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Monthly Archives: June 2016

  • Tips to Stay Active in the Summertime Heat

    Posted on June 28, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Summer is a great time of year for exercise and activity. Not only is the weather warm enough to get outside, there are far more activities to choose from. Whether you’re into team sports, swimming, hiking, running or biking, summer offers plenty of options. What’s more, you can usually find some friends to join you on your favorite activities.

    One of the biggest safety factors to consider, however, is the effect that the summer sun and heat can have when you’re engaged in some strenuous activity. Here’s how to take precautions in the summer heat while getting out there and enjoying the sunshine.

    Stay Hydrated

    You must drink enough water to prevent dehydration, which can cause dizziness, nausea, or in extreme cases kidney failure. When venturing out, carry water with you to rehydrate yourself as you exercise. If you’re performing an activity where you need your hands – biking, for instance – find a way to take water, such as a water bottle attachment for your bike.

    Drink water before, during, and after activity. There’s no need to overdo it – which can cause it’s own set of problems – but regular hydration will keep your body functioning properly in the heat.

    Choose the Right Time and Location

    The worst span of time to plan outdoor activities in hot weather is from late morning into the afternoon, when the sun is in full force. Try to plan activities early in the morning – between sunrise and 10AM – or later in the evening after 6PM.

    Of course, any activity that keeps you in the shade, such as hiking a trail lined with tall trees, will help keep you from baking in the sun.

    Protect Your Skin

    Light, loose clothing protects you from the sun. Dark clothing usually absorbs heat over time, while white clothing and neutral colors reflect sunrays. Loose fitting clothes made of natural materials work well, and there are clothing items that wick moisture from your body, cooling you off.

    Of course, wearing sunscreen is a must, especially for the fair-skinned.

    Watersports

    Watersports ease the heat. A pool, waterpark, or the local beach will offer the ability to exercise while staying cool. While at home, even a kiddie pool or the sprinkler can help cool the family off.

    Whether you’re drinking it or playing in it, water makes any outdoor summer activity more pleasant.

    Exercise Indoors

    Sure, this tip doesn’t give you the ability to enjoy the sun. But on brutally hot summer days, it can be wiser to keep out of the heat altogether. A gym membership gives you unlimited potential for exercise out of the sun and in an air-conditioned climate. Health clubs, roller rinks, and even walks at the mall can help you keep active without the sun beating down on you.

    If you prefer to stay at home, exercise DVDs or a treadmill can keep you active from the comfort of home.

    Conclusion

    When the heat rises, a little planning and preparation can keep your outdoor activities both fun and safe. If you’re looking to get back into activity this summer after an injury, check out our line of athletic and extremity supports – they can help you get back out there while providing support to your problem area.

     

    Sources:

    http://www.emedicinehealth.com/quick_tips_staying_active_in_hot_weather-health/article_em.htm

    http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/8-tips-for-exercising-in-summer-heat


    This post was posted in Company

  • How to Use Foam Rollers to Relieve Pain and Muscle Tension in Your Back and Legs

    Posted on June 21, 2016 by Core Products

    By: Brian Acton

    Core Products Performance RollersA foam roller is one of the best ways to relieve tightness in muscles due to injury or exercise. This is because foam rolling facilitates myofascial release – a process jumpstarted when you apply pressure on muscle tissue. This process improves circulation, increases blood flow to the muscles, and breaks down tension that stems from injuries or exercise. If you go to the gym, you’ve likely seen people using foam rollers on their legs or back to rehab after a tough workout.

    Foam rollers are so appealing because they’re inexpensive and easy to use – all you need is the foam roller, your body, and a small area on the floor to get started. Here are a few of the best ways to use a foam roller to relieve tension and relax the muscles in your back and legs:

    For Your Back

    There are a few great methods for treating your back – whether it be for back pain or to release tension built up from exercise.

