Category Archives: Health

Top Healthy Aging Tips

Top Healthy Aging Tips

As part of September’s Healthy Aging Month, we want to celebrate the wonderful aspects of growing older—greater wisdom, more freedom and a deeper appreciation for life. While aging usually has a negative connotation in our society, getting older doesn’t have to be something that we feel ashamed of.

Instead, we can focus on healthy aging and the feeling that you’re getting better with age. Healthy aging is all about increasing longevity by taking proactive steps to:

  • Prevent chronic disease
  • Maintain your physical health
  • Optimize your mental and emotional wellbeing

Let’s look at the top healthy aging tips to help you live a fuller, healthier life. These tips to live longer cover the physical, mental and emotional aspects of aging so you can experience greater enjoyment in life as you grow older.

1. Maintain A Healthy Diet

Following a healthy diet is one of the most essential tips for how to live longer. Your diet provides you with critical nutrients that help keep your body in proper working condition and prevent chronic disease associated with aging.

Though there are endless dietary tips to live longer, here are a few basics for aging adults to follow:

  • Add fiber to maintain healthy and regular digestion
  • Get enough nutrients—vitamins and minerals—to prevent disease
  • Avoid processed foods and refined sugars that offer few nutrients
  • Practice portion control to avoid consuming more than you need

What you choose to eat over the long-term can have a dramatic impact on the health of every system in your body from your heart, to your digestive tract, to your brain. Additionally, making healthy changes to your diet can help you control and even reverse many existing conditions you may be at risk for, including diabetes and heart disease.

2. Exercise Regularly and Consistently

Physical activity is a critical aspect to long-term mobility and overall longevity. According to experts, it’s never too late to start an active lifestyle and begin reaping the benefits. It’s more important to start with moderate but regular activity than to exercise intensely but sporadically.

Exercise is important for your cardiovascular health and preventing chronic disease. Daily walks are an excellent practice for older adults, but there are other forms of light exercise to try your hand at. Tai chi and yoga for healthy aging have proven to be excellent for healing chronic conditions like fibromyalgia and other arthritic conditions. These activities stretch your muscles and tissues, improve circulation and increase mobility and range of motion, all of which tend to decline with age if not maintained.

While exercise certainly falls under the category of physical health, it also contributes to your emotional and mental wellbeing more than many people realize. When we exercise, our bodies release chemicals into our brains, making us feel happy and energized. Older adults who suffer from anxiety and depression can help manage these conditions with ongoing exercise.

3. Maintain Social Connection

Several studies have looked at the impact of loneliness on older adults and how it relates to their overall health. Part of healthy aging is maintaining your friendships and continuing to engage in social activity. Humans are hardwired for social connection, requiring it to feel happy and to live with purpose.

But social connection is also good for disease prevention. One study found that among older women with large social networks, there was a lower rate of dementia. The study showed that having strong social connections may actually protect you from future cognitive decline.

4. Get Enough Sleep

As you age, you may find that your sleep habits change. When you were younger, you might have felt you were able to get away with 6-7 hours per night. However, older adults tend to need more sleep but many find it increasingly difficult to sleep soundly through the night.

If you experience more chronic pain as you age, this can cause you to wake up during the night. Restless sleep can cause irritability, memory loss and even depression. Part of healthy aging means prioritizing your sleep so you can feel more rested each morning. Avoid drinking caffeine or exercising within three hours before bedtime, and try not to nap in the late afternoons.

5. Keep a Positive Outlook

Over the years, several studies have looked into the impact that having a positive outlook has on overall health. One study showed that people who consider themselves optimists had a lower risk of heart failure compared to those who identified as pessimists.

Overall, research is finding that the ability to make the best of life’s situations actually leads to a longer life, better immunity, greater disease survival and better pain tolerance. The good news is that even if you’ve never considered yourself to be an optimist before, a positive attitude is a learned skill and can be cultivated on a daily basis.

6. Prioritize Learning and Skill Development

An expected part of getting older is experiencing a change in your daily routine and priorities you once had. Having your children leave home, followed by eventually retiring from work causes many people to look for new meaning in life. Part of embracing healthy aging is maintaining the belief that you’re never too old to learn a new topic or pick up a new skill.

