Making Exercise A Habit In Your Kiddo

Making Exercise A Habit In Your Kiddo

Like many other moms, it was also my concern that my kid is not involved in any outdoor sports or do any kind of exercises. Kids nowadays are very much involved in video games and mobile games that they refuse to go out of the house to play. During a recent visit to the doctor for a routine checkup, I came to know that my 8-year-old is overweight. That was the time when I decided to search for smart ideas to keep my kid engaged in fitness activities.

  1. Set a goal – Setting up a goal can be really motivating. Set small goals, not unachievable ones. Once your kid is capable to reach for small goals, raise the bars.
  2. Let’s dance together – Enroll in a dance class together as dancing is a very good exercise and fun too,
  3. Park trips – Take them to the park and play with them. This will increase your fitness and is good for your kid as well.
  4. Bike buddies – Be a bike buddy with your kid. It is a good cardio exercise.
  5. How about a work out video – Do the exercises together while watching a fitness video. Choose the one who does not have complicated exercises. Go for the simple one so that your kid can also do it. You can take a consultation with board-certified physical therapists at TheraNow.
  6. Get competitive – Get competitive in a healthy way. This can act as encouragement in kids and the kid tries to give their best.

Encouragement plays a very important role while you are trying something new with your kids. Do not get angry or scold them. Be patient, talk and tell them to know the importance to stay fit, what you are trying to do is good for them. Analyze your kid and see what are all their area of interest and how you can use them to incorporate fitness into them. You also share a special bond when you spend quality time with your kid while exercising. You should also monitor that your kid does not overdo anything as this can lead to injury. You can give rewards on the achievement of conquering a short-term goal. This will keep them encouraged and they will try to give their best every time.

Is Your Shoulder Pain Because Of Your Sleep?

Is Your Shoulder Pain Because Of Your Sleep

A sound sleep is probably the best part of the day in our busy schedules, and we will never agree if anyone tells it can cause serious health issues. But it is the fact, although it may sound bizarre just at the thought of it. Recently I met a patient, Christine who was complaining of mild shoulder pain and stiffness in the right side of the shoulder. As a studious college student, she was not involved in any workouts or sports, so it was difficult for her to understand the cause of the pain. On thorough assessment, she revealed the habit of sleeping on her right side. She is so habitual with this that she cannot sleep straight and follows the same pattern every night. She was oblivious to the fact that it was affecting her.

So why and how it occurs? Is our shoulder that delicate that sleeping on one side over a period of time can cause pain? Actually, our rotator cuff is made up of muscles and tendons of the shoulder that keep the ball of the upper arm bone well within the joint socket and helps in controlling complex motions and maintain the stability of shoulder joint. While sleeping on any side, that shoulder becomes more prone to injuries. More significantly in those who sleep on the same side. This consistent pressure can cause the tendon to become inflamed or fray. It is called rotator cuff tendonitis or impingement.

Symptoms may include mild pain, stiffness, and/or pain with lifting arm or putting pressure on the shoulder. How to deal with it? Avoid sleeping on the affected side that may aggravate symptoms. If you have a habit of sleeping on the affected side, it is going to be very difficult but not impossible. You can start with lying down in a supine position or opposite side. This will relieve the symptoms. You can also apply ice to the affected area to relieve symptoms. Consulting your physical therapist for your shoulder pain to get proper rehabilitation is very important. The best part to this is the availability of online physical therapy treatment through telerehabilitation these days which saves a lot of time, money and trouble.

6 Tips To Deal With Swollen Feet

swollen feet

Have you ever had swollen feet after a long tiring flight? Or after a long day of sitting at work? You may encounter swollen feet at any stage of your life, and this can be caused by various reasons. In females, it can be due to pregnancy or PMS because of hormonal changes, or because of injury, blockage of lymphatic system, heart disease, liver disease, infection, insufficient venous blood, obesity, blood clot, kidney disease or side-effects of any medication. Prolonged sitting with feet down is also a contributing factor.

Swollen feet may seem trivial in daily life but should never be neglected if encountered often. This can be a warning sign of an underlying disease. You must consult your doctor and get it diagnosed. To effectively treat it, you need to get to the root cause.

