Monday, March 31, 2014

Kids' Exercise Leads to Strong Bones Later

There are few things in life that exercise can’t help promote. From weight loss, to more energy, to how well you sleep each night, regular movement helps get your body in shape. On the inside and the out. According to a new study, however, this proven theory is taken one step further. By looking at how kids move vs. their older counterparts, researchers have found that regular exercise among children will lead to stronger bones in adults. 

It even shows that adults who exercise can increase their bones’ current health. Whether starting young or old, exercise is a simple (and healthy) way to better add mass and strength to your bones.

Why Bones Can Strengthen Over Time

Like any body part, the more you use it, the more defined and developed it will become. Just as muscles grow from lifting weights, bones will harden from impact from walking, running, and more. The more often you work these body parts, the more they’re able to grow into stronger versions of themselves.

This can also be attributed to blood flow. As one gets the heart pumping, blood moves more quickly through the veins. With this increase in pace, more nutrients can reach extremities in a shorter amount of time, increasing their ability to absorb much-needed vitamins. 

Kids and Bone Health

As for the importance of exercise in kids, the results speak for themselves. Because so much groundwork is set during one’s younger years, the stronger and more efficiently their bones can grow, the more likely they’ll last. Think of a building’s foundation – a cement wall is going to last longer than one made of brick or plywood, while cracks and shifts can weaken even the thickest of walls. But by making sure the walls are as sturdy as possible from the get-go, however, damage can be kept at bay. [Philly]

No matter your age, regular exercise can do wonders for your bone health. Remember to get moving to help keep bones strong. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Improve Your Commute with a New Car Seat Cushion

Driving to and from work every day can become a monotonous task. You know exactly where to slow down, what time you’ll need to leave to best hit the lights, and if traffic is just right, you can cut down the drive time tremendously. No matter how routine your routine has become, however, there can always be room for improvement. 

While a new playlist or better cup of coffee might do the trick, there’s even a better way to make your commute more comfortable: with a new seat cushion

After all the hours you’ve spent sitting on the original model, why not consider an upgrade?

Seat Cushion Perks

With a new seat cushion, you can receive a number of benefits as soon as it makes its way into your car. You can sit straighter, improve your posture, receive more cushion and rear-cradling support, and you can work to eliminate back, leg, and rear pain – just by sitting. Or if you prefer to focus on the back rather than the rear, look to supports that can easily fit onto any-sized chair. Some Velcro onto the front, while others come with straps to hold them snugly in place. No matter your preference, there’s a proper car cushion out there waiting for you. 

Even short commutes can be benefited from this simple, yet extremely helpful option. Just choose a cushion that best meets your sitting troubles, and place it in your car to receive instant adjustments. Or look to travel-sized options for a model that can transfer from the car to the office. This choice is great for anyone who carpools or is looking for an easy solution for their daytime sitting. 

Whether your commute is short or long, consider the addition of a car seat cushion or instant driving relief. 

Choose from Contour Living’s selection here

Thursday, March 27, 2014

How to Lift Heavy Objects Correctly

One of the easiest ways to awaken an old injury is through improper lifting. This can mean lifting something too heavy, or simply standing wrong when grabbing onto something light. Whether it’s back pains from years ago, muscles that simply aren’t ready to work that hard, or a lack of knowledge that triggers something new, picking things up correctly can prevent them all. And considering the difference between poking a resting pain or letting it sit in peace, a little know-how is more than worth the effort. 

Before you hurt yourself on an impromptu favor, be sure to check out the ins and outs of picking things up. 

First, know your weight limit. 

Someone small shouldn’t attempt to haul heavy objects alone, no matter how often he or she works out. No amount of trying to impress others can undo a serious lifting injury, so be sure to evaluate just how much something weighs before attempting the lift – whether alone or with others’ help. 

Next, adopt the proper stance. This means feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and feet flat on the ground. As they say, you’ll use your legs, not the back to lift, so setting them up properly is key. 