In fact, you may find that you’re finally able to dedicate the time to a hobby or topic you once loved but couldn’t make the time for. Continuing your skills development and learning journey is critical to maintaining healthy cognitive function. Learn a new language, play a musical instrument or take up painting. Hobbies that engage your creativity and critical thinking can help prevent memory loss.

7. Reduce Stress

Research is consistently pointing to the harmful long-term effects of chronic stress. Many older adults begin to feel a different level of anxiety or even depression later in life. There may be new financial obligations that arise, loved ones may pass away or you may be faced with unexpected health problems.

Being aware of the factors in life that create stress and cause depression is the first step. Once you’re aware of what causes stress, you can begin to find ways to minimize it and handle it in a constructive way. Many of the above tips offer excellent methods for managing stress, such as practicing a hobby, exercising regularly and getting enough deep, restful sleep.

8. Take Charge of Your Health

Finally, one of the most essential aspects of healthy aging is your ability to take charge of your own health. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you’re destined for poor health and immobility. You can fully maintain an active, enjoyable life provided you take preventative health measures and don’t neglect the basics such as diet, exercise and sleep.

To stay proactive in their health, older adults are encouraged to undergo regular disease screening, particularly for conditions they may be at risk of developing. Aging women should schedule regular breast and cervical cancer screenings, while all older adults should be screened for colorectal cancers.

If you’re at risk for heart disease or diabetes, be sure to have your blood pressure and blood sugar levels tested regularly. These are both manageable diseases that don’t need to result in serious health complications. Being proactive means you’ll need to report changes in your health to your physician and schedule routine check-ups.

Healthy Aging With Relax The Back

A major component of healthy aging is preventing debilitating spinal conditions. To maintain a healthy, active lifestyle into your later years, it’s critical to protect and strengthen your spine. Maintaining a neutral posture throughout your day ensures that you’re relieving all pressure from your spine so that there is equal space between each of your vertebral discs.

Neutral posture can prevent several spinal conditions, including degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. For healthy aging for your spine, use the right support products that encourage neutral posture at work, home and as you travel. Shop all Relax The Back support products, recliners and ergonomic furniture to promote better spine health so you can live a longer, healthier life free from pain.

Sources:

  1. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/health-tips-older-adults
  2. https://www.healthywomen.org/content/blog-entry/7-top-tips-healthy-aging
  3. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/894331?src=WNL_infoc_180825_MSCPEDIT_TEMP2&uac=259507CX&impID=1719767&faf=1
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2424087/
  5. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia-aging/staying-healthy-as-you-age.htm
  6. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/good-nights-sleep
  7. https://www.livescience.com/35863-grow-old-gracefully-tips.html
  8. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=4511

How We Can Help You Achieve Total Body Wellness

From everyday wellness to targeted pain relief, at Relax The Back you’ll find solutions specifically designed to improve your life from head to toe. Built on the McKenzie Method of back and neck self-care, our mission is focused on helping you improve your overall health and wellness through products that support not only your back and neck but also knees, hips, feet, and proper sleep hygiene. We truly believe with the right products and information, customers can take control of their health by creating spaces that provide support, comfort, and relief all day long, for every part of the body.

For 33 years, our core values have stayed the same; provide every customer with individualized attention to help them find solutions based on their specific needs. No two bodies are the same. We understand what may work for one person is not the right product for another.

When you visit a Relax The Back location, our consultants will speak with you one-on-one to determine the best products that will help your individual pain-relief needs—whatever, and wherever, they might be. Whether you are in need of a workspace assessment, want to relieve the pressure in your hips and knees, or would simply like to find new ways to relax at home, you will have the opportunity to try our products first-hand. Feel the difference of a foot massager in improving circulation and preventing foot and ankle injuries. Experience immediate comfort and relaxation in one of our many massage chairs, or feel what it is like when your hips and spine become properly aligned while using a portable posture cushion as you sleep.

We pride ourselves in being more than a retail store. We become partners with our customers to help them improve their lives. Our franchise owners and trained staff know the investments our customers make when purchasing quality products. From following up with a customer after a purchase to see how they are doing to working with manufacturers to repair items, they strive to find the best solutions for you. We are committed to helping you feel your best and living pain free, from head to toe.

To learn more about how you can achieve your health and wellness goals, visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with our trained specialists to learn about products and solutions that will help you live your best life. We can help you feel happier, healthier, and more productive where you live, work, and sleep. We’ve helped over a million people. Let us help you.

