Best Sleeping Positions to Alleviate Your Back Pain

Best Sleeping Position for Low Back Pain

Lower back pain is nothing short of debilitating, that’s a fact we all agree on.

But what many people fail to realize is that lower back pain is often a result of a bad sleeping position, not only bad posture.

The way we sleep can significantly influence the way our back develops, rests and its overall health, which is why it’s critical to know how to sleep so you can position you back in the right way and which sleeping positions to avoid in order to protect it.

Why Does my Back Hurt When I Wake up?

Have you experienced any pain or stiffness in the morning when you woke up and wondered what may have caused that? It’s weird.

You’re supposed to feel good and rested in the morning, and you wake up in pain, stiffed. Well, the perpetrator behind all your problems is the way you sleep.

You may be sleeping in some way that doesn’t allow your back to rest, you may be pressuring on your nerves, or you just aren’t positioning the rest of your body in a way that would allow it to rest fully, which puts additional pressure on your lower back.

The Worst Sleep Position for Back Pain

Your back pain can be caused or worsened if you sleep in certain positions.

Those positions include sleeping in uneven and weird leg positions, for example when one leg is higher than the other one, or when your leg hangs from the side of the bed.

All these positions can twist your spine, dislocate your pelvis or put additional pressure on your lower back joints and muscles, which will ultimately result in worsening of your back pain.

To avoid this from happening to you, try not to sleep in positions that place your legs awkwardly and try to position yourself in some of the sleeping positions that alleviate back pain.

I will explain those in the following section.

Sleeping Positions To Alleviate Back Pain

There are a few positions that you can sleep in that can alleviate some of the pain you’re experiencing in your lower back area.

Although some chronic lower back pain patients need medical attention for their back pain, sleeping in the following positions can help with your back pain:

Reclining Position

The reclining sleeping position is best to be practiced by those suffering from isthmic spondylolisthesis, but it is also good for people experiencing any type of lower back pain.

This is because, during the day, your vertebras press one against the other, which may lead to isthmic spondylolisthesis (a condition where one vertebra slips over the one below it).

By laying in a reclining position, you create space between your thighs and trunk, which reduces the pressure that was placed on your spine during the day and helps it relax and rest throughout the night.

Sleeping in a reclining position on a chair, however, can cause more damage than good in some cases, so be careful where you choose to snooze during the day.

Fetal Posture

The Fetal Position is one of the best positions for sleeping for those experiencing lower back pain, especially the one caused by a herniated disc or pinched nerves in the area of the spine.

This is because when you lay down with your knees curled towards your chest, you alleviate the pressure that’s placed on the herniated disc or your pinched nerve, so they can relax and rest throughout the night.

However, the Fetal Posture places your spine out of its natural position and it can bring some side effects because of that, so it’s best to try sleeping in this position periodically and see if it does help with your lower back pain.

Side Sleeping

Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs can be beneficial for your whole body.

By sleeping in this position, you’re not only positioning your spine in its natural alignment, but you’re also helping your whole body rest and regenerate.

If you’re wondering why you need a pillow, the answer is simple.

By placing a pillow between your legs, you align your pelvis, neck, and back, giving it the chance to align properly and get back to their natural positions.

But, if you sleep in this position incorrectly, you risk placing your spine out of its position and with it, worsen the symptoms of your lower back pain, so be careful to sleep in the side sleeping position right.

Stomach Sleeping

There is a rumor going around that sleeping on your stomach is bad for your back pain. This is actually not entirely true, but it is neither entirely false.

While sleeping on your stomach does help alleviate lower back pain, it may add additional stress to your neck and then cause another problem – pain in the upper part of your back.

However, if you do love sleeping on your stomach, you don’t have to find yourself another position to rest in.

Instead, you can just place a pillow beneath your belly and keep sleeping in your favorite position. If this feels uncomfortable, you can also place a pillow under your head.

This way, you will reduce the pressure that is placed on your back, at the same time minimizing the pressure that is placed on your neck.

This position is especially good for those suffering from degenerative disc disease since it relieves most of the stress that is placed on the space between your discs.

Sleep Tips for Back Pain

Even though lower back pain requires time and effort to fix, there are some things you can do to help alleviate the pressure that’s placed on your spine.