    • Lower back: Lie on your back with the foam roller resting beneath your lower back. Pull up your left leg and hug the knee, pulling it towards your chest. Now, putting your weight on the left side of your back, roll on the roller from just above your butt to your rib cage. Repeat this motion slowly 10 times, and then repeat on the other side. Do not roll directly on your spine.
    • Upper back: Move the foam roller up a bit from the last exercise to just beneath your shoulder blades. Cross your arms across your chest, and lay your head back against the ground to give yourself a good stretch. Hold this position for 30 – 90 seconds, and then move the roller up or down a few centimeters and repeat. You can continue this exercise by then moving your arms above your head and rolling the foam roller up and down your upper back. If necessary, you can place your feel flat on the ground and raise your knees to push and pull yourself along.

    For Your Legs

    • Hamstrings: Place the foam roller beneath your upper hamstring muscles (your thighs below your glutes). Cross one leg over the other and roll down from your glutes to just above your knee, then back. Repeat this process 10-12 times, then switch to the other side.
    • Calves: Bring the roller under your calf, keeping your hands behind you on the floor for support, with your butt off the floor. Slowly roll from below your knee to your ankle, working different angles and hitting all sides of your calf. Repeat this motion 10-12 times, then switch legs and do it all over again.
    • Thighs: To ease pain in your thighs, turn over so that you’re facing the floor, with your thighs on top of the roller, and your hands supporting you (your feet should not be touching the ground). Squeezing your abs, lift your torso up and roll the roller between your hips and knees, working sore spots. Repeat this motion 10-12 times.

    If any of these motions causes severe pain, you should stop immediately. Personal trainers and massage therapists can often provide specialized assistance for your specific body needs. Need a foam roller? Check out our complete set of performance rollers to set your muscles at ease and relieve back and leg tension. Or, if you have some smaller areas – such as wrists or elbows – that need extra attention, check out our mini rollers!

     

     

    Sources:

    http://morganmassage.com/2014/02/18/4-foam-roller-techniques-for-low-back-pain/

    http://www.prevention.com/fitness/strength-training/foam-roller-strengthen-muscles-and-relieve-pain


    This post was posted in Education

  • The Best Low-Intensity Cardio Exercise for Beginners

    Posted on June 16, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Starting an exercise program to get in shape or improve your fitness is a daunting task. It’s hard to know where to begin.

    Maybe you never made exercise a priority, and you’re ready to start now. Or, you’re getting back into exercise after a long hiatus - injuries, cold weather, and daily obligations that can put exercise on hold for months or even years.

    Ramping up your exercise program is a noble goal no matter the reason. But you’ll need to ease into your new lifestyle to avoid injury and overtraining, which can discourage you from continuing to pursue your fitness goals when you’re just starting out.

    Here are a few low intensity cardio exercises you can use to get into the swing of things without burning yourself out too soon.

    Walking

    Okay, walking isn’t usually that exciting of an exercise. You already know how to walk – if you really want to get in shape, you’ll want to jump into running, right?

    Not necessarily. Regular, brisk walks help provide a number of health benefits, including weight loss, better cardiovascular health, strong bones and muscles, and preventing or treating a number of conditions and disabilities. Walking is even a mood lifter.

    Plus, there are so many opportunities for us to increase our walking activity. You can take your dog for a walk, walk to the nearby store instead of driving, or go for a stroll when the weather is nice. All that activity adds up to a healthier you, and walking puts less strain and damage on your joints than running, making it easy to recover.

    Swimming

    Swimming for distance or time at a low or moderate speed provides enormous health benefits and burns calories at a rapid rate. If swimming for long periods is too intense, you can always scale down to treading water, water aerobics, or swimming short laps with breaks in between.

    Swimming is especially ideal for people coming with an injury or joint pain. That’s because the water supports your weight, minimizing the impact that may be sustained during exercises on land.

    Elliptical

    If you have access to a gym, an elliptical machine is an excellent tool for getting back into exercise. It allows you to emulate the motions of running while eliminating the impact on your joints associated with running. The exercise extends movements to your entire body, and studies have shown that people are performing more intensely than they actually perceive when on an elliptical machine.

    You can even adjust your stride – moving in a “backward” run rather than forward – to work out different muscles.