However, few exercises that help in increasing the blood circulation and hence decreasing swollen feet are:

  1. Toe Pointing And Flexion – Get yourself seated in a chair or on the floor
  • Extend one leg and point your toe forward (away from your body as far as possible)
  • Hold for 5 seconds before returning to normal position
  • Repeat 10 times for each foot
  1. Ankle Circles – Sit on chair and extend one leg. Make 5 clockwise and anticlockwise circles each rotating your ankles
  • Repeat it 10 times for each leg
  1. Squeezing Your Toes – Make cotton balls and place it in between your toes
  • Squeeze your toes inside, hold for 5 seconds and relax
  • Repeat 10 times
  1. In And Outs – Sit on the floor. Use a thick rubber band to hold feet together
  • Pull toes and fore-feet away from each other
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds and relax
  • Repeat 10 times
  1. Ball Massage – Sit on a chair. Place a ball under the arch of your foot
  • Roll the ball applying slight pressure
  • Do this for 30 seconds for each
  1. Rock Your Foot – Stand with feet flat on the floor
  • Rock forward onto the balls of your feet and then rock back on the heels
  • Do at least 10 rocks

Some precautions to keep in mind are:

  • Do not sit for long with feet hanging
  • Move around a bit after every 2 hours
  • Try to lose weight if you are overweight
  • Drink a lot of fluids
  • Elevate feet with pillow under it while sleeping

8 tips to defeat winter aches and pains

TheraNow 8 Tips to defeat winter aches and pains

Do you too dread winters as they dig up the pains we had even forgotten existed long back? How come winters that bring so many joys with the fun-filled holiday season be cruel enough to bring about pain and suffering along? Well, it’s not winters that cause these health issues at the root level. Winters just increase the possibility of feeling more pain. Although joint pains can occur anytime throughout the year, the frequency increases with cold weather. Change in weather in winter does NOT cause arthritis or spondylosis but it increases the intensity and severity of symptoms.

Apart from all this, the scientific evidence may at times be conflicting. Research from Tufts University suggested that changes in barometric pressure worsen knee pain in people with arthritis while colder temperature can cause painful changes in joint fluid thickness. Whereas, other studies showed little or no link between weather and joint pain.

These debates probably require more research to support their findings. At this time, more important is to reduce your discomfort in this cold weather and give you some warmth of a pain-free life.

Here are few things you can do:

  • Be active – Do not stop activities but you can mellow down the intensity of your workout. It is harder to exercise in the winters so you will need to push yourself some more. Stay indoors for the workout if that suits you, but be active.
  • Resist your urge to sleep or sit down – Resist that urge to spend few extra minutes in the warmth of your bed. Do not sit like a couch potato, get up and exercise.
  • Lengthen your warm-up time – Not only winter aches or pains, winter-related injuries can also take a toll on our bodies. Warming up before any activity is a must to avoid straining ligaments and tendons. Increase your warm-up time, it increases blood flow to muscles we want to fire up.
  • Dress up warmly – Cover yourself up nicely, stay warm, especially the injured/affected body parts.
  • Hydrate yourself – It is very important to hydrate yourself. Keeping yourself hydrated can help you stay active. As per a study published in September 2015 issue of Experimental Psychology, you tend to be more sensitive to pain even if you have mild dehydration.
  • Maintain good posture – Maintain good posture while doing exercises. Some people tend to adapt kyphotic posture during winters.
  • Eat healthy and avoid junk food.
  • Consult your therapist in case you feel more pain.

Follow these tips and tricks for happy and pain-free winters.

 

 

Massage Therapy – the Benefits you did not know

massage therapy

How does a head massage after a long tiring day feel? Or a foot massage after a mall trip? A head massage can relax you and help to get good sleep, and a foot massage can ease out all the muscle tension. Massage is no magic, though the effects of massage feel like magic. It is a form of therapy that helps in decreasing pain and anxiety, headaches and muscle tension, muscle spasm and insomnia, and increasing endorphins. Massage has an amazing effect on chronic and acute injuries alike. It induces relaxation and a feeling of wellbeing. However, of note, you need to remember that massage is not just a relaxation technique, but can also be therapeutic.

 

While performing clinical rehabilitation, physical therapists utilize massage techniques to initiate recovery from intense exercises. Massage in sports can help in preparing an athlete for competition, and also helps an athlete to recover from the competition. After trauma, muscles may act as mini-splints that limit motion as a protective mechanism. A perfect daily-life example is when a person works for long hours on his computer, it mostly results in having a stiff, aching and sometimes a very painful neck. Taking periodic breaks to rub and stretch the neck can promote blood circulation to the muscles, that brings down the spasm.