These tips will help to minimize the lower back pain you are experiencing and give you some relief during the night.

Choosing a pillow

Your pillow plays a major role in how well you rest, especially how well your spine rests, which is why it deserves the attention when you’re selecting one.

You will probably need to test a few pillows before finding the one that fits you and your style of sleeping, so don’t be afraid to experiment with the firmness, number, and types of pillows until you find one that lets you rest the best.

Choosing a mattress – Is it time to replace your mattress?

Your mattress is the most important thing you need to buy if you want to minimize back pain, and it’s something you should choose with care.

Contrary to the belief that a hard mattress was the best type of mattress, it has become known now that not everyone needs the same type of mattress.

For example, people with wider hips than waist are better off buying a softer type of mattress because it lets the spine stay straight while they’re sleeping in any position.

On the other hand, people with a straight body shape where the hips and waist are lined up straight would be better off with a harder mattress since it will give the back the support it needs throughout the night.

To find the one that best fits your body shape and the one that helps with your back pain, it would be good to try out a few different types of mattresses.

Whether you will sleep at your parent’s house or a friend’s house, find a way to see what is best for you.

If you think you would be okay with a hard mattress, you can try it out by putting something wooden on your box spring and put a few sheets over it.

Try sleeping on this makeshift bed for a couple of nights and see how it goes and how your back feels after it.

If your pain got worse, this means that you’d be better off finding a softer mattress.

Spine Alignment

It’s important that while you sleep, your spine is aligned in its natural position.

By being in its natural position, it can rest, regenerate and function properly, without being pressured or irritated throughout the night.

I explained in the previous section why it’s so important to match your mattress to your body type, and all of this is exactly because of the spine alignment.

Exercise your core

It’s important to keep your bones and muscles active and healthy, and this can be done through exercise.

But, it’s important to know the RIGHT exercises for your core in order to avoid causing even more pressure on it and experiencing more discomfort than before.

The right types of exercises will give your back more flexibility and strength, which will help it maintain its healthy state and enable it to withstand the pressure you place on it during the day.

One of these exercises is holding a plank position with your hands under your shoulders while keeping your legs straight.

You should try to keep this position for 15 to 30 seconds with a proper spine alignment (your body should be in a straight line).

You should also feel your abdominal muscles engaging and supporting you.

Try Gentle Yoga Stretches Before Bed

Yoga helps your whole body, especially your spine and muscles. Doing some simple yoga stretches before you go to bed can help your back tremendously.

It will relax the muscles and joints in the lower area of your back, which will help them align in the right position during the night.

This with not only minimize the pain you might experience but will also help your back have the rest it needs and prepare for the next day.

Doctors usually recommend practicing the following yoga stretches: Bear Hug, Kneeling lat, Child’s pose, Low lunge, and neck stretches.

Sleep Hygiene Tips

Sleep hygiene is not actually how well you are cleaned before going to bed.

It is actually the collection of habits, rituals, and regularities you do before going to bed, and all of them play a big part in how well you sleep.

It might seem trivial, yes, but having a better night sleep plays a big role in helping your back pain.

It helps your bones and muscles rest and regenerate for the following day, enabling them to support your body correctly without putting that additional pressure on your back.

In general, the most important elements of good sleep hygiene are the following:

  • Temperature – your bedroom should be neither too hot nor too cold
  • Darkness – the darker your bedroom is, the better
  • Quiet – the quieter your bedroom is, the better
  • Your bedroom has to have a comfortable place to lie down and stretch out

Once you have these things covered, you can expect to have an improved night’s rest and feel better as time goes by.

When to See A Doctor

Although the things we discussed to help with lower back pain, there are some cases when medical attention is not only beneficial, but it’s also a necessity.

Make sure you visit a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Numbness or tingling in the lower back area
  • Severe pain anywhere in your back
  • When nothing helps your lower back pain, not even medications
  • If your pain is caused by a fall or an injury

If you experience pain accompanied by any of the following: trouble urinating; weakness, pain, or numbness in your legs, fever or unintentional weight loss.

Conclusion

Lower back pain can be the cause of a lot of discomfort and pain, that’s something everyone agrees on. It stops you from going about your day freely and living the life you deserve, which is why it’s of great importance to find a way to minimize it.