6 Ways To Achieve Your Health & Wellness Goals

The steps to making positive changes in your life can be simple to recognize, but difficult to put into practice. With time, planning, and willpower, you can make the changes you want to better your life.

Whether you want to reduce stress, lose weight, sleep more, or create a wellness routine, these tips can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

  • Set attainable goals: While your goals should push you out of your comfort zone, they shouldn’t be so far-fetched that you feel overwhelmed or anxious. Set specific goals that you feel confident achieving. For example, if, overall, you want to lose weight, set small goals each week such as working out at least 30 minutes a day or eating more vegetables for your snacks. Looking to increase your strength and balance? We offer a wide variety of fitness therapy products that can help you get off to the right start through simple, easy-to-do exercises. Small victories will help you reach your main goal while keeping you motivated to continue.
  • Make it personal: No two people are the same. Set goals that are relevant to you and your lifestyle. There is also a higher chance of achieving your goals when you make them for yourself and not for someone else in your life. Create a health and wellness routine that will better your life because you want it for yourself.
  • Find support: In today’s connected world, it is easier than ever to find others who share your goals. Reach out to friends, family members, or online communities to create accountability. Having like-minded individuals around you will help you achieve your goals.
  • Sleep better, feel better: When it comes to your health and wellness, sleep plays a vital role in improving your mental and physical health, from decreasing stress and fatigue to improving blood pressure and stamina. Our Tempur-Pedic mattresses help reduce the number of pressure points on your body, so tossing and turning can be a thing of the past. Looking for a pillow? We offer the best ergonomic pillows for side-sleepers, back-sleepers, or stomach sleepers so you can feel comfortable and stress-free whenever you rest.
  • Establish realistic timelines: Take it slow. Success will not happen overnight. Nevertheless, having an endpoint helps you stay motivated as you work towards a deadline while also giving you a chance to reflect on how far you have come in your journey. Whether bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly goals, write down your personal deadlines and check in with yourself when you reach those dates.
  • Be persistent: There is a chance you may “fall off the wagon.” Be easy on yourself if, and when, this happens. It’s part of the process. If you stray off course from your goals, use that as a learning experience. Think about why you fell back into a bad habit and what you can do in the future to prevent a lapse from happening again. Eventually, your new healthy habits will come naturally.

To learn more about how you can achieve your health and wellness goals, visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with our trained specialists to learn about products and solutions that will help you live your best life.

Calm Mind, Healthy Heart: How Meditation Can Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease

Can a calm mind lead to a healthier heart? In addition to reduced anxiety, increased focus, and a boost in overall happiness, meditation and mindfulness can also have a positive impact on your heart health. According to a recent scientific statement by the Journal of the American Heart Association, the mind-calming practice of meditation may help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Having a consistent meditation practice can help you cope with stress, help you relax, calm your mind, and improve your heart health. Through reviewing dozens of studies performed over the last two decades, researchers found meditation has helped with a number of factors linked with heart disease including lower blood pressure and lower stress levels. One study showed 15-minutes of meditation a day reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death by 48 percent.

As with any new practice, it may take time to find a routine that works for you. Set aside 5-minutes just a few times a week for meditation, then gradually increase the time and frequency until you’re comfortable with daily sessions up to 15-minutes.

Meditation techniques to try:

  • Moving meditation: Yoga and tai chi are popular forms of moving meditations that emphasize slow movements, controlled breathing, and mental focus. Check out a local studio or pick a yoga routine on sites like Gaia or Youtube that can be done at home.
  • Seated meditation: Sit quietly in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and begin to breathe slowly. Beginning with your feet and working up towards your shoulders, focus on each group of muscles and relax them with each breath. Once you’ve reached your shoulders, roll your neck gently from side to side. Focus on your breathing throughout this process. When your mind begins to wander, which can happen, do not feel discouraged. Simply bring your focus back to your inhales and exhales. Continue for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Guided meditation: Listening to a soothing, directive voice allows you to focus on the present while relaxing body and mind. Apps like Headspace and numerous sites online allow for guided meditation anytime, anywhere.

There is no “right” way to meditate. Try different techniques to find one that works best for you. If you are looking for more ways to reduce stress, visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with our trained associates. They can recommend a number of product solutions that can help you reduce stress, feel better, and live a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Targeted Solutions To Achieve Total Body Wellness 

While our neck, back, and shoulders get most of the attention when it comes to relaxation and relief, our hips, knees, and feet are just as important. From your head to your toes, every muscle in your body deserves attention and proper support.

