Category Archives: Health

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