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Five Tips for Managing Sciatica at Home

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Home remedies for sciatica nerve pain

Anywhere from one to ten percent of the population currently suffers from sciatica. If you’re part of this group, you know how frustrating and debilitating it can be.

Sciatica pain is no joke, but there are lots of things you can do from the comfort of your own home to manage it and minimize your symptoms. Read on to learn about five different ways you can manage your sciatica pain without leaving the house.

1. Yoga

Medical experts generally agree that gentle yoga is one of the best things you can do to treat sciatica at home. This is especially true for people who sit for extended periods of time as part of their job.

Spending time stretching regularly helps minimize muscle stiffness, pain, and inflammation. The best yoga poses to relieve sciatica are those that target the legs, lower back, and hips. Some good poses to include in your routine include:

  • Bound angle pose — stretches the outer hips, lower back, and inner thighs
  • Cobra pose — stretches the lower back, chest, and hip flexors
  • Downward facing dog — stretches the shoulders, back, and hamstrings
  • Reclined pigeon pose — stretches the outer hip
  • Half lord of the fishes pose — stretches the outer hip and helps improve posture to minimize pressure on the low back

These poses can be helpful when you’re dealing with a sciatica flare-up. But, it’s also important to do them consistently, even when you’re not feeling any pain, to prevent muscle imbalances or tension that could trigger a flare.

2. Gentle Exercise

In addition to yoga, other forms of exercise are also beneficial for people who suffer from sciatica. When you’re in pain, working out is probably the last thing you want to do. But, remaining sedentary typically makes things worse in the long run.

You don’t have to run a marathon or lift super heavy weights to experience the benefits of exercise. Gentle movements that get the blood flowing are great for reducing inflammation and pain.

Some good exercises to do when you’re dealing with a flare-up include:

  • Walking
  • Pilates
  • Isometric exercises
  • Bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges

3. Hot and Cold Therapy

If you simply can’t bear movement, either in the form of yoga or another type of exercise, another inexpensive way to manage sciatica at home is to treat it with some hot and cold therapy.

Placing a heating pad — set to the low or medium setting — or hot water bottle on your lower back in 15-20 minute increments throughout the day can help loosen up your tight muscles and improve circulation.

If you don’t have a heating pad or hot water bottle handy, you can also benefit from soaking in a warm bath. You can even add some Epsom salts to the bath water to further minimize inflammation.

In addition to treating your pain with heat, you can also apply an ice pack to your back for 10-15 minutes at a time to help numb your pain. Many people like the alternate between heat and ice throughout the day when they’re struggling with a flare-up.

4. Capsaicin Cream

Capsaicin, the component of cayenne pepper that gives it its spicy flavor, has been shown to be an effective natural pain reliever. It works by depleting the body’s levels of substance P, a neurotransmitter that transports pain signals.

There are many creams that you can buy at your local drugstore that contain capsaicin. To see its pain-relieving benefits, look for a cream that contains between 0.025 and 0.075 percent capsaicin.

You can also make your own capsaicin cream by mixing powdered cayenne pepper with a carrier oil like coconut oil or sesame oil.

Whichever type of capsaicin cream you use, apply it to your lower back up to four times per day. It will probably cause a burning sensation when you first apply it, but that will subside with time. Be sure to avoid applying the cream to broken or otherwise irritated skin.

5. Turmeric

5 effective home remedies for sciatica

Another natural remedy that is highly effective for treating sciatica — and other forms of pain — is turmeric. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Many people like to add turmeric powder to their food or beverages. If you go this route, be sure to mix in some black pepper, too. Black pepper increases the bio-availability of curcumin.

You can also buy turmeric supplements at your local pharmacy or health food store. These supplements can be better than turmeric powder when you’re in the middle of a painful flare-up — they’re more potent and will take effect much faster.

You can continue to use turmeric powder, though, to prevent inflammation and future flare-ups.

Turmeric and turmeric supplements are generally considered safe. But, people who are taking blood thinners or diabetes medication, as well as those who suffer from gallstones, should avoid taking them without first talking to their doctor.

Conclusion

Sciatica is never pleasant to deal with, but these five at-home remedies can help you manage your pain and decrease your risk of experiencing future flare-ups. Give them a try the next time the pain strikes, or pass them along to a friend or family member who could benefit from them.

Author Bio: Natalie Thongrit is a freelance writer who focuses primarily on fitness, health, and wellness-related content. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn, or check out her portfolio to read more of her work.