With these targeted solutions, you can achieve total body wellness to feel your best during your daily activities and enjoy your life free of discomfort.

Neck
Neck pain has become more common as many people lead a sedentary lifestyle. Build strength in your neck to help ease tension.

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises focused on the neck muscles can be extremely helpful in preventing discomfort and pain.
  • Deep kneading Therapeutic Massagers loosens muscles and reduces aches.
  • Stay hydrated. The discs in your spine require water in order to both maintain proper alignment and take pressure off the spine, thus reducing neck pain.
  • With a memory foam interior, the Neck Sofa keeps you properly aligned for lasting support.

Shoulders
Full range of motion through your arms and shoulders allows you to feel your best every day. Alleviate shoulder stress, stiffness, and soreness to improve your overall well-being.

  • Lighten up those heavy bags. Carrying a heavy purse or bag can put stress on your shoulders and surrounding muscles. If you have to carry a lot with you, consider a two-strap backpack.
  • Quality pillows provide relief to the shoulders, head, and neck for comfort all night long. Try the TEMPUR Contour Side-to-Side pillow for a deeper, more restful sleep.
  • Before heading out, be sure to engage in some light exercise and stretching which helps to warm up your shoulder muscles for increased circulation.

Back
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missing work or going to the doctors. Relieving existing back pain and reducing recurring flare ups can lead to an improved quality of life.

  • Back cushions offer proper ergonomic support and comfort for long working days or your daily commute.
  • Take a warm bath to release tense back muscles. This will also help you unwind and relax before bed.
  • Find back tension relief and relaxation anytime with a Kneading Back Massage Cushion.
  • Improve balance, strength, and overall flexibility with foam rollers.

Hips & Knees
Proper spine support starts with the hips and knees. Whether sitting or sleeping, relieve pressure for ease of movement and mobility.

  • Align your hips and spine for sound sleep free from pain with the ContourSleep Posture Cushion.
  • Strengthen your knee muscles and increase flexibility with simple cardio exercises, such as walking, stationary cycling, and swimming.
  • Reduce workday strain, align your body, and improve leg circulation with a rocking footrest.

Feet
It’s important to give your feet a break. Increase circulation to reduce foot pain and relieve pressure with motion, massage, and support.

  • Exercise your feet periodically throughout the day. When standing for long periods of time, try occasionally walking in place and stretching your feet whenever they feel tense or cramped.
  • Rejuvenating rollers and kneading air from foot massagers can provide tension relief.
  • Make sure you wear shoes with thicker soles, which benefit and shield the feet from rugged surfaces and pavements. Also, wear insoles to prevent discomfort and fatigue.
  • Add cooling relief to reduce sore muscles with the freezable Foot Pro Massager.

From everyday wellness to targeted pain relief, at Relax The Back you’ll find solutions specifically designed to improve your life from head to toe. Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with our trained specialists to see product solutions that will help you live your best life.

Healthy Spine, Healthy Life

Spinal health is vital when it comes to our overall health and wellness. Our spine connects numerous ligaments, muscles, and nerves throughout our entire body. It allows us to bend, twist and move around freely. From wiggling our fingers, to turning our head, to shaking our hips, every movement we take comes from our spine. It protects our nervous system, sending and receiving signals down our spine to areas that feel sensation. Our spine provides us with independence to move around and go about our day-to-day lives.

Suffering from a spinal injury or back pain can be debilitating. By following preventative measures now, we can keep our spine happy and healthy as we age. These simple guidelines will help you maintain a healthy spine so you can feel your best and live well.