Of course, there are some conditions, diseases or other cases when medical attention and medications are a necessity, but in most cases, lower back pain can be treated in some degree with proper sleeping position and sleeping routines.

If you’re someone suffering from lower back pain, try sleeping differently, change your sleeping “equipment” and habits, it might be the culprit behind your lower back pain.

How to Improve Your Posture and Fix Rounded Shoulders

Do you have constant neck pain or shoulder pain, or both? Take a look around you, and you will notice most people experience this same problem.

It’s easy to spot: people at work may have a hunched-over appearance or complain regularly about back pain.

Slouching has been prevalent even before the age of mobile phones.

From students doing homework on their desks to office workers being in front of their computers all day, slouching seems to have a soothing effect for sitting all day.

However, this often leads to poor upper body posture or “rounded shoulders.”

What are Rounded Shoulders?

Forward head rounded shoulders (FHRS) refers to the positioning of the head and shoulder with the upper body.

It is a fairly common condition. Actually, most of us can be categorized under this.

If your shoulders are rounded forward, you have misaligned body posture.

You can do a simple test in front of a mirror. Stand and let your arms hang loosely at your sides.

Are your palms naturally point inward or outward?

If they are facing outward away from your thighs, you possibly have tight chest muscles, which in turn develop rounded shoulders.

Have someone take a look at you from the side, facing either your left or right shoulder.

The deltoid muscle consists of three separate heads: the anterior, medial, and posterior head. Ideally, the medial section of the deltoid would be facing directly at them.

It would be like looking straight ahead, and your cheekbone is in a straight line slightly anterior of your clavicle or directly superior of it.

You have rounded shoulders when your shoulders appear rounded forward, and the posterior head of the deltoid is facing more anterior.

Your head is more forward than usual, which gives the appearance of a turtle-like posture.

Causes and Effects of Rounded Shoulders

In most cases, rounded shoulders are correctable. These may be caused by several reasons apart from simply slouching:

  • Poor exercise technique: not enough back exercises, too many chest exercises
  • Lazy upper body posture
  • Long hours at your desk
  • Hunching over in front of your laptop
  • Overdeveloped chest with a weak back
  • Driving a car, hunched over
  • Using a smartphone or tablet
  • Bending over repeatedly
  • Carrying heavy objects all the time

Please take note, however, that the most common mistake we do is slumping our backs.

We do this for several reasons, and the worst part is we’re not aware that we’re doing it. At times, we slouch our backs when we want to relax or when we are simply tired.

You may also do this when you speak to a friend outside in the street, and you become oblivious of how you’re standing.

Why is slouching your back that bad for your posture? The main reason here is that slouching will bend the natural curvature of your spine.

It gets out of shape and puts extra stress on the muscle that holds it together. As a result, the muscle tightens, and you will experience back pains.

Some people develop Lordosis, a posture problem that can cause the lower spine to curve out and tilt the pelvis.

Most lower back problems stem from this condition, including Sciatica nerve problems, or even worse, can cause more severe health issues.

Your internal organs will suffer if you have a titled pelvis as they can be moved out of their proper place. This can cause conditions such as acid reflux or GERD.

Common Areas of Pain

Rounded shoulders collapse the chest and decrease the capacity of the lungs. These can cause headaches, pain in your entire back and shoulders.

Tight chest muscles make your shoulders fall forward place excessive pressure on your upper back. Shoulder rounding causes a muscle imbalance between your upper back and chest.

You’re not helping the situation by hunching over when you sit.

Your muscles are lengthened when you slouch. This makes the imbalance between your stretched back muscles and tight chest more pronounced.

You place a strain on your cervical spine when you let your shoulders fall forward when you sit or stand.

Research has shown that this strain quickens the degeneration of discs in the cervical spine and may lead to more problems such as a disc herniation.

How to Fix Rounded Shoulders at Home

Exercise is essential, but remember that posture is mostly the result of how you perceive your body and your postural habits. You can only help corrective strengthening exercises by making better choices about your shoulders.

To help fix rounded shoulders, follow an exercise program that combines working with your strength and mobility, and stretching. Your goal is to strengthen your back, increase your mobility, and loosen your chest muscles.

