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22
FEB

4 Supplements for Eye Health

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Supplements,Vitamins and Minerals at 10:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Healthy eyes are so important to all of us but it’s not easy to prevent the slow degradation of the eyes. In order to avoid this problem, it is essential to consume certain nutritional and dietary supplements for eye health, so here’s a list of 4 supplements for eye health.

1. Lutein: a highly essential supplements for eye health, lutein forms a protective shield and prevents formation of cataracts as well as macular degeneration in the eyes. This antioxidant is the primary carotenoid present in the central area of the retina called the macula. People with high intakes of the carotenoid lutein have been reported to be at a low risk for cataracts. Lutein also protects the retina from damage caused by sunlight and studies have shown that supplementation can be helpful to people with both early and advanced stages of the disease.

2. Vitamin A: required in large doses to ensure proper functioning of the retina, deficiency of vitamin A may cause ocular disorders like xeropthalmia or night blindness. Often recommend by doctors to correct a deficiency, vitamin A also plays a vital role in preventing dryness in the eyes.

3. Beta Carotene: directly related to vitamin A, supplementation of beta-carotene helps the body convert into vitamin A, correcting such a deficiency and improving vision and related issues such as night blindness. Additionally, studies have shown that long-term beta-carotene supplementation slowed the loss of cognitive function in middle-aged healthy males.

4. Selenium: this essential mineral is a good source of natural antioxidants and can be a useful supplement to maintain good eye health. Found in many multivitamins and multimineral products, selenium is known to regulate thyroid and prevent thyroid eye disease, also know known as Graves’ disease, a condition that can affect your eyes.


 
21
FEB

Cold and Flu Got You Down?

Filed Under: Immunity,Vitamins and Minerals at 8:00 am | By: Jeremy Michael, Contributing Author

We are always looking for ways to help prevent getting sick.  We take our supplements, get a good nights rest and limit sugar in our diets.  What happens when the walls of our defense get breached and we find ourselves chilly, congested, achy and just not feeling right? Then we start looking for ways to help fight off infections and shorten the duration of the infection. Did you know that there are a couple of well-researched supplements out there that can shorten the duration of the common cold and flu?

The first supplement not only taste delicious but has been found to shorten the duration of the common cold. Zinc Lozenges specifically those made from zinc gluconate in a recent article fount that after 7 days, 86% of 37 zinc-treated subjects were asymptomatic, compared with only 46% of the 28 placebo-treated subjects. More than 80% of common cold infections affect school-aged children. Another article found that use of zinc lozenges significantly reduced the duration of cold infections as well as antibiotic use in children. This means for adults less paid time off days being used and for children less of those annoying sick days home from school. Zinc lozenges are not the only alternative supplements to shorten the duration of infections.

One last alternative supplement found in research to shorten the duration of flu infections is elderberry. Elderberry, also known as Sambuccus nigra, has traditionally been known for its ability to boost immune system function. One study showed that Sambucol, an elderberry formula, had the ability to reduce flu symptoms down to 3-4 days.

This cold and flu season don’t fret if your defenses let you down. Shop LuckyVitamin to help fight off the dreaded cold and flu viruses and get yourself back on your feet quicker.

 

 


 
20
FEB

5 Reasons To Take L- Theanine

Filed Under: Supplements at 8:00 am | By: Jeremy Michael, Contributing Author

Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea, which when taken on its own may have some wildly useful medical applications. Most of the benefits surround the tranquil and relaxing affects of this amino acid. This amino acid has been found to be useful for certain conditions including anxiety, hypertension, and insomnia and even preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s. While most of the spotlight is commonly on green tea, today we are going to talk about the benefits of theanine.

One third of Americans report some form of insomnia. Whether it’s difficulty in falling asleep or difficulty in maintaining sleep through out the night. In a recent article researchers found that adding theanine to the nighttime routine of boys with ADHD actually improved some aspects of sleep quality.  Specifically this included a higher sleep percentage, improved sleep efficiency, as well as less activity during the sleep (less time awake after sleep onset).  Theanine is a safe product you can add to your night time routine to help improve your sleep quality.  However, the benefits don’t stop here.