  • Practice proper posture. Be mindful of your posture at all times. Whether you are sitting on the couch, in your car, or you are at the office, it is important your spine is always properly aligned. Poor posture can lead to chronic neck and back pain, headaches, or muscle fatigue. Back cushions and ergonomic seat cushions can provide the extra support you need wherever you are.
  • Exercise without overdoing it. A regular exercise routine will keep your muscles strong and flexible, improve circulation, and keep excess weight gain at bay. However, it is important to listen to your body. Repetitive movements and overexertion can cause sprains and muscle strains.
  • Consider investing in a new mattress or pillow. A quality mattress and pillow will protect and support your spine throughout the night.
  • Evaluate your sleep position. Your preferred sleep position may be causing more harm than good. Take a look at how these sleep positions can provide lasting comfort and relief.
  • Avoid lifting objects heavier than 25% of your own body weight. Ask for help when possible or use tools that can assist in lifting heavy objects to avoid straining back muscles.
  • Create a spine-friendly, ergonomic workstation. Invest in products that promote movement such as standing desks and rocking footrests. Ergonomic office chairs with Core-Flex technology strengthen the spine while promoting constant, natural motion when seated.
  • Strengthen core muscles. Incorporate targeted exercises such as aerobics, core work, and stretching into your exercise routine. A strong core will support your spine while taking pressure off of your lower back.
  • Make time to relax. Take a warm bath, sink into a massage chair, or use a handheld massager to loosen tight muscles in your neck, back, or entire body.

Visit your local Relax The Back store for more information on how you can improve your spinal health. Our trained associates will work with you one-on-one to find a product or solution that works best for your specific needs.

Importance of Stretching + A Stretch Routine For Better Health

Stretching is an important factor when determining our overall health and wellness, yet it is often an overlooked part of our regular exercise routine. Whether you live an active life or a sedentary one, the benefits of stretching are far too important to neglect. Stretching not only helps improve joint range of motion and muscle tension relief, it can also improve your sleep. After a quick stretch routine, our bodies feel more relaxed helping us fall into a deeper sleep.

Here are a few other benefits of stretching including a great infographic of a stretch routine you can do after a workout or before bed.

  • Flexibility: Stretching helps keep our body and muscles flexible, aligned and in working order. Increase range of motion to ensure good posture, balance and proper movement while improving mobility and reducing stiffness.
  • Relaxation: Relieve tension to feel more relaxed. Stretching helps relax your body and your mind. You’ll be more focused and better able to manage stress.
  • Pain Prevention: By improving the flexibility of our muscles and joints, we are able to increase our range of motion and prevent injury trigger points.

Consider incorporating this routine, or one that is similar, into your regular exercise regimen. Foam rollers, Inversion Tables, and our Back Support and Stretcher are great tools to help you stretch in the comfort of your own home. For more information on how to stretch using proper technique, try our definitive book or visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists for recommendations tailored to your specific needs and abilities.

5 Resolutions To Improve Life In The New Year

With the start of the New Year, we often find ourselves reflecting on the past year and looking forward to a fresh start. While we are always advocates of New Year’s resolutions that focus on being more active, making sleep a priority, and living a healthier lifestyle, we wanted to share a few other resolutions that can help you live well and improve your life in 2018.

Add one or all of these to your list this year and be on your way to a healthier, happier 2018.

  • Get outside: Enjoy the outdoors. Studies continue to show the positive benefits of spending time outside. Go for daily walks in the morning or in the evening. Spend time by the ocean. Join a hiking group that meets on the weekends. Spending time outside can help you feel a heightened sense of well-being, relieve stress, and improve overall happiness.
  • Make yourself a priority: Whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, make time to check-in with yourself. Take note of how you are feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally. Go to your favorite workout class each week, try a new recipe to cook with your family, or journal before bed each night. Do more of the things that will help you feel happy and relaxed.
  • Travel more: The world is full of amazing cities and destinations to visit. Whether flying abroad or taking a road trip across country, make it a priority to travel this year, and when you do, travel pain-free using our wide selection of ergonomic neck and back supports.
  • Be present: It’s easy to get caught up with future plans, to get sucked into articles on our phones or computers, or to hold on to something in the past that doesn’t bring you joy. This year, vow to be more present in your everyday life. Let’s put away our phones, unplug daily, and be more in the moment.
  • Find what makes you happy: Instead of looking for ways to improve our lifestyle or health based on what we believe to be “the norm,” include things that truly make you happy. Go to the spa to relax or set aside some time for a much-needed massage. If you enjoy walking or hiking instead of yoga, add a weekly hike to your schedule instead of signing up for unlimited yoga classes. Set yourself up for success, rather than failure, by finding activities and nutrition plans that work best for you.

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Happy New Year from all of us at Relax The Back!