Keep a journal of your progress and set a goal to improve your posture.

Most importantly, be watchful of your upper body posture. Stand upright, sit up straight, and keep your shoulders back.

The following exercise program is something you can do at home to help improve posture and fix rounded shoulders.

Foam-roll chest stretch

  • Lie on the floor on your back.
  • Place a foam roller under your head and run it down the length of your spine.
  • Raise your hands above your shoulders, engage your core, face your palms toward each other, and point your fingers to the ceiling.
  • Bring your arms down to the sides of your body. Your body would be cross-like.
  • Try touching the floor using the back of your hands.
  • Hold it for 5 minutes, then release.

Door frame standing chest stretch

  • In the center of a door frame, engage your core by standing up straight.
  • Raise your arms to the side of your body, and that your elbows are at shoulder height.
  • Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and face your palms away from you.
  • Place your palms, forearms, and elbows on each door frame and slightly lean forward.
  • Hold this position for 1 minute and do the same with your one arm on the door jam and the other resting on your side. Hold this for 1 minute, then switch arms.
  • Repeat single arm chest stretches using your elbow at a 45-degree angle. Hold for 1 minute then switch.

Standing T-stretch palms facing posteriorly

  • Stand up straight. Lift your arms straight to your side and engage your core.
  • Spin your arms so that your thumbs are pointing down with your palms facing behind you.
  • Gently pull your arms back as far as you possibly can. Hold this for 1 minute then repeat.

Prone Thumb Raise

  • Lie face down on the floor – this is the prone position.
  • Your body should be in a Y position with your arms out in a 45-degree angle.
  • Spin the arms outwards, clench your hands into a fist, with thumbs pointing up.
  • Pinch your shoulder blades together.
  • Then lift your straight arms off the ground.
  • Move your arms up and down 15 times and remember to pinch your shoulder blades together before you raise your arms in each rep.

Prone Cobra

  • Do the prone position with your arms next to your sides, legs straight and palms down.
  • Contract the muscles of your lower back and glutes, life your head, chest, arms, and legs off the floor.
  • At the same time, spin your arms, so your thumbs are pointing to the ceiling.
  • By now, the only parts touching the floor would be your hips. Hold this for 1 minute.

Reverse Chest Pull with Elastic Band

  • Grasp an elastic band with both hands and hold it at shoulder width apart. The tension of the band should be strong.
  • Engage your core, stand up straight, and lift your arms in front of your shoulders.
  • Pinch your shoulder blades together before you move your arms; then move your straight arms out to your sides.
  • Hold this outstretched position for a few seconds, and make sure you pinch your shoulder blades together.
  • Bring your arms in front of your shoulders. Do this for 15 reps.

Wall Press

Stand against a wall as straight as you can and place both your arms against it.

Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle with the back of your arms touching the surface of the wall.

Slide your arms down and hold it for a second, then slide them back up the wall as high as you can until your most comfortable point.

Return to starting position and do five reps.

When you do each of the movement, your glutes, shoulders, elbows, and back of your hands should be touching the wall.

Don’t roll your shoulders forward or thrust your head forward to do this. Keep your shoulder blades together, and keep your head high.

Do this program every other day. With each week, you progress, increase the intensity. For instance, you can do 1 set of each exercise for the first week, then add a set for the next week, and so on.

When you are up to 4 sets, you can further increase the intensity by including more shoulder exercises and adding weights.

Prevent Shoulder Problems

As with almost any cure, there are preventive steps you can take. Several athletes and physically active people undergo shoulder problems – stiffness, weakness, or pain or sometimes combined.

There’s a whole different risk to avoid apart from too much activity – inactivity.

Your shoulder can also get worn down from long hours spent scrolling with your mouse, tapping computer keys, and basically not getting out to move enough.

The apparent key to preventing the development of posture related problems is to keep your muscles healthy and active. Even if you begin to notice the signs of rounded shoulders in yourself, once you have recognized it, you are one more step on your way to fixing it.

You can do this simple self-care exercise that you can perform 3-4 times a week.