Another very serious and unfortunately common condition is anxiety. People are always looking for something to help calm their nerves. Whether it is a pharmaceutical agent or an alternative supplement, herb, etc.  A very interesting article that I came across looked at the acute effects of L-theanine in comparison to Alprazolam (Xanax) on anticipatory anxiety in humans. The results of this double blind placebo controlled study showed some evidence for relaxing effects of L-theanine during the baseline condition while Alprazolam did not exert any anxiolytic effects in comparison with the placebo on any of the measures during the relaxed state. Unfortunately neither L-theanine nor alprazolam had any effects during the experimentally induced anxiety state.

One last topic to discuss is theanine’s role in Alzheimer’s prevention. There is no doubt that the medical field is always looking to add to the list of ways to assist in preventing the onset of dementia. L-theanine just may be one ingredient that they want to add to that list. One of the major pathological mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease is amyloid beta induced neurotoxicity. Now you may be saying what is that? For the purpose of this discussion all you need to know is that it is a major cause for Alzheimer’s. What this article found is that theanine reduced this neurotoxicity and may be useful in the prevention of AD.

With all of the benefits of theanine it is hard to argue adding it into your daily regimen. Shop LuckyVitamin for all of your theanine needs. Remember to always check with your health care practitioner before starting supplements.

 


 
20
FEB

What’s New? Qunol

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments,Supplements at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Coenzyme Q10 is one of the most important nutrients to maintain good health and Lucky Vitamin is happy to introduce a top-quality brand of CoQ10 supplements: Qunol.

Qunol offers the original coenzyme Q10 supplement that is proven to be both 100% water and fat soluble. In fact, studies show that Qunol Ultra CoQ10 is 300% more absorbent than regular CoQ10, helping you achieve the recommended CoQ10 blood concentration in just weeks, not months like other regular CoQ10 products. Seven separate peer-reviewed and published clinical studies have shown the proprietary patented technology in Qunol gives it the highest absorption of all CoQ10 supplements.

Qunol is made with the highest quality all-natural coenzyme Q10 instead of the synthetic versions like many competing brands, which guarantees the best absorption and highest bio-availability. The solubilized CoQ10 in Qunol is the choice of many physicians, pharmacists, nutritionists and health care practitioners. Qunol CoQ10 supplements support heart health, boost cellular energy and play an important role as a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals. Research has shown that supplementing with CoQ10 is essential to restoring optimum CoQ10 levels in people who take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs that have been shown to deplete coenzyme Q10 levels in the body. Our bodies produce this vitamin-like nutrient naturally but this process slows with age and optimal levels are further reduced by cholesterol lowering statin drugs.

Additionally, save even more when you shop Qunol supplements at LuckyVitamin.com. Just enter promo code ‘FEB15NEW15′ at checkout for an additional 15% on all products of this new brand. Offer expires 2/28/15.


 
18
FEB

Testosterone…What You Need to Know

Filed Under: Men's Health,Supplements at 5:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

The testosterone debate never ends. Rightfully so. Testosterone is a major hormone in every men’s life impacting health, fertility, physical activity, confidence, self-esteem and many other conditions. Testosterone levels decline with age, known as hypogonadism, causing a variety of health problems. In order to help you understand a little more about it, here’s a list of what you need to know about testosterone.

1. Overweight Affects Testosterone Levels

Extra body weight has a significant impact on testosterone levels. The extra fat uses testosterone, removing if from the blood and reducing energy and libido. Fat around the abdomen is believed to extract the most testosterone, so make sure to exercise and stay lean and fit, or, at least, not too fat.

2. Low Testosterone Affect All Ages

Yes, it’s more common as men age, but a drop in testosterone levels can start as early as men in their 20s as well as teenagers. Common symptoms for a drop in testosterone include feeling tired, weak, and depressed but the most common and noticeable one is decline in sex drive.

3. Testosterone Treatment

Testosterone supplements can be an excellent option for men of any age who have below-normal levels. Regular supplementation can avoid a variety of health issues such as osteoporosis and heart disease.

