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The Ultimate Guide to Minimizing Neck Pain Caused by Office Work

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These days, just about everyone spends a significant portion of their workday sitting at a desk.

Spending hours at a time hunched over a computer or other device is terrible for your neck — that’s why nearly 50 percent of office workers have reported experiencing neck pain at some point during a 12-month period.

Most people are aware that their desk job is bad for their neck, but they don’t know what to do to fix it. For most of us, quitting our office jobs and embarking on a new, less posture-killing career path simply isn’t an option.

So, what do you do if you work a desk job but are tired of dealing with a sore, achy neck? For starters, you can give these tips a try.

Adjust Your Computer Monitor

One of the first things you can do to relieve neck strain is to adjust your computer monitor. Make sure it’s positioned directly in front of you and is raised to eye-level. If you have to look down to see your computer screen, the monitor’s too low.

While you’re adjusting your monitor, you should also take a look at the settings on your screen to make sure it’s bright enough. If you find yourself leaning in to read text on your screen regularly, you may also want to adjust the settings to increase the font size and make it easier to see.

Adjust Your Desk

In addition to changing the orientation of your computer monitor, you may also want to adjust your desk to make it a bit more ergonomic.

Make sure your work surface is high enough that you can naturally type while keeping your wrists neutral and forearms parallel with the floor.

Your desk should also be deep enough that you can slide your monitor back at least twenty inches away from your eyes.

Must Read: How To Burn Unwanted Calories At Your Desk Job

Get a Better Office Chair

A high-quality office chair is another important upgrade you might want to make to your workstation. You office chair should have a full back the reaches all the way to your shoulders (or higher). This will give you the support you need to avoid slouching forward.

Make sure the chair also comes with good lumbar support to help you maintain a neutral spinal curve.

Finally, make sure all aspects of the chair are adjustable. That way, you can raise or lower the seat and armrests to fit your body specifically.

Use a Phone Headset

If you have to talk on the phone regularly as part of your job, consider investing in a headset. That way, you don’t have to tilt your head to hold the phone in place while you type. Over time, this puts a lot of strain on your neck muscles and increases the risk of experiencing neck pain.

Do Some Desk Stretches

Research shows that regular stretches is better for minimizing neck pain than using anti-inflammatory drugs (both over-the-counter and prescription). Not only is stretching free, but you also get to avoid the potential negative side effects that come with using anti-inflammatory drugs.

The following are two good stretches to do while sit at your desk:

  • Chin tucks — Push your head forward and stick your chin out, then pull your head back and tuck your chin in (while keeping your neck straight), as though you’re trying to make a double chin
  • Side stretches — Tilt your right ear toward your right shoulder while extending your left arm down and out to the side. Hold for 30-60 seconds before switching sides.

Do these exercises every hour to keep your neck muscles nice and loose.

Don’t Use Your Cell Phone to Check Emails

Thanks to smartphones, it’s easy for coworkers and clients to get a hold of us at all hours of the day. This means we often end up spending more time than is ideal bent over our phones checking emails.

To minimize neck pain caused by staring down at your phone, set a rule saying you can only check emails on your office computer. If someone really needs to talk to you, they can call you. Otherwise, it can wait until you get back to your desk.

Stand Up

If your office will allow it, consider swapping out your regular desk for a standing desk. As long as its height can be properly adjusted, this can significantly minimize neck pain.

If you use a standing desk, make sure you’re still working on improving your posture. A standing desk won’t do you any good if you’re still slouching over it.

In addition to adjusting the height, make sure you’re standing with feet shoulder-width apart and your trunk upright. Your neck should be directly over your spine and your head should be directly over your neck. Avoid leaning forward over your desk if you get tired — instead, lean back against a stool (there are many that are sold with standing desks) to take a break without undoing all your hard work.

Work with a Professional

No matter how much work they do to try and upgrade your workspace, some people still struggle with job-related neck pain.

If this is the case for you, you may need to work with a professional to solve your neck issues for good. This is especially true if you’re dealing with a serious neck condition like limited range of motion, numbness, or severe headaches.

A chiropractor or physical therapist will be able to work with you to put together a plan to fix these issues once and for all.

Final Thoughts

Neck pain is a common side effect of working in an office. But, it’s definitely not inevitable. There are lots of things you can do to minimize neck pain caused by your desk job, starting with the suggestions listed above.

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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