Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Downsides to Drastic Temperature Changes

This time of year, Mother Nature is in full transition mode. Tailing off from summer, she's ready to guide us into a chillier climate. And for some, those cold days have already taken over. Other regions, however, have been holding onto the heat for dear life. Maybe even treading back and forth between days of fall, and those that feel summer-worthy.

But what's the big deal about indecisive weather? And why not have a variation? Aside from the annoyance of never being able to plan a daily outfit, there are additional downsides to seasons that won't level out. And not only to your belongings (we hate to winterize deck items once, let alone multiple times), but to the body – the most valuable belonging of them all. 

When temperatures are constantly changing and humidity levels across the board, there's a good chance you can feel it deep within the body. Down into the bones, every single time you move a joint. The discomfort is just that cantankerous. Generally they are associated as "growing" pains, which can be described as dull aches that last for most of the day. Feelings that are more annoying than harsh.

Scientists agree that these discomforts are caused by changes in barometric pressure. Dips, that, a few times per year are manageable. But when seasons are constantly flip-flopping back and forth, that means more pains, more often. And unfortunately, there's not much that can be done about it. Many take over-the-counter pain medications. Others agree that exercise helps. However, for the worst sufferers, it's likely that your weather aches will still fall into play. 

As we ease into October, weather changes will become fewer or further between. In the meantime, talk to your doctor or look to personalized methods to make these weather related issues as mild as possible.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mattress Care Practices to Help Improve Your Health

It's common knowledge to flip one's mattress every few years. To keep clean sheets and replace the pillows once they've gone flat. Most of which are to help implement cleanliness and comfort. But what about steps that can also improve health? By being aware of certain mattress care tricks, you can work to keep your body both cozy and working properly.

Tips like:

Cleaning the Mattress

Or securing it in a hypoallergenic cover. You'd be surprised how much dust can build up over time, and a deep steam cleaning can keep your sleeping surface clean. Ideally, this is done professionally, and every other year (if not every year). It's a step that can remove germs as well as allergens (think of all the times you were sick, a pet slept in your bed). When left unclean, you're breathing in these microbes every night during sleep – yuck!

Turning the Bed

You might flip your mattress in order to help offset weight, but do you turn it, too? Get even wear by ensuring both sides of the bed are gaining equal use, and one section isn't becoming too quickly worn. And for those who have one-sided mattresses, turning is especially important. Plan this easy fix for every six months. 

Upgrading Your Mattress Pad

There are all levels of mattress pads available. For some, it's just a thin buffer between the sheets, and for others, it's an entire layer of cushion. No matter your comfort preferences, look for a version that will help protect your bed. A pad that locks out germs or liquids (ideal for small children or anyone who takes a beverage into bed), or is hypoallergenic. Meaning keeps germs or allergy triggers from embedding deep into your mattress.

These and weekly laundry routines can all help you sleep healthier at night. Working toward a longer term, clean sleeping environment. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Customer Reviews: The Freedom Seat Cushion

Are you looking for some back or rear support while sitting? What about adding comfort, seat height, or circulation abilities? As well as encouragement to sit up straight? All of these reasons, and more, have caused others to look toward seat cushions like Contour's Freedom model. A supportive material that helps you get more work done, without causing aches and pains. 

But don't take our word for it, see what others have to say about their experiences with the Freedom Seat Cushion. 

"Fractured my tail bone and ordered the cushion designed for this problem and it is great – I take it with me to my car, office, restaurants, etc. And it has provided great relief." Joan S.
"Cushion helps relieve hip pain on long car rides for me." Krista 
"At age 72 I know it is normal to feel a stiffness upon rising from a sitting position. However, with this full pillow back support, it just doesn't happen anymore and I am so pleased. I highly recommend it for anyone who needs more than lumbar support." Marlene 
"The Freedom Seat Cushion does help to seat you properly and in turn, is comfortable for your lower back." JT 
"This is the best seat cushion I've ever used, it provides just the right support for my tailbone and is very light and portable. I have used it every day since I got it! I previously bought a much more expensive cushion that I ended up giving away – I will recommend this one to anyone who needs some seating support. I now look forward to traveling again!" Anonymous 
"I drive a fort lift 10 hours a day. This cushion and back support are just what I wanted. Thanks." Larry 
"Firm support pad, perfect for my office chair. Since I sit at a PC all day long, it helps!" 