Added tips: 

  • Keep the back flat
  • Put yourself as close to the object as possible
  • Tighten the abs for extra support
  • Grip the item (firmly) with your entire hands, not just your fingers or palms
  • When moving, keep your body straight. Don’t twist or bend, but move your feet and legs with the object.

Finally, make the lift and move accordingly. Use your entire leg power and push the weight down through your feet as you pick each item up. This tactic is great for building muscle strength, while preventing injury in the process. If needed, perform stretches (as many as needed) after the fact to prevent soreness. Stretching will also keep the body loose, better preparing it for its next lift.

Before picking up your next heavy object, remember to plan your way to proper lifting procedures. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Moves you Shouldn’t Pull During March Madness

This time of year, basketball fans are coming out of the regulation-painted woodwork. With brackets that are destined for multiple scribbles, those of all ages tune in to see their favorite team – or favorite qualifying team – make it to the next round. No matter your cheering rituals, however, there’s plenty of ways not to celebrate after a big win. Specifically those that’ll have your muscles wishing you’d watched from the bench.

For the rest of the tournament, be sure to avoid:

The Jumping High-Five

If it’s been longer than you can remember since you’ve successfully completed a shock-and-awe jump, celebrating may be better done on the ground. This becomes even more true when others are involved, allowing for falling, wrecks, or in-air collisions.

Over Pouting

Believe it or not, tensing the muscles can cause for more pains than fancy tricks. This means no slouching or excessive head hanging. Be sure to sit in a relaxed position to keep the neck, back, and legs in prime working order. 

Reenactment Dunks

No matter how sweet that last dunk was, leave it to the pros (or rather, the yet-to-go-pros). Jumping indoors can lead to a number of consequences, including busted ankles, strained muscles, and shattered knickknacks. 

Fits of Anger

Disappointment can come with a real sting, but that’s no reason to ruin any belongings – including body parts. 

Whatever the Mascot is Doing

Mascots are trained professionals. If they’re doing flips or extensive lunges, consider taking it down a few notches before recreating the moves. Exception: certain dances that can double as fun and exercise, while offering minimal bodily distress.

Chest Bumps

A normal way to celebrate (usually among men), the “chest bump” might be more dangerous than it seems. Because they’re performed in-air, these bumps can jar both muscles and bones into awkward positions – whether momentarily or longer-term.

To keep your body tip-off ready at all times, remember to avoid the above during your next viewing party. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Channel Your Inner Love for Color With the New Flip Pillow Covers

For years we’ve been giving customers something to get excited about: comfortable support that’s as good for the body as it feels. With our latest release, however, we’ve brought a touch of fun to an all-time favorite. Now, the Flip Pillow can be transformed into everyone’s most-loved colors. Simply change out your case to add style, décor, and a bit of personalization to your favorite pillow. Choose from navy, light blue, green, tan, or classic white for a version that fits both your taste and style.

Best of all, now you can order a pillow cover with your next Flip Pillow to receive free shipping. Get the pillow as a gift and keep the extra case for yourself, or order a new model to keep in the living or guest room – so you never have to be without your Flip again. An extra case also allows for the ability to keep your pillow fresh and clean at all times, even when scheduled laundry is days away.

And considering all the benefits of the Flip Pillow, it’s hard to ignore this stellar deal. Users can gain neck and back support, prop up the legs, or sleep on a slight to intense incline (depending on your preference). Twist and mold the pillow to meet your specific needs, while gaining equal amounts of comfort and spine alignment.

With the Flip Pillow, you can easily eliminate neck and spinal pain just by sleeping or relaxing in a more spine-friendly position.

How to Order Your Flip Pillow

Whether you’re excited about the new hues or just need a new Flip Pillow (for you or a loved one), head over Contour Living’s fact page. Here you can learn everything you need to know about the crowd favorite, including how to save on your next model. Click today to get started.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

4 Foods to Reduce Muscle Soreness

Because the body is a complication of functions, there are several pieces holding us together. From every angle. From the bones that support our weight, to the organs that help us breathe and pump blood, to the muscles allowing us to move, there are hundreds of parts all working as a team. Which means that, when pain or soreness occurs, the nerves aren’t always to blame. And oftentimes, it’s the very muscles they help support instead.