  • Stand against a wall, bend your knees comfortably with 6 feet to 8 inches from the baseboard. Place your arms above your head so that your bent elbows are in a straight line angle with your shoulders.
  • Tilt your pelvic, flatten out your lumbar curve, and pull your belly button to your spine to protect your lower back.
  • Press your entire upper back, arms, hands, wrists, and shoulders securely against the wall. You may not get it right on your first try, and that’s okay. Repeat this until you see your position improve.
  • Then, keep your wrists and elbows in touch with the wall, and slowly lower your elbows in line with your waistline, or lower as you can without your elbows or wrists lifting from the wall.
  • Briefly pause, then get back to the starting position, with your wrists and elbows still touching the wall.
  • Repeat steps 4 and 5 for a couple more times, pause for a break, then return for another set.

Balance for Fixing Bad Back

For every squatting movement or forward pressing you do, superset it with a hip dominant movement or pulling to focus more on your hamstrings and glutes. You want to make sure that you work all parts of your core, especially your lower back.

This means that you will need to do a back or hip extension movement directly after a sit-up or ab crunch exercises.

It’s not as complicated as you may think. The thing to remember is that it all boils down to being in balance.

The Chinese often call it yin and yang. The same concept applies to your body.

If your front side is too strong and tight, your body becomes rounded forward, and your back becomes weak.

Therefore, it is crucial to stretch out the muscles on the front of your body, all while strengthening your back muscles.

Also, if your stomach is getting too big, it can throw your balance off as well.

Strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, lower back and shoulders by doing the various exercises in the program.

These exercises make them work in a full range of motion.

Improve your posture and fix rounded shoulders by incorporating the program into your routine.

Be sure to check on your posture throughout the day and keep your journal in monitoring your progress.

You will see a noticeable improvement in posture in no time.

What Foods Cause Joint Pain and Fatigue – Foods to Eat and to Avoid

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Nutrition plays a huge role in our lives and an even bigger one in treating chronic diseases.

For decades, foods have been tailored to treat certain conditions.

In today’s world, many doctors recommend a change in diet as part of treating many diseases.

A change in your diet can mean the difference between staying in bed all day or getting to do various activities on your feet.

Causes of Joint Pain

arthritis-in-jointsJoint pains are caused by several factors. It can date back to an injury you had at work or sport even decades ago, but the most common factor is arthritis.

There are more than a hundred kinds of arthritis, and each one can affect your joints in a different way.

When you hear about arthritis, it’s common to think about older people, but even young people and children can be afflicted with it.

A few of the symptoms involve redness and warmth in joints, swelling, pain, reduced movement of said joint, stiffness and a general feeling of uneasiness.

However, research suggests that numerous diseases are reversible and even preventable. It depends on the changes you do in your life.

fast-food-dietFinding the cause is a good start. Rather than taking in various anti-inflammatory medicine, you can try looking at the food you consume.

Free yourself of the pain by knowing what to eat and what to avoid.

American diets today include foods that contribute to a chain of events recognized as the Inflammation Cascade.

Reducing these foods or entirely eliminating them from your diet can meaningfully lessen pain and inflammation in your muscles and joints.

Avoid these Foods

foods-to-avoid

1. Cereals and Grains

Mostly in the form of pasta and bread, cereals and grains are almost a staple in today’s average American diet.

What you may have missed is the fact that all grains are exceedingly acidic in nature, and has gluten, a common allergen.

Also, pasta and bread are usually made with processed, bleached flours that further add to the acidity.

The starches contained in these foods are broken down into sugars, which your body later stores as fat.

Whole grain products may sound harmless, but they’re also often processed as bleached-out flour and have the “whole grains” integrated later.

To truly know that a product is made from whole grains, be sure to check the label and see that it doesn’t say “refined wheat flour” or “refined flour.”

2. Refined Sugars

High levels of insulin in your body activates enzymes that raise levels of arachidonic acids in your blood, which leads to inflammation.

Moreover, processed sugars like high-fructose corn syrup can cause a spike in your body’s insulin levels. Foods with high Glycemic Indexes (GI) tend to trigger it.

The GI rates carbohydrates with the effect they have on the blood glucose level.

3. Polyunsaturated Oils

These are high in omega-6 fatty acids that the body converts to arachidonic acid.