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Fitness

Five Things to Do on Your Next Rest Day to Reach Your Goals Faster

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How often do you take rest days? Do you ever find yourself afraid to take a rest day, or worried that resting will slow down — or even halt — your progress?

When I first started working out, I was convinced that rest days should be taken as sparingly as possible.

I thought that I needed to work out at least six days a week if I wanted to see any results. I didn’t actually get the results I was looking for working out this way. I just felt tired and stressed out and mentally drained.

Rest days are not just important; they’re essential for you to make progress toward your health and fitness goals. But, what you do on a rest day is just as important as what you don’t do.

Here are five things you ought to be doing on your rest days to ensure you’re seeing maximum results and getting closer to reaching your goals.

Why are Rest Days so Important?

Why do you need to take rest days? What happens when you give your body a break?

When you’re working out, you’re breaking down your muscle tissue. When you rest, your body has a chance to repair itself. During deep sleep, your body produces the bulk of its growth hormone, which is necessary for muscle repair and recovery.

Regular rest days also help you avoid injuries. When you’re regularly over-exercising, you put a lot of stress on your body and are more likely to experience overuse injuries. If you’re chronically stressed, you’re also more likely to experience other injuries like muscle strains and stress fractures.

Rest days also give you an opportunity to mentally recharge. Contrary to what fitness enthusiasts on Instagram will tell you, you need to take a break sometimes.

Burning the candle at both ends will just leave you feeling depleted and increase the likelihood that you’ll give up on your fitness goals altogether. It can also make it harder for you to see progress, which, in turn, may lead to disappointment and increase your chances of giving up on your goals.

How Many Rest Days Should You Take Per Week?

Okay, so rest days are important. But, how often do you need to be taking rest days?

As with many things health and fitness-related, the short answer is that it depends. Depends on what?

The following are some factors that influence how often you ought to be resting in between workouts:

  • Your specific fitness goals: If you’re training for a bodybuilding competition, you’re going to need to train more frequently than someone who just wants to lose a few pounds. Think about what kind of results you want to see and ask yourself how often you need to work out to — realistically — reach these goals.
  • The type of workouts you like to do: Generally, a good rule of thumb is to avoid working out the same muscle group two days in a row (at least with the same level of intensity). So, if you work your legs on Monday, you probably shouldn’t work them again until at least Wednesday.
  • The intensity of your workouts: The more intense your workouts are, the more rest days you ought to be taking. If you only do light mobility work, you can probably get away with exercising more frequently and taking fewer rest days. If you do intense weight-lifting or cardiovascular exercise, you need to rest more often.
  • Your current health status: If you’re a generally healthy person, you probably don’t need as many rest days as someone who is struggling with a chronic illness or recovering from an injury. If you fall into the latter group, excessive exercise could leave you feeling worse, rather than better.

There are many other factors that influence the number of rest days you need to take. But, taking these guidelines into account is a good starting point.

Five Things to Do on Your Next Rest Day

The following are five things you can do on your next rest day to promote recovery and help you feel more energized and ready to take on your next workout.

1. Go to Sleep

Remember, it’s when you’re sleeping that your body produces the most growth hormone. If you want your muscles to repair themselves, quality sleep is a must.

What does quality sleep look like? Sleeping all the way through the night without interruptions. Waking up after a reasonable period of time (7-9 hours) and feeling rested and ready to take on the day. Falling asleep relatively quickly without a lot of tossing and turning.

If quality sleep doesn’t come easily to you, you may need to address your sleep hygiene to ensure you’re maximizing your rest days.

2. Move

A rest day is not the same thing as a sit-on-the-couch-and-do-nothing day. While rest is important, you still need to be moving throughout the day.

Going for a walk, stretching, working on your mobility, and foam rolling are all good options that help to loosen up your muscles and minimize soreness.

Remember, rest is important, but there’s a middle ground between being totally sedentary and intense exercise. Shoot for that middle ground so you reap the benefits of movement while still giving your body a chance to recover.

3. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated helps minimize muscle soreness and cramps. It also ensures that your body is functioning optimally, which is essential for muscle repair and muscle growth.

A good rule of thumb for water consumption is to drink half your body weight in ounces each day.

I like to add lemon juice and sea salt to my water at least once per day. This helps to ensure you’re getting sufficient amounts of electrolytes, which are needed for your cells to actually absorb the water you’re drinking.