 

Now, let’s have a look at all the wonderful things massage can do. Massage can-

  • Increase tone, blood circulation, and tissue elasticity
  • Improve sensation
  • Promote relaxation
  • Initiate healing
  • Treat tight muscles and break down adhesions
  • Reduce stress
  • Reduce muscle soreness
  • Improve recovery after exercise injury or surgery

 

As per many researches, it has been evidenced that massage has been very helpful in sportsperson in both pre-conditioning, and the conditioning phase itself.

 

So, be it for just relaxation, or a therapeutic massage for any specific medical condition, a good massage by skilled hands can work miracles, rejuvenating your tired self or for taking away those aches, pains, and stiffness.

 

 

TEXTING NECK – THE DIGITAL AGE PROBLEM

texting neck

Are you addicted too to your cell phones? Does it feel like something important is missing when you are not carrying that highly smart I-know-everything-you-could-think-of gadget of yours? Well, you are not alone in this. A study showed that 79% of the United States population between 18 to 44 years of age have their cell phones with them almost every time with only 2% of wake-up time spent without them.

Now, let me tell you my real-life experience. One day when I woke up, I had a sudden onset of severe acute upper back pain. Even after a lot of thinking and recall, I could not figure out the possible reason behind it. I went to see my doctor, and after a thorough interview and assessment, he told me I had “texting neck”. I just could not understand what it meant. On seeing my confused expressions, he explained that it occurs due to hours of spending time on phones, laptops, and tablets etc. It is a kind of overuse injury. He also advised that if left untreated, it can lead to inflammation of neck ligaments, nerve irritation and improper curvature of my spine. This information was enough to get me worried.

The problem is not only limited to adults. Smartphones have enough reasons to have our kids hooked on them for gaming and watching videos. About 52% of the 0-8-year-old kids spend about 43 minutes a day on mobile devices.  Texting neck usually affects upper back, shoulder region and if cervical (neck) region nerves are involved, it can lead to radiculopathy (numbness, tingling, pain radiation, and many more symptoms) and involvement of occiput region.

Ways to prevent it

We understand it is very difficult to stay without a cell phone and you will probably not return to our blog if we suggest you do that. There are some simpler ways to deal with it:

  • Hold/keep your cell phone, laptop, and tablet in such a way that the screen is at eye level.
  • Take frequent breaks, avoid working/staring at your screen for a long time.
  • Stand up straight and maintain good posture. It is always good to stretch those muscles a bit.
  • Flexible and strengthened neck and back muscles are able to bear extra stress.

Exercises you can do at your workstation

  1. CHIN TUCK-IN – Tuck your chin down to your chest, then slowly tilt your head back, chin towards the ceiling.
  2. NECK ROTATION – Slowly rotate neck on both sides.
  3. SHOULDER ROTATION – Shrug your shoulders and rotate them. Rotate 10 times each clockwise and anticlockwise.  Consider this as one set and repeat it 5 times.

Texting neck can be efficiently managed by physical therapy including mobilization, posture correction, massage of soft tissues, taping techniques, and neck stabilization exercises.

The Sad part is, this is not the only side-effect of prolonged use of mobile devices.  It was blamed for an increase in the number of pedestrian deaths in the US in the year 2011 as people used to text while walking.  There also is “texting thumb” that causes repetitive strain injury during texting, and “iPad hand” aches and pains caused by swapping and typing on the tablet. Technology is great and has made life easier for sure, but as we know, nothing in ‘excess’ is good. So choose wisely, make the best use of it but avoid addiction.

 

 

8 TIPS TO SAVE YOUR EYES FROM WORK STRAIN

EYES STRAIN

An average American worker spends about 7 hours/day on the computer either in the office or working from home. But did you know if you spend more than 2 hours/day in front of a computer, you have 90% chances of developing computer vision syndrome?  What is this syndrome?  How is this going affect your eyes? Well, it is a collective group of syndromes experienced in relation to use of computers. Nearly 60 million people suffer from this syndrome globally, eventually resulting in reduced productivity at work and reduced quality of life of a computer worker.

Also known as digital eye strain, its symptoms include blurred or double vision, dry or red eyes, eye irritation, headaches, neck and back pain.  As per American Ophthalmometric Association, it is recommended to follow 20:20:20 i.e. take 20 seconds break to view something 20 feet away for every 20 minutes.