Staying Healthy For The Holidays

November brings the beginning of the holiday season. It’s time for cheerfulness, gift giving, seeing friends and family, and taking time off work to travel. However, this time of year can also bring a lot of stress. Did you know the average American spends one standard work-week a year on holiday activities alone? That’s roughly 42 hours a year spent on shopping, traveling, wrapping gifts, returning gifts, going to holiday parties, and prepping for holiday parties.

Staying healthy during the holidays can be done. While the stress and demand of the holidays can take a toll on your body, there are ways to maintain a positive physical, mental, and emotional state. This year, enjoy the holidays and keep stress at bay with these helpful tips.

  • Get enough rest: Inadequate sleep can leave you feeling irritable, weaken your immune system, and worsen the feeling of pain. Treat yourself to an early gift and ensure you’re getting the best night’s rest with these sleep products.
  • Careful when carrying heavy bags: Lift luggage and heavy shopping bags in stages. Be sure to never twist when lifting heavy bags. Pivot your feet so your entire body moves together, in one direction, instead of only twisting your back. See other ways to stay pain free when traveling this holiday.
  • Stay hydrated: Dehydration can be a serious problem, especially around the holidays. When the temperature drops, we may feel that we do not need water as much but that is quite the opposite. Aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces each day. For instance, if you weigh 150 lbs., try to drink 75 oz. of water.
  • Plan ahead: Whether you’re heading to the mall, doing your shopping online, or making dinner for friends and family, make a list to save you time and energy. Lists will help keep you organized while avoiding unnecessary time on your feet spent aimlessly walking around.
  • Don’t abandon your daily routine: It’s important to both your physical and mental wellbeing to stick with your daily habits. Continue your workout schedule, meal planning, and so on. Make these habits work with your holiday schedule, not against it.
  • Set aside time for yourself: This means being okay with saying “no” to events and plans that we know will cause more stress than cheerfulness. Use this time to take your favorite workout class, soak in a warm bath, get a massage. Add one of our many massage products to your gift list, or treat yourself early, so you can relax at home and feel the benefits of massage whenever you need it.

We hope these tips help you have a stress-free and pain-free holiday season with friends and family. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter or visit your local Relax The Back store for more holiday gift ideas.

Improve Your Habits, Improve Your Health

Better health is on everyone’s mind. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to get on the right track. We often set expectations too high and if we do not accomplish our goals we feel defeated. Setting smaller, realistic goals to improve our health will help us achieve the bigger picture in the long run.

Consider your daily habits. Are there any you feel you could improve upon that could lead to better health and wellness? Acknowledging these habits and taking small steps to work on them will allow you to establish a new, healthy pattern. From the minute you wake up, your actions have an effect on your energy, your mood, and your health. Whether it’s drinking enough water throughout the day or maintaining proper posture, we have created a list of habits you can form to improve our overall health and wellness.

While they may seem small individually, these habits have a big overall effect that will continue to improve your health down the road.  And remember, a general rule is that it takes about 21 days to form a new habit. Consistency and patience is key to long-term health.

  • Massage and stretching: Ease muscle tension, improve circulation, flexibility, and overall relief by incorporating massage and stretching into your routine. In as little as 10-15 minutes a day, you can reap the many benefits of these practices.
  • Tech screens: It is no secret that today’s society is constantly attached to screens; TVs, tablets and smartphones are at every touchpoint. By using ergonomically designed mounts, such as a Monitor Arm or by simply bringing our phones to eye-level, eye strain, muscle fatigue, and the risk of pinched nerves or back pain is minimized.
  • Maintain posture: Proper posture can prevent neck and back pain, headaches, and muscle fatigue. This How-To Guide for Perfect Posture will help you sit or stand properly no matter where you are.
  • Hydrate: Carry a 16 to 20 oz bottle of water with you wherever you go. It is easier to remember to drink water if you always have some nearby. If you have trouble getting enough water, use timers on your phone or the internet to get through at least half of your body weight in ounces of water a day.
  • Exercise, daily: 30 minutes a day is all it takes to be on your way to better health. Sign up for a favorite workout class, walk 15 minutes away from your house in the morning and then back, set scheduled workout times in your calendar, or find a friend who can be your accountability partner. Workouts do not have to be intense to be effective if you’re starting to get back into a routine. You can work up to longer, more concentrated exercises.
  • Sleep more: Aim to get at least 7 hours of shut-eye each night. Come see our sleep experts if you are having difficulty sleeping. We can provide sleep solutions to keep you comfortable and supported throughout the night.