Great news, the Freedom Cushion is on sale! Order now and receive a free gift with purchase.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

How Far Should You be Walking?

In a time where many work behind a desk and public transportation is at the ready, it can be hard to consider life without convenience. Without the ability to get somewhere quickly. Those inventions that have made life so easy, however, like vehicles and jobs that don't require manual labor, also rob of us of essential daily exercise. Because, back when travel and daily tasks were more easily attained, body movement was, too. 

But when exercise has to be scheduled, how much walking is "enough"?

According to many sources – and fitness trackers – our daily goal should be 10,000 steps. It's a stat that has been around for decades (thanks to practice and research), and evens out to about five miles. Every day. Yet on average, Americans step less than 6,000 times per day, which leaves us plenty of room for improvement. 

The number is set to increase flexibility, burn calories, get the muscles and blood pumping, raise oxygen flow, and so on. It also provides enough steps that, ideally, a few thousand will be done at one time, which adds cardio to your daily routine. Overall, taking 10,000 steps per day will help add to your health from a well-rounded approach. 

For those who don't walk, it might sound daunting, but is a move that becomes easier as your body adapts. Additionally, the body is made to move – for long distances at a time. So long as you give your muscles the ability to do so, they can conquer some pretty impressive feats. Finally, researchers say that those who track their steps – through a "smart" device or a pedometer – come in with above-average numbers. 

For an easy, yet effective, way to boost your health, start walking more. It's a task that becomes more enjoyable and more hitting the longer it's kept in place.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

5 Ways to Avoid Dry Skin with CPAP Machines

Avoid dryness from CPAP therapy
Anyone who has ever used a CPAP machine, or who understands how they work, knows they can cause dry skin. Because of the very nature of how they're made – pumping a constant stream of air – they've essentially got science against them from day one. And while these machines provide the ability to sleep soundly, and offer their abilities against sleep apnea, dry skin can be no picnic. 

With just a few additional steps, however, CPAP users can make the most our of their sleep treatments, including getting some much needed moisture. Without having to give up steady sleep. 

5. Sleep With a Humidifier

By pumping moisture into the air, the actual breaths you take through your machine will hold more hydration. (Vs. from a room without a humidifier.) This helps reduce "dry air" before it even hits the CPAP machine.

4. Spring for the Gear

CPAP machines come with specialty lotions, salves made for the nasal passages, etc. Because they're designed specifically to work with your machine, you can ensure they have the most moistening abilities possible. 

3. Drink More Water

Hydration starts from the inside out.

2. Check Air Quality

When's the last time you changed your heater's air filters? Or cleaned lint off the AC? Have you thought about an air purifier? Simple changes like these can ensure your air is clean and full of moisture (ideal in the winter), even before it hits your machine.

1. Clean Your CPAP Mask

The more gunk and germs that are built up on your mask, the bigger risk you have at causing sickness, infection, or even drier skin.

These simple CPAP accessories can help keep you moisturized and breathing easy at all times. Be sure to incorporate them into your nightly routine for a more efficient sleep apnea treatment option. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Pillow

For years we've been advocating the importance of a proper pillow. How sleeping on the right surface can help improve health, as well as your daily aches in pains. And in many cases, eliminating them all together. Understanding the importance of the "right" pillow is readily understood by many, actually finding what works, however, can become a more daunting task.

How do you find the best pillow to meet your individual needs? And what is the best way to do so?

6. Talk to a Pro

Whether you choose to speak with your doctor or a Contour sales rep, find someone who knows sleeping pillows. It's a step that allows you to gain accurate information and to ensure you're making an informed decision. 

5. Research

See what others have posted online – in comments as well as article reviews. This is a free way to see how others were hurting, and what steps allowed them to feel better. Compare to your own pains and contrast for a customized experience.

4. Test Out Different Styles

If you haven't used a pillow feather, consider giving that model a shot. Or opt for memory foam, hypoallergenic materials, etc. It may just be the material you've been looking for.

3. Read Reviews

You might learn something you didn't consider. Or know how to better ask questions that relate to your needs.

2. Try Additional Curing Methods

A pillow can't solve all your problems. Consider branching out into alternative steps for curing aches and pains. Those methods, along with a more supportive pillow, will provide better results.