Whether you’re coming in from a long run or lifted that dining room chair wrong, remember these super foods to help build and repair muscles.

4. Carbs

After a workout or strenuous use of the muscles, remember to load up on carbohydrates. While it’s important for the active to consume before working out, stocking up during rebuilding sessions is just as important. And if bread just isn’t your thing, consider pasta or carb-heavy alternatives instead.

3. Antioxidants 

Nothing quite clears out the muscles like antioxidants. Be sure to get in a good helping to keep your body clear of toxins that can cause pain. Look to natural juices (cheery is a number one antioxidant blaster), ginger, or turmeric.

2. Small, Frequent Meals 

Rather than over-stuffing, which can prevent digestion and future movement, consider small meals throughout the day. By pacing the body, you can allow it to better heal itself without focusing too heavily on food processing. Healthy options are best here as well, such as fruit, protein bars, and greens.

Keep bars on hand as well for healthy snacking while on the go.

1. Protein Drinks

If working out, a protein drink can help start the recovery process almost immediately. Which is also a great choice for when you don’t feel like eating (post-runs or work out sessions). If sore from lifting, however, these drinks are simply a quicker way to replenish the body with the nutrients it needs.

Consider a liquid breakfast (generally the easiest meal to “skip”) or snack as soon as your muscles start showing signs of soreness.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – The Perks of Being Green

Today, on the greenest of all holidays we’re excited to celebrate the best things about the festive color – with the help of our favorite movie characters. From the ease of travel to never having to lift a heavy object again, green comes with plenty of perks. And with only a little costume makeup, we too can help celebrate all of these teal, lime, and forest-hued characteristics.

Jiminy Cricket

The famous conscious/grasshopper combo from Pinocchio. He taught us how to tell right from wrong while proving no attire is too fancy for an insect. Plus, with his amazing jumping abilities, Jiminy could get around easily without putting a strain on his legs or back.

Kermit the Frog

Though his hit single reminds us that being green isn’t all that easy, his Muppet status has us believing otherwise. How many times has he fallen, been thrown, or contorted on screen? And he has zero injuries to show for it. Here’s to hoping the rest of us can be so lucky.

The Incredible Hulk

Who needs to worry about the proper methods of lifting when your muscles defy physics? Still able to live most days as a “normal” human, all it takes is a swift bit of anger to rearrange the living room.


Another strong lifter, Shrek would likely laugh at the idea of a weight belt. Just give him a forest and trees that need moved and he’ll get the work done in no time, and without the help of heavy machinery.


This former cartoon star showed us just how important it is to stay flexible. Watch him bend and stretch his way through almost every situation, without so much as a strained muscle to show for it.

The Wicked Witch of the West/Elphaba

When you have green skin, you also have power. Or at least that was this evil character’s mantra. She even traveled via broom to save on fuel and avoid poor lumbar support that came with buggies. So long as she stayed away from water, her green skin was a huge advantage.


– Though he might’ve talked in riddles, Yoda is arguably the most powerful Jedi master of all time. A few lessons from him and you’ll never have to worry about manually moving your sunken spaceship from a foggy creek again. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Benefits of Spinal Adjustments on Babies

If you’ve ever been to the chiropractor, you know just how great the treatment feels. After only a few short minutes you’re taller, you’re body is better adjusted, and you have the satisfaction of knowing that your spine is sitting proper. Even if you prefer the “tapping” method over getting physically popped, chiropractic adjustments can offer a great deal of improvements throughout the entire body.

But did you know it’s great for all ages – even babies? Unlike medicines, it’s one form of healthcare that is completely natural. (However, it’s always best to talk with your primary physician before branching out into any type of treatment.) 

Infant Chiropractic and What it Can Do

Essentially, an adjustment is realigning the body’s communication channels (AKA nerves). And babies, like adults, benefit from a well-adjusted spine. When nerves are working properly, health instantly improves and we feel better. But when an issue arises, whether from nerve damage or not being able to properly send messages, kids’ symptoms can be greatly magnified. These “misfires” can come in the form of asthma, inability to sleep, colic, or chronic grumpiness. Considering all of these can be eliminated with an adjustment or two, it’s often more than worth the time and cost.