    Conclusion

    All of these exercises are accessible to people of all fitness levels, so there’s no barrier to entry if you are just starting an exercise program (okay, you will need to know how to swim to hop in the deep end of a pool). In addition, they all provide minimal impact to your joints, so whether you’re trying to prevent joint pain or manage joint pain, you’ll be covered. Finally, all of these exercises are scalable – by intensity, time, or distance – so you can increase the workout to fit your needs and to make more progress over time.

    One crucial thing to remember when getting back into exercise is that recovery is very important. Stretching before or after workouts will help you recover, and deep REM sleep is when our muscles repair themselves. A good cervical pillow can help you reach a blissful state of sleep that lets your body recover from all the work you’ve been putting in.

    Whatever your fitness goals are, getting started with exercise is a commendable activity and your body will thank you!

     

     

    Sources:

    http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/workouts/walking/wow-of-walking.php

    https://www.realbuzz.com/articles/top-6-low-intensity-workouts/

    http://www.builtlean.com/2012/04/20/elliptical-vs-treadmill/


    This post was posted in Company, Education

  • How to Reduce the Risk of Back Injury in a Physically Demanding Job

    Posted on June 11, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    Millions of workplace injuries occur every year, putting the injured out of commission and costing both employer and employee time and money. To reduce the risk of workplace injury, most employers have safety guidelines and standards that their workers must follow.

    However, there’s no foolproof solution to prevent workplace injury, and when human error is a factor, employers can never provide a full guarantee that you won’t be injured at the workplace.

    Physically demanding jobs – such as construction worker, repairman, and grocery stocker – have a higher risk of injury, as the act of performing the job itself can cause injury if not performed properly. If you have a job that requires routine, demanding physical activity, working smarter in a way that reduces that risk is essential to keeping you safe on the job.

    Lower back injuries as a result of handling materials (lifting boxes, moving supplies, etc.) are one of the most common causes of workplace injury.

    Here are some best practices to keep your lower back safe as you lift and move supplies throughout the day:

    Make Your Workspace Back-Friendly

    Your workspace should be optimized for safety and functionality. You probably already use many commonsense safety practices, such as keeping objects off the floor where they could be a tripping hazard, unplugging tools that aren’t in use, etc.

    However, other policies can be enacted to make work easier on your back. For instance, if you are consistently lifting boxes from shelves, you should raise or lower those shelves to an ideal height that eliminates the need for bending or lifting boxes from the ground to reduce the strain you put on your back. Avoid storing heavy products deep in the back of shelves, where you will have to reach far to pull them out.

    If you move through an assembly line process when building a product, organizing your workspace so that you can move from step to step without too much manual lifting will also reduce injury risk.

    Identifying areas like these – where you can make clear environmental choices to reduce strain on the back – can help prevent back injuries.

    Lift Smart

    There are a number of ways you can lift boxes and supplies strategically to reduce the risk of back pain:

    The buddy system: If you have someone you can use as a lifting partner, you’re essentially splitting your lift in half.

    Use tools: Do you have access to a forklift? What about a wheelbarrow, dolly, or handcart? Anytime you can put heavy objects on wheels, you’re relieving your body from the strain of lifting those objects.

    Body position: When you must lift and carry an object using only your body, start with a wide stance, tightening your core. Focus on crouching with a bend in your knees, instead of bending straight at the hips. Keep your shoulders back rather than rounding them and hunching over. When you’re ready to lift, put the load on your legs, not your back, and lift the object close to your body.

    If it’s difficult for you to maintain good lifting posture, products such as lumbar support belts promote proper lifting technique and reduce the risk of injury.

    Before intense activity, make sure you warm up – a brisk jog or some stretches will help you prepare. Take breaks as needed and whenever possible, and be sure to hydrate frequently!

    Management and Staff Cooperation

    Both management and staff should have an equal interest in preventing workplace injury. Management is responsible for providing and promoting a safe workplace, but workers should be responsible for adhering to guidelines and even improving upon existing practices.