Soy, sunflower, peanut, corn, and safflower, to name a few have little to no omega-3 fatty acids at all.

The ones which do have it such as flaxseed and olive oils soothe inflammation.

You should also avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, and trans-fats because these produce free radicals that also lead to inflammation.

4. Saturated Fats

These are found in eggs, dairy, and red meat; while these foods are important sources of vitamins and minerals, they also have arachidonic acid.

With eggs, don’t break the egg yolks when you cook.

It is where the saturated fats are high in amount, and while raw, where arachidonic acid is formed.

Take note, however, that arachidonic acid is essential for health, but an excessive amount leads to inflammation.

Select lean cuts of red meat or choose to completely eliminate them and go with fish, venison, or poultry.

5. Processed Meats

These include hot dogs, sausages, lunch meats, and they contain vast amounts of nitrites, which have been associated with chronic diseased and joint inflammation.

Some people are born with nitrite allergy or develop them over time.

However, most don’t know it until they get tested by a doctor to find out if they are allergic to nitrite-containing foods.

7. Nightshade Fruits and Vegetables

Although there’s no formal research yet, it has been observed that some nightshade plants such as eggplants, tomatoes, and potatoes trigger inflammation in the joints and muscles.

These plants have a chemical called solanine that becomes the trigger chemical.

8. Foods you are Allergic to

While it may seem obvious to avoid these foods, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your joint pains when you do so.

Over time, when you know the foods that cause inflammation and actively choose to avoid them, you can adopt a diet best for not only your joint pains but overall relief.

With all these foods to avoid for inflammation, what can you do?

Bodybuilders and health experts have long expressed the importance of eating as much variety as possible, and we’re getting to the exciting part: the foods you can consume to help with joint pain.

Nutrients that Sooth Joint Pain

foods-to-eat

Before we get to the foods to consume, it is best to start with understanding the primary nutrients that are known to prevent and fight off pain.

This will make it easier for you to choose foods that provide two benefits in one: energy and pain relief.

Vitamin B – often efficient in hip pain relief. B vitamins ease pain in the joints and lessen inflammation.

Vitamin C – one of the most vital nutrients in your battle against arthritis pain.

This vitamin slows down the deterioration of joints, therefore slowing down the development and henceforth averting arthritis.

It gives your body the antioxidants that manage the action of free radicals.

It is also a key element in collagen formation, which is the significant component in bone and cartilage formation.

Calcium and Vitamin D – help prevent joint pain and protect your bones.

Calcium is known to avert the loss of bone density, thus keeping osteoporosis at bay.

Vitamin E – is also an effective pain reliever. People suffering from osteoarthritis especially find this helpful in easing pain experienced.

Foods that Combat Inflammation

fish-omega3-joint-pain

Our list is not exhaustive and includes foods according to the nutrients they have.

However, a combination of these will provide you a meal rich in pain soothing nutrients.

1. Whole Foods

These are the best source of joint pain relief. Apples, bananas, cinnamon, pumpkins, raisins, and whole grains are excellent sources of energy and fiber.

These provide a mixture of several vitamins and give you the minimum daily requirements you need.

2. Vegetables

Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and spinach are excellent sources of vitamin E and C. You can also find vitamin C in some fruits such as apples, grapes, mangoes, and oranges.

Wheat and other whole grains are also good sources of vitamin B and E.

3. Fish

You can not only get vitamin D from fish but also omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce pain and inflammation.

Mackerel, salmon, trout, and tuna are just some of the fatty fish you can add to your diet.

A couple times of week eating fish is good, but if you’re not a big fan of fish, you can consult your doctor about taking omega-3 supplements.

4. Garlic and Turmeric

A member of the allium family, garlic contains a compound called diallyl disulfide that helps with several diseases, including arthritis.

Turmeric is noted for its anti-inflammatory benefit. It is often used in traditional Asian medicine because of its properties.

You can add turmeric to your eggs, sauces, or smoothies.

5. Green Tea

If you’re a fan of tea, this is already a natural step.

Green tea is among the most widely consumed drinks in the world, and its health effects are much celebrated.

It possesses anti-inflammatory properties and has been observed to be an active component in nutritional therapy.

Green tea contains high levels of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that slow down cartilage damage and reduce inflammation.