It’s also important to remember that kids’ postures are more susceptible to misalignment than adults. Being born (via a birth canal) is one of the body’s most traumatic experiences, and comes at the very start of one’s life. Kids also fall often, bump into objects, and are generally rough. The rougher the kid, the more likely it is that their spine is (even slightly) out of whack.

To encourage proper growth and a healthy nerve system, consider taking your kids to get adjusted. You can also talk with a chiropractor to learn more about the process – an important step for anyone new to the treatment.

Head to a trained doctor near you and get started on jumpstarting your baby’s health. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Support Group Aims to Help Girls with Curved Spines

For anyone with a “normal,” straight spine, it’s hard to imagine life without it. Your back, without your consent, has performed its duties successfully for the entirety of your life. Without even having to think about it, your back has taken care of itself, and therefore, you. But for those with scoliosis, that isn’t always the case. With a spine that curves in C or S-shaped patterns, these patients suffer from the stigma that comes with a “different” type of skeletal structure.

Which is why there’s a growing support group out to help and connect those with scoliosis, specifically young women. Known as Curvy Girls, the group has gained popularity in the U.S. and is now expanding into Canada – citing its main goals as connecting others with the disease and raising awareness about scoliosis.

First manifesting in kids – the group says most don’t even realize their spine curves because it’s so subtle. Even small curves, however, can still disrupt movement and lead to lifestyle changes.

Other, more severe cases often require surgery or the addition of metal rods to keep the spine from increasing its curves over time. This can decrease back mobility and require frequent doctor visits. No matter the severity or the outcome, the group says each chapter looks to reach out to as many girls as possible. So they can spread the word about scoliosis, and to let others know just how normal a curved spine can feel.

Spine Health in your Area

Since 2006, Curvy Girls has been helping those all across the U.S. learn about scoliosis and deal with the process of having a curved spine. With their new growth into Canada, an entire new country of ladies can gain the support of their peers and work to educate others on spinal health, and just how manageable life with an “abnormal” spine can be.

To learn more about Curvy Girls or to offer your support, head to

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Can Stretching Do for the Body?

One of the most common cures – no matter the ailment – is stretching the muscles. Whether you’re experiencing soreness, the need to limber up, or are just looking for a quick way to get the blood pumping, this is a proven go-to move among all ages.

But what is it about stretching that provides such instant results? It’s constant versatility. With the ability to increase blood and oxygen flow while slowly toning muscles, this move can practically be seen as a cure-all step. It strengthens the muscles (which improves posture), naturally works to correct pressure displacement, and increases nutrient supply, a step that keeps you from becoming sore after workouts or uncommon movements. Regular stretching can even prevent injuries, whether caused by nerves or muscle strains.

Still skeptical about stretching?

It’s not just the body it’s good for, but the mind. Stretching, even for a short amount of time, has been proven to relieve tension and increase relaxation. Use it before a work out to get the most mentally (and physically) out of your daily routine, or simply use stretching on its own for a quick pick-me-up. Which is especially helpful during long periods of work or after a stressful day.

You can maximize stretching sessions by focusing most on the muscles that are sore, or by spending more time on different sections of the body each time you stretch. For example, start with the legs for 10-15 minutes, while paying close attention to any areas in pain, like the hamstrings or calves. Then, tomorrow look to the arms, abs, or back – and continue to rotate for a well-rounded stretching routine. With these ongoing movements you can easily increase blood flow and flexibility, while gaining some mental serenity in the process.

The next time you’re headed to a work out – or just need a few minutes to relax – consider stretching to get the most out of each movement.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

3 Ways to Increase your Bone Density

Strong bones are one of the most important parts to a healthy lifestyle. And our teachers have been telling us bout it for years. Through encouraging us to drink our milk and eat all our lunches, they’ve reminded just what the right substances can do for our bones. But now that it’s later in life, those same values haven’t changed –there just isn’t someone reminding us about it each afternoon.