4. Exercise Helps

Moderate exercise helps but isn’t the only way to fix the problem. Exercising can boost testosterone levels to a certain degree, preventing extra fat, as discussed above, an issue to maintain healthy levels. Low testosterone makes it harder to exercise on a regular basis due to lack of energy and stamina which can lead to a vicious cycle of inactivity and reduced hormone levels.

 1 Comment, latest by Joseph L. Sexton


 
18
FEB

Pregnant + New Mama’s Guide to Self Care

Filed Under: Baby and Child Health,Women's Health at 8:00 am | By: Guest Blogger

While you’re nourishing and growing your baby, first in your womb, and then in your arms, you have to take care of your self. Your body is creating this miracle, and you want to provide the optimal start in life to your munchkin. Growing a human being, recovering from childbirth, and taking care of a newborn is not easy. It takes all of you- mind, body, and soul.

I only use natural and organic beauty and health products- if you haven’t made the switch yet, now is the time to protect yourself and your baby from harmful toxic chemicals. I’ve found LuckyVitamin to be the most cost effective place to buy natural and organic beauty and health products. These are some of my favorites:

Rainbow Light Complete Prenatal System- I took these once I found out I was pregnant. These are the best, most comprehensive prenatals out there. It’s 6 a day, so if that’s too much, try the Rainbow Light Prenatal One- I was taking these while I was TTC, and switched back to these once the baby was born. I’m still taking them now because i’m still nursing her at 13 months.

NOW Foods Highest Potency DHA-500- You need to supplement your prenatals with DHA, and EPA. This has both. It’s critical for baby’s development, your heart health, and helps prevent postpartum depression.

Ddrops Liquid Vitamin D3 Drops for Infants 400IU- If you’re able to nurse, start giving baby Vitamin D. It’s a critical nutrient they need for their development, and the only one they don’t get enough of from breastmilk. These one drop bottles are the easiest- you drop one drop on your nipple, or on the baby’s pacifier.

Bentley’s Organic Baby Oil- This is what I use for baby after bathing, and for myself after showering instead of body lotion. It’s safe, organic, absorbs quickly, has a mix of nourishing oils, and a relaxing soothing all natural scent. I try to simplify my life by using products that work double duty.

Little Twig Organic Bubble Bath Calming Lavender- Take luxurious, warm (not hot) bubble baths while you’re pregnant, because you will barely have time to shower once the baby is born. Little Twig also has an organic Baby Wash in Lavender that is my fave for bathing baby.

Weleda Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash- Treat yourself to the divine natural chemical-free fragrance of wild roses with this luxurious shower gel. Once you have a baby, the days of long showers are gone, so make your five minute escape count. This tube lasts me a long time! It’s a wonderful gift as well.

Mychelle Dermaceuticals SunShield SPF28 Coconut- This is a great transparent every day sunscreen for your face, because you should wear SPF even if you’re indoors most of the time, and you want to make sure yours doesn’t have harmful ingredients like oxybenzone etc.

Tom’s of Maine Natural Long Lasting Deodorant Honeysuckle Rose- Antiperspirants and conventional deodorants have lots of toxic ingredients in them, such as aluminium etc. My fave natural one is Tom’s- it doesn’t leave white marks on your clothes, smells delicious, and works.

For more pregnancy and new mom tips, registry advice, and healthy comfort food recipes, check out my blog LivLuna. For example if you want to know how much caffeine is safe, read my post ‘TTC, pregnant or nursing + love coffee, here’s what you need to know’.

Maria Olson Goins is a mommy lifestyle blogger, mama to a baby girl, and the founder of LivLuna.


 
17
FEB

3 Amazing Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

Filed Under: Exercise and Fitness,General Wellness & Wellbeing,Women's Health at 8:00 am | By: Guest Blogger

Pregnancy is a time of monumental transformation. How can Prenatal Yoga support you during this incredible journey?

Physical Body:  Your body is stretching from the inside to make room for a second human to share the space within, and your organs are being displaced to accommodate your new roommate.  Symptoms from sciatica to nausea to varicose veins can make physical existence uncomfortable.  While pregnancy is a joy and a miracle it also comes with discomfort.