I prefer the lemon juice/sea salt combination to sports drinks like Gatorade, which are typically full of sugar or artificial sweeteners.

4. Eat Repair-Promoting Foods

What you eat on a rest day matters just as much as your activity levels. Eat foods that are known to promote muscle recovery, including the following:

  • Whole eggs: A great source of protein and minerals like iron and phosphorous.
  • Salmon: Another great protein source that’s also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which help minimize inflammation and promote cellular health.
  • Sweet potatoes: A great source of complex carbohydrates that can help replenish muscle glycogen stores and promote faster recovery.

5. Keep the Muscle-Building Signal Going

Finally, if muscle growth and increased strength are goals of yours, you may want to consider doing “trigger sessions” on your rest days.

Trigger sessions promote muscle growth by allowing you to increase the frequency of your workouts. They don’t damage the body, though, because they’re performed at a lower intensity.

If you want to work on growing your shoulders or legs, for instance, you might do a few rounds of resistance band lateral raises or bodyweight squats on your off days to keep the muscle-building signal going with promoting soreness and muscle breakdown.

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Health

The Guaranteed Way To Quit Smoking

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Guaranteed Way To Quit Smoking

Lot of people in the world adopts the habit of smoking due to many causes like life style, living environment and so on. Once people are used to certain habits, it is quite difficult to quit those habit. Many suggest the revolutionized device the personal vaporizers so called the electronic cigarette to get rid of the smoking habit.

It mimics the traditional smoking which aids in the replacement for tobacco in most of the countries. The liquid or the solution present in the cigar vaporizes into mist that does not contain the toxic substances as in the original tobacco cigarettes. This device is credited by the users for its long term success of smoking cessation. The smokers have the opportunity of choosing the amount of nicotine and flavor with this e-cigarette which is not possible with the conventional cigarettes.

The researchers say that this electric cigar could definitely help the smokers to quit their regular and routine habit of conventional smoking. Health organizations like WHO and others have insisted that these cigarettes are better for replacement therapy as it is safe and effective. The components that include electronic cigarette starter kit are cartridges, batteries, atomizer, wall charger and USB charger. The e-juice or the e-solutions are available in various flavors for refilling the cartridges. The tobacco flavors with these personal vaporizers help the smokers to forget the traditional tobacco smoking. This in turn reduces the mind’s buzz and prevents the addiction.

The choice of nicotine level is left in the hands of e-cigar smokers and this induces the person to completely quit with replacement therapy. The safe alternative electric cigarettes are guaranteed way to quit smoking as the level of carcinogens are thousand times less than the regular cigarettes. Moreover it is considered to be very effective and easy than any other replacement methods like yoga, meditation, chewing gums and other natural quitting techniques. The active and passive smokers of these electric cigarettes are satisfied because it does not harm the second hand smoking. It is free from the bad breathe and stain of teeth and fingers.

Starter Kit and its Advanced Features

The electronic cigarette starter kit provides advanced features like easily chargeable icons on the sides. This helps to check the level of charging process of the pack. In addition to these feature, the pack has switches to activate and deactivate the packets depending on the usages to save the battery. The packets are also provided with mini USB for efficient charging of this electronic device. The atomizers are with the new cartridges for maximum smoke. The liquid are tailored for perfect flavor. The long lasting batteries, built in atomizers, silicone tip, size of the cigarettes assure complete satisfaction of the smoker. The electronic cigarette starter kit is available with warranty for the device. It is said that one cartridge can be equivalent to the forty original tobacco cigarettes. This absolutely saves money too.

The many studies in relation to this electronic smoking also imply that they cause less harm to heart and lungs when compared to traditional tobacco smoking. People can just try these alternative devices and stay away from the disease causing toxic substances that are present in the conventional smoking.

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Health

Top 8 Benefits of Dietary Supplements

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There is nothing better than consuming a well-balanced diet to get your requisite source of vitamins and minerals. However, sometimes it is not enough to depend on the food alone. You must also take dietary supplements to ensure that you are getting all the necessary nutrients in essential quantities.

These supplements are helpful in preventing food disorders and also make up for lacking nutrients in your body. While supplements can be really helpful in a number of ways, it is recommended to consult your doctor before self-administering these medications to prevent any side effects.

Thanks to its numerous benefits, dietary supplements are an important part of American diet these days. With so many options out there, it is nearly impossible to choose the right option off-the-bat.

