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Monthly Archives: December 2016

  • How to Travel for the Holidays with Arthritis

    Posted on December 27, 2016 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    arthritis-travelMillions of Americans travel for the holidays every year, using every combination of transportation available to get to their friends and family. The Automobile Association of America is estimating more than 103 million Americans will travel in the year-end holiday season. And while traveling can be a stressful experience for anyone, arthritis presents a very specific set of challenges.

    Joint pain and discomfort caused by arthritis can easily flare up due to travel triggers. With that in mind, we’ve compiled some common sense tips to help make your holiday trip more comfortable and less vulnerable to arthritis pain.

    Prepare Your Medication

    Do you take medication to manage your arthritis? If so, your logical first step is to make sure you have enough medication to last through your trip. But during a trip, your medication can easily be left behind in a hotel or lost with your luggage. If that happens, you may need to refill your prescriptions in an unfamiliar place. You can keep a list of your medications and doses to prepare yourself in case of emergency.

    One last point: if you’re flying to your destination, you may want to bring a doctor’s note or prescription along with you. This can help if TSA staff has questions or concerns about your medication as you move through airport security.

    Bring the Right Gear

    If you ever use a cane, splint, knee brace, walker, or any other device to help you get around, make sure you bring it with you. It might be tempting to leave aids behind to lighten your load, but it’s better to have it and not need it than vice versa. Travel pillows are another essential for comfortable. If your gear is heavy or unwieldy, try finding smaller or lighter travel versions.

    Use the Right Luggage

    If you’re going to be walking around with your luggage, you may want to try fitting everything into a lightweight, rolling suitcase. Not only will this help you pack only the essentials, it will make the chore of lugging your possessions around more bearable (and easier on your joints). There’s also no shame in asking for help: for instance, don’t be shy to ask your hotel for help getting your luggage to and from your room.

    Be Sure to Get Up and Move

    Whether you’re driving, flying, or riding, sitting for too long without moving and stretching can result in stiff and painful joints. If you’re on a plane or train, try to get an aisle seat so you can stretch out a little and get up to walk occasionally. If driving, try to stop for some exercise along the way. Long sedentary periods can make arthritis symptoms worse, so you’ll want to get up and move to keep them at bay!

    …But Set Your Boundaries

    While we just extolled the benefits of activity, we don’t want you to overextend yourself. Don’t risk injury or flare-ups by trying to go too fast or too far. This applies both to the time you spend travelling and the time you spend at your destination. It might mean you have to skip that nature walk or ask someone else to carry heavy gifts in from the car. Try to get exercise, but not the wrong kind that could leave you in pain.

    In Closing

    There’s no reason your holiday trip with arthritis can’t be happy and carefree. But you’ll increase your chances of a great holiday if you prepare now to reduce the chance of debilitating joint pain. The key is careful planning, preparation and vigilance. Happy travels!

    This post was posted in Education

  • Five Things to Avoid Before Bedtime

    Posted on December 13, 2016 by Core Products

    By: Brian Acton

    things-to-avoid-bedtimeGetting a restful, rejuvenating sleep requires more than a reasonable bedtime. It can be just as important to properly set yourself up for a good night’s sleep. Our activities leading up to bedtime can actually have a profound effect on our quality of sleep. There are several activities that can actually hinder your ability to get a restful night of shuteye.

    Here are five things to avoid before bed if you want a healthy, refreshing night’s sleep:


    Anyone who’s suffered a hangover already knows that too much alcohol will not help you feel rested and refreshed. But, since alcohol can help you doze off quickly, you might think a few drinks can help you get your rest.

    But alcohol can actually have the opposite effect. Drinking alcohol increases the likelihood of snoring. It also can increase the amount of times you need to wake up to use the bathroom. Finally, once the alcohol has metabolized in your system, you actually are more prone to fitful, restless sleep.