Yoga directly addresses common physical discomforts through postures that release, tone, and enliven muscles, ligaments, organs, and nerves.  When you move through yoga postures, your whole body takes part in a dance that moves blood and fluids to purify the body’s systems.

Labor and birth can be long and hard.  It deserves no less attention than training for a marathon does.  And if you want a training regimen for labor, yoga is it. All the key movements that help a baby be born are replicated in yoga postures.  By moving in spirals, circles, toning and releasing the pelvic floor, opening the hips, and breathing deeply into all parts of your lungs, you prepare for the big day when your body will facilitate bringing a new human being onto the earth.

Emotional Body:  Beyond the physical transformation that pregnancy instigates, there’s the emotional impact.  The hormone soup that bathes your inner world and regulates your emotions is suddenly shaken.  Beyond that, you know in some vague sort of way that the freedom to sleep for a whole night is about to be revoked for years.  Anxiety, depression, anger, obsessive thoughts, and sadness may flow unpredictably and erratically through the lives of many pregnant women.

Yoga supports your emotional well being by bringing balance to your mind, deepening your perspective, and releasing emotional energy from your body’s tissues.  This is supported by postures and breathing techniques that help to move energy/prana through the body and of course meditation, which provides some distance between the “I” and the thought that creates or reinforces the emotion.   The ancient wisdom of yogic philosophy can also support a balanced and resilient mental/emotional complex.  We learn about santosha, or radical acceptance; shraddha or faith/trust in what is; and viveka, or discernment between the thoughts that serve us and those that don’t.

Spiritual Body:  A new human being – mind, body, and soul – is being born within you.  The deepest mystery of the universe is taking place within you.  And it’s changing your sense of self, your identity.  The individual that you have experienced yourself to be for decades will be no more, as your destiny is joined to a tiny being that will depend entirely on you.

Yoga helps you to embrace the spiritual transformation that is inherent to pregnancy and harness it to support a deepening awareness of the timeless YOU that lives beneath all definitions and circumstances.  It invites you to explore deeper and deeper levels of “Self”, integrating and synthesizing them as you go.  It prompts you to ask yourself the most important questions and find the answers hidden within the depth of your breath, resting in intuition and relationship to spirit.

It’s no wonder that during this journey that really has no parallel in ordinary life, women seek out a yoga practice because it is so complete.  An ancient practice steeped with wisdom, yet one that is evolving over the years to serve the ever-changing culture we live within.

This wisdom and much more can be found in Birthing Mama® an online holistic pregnancy program.

BIO: Corinne Andrews is the founder and head author of Birthing Mama®. As the owner of Yoga Center Amherst, a senior Embodyoga® teacher and the Co-founder of the local Birthing Mama Yoga, she has been teaching yoga to people of all ages and abilities since 2003.  In addition to classes, Corinne teaches private yoga sessions for health and healing. She is the mother of two children who are her greatest spiritual teachers and the focus of her life when she is not practicing or teaching yoga or experimenting in the garden and kitchen.

www.birthingmama.org

www.yogacenteramherst.org

 


 
16
FEB

Does Your Pet Need Joint Supplements?

Filed Under: Pet Care,Supplements at 7:30 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Joint pain can really impact your pets’ quality of life. Arthritis is a common joint issue for dogs and cats normally affecting hips and elbows. Joint supplements developed specifically for pets can be very helpful to minimize the pain and promote a better life for your pet.

Just like in humans, pets feel pain in the joints when production of the fluid filling the space between the bones is low or not lubricating the joints properly. Aging is the problem as, just like us once again, joint fluid production decreases with the years creating more friction between the bones. Each bony end is covered in a smooth cartilage, which protects the joint from damage. Articular cartilage contains a high concentration of nerve fibers, and when anything touches the cartilage, your pets will feel pain. So, it is essential to maintain enough fluid around the cartilage to prevent joint issues.

Natural joint supplements designed specifically for pets can be a great way to provide nutrients to minimize the lack of this fluid. The majority of products contain three nutrients that can help lubricate your dog’s joint fluid and can even repair damaged joint cartilage. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid are found in a good number of joint supplements for humans as well as pets.

