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. 

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!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Proper Typing Positions: Are You Using Them?

A majority of office workers spend much of their day at a desk. Where they type, mouse click, and navigate their way through various computer functions. Or simply sit and give their arms a break. But after hours of this repetitive behavior, which is done on a continual basis, aches and pains can begin to take place. Especially when proper typing positions – such as ergonomics – aren’t taken into account. 

To remedy common keyboard ailments, regular typers should enlist the help of proven angles, such as arms and knees that are 90 degrees. Pads for one’s wrists (both at the keyboard and mouse) can also help reduce weight and tension on the muscles. Rear support also helps lift up the body and keep one sitting up straight, another ergonomics-friendly trait. And finally, elbows should not be able to “rest” – whether on one’s chair or desk. Because this act places pressure and weight on one’s pressure points and muscles, it reduces circulation to the arms and hands. Not only can this make one’s extremities colder, but it can increase pain while decreasing health. 

Considering a few small desk adjustments can help make life easier, it’s a wonder why every office worker doesn’t employ an ergonomic space. Where typing can be done in a position that better helps promote arm, hand, and vein health every time they sit down to work. 

To learn more about desk and keyboard positions, talk to your work manager. Some companies keep an ergonomic expert on hand, or even hire a specialist to come in and offer company-wide suggestions. You can also consider simple changes that can work to better improve your typing routine. It’s an affordable and effective way to increase back health while offering better blood and oxygen flow throughout the entire body. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

How Much Sitting is Too Much?

For those who work behind a desk, sitting is an inevitable part of the day. It accounts for the majority of your time, and is how you’re able to work and make a living. All while sitting. Though it’s great to take a walking break throughout the day or to do the occasional project while standing, there’s still a large portion of your day that calls for a rear in the seat and hands at the keyboard. 

But how much sitting is too much? According to research, adults who sit more than half of their waking hours can be at risk for serious health risks. In contrast, those who stand or are on the move more than half of their day are proven to have better overall health. Including metal health factors, such as perceptions toward daily situations and overall mood. 

For those who are stuck at a desk, however, doctors say a great way to avoid “too much” sitting is by keeping track of desk hours. Or incorporating standing tactics as much as possible. Like standing while eating, taking walking coffee breaks, or even propping up one’s computer to a standing position. Even attributing a small portion of the working day to standing can offer positive results, such as better moods, more energy, and better overall health. 

You should also talk to your boss about standing options and what tactics they’re able to offer. Some companies will foot the bill for standing desks, or provide longer days with more breaks so that employees can get in as much movement time as possible. There might even be productivity incentives for workers who opt for a day with more standing hours. 

Whatever your preferences for standing vs. sitting, remember that being on the move can work to improve your health. Talk to your boss to start raising health perks today. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Learn More About the MiniMax with this Informative Video

Ready to learn more about our latest product? Find out everything you wanted to know about the MiniMax Multi-Position Wedge and more by watching our latest YouTube addition. (Shown below.) The video even shows some of the best ways to use this innovative cushion to find some much-needed relief. Because the pillow offers five positions in a single product, you’re sure to find the support you need – even for multiple areas of the body – all in one single Contour Living product. 

Not only can you adjust with the pillow’s unique zip and hinge features, you can mix and match to create the best possible fit. For instance, placing your head in the contoured section to receive maximum neck and upper spine support. Or placing the MiniMax directly on a couch (or on the bed) to create an extra layer of bodily support.

The video also shows the different positions that the cushion can be folded into. Adjust and conform, depending on which section of the body needs extra TLC – long-term or from a day-by-day basis. Fold to hold up the legs, adjust to give the neck an extra support boost, or unzip sections to better hold up the head or feet. Whatever your comfort needs, the MiniMax can be conformed to help sort them out!

Best of all, this video shares some of the best ways to help get you there. And as quickly as possible Customize the MiniMax based off your experience with the BackMax Plus, or start from scratch and start fresh with this innovative product. 

Learn more by watching our customized (and customer-inspired) video here:

Ready to benefit from your very own MiniMax Multi-Position Wedge? Head to our product page and put one (or more!) on your shopping wish list today.