Beyond that, you can choose to talk or not during your massage.

    There may be relaxing music playing, but you can request it to be changed or turned off if you’d prefer silence.

    Beyond that, all you need to do is relax and enjoy as the therapist works out kinks, knots, and tight muscles!

    After the Massage

    When your massage is over, your therapist will let you know they’re done and leave the room so you can get dressed at your leisure. Some people feel dizzy right after a massage, so you should feel free to sit down and get your bearings.

    Once you leave the massage room, your massage therapist will be waiting to thank you and process payment if need be. While a tip is ultimately up to you, a good rule of thumb is:
    • $5 – $10 for a 30-minute massage
    • $10 - $15 for a 60-minute massage
    • $15 - $20 for a 90-minute massage

    Most massage therapists in a hospital or chiropractic settings do not expect tips, and may not even be allowed to accept them.

    As you go about your day, you may want to occasionally pause and take stock of how your body feels. Chances are, you’ll be ready for a repeat massage in no time!


    This post was posted in Education

  • Sedentary Office Jobs are Impacting Our Health in a Big Way

    Posted on June 13, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Sedentary-OfficeIf you have the typical office job, you’re likely working at a screen and stuck at your desk for most of the day. But all that time spent sitting could be having major impacts on your future health, with the medical community now referring to the effects of a sedentary lifestyle as “sitting disease.” When you’re at the office, an effort to break up your sitting time could make a huge impact on your health, even if you’re just taking a lap around the office.

    How Sitting Affects Your Health

    The American Heart Association has linked long periods of inactivity - six to eight hours or more per day - to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems and heart disease in the long term. These risks may be caused, in part, by higher blood pressure and elevated cholesterol resulting from inactivity. Diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes are also risks for the frequently inactive.

    Sitting incorrectly or for long periods of time can also lead to posture problems, an increased risk of herniated discs, and decreased hip mobility - none of which are fatal, but all of which can affect quality of life.

    Regular exercise may not even be enough. According to the American Heart Association, people who consistently exercise still have an elevated risk of heart disease and stroke if they spend much of their time sedentary. In short, a half hour of exercise won’t make up for what you do the rest of the day.

    How Standing and Walking at Work Can Help

    While further research is needed to determine the best way to fight sitting disease, the initial opinion is that interventions to reduce sedentary time could help.

    Getting a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week can help. But breaking up those long periods of inactivity can further reduce your amount of daily sedentary time. By scheduling regular reminders to get moving using an app or calendar, you can get a few minutes of exercise every hour or so, reducing the time you’re sitting. You can also get more creative with standing desks or walking meetings.

    Whatever you do, increasing your activity and decreasing the time spent sitting could help reduce the associated risks.

    Conclusion

    Further research is still needed, but it’s apparent that our bodies aren’t built to handle all the sitting required in a modern office job. To fight sitting disease, you may need regular exercise, periodic activity breaks from sitting, and other creative ways to stay active throughout the day. For a longer list of ways to counteract sitting disease, check out our blog post on staying at your desk job.

    Sources:
    http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/134/13/e262#sec-25
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/even-if-you-exercise-prolonged-sitting-time-is-bad-for-heart-health/
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/national/the-health-hazards-of-sitting/750/


    This post was posted in Education

  • Seven of the Most Common Sports Injuries

    Posted on June 5, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Common-Sports-WebRegular exercise is important to lead a balanced, healthy lifestyle. But exercise comes with risks, and whether you’re a dedicated athlete or a weekend warrior, exercise can put you at risk of injury. Whenever you suffer a sports injury, one important key to recovery is proper diagnosis and treatment.

    It can help to listen to your body, know what to look for, and seek help from a doctor when injured. To help you identify injury when it happens, here are seven of the most common sports injuries.

    Sprained Ankles

    You’re likely familiar with the tender, painful sensation of an ankle sprain. Sprains can be caused by twisting your ankle, landing or planting your foot incorrectly, or even stumbling as you walk. Ankle sprains will usually heal after a few weeks, but they can be helped along with ice, elevation, and even ankle supports.

    Shin Splints

    Shin splints cause sharp pain that shoots down your shins, and commonly occurs in runners and people who increase their exercise intensity too quickly. Often, rest and cold therapy can help with recovery, but anyone experiencing long-term pain should consult a doctor. Stretching, wearing the right shoes, and gradually ramping up exercise intensity can help you avoid shin splints.

    ACL Tears

    The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects your leg bone to your knee. Sudden changes in direction or direct hits to the side of the knee can cause a strain or tear to the ACL. ACL tears can keep you incapacitated for weeks or even months. When you tear your ACL, your knee may immediately swell up with blood, and it can feel painful or wobbly for a long time. In some cases, the injury may even require surgery.

    Plantar Fasciitis

    Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury that occurs when you strain the tendon that runs along your foot and supports your arches. It can cause heel pain and make every step painful. It’s common among middle aged and older people, but also among young athletes and anyone who is frequently on their feet. Cold therapy, rest, stretching, and shoes with proper arch support can all help recovery, which can take months or longer.

    Hamstring Injuries

    Hamstring injuries can occur when the muscles in your hamstring (or upper thigh) are overused or stretched too far, resulting in tears in the muscles or tendons. Sprinting, kicking, and jumping can all cause hamstring injuries, which can be severely painful. Warming up and stretching before exercise can prevent hamstring injury, and you should stop exercising if your hamstrings become too fatigued.

    Recovery from a pulled hamstring can take a long time. Physical therapy and special exercises can help rebuild the muscles in your hamstring and prevent re-injury.

    Lower Back Pain

    It’s tricky to pinpoint the cause of lower back pain. Lower back injuries can be caused by impact to your lower back, improper form during exercise, and even household and work injuries. If you have persistent lower back pain, seeing a doctor for treatment is likely the first course of action.

    Tennis Elbow

    Tennis elbow is caused by repetitive motion and overuse of your arm and hand muscles, which causes tears in the elbow’s ligaments. It’s characterized by pain on the outside of your elbow, and any sport or activity that involves repetitive arm movements can be the culprit. Tennis elbow can be relieved by rest, physical therapy, and elbow supports.

    Sources:

    http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00297
    http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/tennis-elbow#1
    https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=591d8cf1-1ee5-4cb3-b662-a5f21f6f13bc
    http://www.mensfitness.com/sports/football/8-most-common-sports-injuries


    This post was posted in Education

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