Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How Often Should You Replace Your Pillow?

When stopping to consider how much time you spend sleeping each night, the lifespan of your pillow might surprise you. Or just really gross you out. A pillow that’s only a few years old has been exposed too all types of germs and sleeping surfaces – especially for those who travel with their own items in tow. (Even couches or lounge chairs can expose your pillow to new substances.) It’s a process that, if repeated for too many years, can expose your sleeping (and deep breathing) self to outside germs and other airborne substances.  

Pillows that are “too old” can also break down, not offering enough support for the neck, back, and head. (Even those who prefer a short or flat pillow still need support.) Simply from age and use, their inner sections of foam or cotton (or whatever pillow filling you prefer) can lose its integrity. Without its shape, however, the head loses its ability to support, which can create headaches, or a number of other bone and muscle issues. 

So … how often should you change your pillow? Depends on the make and model. Pillows that are made of higher quality foams are made to hold up for years on end. While bargain options will need to be replaced every year, if not sooner. Pillows can also be kept clean with specialty liners, lengthening their lifespan even further.

Those with these higher quality pillows are less likely to replace them. (At least as often.) Though a good rule of thumb lies with purchase date – if you can’t remember the last time you bought a pillow, it’s likely time for a new one. You can also check comfort levels – if your pillow isn’t as comfortable as you’d like, replace it. They’re affordable, and offer hours of support and comfortable sleep. 

A small price to pay for a consistent night’s rest. 

To learn more about specialty pillows – especially those that come with years of cushioned support – head to Contour Living’s pillow page today. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sudden Pains and What Their Warning Signs Might Mean

Obviously it’s a concern when the body suddenly starts showing signs of pain. In any capacity. The more severe the pain, the more concerned you should be, and so on. They become even more evident with recurring bouts, or when aches get sharper or last for longer periods of time.

When these take place, however, what do you do? Take medication(s) to make them go away? Ignore them? Or do you look to the root of the cause in order to see why they’re taking place to begin with? By looking at the cause, rather than the symptom, you might be made aware of an even deeper issue. Such as a hurt muscle or injury that’s finally making its way to the surface. 

The Underlying Cause of Pains

The pain might be nothing – warning of an upcoming weather change. Maybe a communication that the day’s nutrition count hasn’t been met. Or it might be your body letting you know a muscle had just been worked harder than normal. 

It also might mean you’re sick – whether slightly or seriously. It might mean the body is telling you something is wrong, a muscle has been tweaked to the point of injury, or any number of outside injuries. 

Considering the implications that could be taking place, it’s best to check with an expert instead.

One being your doctor, who will have a working knowledge of the muscle system and each of its triggers. Another, though, is you. No one knows your body better than you. Which means, when it “acts up,” you know what’s new and what’s a daily norm. Allowing you to better explain pain to your doctor as it’s happening, or even before it happens, once you’re aware of pre-ache signs. 

Check back for more muscle-pain articles, as well as tips on what your next steps should be. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Save Your Back With a Proper Shovel

Winter weather can bring us all types of conditions. Freezing temps and bitter winds that cut through even the thickest of clothing options. It can also bring on inches of snow and ice that work to make everyday life difficult. Especially when you’re in charge of clearing it out of your driveway. A task that can cause the back to cringe just thinking about the ample shoveling ahead. 

However, with the help of a proper shovel – which is to say one that’s made for gripping and better weight placement – homeowners can work to eliminate shoveling-induced pains. These types of shovels should be readily available at your local hardware or outdoor supply store. Though attachments can sometimes be found at pharmacies or the doctor’s office.

When setting out to find the perfect shovel, talk to a salesman (or your doctor beforehand) and which styles offer what types of support. You can even give them a test run right there in the store. There won’t be snow, of course, but you’ll have a better idea as to how the shovel feels in use. Foot stance, grip, type of boots (or inserts for the arch) and more can also work to even out weight displacement

Other Back-Saving Shoveling Tips

When shoveling snow – especially the wet kind – it’s a good idea to take smaller scoops. Though this might take longer overall, it will work your arm and back muscles to a lesser degree. 

Then, once you’re done shoveling, be sure to stretch out the back. Especially if these are muscles you rarely use. Even a few minutes will help reduce ongoing pains that are inevitable for the infrequent shovel-er. Drinking plenty of water and a protein-rich meal can also eliminate soreness. 

Be sure to pick up a back-friendly shovel before the next snow hits your area.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

What Causes Muscle Spasms?

The sudden onset of a sore muscle is no welcome event. It almost always comes as a surprise (those who have dealt with a recurring injury or regularly have spasms are more likely to recognize the initial symptoms), and comes with pain and reduced amount of functions. Especially when performing a necessary task, or the aches last a significant amount of time. 

But what causes these issues? By better understanding what steps cause these muscle spasms, we can work to completely avoid them in the first place.