Pets supplements are available in chewable tablets, wafers or snack, treats making it easier for your pets to absorb its contents. Lucky Vitamin is now having a special Natural Pet Sale. Click here to check out all the products of this very special offer.


 
16
FEB

5 Tips for Holistic Pet Care

Filed Under: Green Living,Pet Care at 5:46 pm | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor

 

 

  1. Quality & Quantity of Food – If YOU eat organic shouldn’t your furry family members, too? Look for foods that are grain-free – studies have linked grain-based diets to a host of feline health issues – as well as lacking artificial colors and preservatives.
  2. Bond with some Omegas – Boost your pet’s health with Omega-3 fatty acids. Supplementing Omegas in your pet’s diet helps them maintain healthy skin, coat, joints, and overall development. Our tip: Rub a dollop of coconut oil between your hands and let your pet lick 2/3rds of it off. Work the remaining oil through your pet’s fur for a sleek, shiny coat.
  3. Natural Alternatives for Pain – Like us, as dogs and cats age their joints lose mobility, and in some cases, can lead to chronic pain. Glucosamine, MSM and Chondroitin are easily absorbed natural substances that may stimulate the production of proteoglycans which help maintain the health and resiliency of joints and connective tissues.
  4. Travel Easily – For both cats and dogs, travel can be an exhausting experience. For an upset stomach try ginger, peppermint or catnip. For anxiety, try skullcap or valerian. Other holistic remedies include Bach’s Rescue Remedy or two pellets of Arnica Montana 30C, taken 30 minutes prior to travel.
  5. Exercise – The obesity epidemic hasn’t been limited to just those of us with two legs. Our four-legged friends have been hit just as hard. Sunshine fresh air and at least 20 minutes of exercise are imperative for your most pet breeds, especially dogs. If your access to the outdoors is limited, try to keep your pets physically and mentally stimulated by introducing new and challenging toys and games on the regular.

 
15
FEB

4 Essential Supplements for Bone Health

Filed Under: Supplements,Vitamins and Minerals at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

One of the most efficient ways to help prevent osteoporosis, reduce pain from osteoarthritis or just maintain healthy cartilage, bone health supplements are very helpful to many people. So, if you are looking to bone up on nutrients but are not sure about the ingredients you should be looking for, here are 4 essential supplements for bone health.

1. Calcium: no surprise here. Everyone knowns calcium builds strong bones and most people need about 1000 mg to 1200 mg a day of this important mineral. A primary nutrient for bone health, around 98% of all calcium in the body is stored in the bones.  Calcium is necessary to keep the entire body from becoming too acidic. So, if your calcium is low, the body will instinctively pull it from your bones to stay alive.

2. Vitamin D: another well-known bone supplement, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. The recommended intake should be at least 400 IU, up to 600 IU of vitamin D daily for better bone health. It’s also well-known that the human body makes vitamin D when skin is exposed to sunlight and, therefore, people who spend too much time indoors, elderly, and anyone living in areas with low sun exposure during the winter months should considered vitamin D supplementation.

3. Magnesium: critical to the skeletal system, around 400 mg of magnesium should be sufficient to maintain optimal bone health. Magnesium supplementation may be hard on the stomach, so choose magnesium citrate instead of magnesium chloride, carbonate or oxide.

4. Silica: this trace mineral regenerates body infrastructure including the skeleton, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, connective tissue, skin, hair and nails. Levels of silica in the body decrease with age and are needed in larger quantity by seniors.

 1 Comment, latest by Karen


 
14
FEB

What’s New? Chosen Foods

Filed Under: Health Foods,Supplements at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Lucky Vitamin is proud to introduce another premium brand of health food products to our customers: Chosen Foods.

Chosen Foods offers a premium line of super food products which offer unique health benefits and have the power to heal. The company believes that you deserve complete and total transparency from you food provider and each stage of all superfoods is carefully overseen, from seeding to harvesting, from cleaning to processing, ensuring complete control over supply, quality, sustainability and trade practices.

False claims in food products have been one of the biggest problems in the food industry for many years. Lack of regulatory resources coupled with the millions of consumer food products on the market makes it impossible to investigate each misleading or dishonest claim. You often find products labeled natural but a quick check at the ingredients list will tell you that the term “natural” has been widely used incorrectly .