6. Hot Peppers

Habanero and serrano are rich in capsaicin, which has shown positive effects on relieving pain and inflammation, even preventing cancer as well.

Generally, the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin there is. This means that mild peppers may only have little effect in relieving joint pain.

7. Nuts

Walnuts are loaded with compounds and nutrients that help reduce joint inflammation.

They are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Plus, nuts are good for your heart and have high levels of vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

These also have alpha-linolenic acid that boosts the immune system.

The Bottom Line

Clearly, your diet plays a significant role in experiencing and preventing joint pains.

Fortunately, the several foods above contain potent components that provide relief from inflammation, while also bettering your general health.

Also take note that being overweight can put extra pressure on your joints, which can worsen the symptoms of arthritis.

Having a balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory fats, fiber, and plants can help you in managing your arthritis and maintaining a healthy weight.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief Exercises and Stretches to do at Home

Sacroiliac Joint-Pain-Relief-Exercises

Sacroiliac Joint Pain 

Although not many people realize it, sacroiliac joint pain is something they face daily.

The sacroiliac joint is found in the pelvis and connects the iliac bone (the pelvis) to the lowest part of your spine above the tailbone, which is called the sacrum.

Because of its specific position, many tend to confuse sacroiliac joint pain with other types of pain, when in fact, it’s the perpetrator behind many problems they experience, not only the pain.

No matter how bad or difficult to detect sacroiliac joint pain is, there are some stretches and exercises you can do to relieve the pain.

There are also other stretches and exercises you should avoid to minimize the risk of experiencing sacroiliac joint pain. Keep reading to find out more about sacroiliac joint pain.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain Symptoms

There is a range of symptoms related to sacroiliac joint pain, and many of them are similar or same to symptoms for other conditions, making it difficult to get the right diagnosis for sacroiliac joint pain.

However, there are some symptoms that are directly related to sacroiliac joint pain and can help you determine if you have in fact, sacroiliac joint pain or something totally different.

In general, a combination of the following symptoms is a sign of chronic sacroiliac joint pain:

Lower back pain – lower back pain is a common companion to sacroiliac joint pain since the location of this joint affects the lower area of your back and can make it stiffer and more sensitive to

Sensitive lower extremities – sacroiliac joint pain often numbs your legs and makes them more sensitive than usual, which can impair their healthy function.

Pelvis and buttock pain – the sacroiliac joint is located in the pelvis, the feeling of pain in this area and the buttocks area are the most common symptoms people experience.

Hip and groin pain – because of the position of the sacroiliac joint, the pain you experience might spread out to your hips and groins, making it difficult to stand, walk, or even sit at times.

Instability – sacroiliac joint pain may lead to the irregular function of the whole area of the pelvis, which may cause you to feel like your legs are giving away or be unable to walk correctly.

Inability to sit right – as a result of sacroiliac joint pain, most people are unable to sit for long periods or in a certain pose. Additionally, you may feel discomfort while seating as a result of the sensibility of the area.

Pain going from sitting to standing – standing up can be a major struggle for people suffering from sacroiliac joint pain because of the sensitivity of the area and the irregular function of the muscles and tissue surrounding the joint.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief

Beside treating it with pain medications, there are a few other things you can try to relieve your sacroiliac joint pain. Some of those include:

Rest regularly – it’s important that during the day, you have a 1 or 2 short rest breaks to give your muscles and joints the chance to rest.

Too much movement irritates and puts a lot of stress on all your joints, which can cause them to become inflamed, stingy and ultimately painful.

Visit a chiropractor – Chiropractors are health care professionals that help people with neuromuscular problems, so they can give a bit of relief when it comes to sacroiliac joint pain.

You can also try with osteopathic doctors or other health care professionals that can aid your sacroiliac joint pain by applying a bit of pressure and gentle massages to the right areas.

Apply ice or heat – hot or cold pads can reduce the inflammation in your lower back which can reduce any discomfort or pain you may be experiencing.

You can buy hot or cold pads from your local pharmacy or store, or make your own ones at home with ice cubes or hot bottles.

Support devices – There are a few devices, pads and wraps you can place around your back or the pelvic area to give it more support and minimize the pain you’re experiencing.