Muscle spasms can be triggered by a number of different factors. Not drinking enough water or eating enough protein (or another type of substance) might be to blame – forcing the body to warn you of its increasing needs. Other causes might be lifting too much weight or overworking a certain part of the body. Injuries might flare up with minimal events; moving just slightly “wrong” might evoke pains with only the tiniest adjustment. Other triggers still include calcium deficiencies, poor circulation, working out in the heat (and then not allotting enough time to cool down or rest), or failing to properly stretch before or after a workout. 

Any one or more of these might be to blame for your muscle spasms – whether they take place few and far between, or act as an almost weekly occurrence. In order to avoid these painful surprise altogether, look to simple at-home cures, such as stretching or drinking more water. Each offers an effective, cost-friendly cure. You can also talk to your doctor to find a specific cause to your spasms, as well as what methods (even natural ones) will best help you nix them once and for all. 

With only a little research and at-home remedies, you can be on your way to a successful, pain-free spasm treatment. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday Shopping Sales!

Great news everyone! Contour Living is hosting a massive Cyber Monday sale. Help us celebrate one of the biggest online shopping holidays of the year and gain some great savings in the process. The sale is not only great for stocking up on gifts (or yourself), but being able to take advantage of the best sales of the season.

What’s on our Extended Shopping Sale List

Every order over $50 comes with free shipping. (Or, if your order falls under the limit, we’ll get it to your door for only $4.99.) 

Free gifts come with select products – get a free Mesh Leg Cover when you buy any leg pillow. That means you can pick the right pillow to meet you and your comfort needs, and keep it protected and clean with the addition of your Mesh Cover! 

Shoppers who spend more than $100 will also get a free Grey Lumbuddy Back Cushion, a great addition for any back pain regimen. Or, for anyone who needs a little extra support when sitting. Whether at a desk or in a car. 

And of course, everything comes with the Comfort Guarantee, that means 90-day extended returns (even on products we can’t reshelf!), a 1-year warranty, and 100% product refunds. We’re so confident you’ll love your Contour products we want to provide as much incentive as possible!

The Shopping Season

Contour Living will also host additional sales throughout the holiday season. Be sure to check back in to see what items are being offered at a discount, and how you can get the best deal possible on all your favorite comfort items. Whatever your support shopping needs, we’ve got you covered, and at a great deal. 

But don’t miss out on today’s prices! The lowest sales of the year won’t last long. Head to ContourLiving.com and get started. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Improve Shopping With These Back-Friendly Tips

It’s that time of year again, when shopping – on all levels and scales – becomes almost a necessity. We spend the season browsing, DIYing, and purchasing for all our loved ones, hoping to find the perfect gift for everyone on our list. 

When heading to a store, however, that can call for heavy bags and browsing in tight quarters. And plenty of crowds to make the task more difficult – a less than enjoyable experience all around. For those who love the atmosphere of holiday shopping, it’s a small price to pay, but for those who experience regular pains or would rather do their browsing in peace, however, it’s a practice that’s better left untouched.

Depending on your shopping preferences, there are a number of remedies that can be followed. One of the most obvious choices is online shopping, where products can be browsed and bought all from the comfort of one’s home. But when items need to be tested in person, or you just prefer the overall allure of the mall at Christmastime, online shopping just doesn’t fit the bill. To avoid back pains without avoiding the store, consider back-friendly methods instead. Such as a shopping cart or basket (also a great place for your coat and purse, even if neither is “that” heavy). Park close to take packages to the car, or ask store workers if you can stash away heavier buys to pick up at the end of your trip. 

It’s also a good idea to wear quality shoes, which can leave the back more supported from the ground up. While proper posture can work to reduce back or neck aches, even when browsing store racks for hours on end. 

To gain the most out of your shopping efforts without developing a literal pain in the neck, look to these helpful body-friendly tips throughout the holiday season. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Our Black Friday Sale Has Begun!

It’s almost Black Friday – one of the busiest shopping days of the year. But thanks to Contour’s online deals, you can start shopping sale prices today. This extended sale runs through Sunday, switching out to an entire new set of deals for Cyber Monday. But that’s not all – we’ll also host a variety of special holiday prices from now through the end of December! (And don’t worry – we’ll keep you updated on all the latest and greatest buys.) Look for ongoing banners to see which products are featured each week, or check back into the blog for a more detailed list on each ongoing Contour promotion.

Start shopping the Black Friday sale now for access to our lowest prices of the year – on all products. That means pillows, mattress accessories, CPAP supplies, and more, all of which are eligible for free shipping. Which makes it the perfect time to stock up on holiday gifts … even if it’s for yourself. 

Ongoing Black Friday Deals

Best sales of the year! 

Spend $50 and get free shipping on your entire order. Or, if your purchase falls short, shipping is only $4.99. 

Contour pillows and cushions are eligible for our new 90-day extended return policy. Test out any product that hosts the warranty banner and return them – for any reason – for the next 90 days. At no additional cost and no commitment – a great tactic for testing something new. 