17 Ways Exercise Makes You A Happier Person

We all know how important exercise is to weight loss. Although, there are many more benefits in addition to weight loss when it comes to maintaining an active lifestyle and as we age, it is even more important to make movement and exercise part of our day.

Here are a few benefits of exercise:

  • Increase blood flow
  • Decrease risk of heart disease
  • Boost high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as “good” cholesterol
  • Decrease unhealthy triglycerides
  • Improve your mood with as little as 5 minutes of exercise
  • Increase muscle strength and endurance

The health benefits are difficult to brush aside. The simple fact is that we must find time to exercise and move. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean hours spent at the gym. Find out how you can be a happier person by creating (and sticking to) a regular workout routine with this helpful infographic.

6 Healthy Ways To Spend Your Tax Return

6 Healthy Ways To Spend Your Tax Return

Tax season is in full swing. Every year, close to 66% of all taxpayers are expected to receive a refund check. While many are planning to put their refund towards paying down debt, others plan to save or invest it.

If you’re expecting a check from Uncle Sam this year, we recommend using a portion of your refund to invest in health. When we care for and maintain our overall health and wellness we help to prevent pain and discomfort from turning into something more severe in the future. Let’s work together on being proactive about our health, starting with a few of our favorite healthy ways to spend your tax return.

  • Invest in relief: Find relaxation, comfort, and a therapeutic experience in the comfort of your own home when you invest in a massage cushion, handheld massager, or a massage chair.
  • Invest in work: Set yourself up for success when you create an ergonomic workstation. From ergonomic office chairs, to monitor arms, to standing desks, we can help you create the perfect spine-friendly workspace to keep you pain-free and productive throughout the day.
  • Invest in fitness: Long-term health means long-term wealth. Consider using your refund to upgrade your home gym. Release and massage away tension with our selection of foam rollers, safely stretch muscles with our CoreStretch, or decompress your spine while increasing flexibility and circulation with an inversion table.
  • Invest in health: If you are not putting the right nutrients into your body, your hard work spent on maintaining a fitness routine is lost. Make changes that create life-long habits rather than fad dieting. Balance, variety, and moderation are key to feeling and looking your best. With a healthy diet, you can prevent and control high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Invest in sleep: Sleep is often the first thing to get put on the back burner when work and stress levels are building up. Quality sleep is crucial to staying healthy and happy, and it can improve many health concerns. Invest in a quality pillow fit to your body type, mattress topper, or mattress for a better night’s rest while reducing risks of memory loss, weight gain, and chronic pain.
  • Invest in experiences: Most importantly, invest in memories and experiences with loved ones. Sign up for a class together or take a trip to a place you’ve both been wanting to visit. Create lasting memories with the ones you love.

At Relax The Back, we understand no two bodies are the same. Everyone experiences relaxation and pain differently. When it comes to your home, office, or bedroom, we will help you find the right products for your specific needs. Our trained specialists will show you a number of product solutions to provide you with the utmost relief. When you visit a Relax The Back store, you have the chance to test each product while receiving one-on-one support.

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How Exercise Makes Us Happy

Ten percent of Americans suffer from depression with the numbers to rise drastically by 2020. Hectic, high-stress lifestyles and difficulty finding the proper work-life balance contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety.

Maintaining a workout routine, as well as a healthy diet, can affect your mood greatly. While therapy and antidepressants can help, the American Psychiatric Association recommends exercise as a form of treatment. Exercise is proven to be effective alone or when combined with standard treatment options.

There are plenty of simple and easy exercises that you can do on a daily basis without causing too much strain on your neck and back. If you’re looking to increase strength, balance, or muscle tone, Relax The Back has a wide variety of fitness therapy products to help you get on the right track. One of these products is our therapy foam roller, which enhances balance, body awareness, neural and muscular flexibility, dynamic strengthening, and even assists with muscle re-education.

To learn more about how the benefits of daily exercise, this helpful infographic from Cleveland Clinic dives into how exercises affect our mood and details the reasons why you should find an activity you truly enjoy to help keep you active and healthy.

How Exercise Can Make You Happy

Reasons To Love Zero Gravity

zero gravity

Over the course of the day, gravity takes a toll on our bodies. It compresses our spine and joints, which can cause pain and discomfort. Zero gravity furniture can help reverse these effects, leaving you feeling fully relaxed and comfortable.