Chosen Foods can commit to providing customers the real, hard, proof that all products are what they say they are. You can check out the company’s 3rd party lab data available for download as well as access to the exact nutrition data and certificate of analysis for each lot of chia seeds grown, instead of generic standards. Chosen Foods ultimate goal is to provide products and education that empower you to make conscious choices to improve your health.

Additionally, save even more when you shop Chosen Foods products at LuckyVitamin.com. Just enter promo code ‘FEB15NEW15′ at checkout for an additional 15% on all products of this new brand. Offer expires 2/28/15.


 
12
FEB

5 Healing Benefits of Hugging

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing at 4:31 pm | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching it can seem like love is everywhere you look for it – chocolate, flowers, those little heart-shaped candies that seem to only be available in February (the month’s version of Halloween candy corn).

Love, of course, is not just limited to presents, junk food and tchotchkes. Valentine’s Day can be physical, too, including the simple act of enveloping your loved one in a warm embrace. Research shows that when you give someone a hug your brain produces oxytocin — the love hormone. This substance has many benefits, including some we listed below:

Reduce Stress

When you wrap your arm around someone you care for your cortisol levels – which measures what is referred to as the “stress hormone” – take a nosedive. Secreted in high amounts during the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response to stress, the security that comes along with a comforting hug from a loved one helps keep this hormone in check.

Support Your Ticker

Research from University of North Carolina showed that a good hug can help ease blood flow lower a person’s heart rate.

Fight Fatigue

One 10-second hug per day can lead to biochemical and physiological reactions in your body that can significantly improve your stamina and energy levels.

Boost Immune Function

Hugging creates pressure on the sternum which activates the Solar Plexus chakra, stimulating the thymus gland. This gland is responsible for regulating white blood cell production, which helps keep our bodies disease-free.

Improve Mood

So-called “happy hormones” such as serotonin, endorphins and dopamine, AKA the pleasure hormone, are released when we hug.  Keeping these hormones elevated can help fight depression and Parkinson’s disease.

Now for the fun part: go hug it out!

 

 

 4 Comments, latest by Mari


 
11
FEB

3 Natural Ways to Battle Cholesterol

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Supplements at 3:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

A well-balanced diet and exercise are proven ways to reduce cholesterol but another natural way can really make a difference in your treatment. Natural products for cholesterol have been one of the most popular supplements for many years for a simple reason: they are efficient. If you are not familiar with these, here are 3 natural ways to battle cholesterol.

1. Red Yeast Rice

Red yeast rice has been a hot-selling item for cholesterol for many years. This all-natural product has been tested in many different ways and has been shown to lower cholesterol as well as a statin drug. Most red yeast rice supplements are similar to the ones used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. A number of pharmaceutical drugs contain the exact same ingredient, red yeast rice, in their formulations.

2. Omega-3 Supplements

Omega-3 supplements are good for overall health but they are also a great way to regulate cholesterol. The popular “fish-oil” offers a combination of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), the two most beneficial types of omega-3 fats. Doctors recommend 1000mg a day and you can choose from softgel products as well as the liquid form. A good tip: look for enteric-coated products which are designed to dissolve in the intestines instead of the stomach, avoiding the unpleasant fishy burps.

3. Policosanol

Rounding up our list, we present you policosanol. Made from sugar cane, this all-natural supplement has been known to be effective in lowering cholesterol as well as maintaining normal HDL and LDL cholesterol levels. Policosanol has powerful antioxidant capabilities that inhibit oxidation of cholesterol. The long-chain alcohols found in policosanol are present in many foods of plant origin but supplemental policosanol is typically extracted from sugar cane or beeswax.


 
10
FEB

3 Ways to Work Your Foam Roller

Filed Under: Uncategorized at 8:00 am | By: Jeremy Michael, Contributing Author

Myofascial release is a technique that involves applying a soft sustained pressure into the myofascial connective tissue.  The fascia is a thin, tough, elastic type of connective tissue that surrounds most structures in the body including muscles. But how can you apply this soft pressure to the back of your neck, shoulders or areas where you can’t reach? The simple answer is a foam roller.