    Our cell phones, tablets and other gadgets can dominate our waking lives, and it can become difficult to separate from them. But tech can hurt your chances for a good night’s sleep in a number of ways:

    • Sleep Cycle: the light produced by cell phones, laptops, and television screens has been shown to restrict the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle.
    • Alertness: technology that keeps you engaged – like video games, or work emails – keeps your mind active and alert. This can make it harder to relax and fall asleep.
    • Wakeups: if you keep your television on or your phone on your nighstand, ambient noise or notifications can wake you up.

    You may want to avoid tech for at least a half hour before bed and turn off all phone notifications except your morning alarm. If you need to relax with some entertainment, try a (paper, not electronic) book.

    Large or Fatty Meals

    Eating a large, greasy, or fatty meal can disrupt your sleep. Your body best digests food while upright. When you’re lying down after a large meal, your body isn’t digesting food in the best way. You’re also working hard to digest your food, which can wake you up. Fatty foods especially tend to decrease the amount of REM sleep we get.


    Strenuous exercise should tire you out, right? Perhaps, but that doesn't mean you’re going to fall asleep immediately after a tough workout. Intense workouts raise our body temperature and heart rate, which can make it more difficult to fall or stay asleep. Avoid strenuous workouts less than a few hours before bed.


    Of course you know you shouldn’t drink an espresso right before hopping into bed. But caffeine can affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep much longer than you might think, up to six hours or more. That includes the caffeine found in coffee, tea, and chocolate. A good rule is to avoid caffeinated products like these a few hours before bed, and you may want to avoid coffee anytime after noon.








    This post was posted in Company

  • Dreaming for Wellness: Three Theories on the Mental Benefits of Dreams

    Posted on December 8, 2016 by Core Products

    By: Brian Acton

    dream-healthWe know there are a number of health benefits to getting a good night’s sleep, including muscle repair, memory storage, and maintaining proper cognitive functions. Sleep is a crucial aspect of our general well being, and you can feel the impact if you aren’t getting enough.

    But what about the extracurricular activities your mind practices while you’re sleeping? We’re talking about your dreams! Dreams could just be the mind’s way of occupying itself. But there are a number of theories on how dreams may actually support your mental well-being.

    Here are a few of our favorite theories:

    Dreaming May Help to Fight Depression

    Some studies have suggested that dreaming can help fight depression. In one study, sleep researcher Rosalind Cartwright, PhD, collected data dreams of a group of recently divorced individuals suffering from depression. She recorded all dreams the study participants could recall over the course of five months.

    Several of the participants’ depression improved over the course of the study. Those participants had frequently integrated their recent emotional experiences with older memories in the course of their dreams. They dreamt for longer periods of time and their dreams were more vivid, containing many characters and settings.

    Those whose depression remained or worsened had shorter dreams or could not recall them at all.

    While much more research is needed, the study suggests that detailed, memorable dreams can help us process grief or negative feelings and move through difficult times.

    Lucid Dreaming Can Help Our Waking Abilities

    Another interesting theory involves lucid dreaming - the experience of being aware you’re dreaming. In some cases, lucid dreamers can even control their actions in the dream.

    There have been several studies on lucid dreaming and how it relates to our problem solving and learning capabilities. In one study, researchers at the University of Lincoln in England had frequent lucid dreamers and non-lucid dreamers solve a series of puzzles. Lucid dreamers were far superior at solving the puzzles than their counterparts.

    Other researchers have found a link between practicing an activity in a dream and successfully accomplishing it in real life.

    We don’t know if there are other characteristics that frequent lucid dreamers possess that could explain these results. But it’s an interesting idea: that awareness and control in dreams could enhance your prowess in real life!

    Dreams Can Help us Relax

    In 2011, UC Berkeley scientists reported that during dream sleep, study participants’ brains contained fewer chemicals linked to stress. That reduction, suggested the researchers, allows us to calmly process emotions and wake up emotionally strengthened and less stressed out.

    In Closing

    Researchers have been studying sleep and dreams for decades. While they’ve found a number of suggestive results, there is little scientific consensus on the specific benefits of dreams. However, we do know that sleep bestows a number of benefits, so it stands to reason that dreams could have their own perks. As more time goes on, we could start to see more concrete findings and find out exactly how dreams effect our mental well-being.

    This post was posted in Company

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