Developed by NASA, the neutral posture concept takes stress off of your spine by elevating your feet to the same height as your heart. This zero gravity position imitates the position astronauts are in during liftoff and when they are landing. It allows their bodies to deal with the additional stress caused by the sudden increase in the earth’s gravitational pull during take-off and landing. The neutral position distributes the stress of the gravitational pull across their body as evenly as possible.

At Relax The Back, we offer a full line of zero gravity chairs that help you minimize physical and emotional stress on your body. When you visit one of our store locations, our trained specialists will work with you to find product solutions that help you achieve neutral posture support, including testing out our zero gravity chairs first-hand. Sit back in a Human Touch Perfect Chair and instantly feel the release of pressure and tension when you achieve neutral posture.

For more benefits, take a look at these five reasons to love zero gravity:

  1. Doctor recommended, astronaut approved: Zero gravity allows for a perfectly balanced state in which the body experiences an absolute minimum of internal and external stress. It is the optimal position to prevent and relieve back and muscle pain.
  2. Back Pressure Relief: By raising our feet to the same level as our heart, our spine is able to decompress to align in a natural S-shaped curve. This reduces tension in your lower back and cervical.
  3. Expanded Lung Capacity: Being in a zero gravity position opens the angle between the torso and the thighs, thus improving breathing and increasing blood and oxygen.
  4. Improved Circulation:  Stress on the heart is minimized in this position. Oxygen-rich blood is able to reach fatigued muscles easier, which allows for faster recovery times.
  5. Correct Spinal Support: Unnecessary strain and discomfort is avoided when our spine is properly aligned and supported. Zero gravity minimizes strain on your spine, muscles, and ligaments.

Get Back To Healthcare Basics In The New Year

Get Back To Healthcare Basics In The New Year

From the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we go to sleep, the decisions we make have a lasting impact on our comfort, health, and wellbeing. This year, aim to get back to the basics of caring for your back, spine, and overall health.

See how the 4 S’s, Stretch, Strengthen, Stabilize, and Sleep, can help you improve your health:

  • Stretch and Strengthen: Start your morning with a stretching routine to help get the blood flowing early. Add in simple exercises to begin building strength. This sets the tone for the rest of your day.
    • Get a full body stretch, increase circulation, and relax away stiffness and pain with an Inversion table. You can also perform ab exercises on an Inversion table.
    • Using a foam roller is an effective, inexpensive, and easy way to stretch while adding the health benefits of a massage.
  • Stabilize: Invest in back cushions and seating supports to ensure your back and spine are properly supported throughout the day.
  • Sleep: Quality sleep products play an important part in keeping you pain-free so you can have a restful night’s rest. Invest in products that offer back and spinal support all night.
    • An adjustable base allows you to find neutral posture and spinal support while you relax or sleep.
    • A properly fitted pillow should fit your body type and sleep style for lasting support and comfort.
    • Add extra support where you need it most and reduce pressure on the spine with a Bed Wedge System.

Visit your local Relax The Back location to try out our products first-hand and feel the difference of quality support and comfort. We can help you find product solutions for your specific needs. Let’s make 2017 your healthiest year yet!

How To Become A Morning Person: Create A Routine

Are you hoping to become a morning person in 2017? If your New Year’s Resolution was to work on your morning routine, take a look at the helpful infographic below.

Many studies show that having a consistent morning routine sets the tempo for the rest of the day. Our willpower to accomplish tasks is strongest after we wake up. By maximizing your mornings, you can increase productivity, reduce stress, and improve your health and mood. Here are a few ways to take back your morning.

  1. Set a routine: Starting each day the same way helps train your brain and reset your internal clock. Make a pot of coffee, read the morning news, or listen to some calming music when you wake up.
  2. Be active: Get your blood flowing early. Take a walk, stretch, or do your favorite workout. This helps you feel more alert and motivated throughout the day.
  3. Do not hit snooze: We know this is easier said than done sometimes however, it is important to remember when starting a new routine. Research shows hitting the snooze button does more harm than good. You re-start your sleep cycling, which leaves you feeling groggy when you do get up.
  4. Do something you love: Write, read, play music, cook breakfast, anything that you truly enjoy. You’ll begin to re-associate morning time with joy and pleasure, making it easier for you to wake up early.

Take a look at more tips to take back your morning below.

How To Become A Morning Person: Create A Routine