Since supplements are not monitored by FDA, it is very important to source your vitamins from the right manufacturer. Experts recommend that you should only buy your supplements from reputed suppliers like https://microbeformulas.com/ that are known for their production and safety standards.

When a reliable product is enriched with a healthy diet, dietary supplements have shown tremendous health benefits. Here are some of the health benefits of taking your supplements as prescribed.

The health benefits of dietary supplements

Improved Metabolism

After you consume your meal, your body begins the digestion process by breaking down the carbs, fats, and proteins to source its nutrients. The absorption of these nutrients depends on B-class of vitamins that you must take every day. Supplements can help you maintain the regular intake of B vitamins that are responsible for preventing vitamin deficiencies, skin disorders, anemia, etc.

Stimulates Tissue Repair and Maintenance

By consuming dietary supplements as per your body’s requirement, you may also encourage tissue repair and maintenance which is a lifelong process. Your daily activities can put stress on your existing tissues.

However, certain cells in your body can produce a protein that is necessary for the replacement of old and damaged tissue. When this process is interrupted, it can lead to diseases that usually occur due to aging. By supplementing your diet with vitamin D and calcium, you can accelerate the tissue growth and encourage bone strength.

Strengthened Immunity

Did you know that some dietary supplements may mitigate the risk of cancer? Essential vitamins such as Vitamins A, C, and E have natural antioxidant properties that can alleviate the oxidative stress in your cells and help purge your body of all toxins. These supplements can offset the free radicals that cause damage to your cells, causing the development of cancer. While the jury is still out on antioxidants’ ability to fight cancer risk, there are many proven benefits of these vitamins that can still provide plenty of health benefits.

Weight Loss

People who go on a severe diet for weight loss purposes can often do more damage to their bodies than good. However, you can append your diet with these supplements to make up for the loss of nutrients as a result of limited calorie intake. Additionally, it helps in detoxifying your body of all the toxins and helps you maintain your weight in the long-term.

Consuming multivitamins along with a nutrient-dense diet and regular exercise can work wonders in helping you lose those pesky pounds and that too in a healthy manner. Consult your doctor to choose the right supplement that will deliver the promised results.

Fight Heart Diseases

According to research, certain supplements may also help reduce the risk of heart disease. Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide?

You may not know this but there is a number of reasons that can elevate the risk of heart diseases, such as blood pressure and high quantities of LDL cholesterol. To overcome this risk, many doctors recommend people to take vitamin C supplements to keep their cholesterol and triglyceride levels in control. Vitamin C is an active component that can keep these factors in check and mitigate the risk of a heart disease.

Increased Nutrient Absorption in Pregnant Women

Dietary supplements also help pregnant women by increasing their nutrient absorption. Doctors often prescribe prenatal vitamins and minerals to ensure that the mother and the baby get an adequate amount of nutrients. In addition to meeting their regular needs, a multivitamin can also help babies prevent certain birth defects.

Build Bone Mass

Studies indicate that taking the adequate quantities of vitamin D and calcium along with a balanced diet can help strengthen the bones during adolescence and childhood. It is also effective in slowing the bone loss process that occurs naturally due to aging.

In today’s time and age, people don’t get enough calcium and Vitamin D, especially amongst women. Therefore, it is recommended to supplement your diet with these essential vitamins to improve bone density and also protect your overall health.

Slows the Aging Process

With age, our cognitive abilities, lung function, and neurological functions all suffer a beating. However, studies suggest that taking certain nutrients can protect various bodily functions, such as lungs, vision, brain etc., from deteriorating.

It also helps maintain the skin and muscle strength and makes the immunity system work efficiently in aging people. A long-term research revealed that the study participants on regular intake of Vitamin C and E supplements faced reduced risk of dementia. In fact, these participants witnessed an improvement in their cognitive function.

Dietary supplements are consumed by most adults in the United States these days. More men and women are making it a part of their daily routines. With its noted benefits and wide acceptance, the use of supplements has increased exponentially.

Health professionals all over the world also recommend the use of supplements daily as prescribed by your doctor. Supplement use will not only help you make your body stronger but also encourage you to follow a path of a healthy lifestyle that involves improving food habits and following a daily routine of physical exercise.

While further study is required to know the ability of supplements to prevent chronic diseases, there is enough scientific evidence proving its overall health benefits.

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