 

You can easily overcome this if you take a few precautions like, at your workstation, your computer screen should be 15°-20° below the eye level, with proper lighting while working, and the system should have an anti-glare screen to avoid overstrain.  Also, take rest breaks in between. Use natural tear drops easily available in the market whenever your eyes are irritated.

Few exercises that can help:

  1. PALMING – Sit comfortably. Rub your palms together and create a bit of warmth.  Cup hands and slightly press them over closed eyes.  Relax for a few minutes like this.
  2. BLINKING – Try to blink once in every 4 seconds. This helps keep your eyes lubricated.
  3. EYE-ROLLING – Close your eyes and roll eyes in circular motions. Do 10 repetitions.
  4. VISUAL SCREENING – Take a break, sit back and observe the room you are in. begin to outline every single thing in the room.  Do this for 1-2 minutes and then start working again.
  5. FOCUSING – Take a visual break! Look few feet away for a few seconds before returning back to that spreadsheet.
  6. GLANCING – Close your eyes, glance upwards, and after a few seconds, glance downwards. Open your eyes.  Repeat the same for 10 times.
  7. FOCUSING EXERCISE – Improve eye flexibility. Start with 2 deep breaths.  Sit with feet shoulder-width apart.  Breathe normally throughout the exercise.  Hold your thumb 6 inches away from the eyes, directly in front of the nose.  Gaze at the thumb and take a deep breath, then focus on a distant object at least 10 feet away and take a deep breath.  Change focus with every breath.  Do 8 repetitions.
  8. FIGURE OF 8 – Increase eye flexibility. Take 2 deep breaths.  Sit with feet shoulder width apart with hands on sides.  Imagine a figure of 8 lying horizontally at about a 10-feet distance (just like the sign of infinity).  Trace that figure.  First in clockwise and then anticlockwise direction.  Continue taking deep breaths with each round and blink whenever required.  Do 10 repetitions.

 

By taking a bit of care and by following some simple tips you can save your vision. Work is important, but if you take care today, you will be able to cherish the beauty of this World longer tomorrow.

8 Great Tips to get rid of that unsightly Double Chin

double chin

Tired of deleting those ugly selfies because of your double chin? Hate that chubby chin that no make-up can hide? Do not hate, love yourself and do the right thing to become the same old beautiful you.

The myth is, if you have a double chin, you have become overweight and need to lose few pounds. The fact is, in some cases, it is just the lack of muscle tone. However, in most cases, the reason is excessive weight gain.

This is one of the biggest concerns women face these days because it leaves them looking more obese than they actually are. Let’s see what can help you get rid of that flabby double chin.

 

  1. Make an “O”
  • Sit with your back straight, and shoulders retracted in line with your body
  • Look towards the ceiling and make your lips into an “O”
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds. You should be able to feel the contractions on both sides of the neck.
  • Relax your mouth and lower your chin
  • Repeat 10 times

 

  1. Press the tongue
  • In sitting, look towards the ceiling
  • Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth, and lower your chin to chest as far as possible
  • Hold until contractions are felt in the front of neck muscles and the chin
  • Relax and return to the initial position
  • Repeat 10 times

 

  1. Kiss the ceiling
  • In sitting, look towards the ceiling and pucker lips into a kissing position
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds and then return to initial position
  • Repeat 10 times

 

  1. Pout and tilt
  • In sitting position, stick out lower lip to make a pout
  • Hold the contraction for 1 second
  • Lower your chin to chest and feel the contraction, hold for another second
  • Come back to initial position
  • Repeat 10 times

 

  1. Jaw release
  • In sitting, move your jaw up and down as you do when you chew. Keep lips together.
  • Inhale deeply through nose and exhale through mouth while humming
  • When you finish exhaling, open mouth as wide as possible with the tip of the tongue pressing against bottom of the lower front teeth
  • Hold this position, inhale and exhale with an audible “aaaa” sound
  • This should take a total of around 90 seconds
  • Repeat this only twice

 

  1. Chin rotations
  • In sitting position, leading with your chin, slowly and gently rotate your head so it moves in full circle
  • Repeat 10 times

 

  1. Side neck stretch
  • In sitting, wrap opposite arm over the top of your head so that palm rests on the opposite site ear
  • Keep head in alignment with neck, bend your head towards your shoulder, using palm to gently press down your head to shoulder
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds
  • Repeat 10 times

 

  1. “Stick out your tongue”
  • In sitting position, open mouth as wide as you can and stick out tongue as far as you can
  • Keep tongue stuck out until count of 10
  • Repeat 10 times

 

These are few of the best exercises you can do for “double chin”. Losing double chin would definitely be one of your best loses, as it brings with it a lot of confidence and helps you look slimmer. If done in proper way regularly, you would see visible results within a month’s time.