Free gifts with purchase – get a Mesh Leg Cover with any Leg Pillow Purchase. Or get a free Grey Lumbuddy Back Cushion when you spend $100 (good for Cyber Monday only). Perfect additions to any product – and for no extra charge! 

Start Shopping Contour Products Now!

Ready for access to all our low-season prices? Head to Contour Living today and start browsing your favorite products.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Medical Side Effects from Too Much Thanksgiving

If you eat too many beets, you’ll turn purple. Carrots can improve your eyesight. Bread crusts can make your hair curly. We’ve all heard these food myths and plenty more – old wives tales have a tendency to stick around, and parents are willing to say almost anything to get their kids to clean their plates. But which food-based rumors are actually true? Do any of these “tales” have any truth behind them?

Perhaps not. Though vegetables with pigment have been shown to tint the color of one’s skin, improved eyesight and curled hair have seen little scientific facts as to how they can be changed. (That is, without the help of a doctor or salon.) Other side effects, however, have been seen in full force, especially after big meals such as holiday dinners. Including the biggest holiday dinner of them all, Thanksgiving. 

When eating too much, indigestion and other digestive pains are more likely to take place. Especially with heavy foods, such as mashed potatoes, yams, stuffing, and breads. Consuming these same heavy meals late in the day has also been shown to increase existing conditions, such as acid reflux and sleep apnea. However, those who aren’t regular sufferers are also more susceptible when over eating, or eating foods close to bedtime. 

Also on the list of meal-induced conditions: cramps, headaches, stomachaches, irregular bowel movements, and difficulty sleeping. Or, afternoon fatigue, especially for the turkey lovers. Far less glamorous than the side effects our parents used to get us to eat. 

To avoid these possibly painful side effects, consider curbing your Thanksgiving appetite. It’s any easy, effective way to avoid all of the above, including whichever aliment affects you the worst. 

You can even check out this blog for tips on how to do so!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Don’t Over Eat This Thanksgiving! Here’s How

The Thanksgiving holiday has long-since been a food lover’s favorite. After all, it’s an entire day dedicated to consuming some of our best dishes, including those that only come around a few times per year. But just because it’s an annual event doesn’t mean the day should be spent gorging or overeating. In fact, not doing so can allow for leftovers and plenty of foods for the following days. 

For the long-time stuffers, those who love to make themselves miserable, consider holding off instead. It’s a new tradition that can leave you comfortable, happy, and in better stomach health for the remainder of the day. Not to mention more alert come evening time, and less likely to suffer from bouts of indigestion or acid reflux. Both of which can be increased with heavy meals. 

Take it easy this Thanksgiving by:

Serving Smaller Portions

Put less food on your plate to better pace your meal. There’s always a chance to get seconds. But starting slow can give you time to taste and enjoy each serving without feeling an obligation to get full so quickly.

Eating Slower

By giving your food more time to digest, you’re more likely to become fuller with fewer amounts of food. 

Drinking More Water

This too helps portions settle. Remember to consume plenty of fluids with each serving of your Thanksgiving meal.

Waiting for Dessert

Ok, this might sound like the least enjoyable of them all, but letting a meal digest (or start to) can better prepare it for dessert. Not only by making more room, but by giving the stomach enough time to process this heavy job. 

Finally, with this lighter meal, you’ll be able to eat dinner (or breakfast) without feeling guilty. By naturally pacing the body, it’ll be more than ready for its next round of tasty Thanksgiving favorites. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sleep Better with Neck Alignment

There are few things worse than waking up with a crick in one’s neck. It’s painful, ongoing, and make it difficult to make it through the rest of the day. At least without turning one’s entire body each time you need to rotate your head. And while these pains might not be an everyday occurrence, when they do take place, they are less than comfortable to deal with.

Sleeping with a more supportive pillow, however, can work to reduce those cricks each and every night. Because neck-based pillows are designed specifically to cradle the spine and upper portions of the back, bones are better kept in place and held there throughout various sleeping positions. Meanwhile, muscles are kept from pinching or becoming displaced as you move. (Generally, neck pains happen when we’re sleeping, because we’re too relaxed to feel excess pressure put on muscles. Neck muscles also create more pain due to an increase in sensitivity levels.) 

When opting for versions with memory foam, you can even create a more comfortable pillow simply by using it. Each night you sleep, the pillow will better form to your body and create a custom fit. While additional add-ons, such as cooling foam, head cutouts, and more, offer a more personalized sleeping experience for each user. Sleepers are also proven to get deeper, longer periods of sleep with these type of bed products. Because they allow you to become (and stay) more comfortable, REM cycles will take place without interruption. (You can even learn more about individual cycles by talking with your doctor or a sleep expert.)

To learn more about supporting your neck while you sleep, head to Contour Living and check out our various options. Have a question or comment? Live chat with a specialist and find the best fit for you!