To make the most of your existing bone density – and to increase that level – follow these easy steps. Just by adjusting daily habits, you can work toward stronger bones on the inside out.

1. Take in More Calcium

This one is obvious. But without calcium, bones can’t build or repair themselves. Be sure to take in a steady level of calcium each day to achieve maximum results. And if you’re not a big fan of milk, look to dairy products or alternative foods instead.

2. Pair it with Vitamin D

Another important substance is vitamin D, which allows the body to absorb ample amounts of calcium. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t get this by spending a day in the sun (though that helps the body absorb the vitamin). Be sure to look for foods or supplements with vitamin D to increase your levels on a daily basis.

3. Get Moving

Believe it or not, bone density is directly reflected by the amount of movement and impact on the bones. By running, walking, and stretching as a routine, you can increase bone density through movement alone. Look to specific exercises that target different bones, or try all-over work outs to strengthen the body as a whole.

Whether you’re the victim of a bad bone density test or are just needing to bulk up your bones, look to the above for easy, yet effective, strengthening methods.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Why Texting is a Literal Pain in the Neck

It’s no secret that the population has taken strongly to their cell phones. From smartphones to flip models that only call and send texts, these devices are used numerous times per day. Even more so for versions loaded down with apps, cameras, and the ability to perform almost any task. Calculators, weather updates, TV shows, and portable electronic radios can all be found on the modern smartphone.

But when checking our phones countless times throughout the day, that pattern is bound to come with some sort of side effect. Like neck pains. With all that leaning, squinting, and bending to see who sent what message, the neck is the body part that suffers the most.

Experts say that due to the weight of our heads – an adult is toting around 10 to 12 pounds up there – and the lack of natural support when texting, it’s common to develop literal pains in the neck. The more frequent the texting, the harsher the pains. However, it’s not the phones’ fault, it’s the way we look at them. When hunching down or leaning over to read a screen, the neck loses its natural curve. A posture that keeps neck bones and muscles right where they need to be.

How To Take Better Care of your Neck

The next time you get a text, don’t bring your eye line to your phone, bring your phone to your eye line. This might not feel as comfortable (at first), but it will keep your neck where it needs to be and create a healthier long-term habit.

Another option is to hold off on texting. Unless it’s a necessity, look to other forms of communication, such as talking on the phone or meeting in person. While not as quick, it’s a simple way to reduce texting and looking upright instead.

If you’re a regular sufferer of pains in the neck, consider your texting habits – and adjust them to better reflect proper health.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What Does Tiger Woods’ Back Pain Mean for the Golf Season?

This past weekend, Tiger Woods withdrew from a golf competition with severe lower back pains. A symptom that’s nothing new for the returning favorite. He’s repeatedly been struck down by spasms, even falling to his knees during practices and photo shoots. But now that he’s officially withdrew from the Honda Classic, how will the rest of his season fare? And more specifically, can he continue to compete (let alone practice) on a bum back?

The experts say it depends. And on several factors, including his treatment regimen, whether or not he can keep the pain under control, and how often or how severe his flare ups continue to take place. It’s also likely he’ll keep mum about his progress so as to keep his competition in the dark as long as possible. After all, he was able to rally in the past, finishing tournaments last minute while still in pain.

The Cause Behind His Back Pain

While scorned women everywhere are citing karma, others say the pains are a nature of his job. In good company with Phil Mickelson, the duo continues to suffer from back pains on and off of the golf course. Arguably the two most talented golfers of the season, both await a good bill of health before moving forward with 2014 competitions.

So what is it about golf that lends itself to such bouts of pain? Because both are life-long players, it could be the constant twisting motions leading to their aches. Add in the intense ricochet of hitting the ball (which rises up and through the body), and this is motion can send shooting pain throughout the bones. While it’s unclear that their golfing lifestyle caused the pains in the first place (though a distinct possibility), golfing with such injuries would certainly worsen already existing conditions. [Bleacher Report]

Only continuing the season will show what’s in store for Woods – and Mickelson – but for the rest of the golfers out there, remember to keep your back in mind during each swing. It’s an act that will allow you to stay healthy for all of your seasons to come.