WATCH OUT LADIES, WORK CAN BE A HEALTH RISK

work, working woman, health problems

When I say “MULTI-TASKER”, whose image flashes in your minds? I am sure in most of the cases, it would be either your mom, or wife, or any other woman related to you. Yes, women are the best suitors for this tag. But, the sad part is, it takes a lot away from our beloved ladies, and have a bad impact on their health. The Ohio University, in a research, stated that in three decades, working women developed triple the risk of various medical conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, and arthritis, with average 60 hours of work per week.

In the United States, about half of the mothers with young children work, which was one-third in the 1970s. Today, women are working not only for career satisfaction but also for the income that their family needs for survival.

They perform multiple roles including home-making, taking care of the children and the family, and the job duties at the workplace. These different and equally challenging roles affect their physical and mental health, leaving them drained and stressed.

Women are more prone to get stressed easily. According to a British survey, over 60% of the working mothers feel that they vent out their stress on their families. Nearly eight of ten working mothers would quit their jobs if they could. Center for Labor Research at Adelaide University conducted a study on 150 working women and discovered that they lack sexual intimacy.

A study shows that men were not nearly as affected by long working hours. They had a higher risk of arthritis though, but none of the other chronic diseases. Men who worked 41-50 hours/week had a lower risk of heart disease, lung disease, and depression, that those who worked less than 40 hours. Now, this is an unusual but interesting fact.

As per Society for Women’s Health Research, women make more of the health care decisions for their families but when it comes to their health, they avoid seeing a doctor. With age, this neglect upsurges the medical problems, and lack of calcium from the bones is just one example of it.

 

Things that can help

  • Scheduled check-ups – Routine check-ups are very important.
  • Take small but steady steps towards a healthy life – Take out some time for light exercises regularly. If you smoke, consider quitting right away.
  • A healthy diet is a key to healthy life
  • Make “health” a family objective – Introduce post-dinner strolls. Engage in chit-chat and bonding activities with the family.
  • Overcome your guilt – Don’t be hard on yourself, or blame yourself for not being able to devote enough time towards a mother’s or wife’s duties, especially if your children develop health or psychological problems, disinterest in studies, or become withdrawn.

 

Remember ladies, you are the pillars holding the family up and together. Love yourself if you love your family. Do the right thing at the right time. Stay healthy, live happily.

Being Overweight might be the Reason for your Back Pain

obesity and back pain

As per National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 80% of us had a back pain at some point in life.  Being obese comes along with various medical conditions and back pain is one of the commonest problems arise during weight gain.

As per American Obesity Association (AOA) face sheets 2002, “Health effects of Obesity”,  people who are obese often are at a greater risk of developing back pain, joint pains, and muscle strain than those people who are not obese.

According to American Obesity Association, musculoskeletal pain especially back pain is most common in nearly one-third of Americans who are not obese.  As you gain weight, the problem will start worsening and start affecting your activities of daily living.

 

TIPS TO SAY GOODBYE TO BACK PAIN

  • Keep a bathroom scale and check your weight on daily basis. If it is up, do not lose hope and try harder.
  • Avoid aggravating movements/acts. Observe yourself throughout the day an try to figure out what are all factors that increase the pain.  Make a note for relieving factors also.
  • Diet modification is a must. Do not go for “dieting”, instead of that, some diet modifications will do the trick.
  • Behavioural modifications are very much needed. Walk as much as your body allows, do not overstrain.  While lifting, do not bend over
  • Do not stand or sit for longer periods of time. Try to get out of the chair after 20-30 minutes.
  • Try to get yourself a footstool if you have a sitting job. It will really help.
  • Try to correct your posture.
  • Start with low-intensity exercises. Whenever you start planning to do the exercises, contact your physical therapist.
  • Whenever you wake up in the morning, do some exercises of back e.g. – stretching and strengthening exercises. This will ease off muscle stiffness and improve blood circulation in that area.  You will feel more active throughout the day.
  • Avoid lifting anything heavy as this can cause aggravation of lower back pain.