Foam rollers are large logged shape pieces of foam that can be placed on the floor and used to rollout muscles before or after an exercise. Some of the many benefits of foam rolling include improving circulation, increase blood flow, release muscle tightness, increase range of motion and decrease pain. One Research article showed that just 2 minutes of foam rolling was able to increase range of motion by up to 10 degrees.  Another article showed that the use of a foam roller reduces arterial stiffness and improves vascular endothelial function. Foam rollers work by breaking down fibrous tissue or adhesions that may be causing you pain, stiffness and tension.  Another great benefit to daily foam rolling is that it can actually improve core muscle strength and thus balance. Just like a fitness ball, a foam roller is unstable. While you lay with your back on the foam roller you are actually causing your abdominal muscles to engage. While using foam rollers to help relieve yourself of tension and pain it is best to use them daily to help prevent these issues before they even start.

Click here to check out our large selection of foam rollers that you can use daily while at home, on the road, or even at your office.  Take not rollers come in all shapes and sizes. Some rollers are harder while others are softer. For instance the STI rumble roller is contoured for more of a deep tissue roll.  Be sure to also look below for some common exercises to get you started with your foam roller. Here are a couple of tips to consider before getting underway; just because we have pain in a certain area it is not always best to roll directly over that area. Also it takes time for your brain to tell your muscles to relax so make sure you take your time, don’t roll to fast and enjoy the relaxation.

  • Shoulder Blade Rolls – Lie face up with a foam roller under your upper back, at the tops of your shoulder blades. Cross your arms over your chest. Your knees should be bent with your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips so they’re slightly elevated off the floor. Roll back and forth over your shoulder blades and your mid- and upper back.
  • Glute Rolls- Sit on a foam roller with it positioned on the back of your right thigh, just below your glutes. Cross your right leg over the front of your left thigh. Put your hands flat on the floor for support. Roll your body forward until the roller reaches your lower back. Then roll back and forth. Repeat with the roller under your left glute.
  • Hamstring – Place the foam roller underneath your upper hamstring muscles below your glutes. Cross your right leg over your left leg and roll the foam roller down from your glutes to right above your left knee. Do 10-12 slow and steady passes. Repeat on the other side.

 
9
FEB

DIY – Homemade Hair Masks

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 2:42 pm | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor

Hair dye, blow dryers and straighteners…oh my.

All three can help us achieve a gorgeous head of locks in the short term but oftentimes they can inflict a hefty price just below the surface, damaging our hair over the long haul. Here are a few safe, homemade masks derived from many ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. They can all help restore your hair and give it back the luster it’s been lacking. 

Moisturize:  Coconut oil & Essential Oils

This is a super simple solution for dry and brittle hair. Just apply two to three tablespoons of coconut oil (depending on the length of your hair). Next, add 6-12 drops of your favorite essential oils. Massage into your scalp and leave on for 30 minutes. A coconut oil mask can sometimes leave a residue. So, we recommend using a mixture of one egg and two tablespoons of water to rinse the conditioner. Leave this on your hair for ten minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.

Fortify: 1 Egg + 1/2 cup Milk + a squeeze of Lemon + 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Repair your hair from the inside out with this fortifying hair mask, perfect for boosting shine and strengthening your hair to the core. Egg will add a ton of vitamins A, D and E.  Olive oil will hydrate and the milk will give it the feel of silk. Lemon acts as a natural astringent that will eliminate excess oily buildup. Whisk all the ingredients together and massage into your scalp. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water. You can do a final cleanse with a gentle shampoo.

Repair: Half avocado, 1 tsp Honey, 1 tsp Olive Oil

If you color your hair or use a lot of styling tools this mask is for you. Dry, damaged and lifeless hair will be brought back to life via the nourishing properties of avocado. Rich in antioxidants, this mask repairs so well that you won’t need to follow up with a conditioner. Cut and remove the pit form an avocado and blend together all of the above ingredients. If you notice that the mask is too thick, just add a splash of milk to help thin out its consistency. Apply to hair, starting from the roots to your ends. Cover with a cap and relax for at least 20 minutes. Rinse well with warm water.


 
 
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