1. Look into Contour's Return Policies

Many favorite Contour Living products come with a 30-day return guarantee. This means you can test out a new model, without feeling stuck to the idea. This is especially good for looking for a new type of pillow and finding out which methods help cure the most amount of pain.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cervical Pillows Now Buy-One-Get-One Free!

Memory Foam Cervical Pillow
What is the Contour Cervical Pillow?

One of our best sellers (and crowd favorites), the Contour Cervical Pillow is designed to cradle the neck and encourage alignment for the entire spine. That means constant support and pain-fighting abilities while you rest. With a special setup that holds the head, rather than propping it up, the pillow adds comfort and relief from bone or muscle aches. Did we mention it's super comfortable, too?

By curving with the body, sleepers can keep their spine straight throughout the night. Whether sleeping on their back or side. Traditional pillows keep you on an incline, or push you into a surface. It's a practice, that, over time, can cause pain during your waking hours. (Or even while you're trying to sleep.) In contrast, the Cervical Pillow works with your natural shape, then adds comfort to the mix with its plush memory foam. A combination that allows for the highest level of back health – without risking sleep.

The pillow also comes with:
  • 100% memory foam comfort
  • a crescent shape that's made to custom fit the neck and head
  • head-cradling abilities
  • a removable cover for easy washing

Ready to start sleeping on this highly praised pillow? To increase body alignment while reducing pains? And without spending a fortune? Head to our product page – just click the link and you can learn more about what the pillow has to offer, or get started shopping today! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

How Posture Can Help you Age Gracefully

Like so many others agree, a majority of the population remembers being told to "sit up straight." Whether sitting at the dinner table or working at their school desk, adults of all levels of stature were constantly reminding kids that they were tired of their slouching ways. A fact those kids wouldn't soon forget. No matter how dramatic our childhood selves might remember those interactions, however, it was actually for our own good. Posture, much like eating vegetables and getting enough sleep, is an aspect of healthy body behavior. One that kids are rarely keen to follow, and one that, when not used, can create terrible habits into adulthood. 

Being told to sit up straight wasn't a punishment, it was a way for adults to show kids they cared about their future health.

After all, good posture grows into habit over time. After reminding yourself to keep your back straight and flat so many times, the body remembers to do so all on its own. It's a step that allows for easy muscle memory. 

Good posture will also help create stronger back muscles, keeping one ready for all scenarios and growth. As well as keeping the spine in place and the back aligned. A step that can keep pains at bay, while also improving overall back health. But most importantly, it can help keep you healthy as you age. With the onset of osteoporosis or a decline in bone density, ensuring your posture is solid can lessen those side effects. Keeping you upright and with smaller chances at needing a back doctor. 

There are plenty of lifestyle changes that can help keep your body healthy, especially as it grows older. And though posture is one that's often overlooked, it can offer profound health strides to the back, and to the rest of the body. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

4 At-Home Tips to Reduce Neck Tension

The neck is one of our most important body parts. Holding up our heads and allowing us to turn and view as needed, it's what keeps us upright and alert throughout the entire day. Yet it's also very easily injured … if even slightly. Simply by sleeping or turning wrong, you can pull a muscle or jolt a bone – a single move that can cause pain for days on end. Even worse comes stress or daily habits that create ongoing tension.

To obtain better neck health and to eliminate pain … without drugs or expensive treatments, consider:

4. Temperature Changes 

Depending on what ails you, isolated heat or a cold compress can do wonders for the neck. Talk to a pro or research which extreme will provide the best results. Then create temperature changes right where they're needed most. You can also look to lotions or salves that add or remove degrees simply with application.

3. Stretching

Neck muscles are most often pulled because they are under developed. However, turning your head in certain directions or performing strengthening movements can eliminate that issue. By creating a stronger, more versatile portion of the body that won't strain with sudden movement. 

2. More Pillow Support

When sleeping "wrong," your neck can suffer immensely during waking hours. Simply from being jarred or unsupported throughout the night. (And for hours on end.) Instead of risking this painful fate, enlist the help of a pillow that offers its healing services. Comfort and better neck health, all while you sleep.

1. Massage

Sore muscles deserve to be relaxed, and nothing relieves quite as much tension than an old-fashioned neck rub. Schedule an appointment, ask your significant other, or invest in a small device that will work out kinks. It's a proven, relaxing step that can negate pain while helping reduce future injuries.