    Management should establish safety guidelines that take into account the risk of lower back injury, and optimize processes and procedures that reduce this risk. They should also provide safety training that specifically focuses on injury prevention to workers.

    Workers have a responsibility to work safely, but also to provide feedback or suggest improvements for better safety procedures.

    Finally, an injured worker must immediately report their injury to their employer in keeping with that employer’s safety guidelines.

    Conclusion

    Using these tips and policies, you can help prevent yourself and others in your workplace from being injured. Whether you work alone in your own workshop, or in a warehouse with hundreds of other workers, the fundamentals of safety are the same. Optimizing the workplace, lifting using best practices, and workplace cooperation can all help fight workplace injury and keep our backs safe and healthy.

     

     

    Sources:

    https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/inj_prev.html

    https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ergonomics/


    This post was posted in Company, Education

  • Bone Fuel: The Best Foods for Bone Health

    Posted on June 6, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    One important aspect of aging comfortably is supporting the health of your bones. Not only are strong bones important early in life as you grow, they become crucial as you age. As you get older, strong bones can slow or even prevent conditions like osteoporosis, which results in brittle bones that can easily break under low stress or impact. Women over 50 are especially susceptible to this condition, and so it’s important – whether you have osteoporosis or not – to practice a diet that strengthens your bones.

    So how do you establish the right diet? You need to eat foods that are bone fuel – that strengthen, grow, and protect your bones.

    Calcium-Rich Foods

    One of the most important elements to include in a bone-healthy diet is calcium. Calcium is one of the major building blocks of bones, and a calcium-rich diet contributes to bone strength and density, while a calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis.

    Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium. Milk is one of the best sources, but yogurt and cheese are also great for providing calcium.

    One common condition – lactose intolerance – can prevent many people from getting their much-needed calcium from dairy. Not to worry! There are a number of great foods that contain a good dose of calcium without containing any dairy, including:

    Veggies: collard greens, kale, broccoli, and turnip greens are all great sources of calcium.

    Beans: White beans are a fantastic source of calcium, and can be added to many dishes, such as pasta, chili, and hummus.

    Canned Fish: Canned salmon and sardines provide a big boost of calcium and omega 3’s, and are delicious to add to salads and other dishes.

    Vitamin D-Rich Foods

    Vitamin D helps to support calcium absorption and processes that enable bone mineralization – in other words, the processes that makes your bones dense and strong. Vitamin D also helps bones grow, and without Vitamin D bones can become thin or brittle.

    While sunshine on your skin will help you meet your Vitamin D needs, many of us need to limit our exposure to UV rays to prevent sunburn and skin cancer. In addition, we tend to stay indoors in cold winter climates – and so, food sources of Vitamin D are important as well.

    The best sources of naturally occurring vitamin D occur in fish – specifically, the meat of fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Cod liver oil is a great provider of Vitamin D as well – you may have seen the supplements in the grocery store. As you move down the list of Vitamin D-containing foods, the drop-off from fish is significant – but there are many foods that come enriched with Vitamin D, such as orange juice, milk, and yogurt.

    Protein

    A well-balanced protein diet is beneficial to promoting bone health. Underweight and older Americans are often eating below the protein recommendations made by the Recommended Dietary Allowance. In contrast, the American diet is often too rich in animal-based protein.

    While the exact recommended intake is up for debate – and the role that protein plays on bone health is still debated – it is agreed that a diet of too little protein or too much protein can be harmful to bones. Foods that are rich in protein, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy – can be harmful in excess. Essential to maintaining healthy protein intake is to balance these foods with fruits and vegetables.

    In Closing

    Diet is not the only way to keep your bones healthy – moderate exercise and sunlight can also go a long way towards bone health. However, diet is an extremely important factor, as it is a major source for the ingredients that help build, strengthen, and grow our bones. Making sure you get enough calcium, vitamin D, and moderate amounts of protein will help keep your bones strong and prevent or slow the onset of osteoporosis and brittle bones.

     

    Sources:

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium-full-story/#calcium-from-milk

    https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/nutrition/

    https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/


    This post was posted in Company, Education

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