5 Sacroiliac Joint Pain Exercises for Relief

Doing some simple stretches and exercises can be of great help with your sacroiliac joint pain and relieve some of the pain you feel. If you’re experiencing sacroiliac joint pain, try out some of the following exercises:

1. The triangle

Spread your legs apart a bit wider than your shoulders with your feet pointing outwards.

Extend your arms on the side of your body parallel to the floor.

Bend to one side and touch your foot with your hand (left hand-left foot, right hand-right foot) with the other hand going over your head.

Hold this pose for 10 to 20 seconds on each side.

2. The Cobra

This pose comes from yoga and is great to relax your sacroiliac joints after overworking them. It doesn’t require much effort to do either.

It’s done by laying on your stomach and lifting your upper body with your arms as high up as your arms can extend while your pelvis and legs are on the ground.

Hold this pose for 15 to 30 seconds in a 3 series.

3. The bridge

Start by laying on your back with your knees bent, your arms parallel to your body and your palms on the floor.

While your palms and foot are still on the floor, lift your body up and squeeze your buttocks while bringing your torso in a straight diagonal line.

Hold yourself up in this position for 5 seconds and repeat it 8 to 10 times.

4. Quadriceps Stretch

This is a simple stretching exercise to relax your sacroiliac joint and it’s rather simple to do.

All you need to do is to put your arm on the wall, while standing against it, and grab your foot behind your body with your free hand.

5. Bird Dog

Another yoga-inspired exercise that helps strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles so they can support your body easier and result in better stability and less stress being placed on your sacroiliac joint.

It’s done by standing on all fours, with your spine and neck straight in a neutral position while you’re looking at the ground.

Stretch your left arm forward while extending your leg backward and holding them straight with your body for 5 seconds at a time. Repeat on each side for 6 to 10 times.

5 Sacroiliac Joint Pain Exercises to Avoid

While exercising is always deemed as beneficial for all the muscles and joints, there are some exercises that can irritate your sacroiliac joint and worsen your pain.

So, it’s better to avoid doing the following types of exercises:

1. Crunches and sit-ups

Crunches and sit-ups put a lot of stress on your pelvic area which makes it easily irritable and inflamed.

The whole activity of the hips and pelvis puts stress on your lower back which worsens the inflammation in the sacroiliac joint and can make it more painful than before.

2. Golf and tennis

Gold and tennis involve a lot of twisting and turning of your hips, which irritates the pelvis and worsens the sacroiliac joint pain.

It also wears down the muscles, tendons, and joints in the whole area, which can further complicate your condition.

3. Biking

Biking and long rides put pressure on your pelvis and your sacroiliac joints.

This pressure causes inflammation in the whole area, making the pain worse and causing even more discomfort than previously.

4. Weight lifting

Weight lifting, especially heavy weight lifting that involves activating the lower back can significantly damage your lower back and with it, the pelvis and sacroiliac joint.

So if you’re experiencing any sacroiliac joint pain, avoid lifting heavy weights the next time you’re at the gym.

5. Football and basketball

Sports like football and basketball bring an additional risk for an injury to your lower back, which needless to say, will make the pain in your pelvis that much worse.

Additionally, you’re constantly running, twisting and turning your lower back, hips and pelvis which puts even more stress on your muscles and joints in the whole area and makes them more worn off and easily irritable.

Conclusion

Although sacroiliac joint pain is a common appearance today and a difficult condition to live with, thanks to the development of medicine and the knowledge we have of how the human body works, we can now treat it efficiently.

Even if the mild exercises and stretches don’t work, there are many medical devices and pills that can help you with your pain if nothing else seems to work.

Carbs at Night for Weight Loss – Does Eating Carbs at Night Really Matter?

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Many people may have advised you to avoid carbs at night at all costs especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

This belief has been around for quite some time now, and a lot of people live by it.

You’ve been taught that eating carbs close to bedtime will immediately turn them into fat, as opposed to consuming them earlier.

After a tiresome day, a cup of mashed potato seems well deserved – and you can enjoy it without feeling guilty.

You can eat carbs at night, but before you dive in, there are a few points to consider.

Will Eating Carbs at Night Make You Fat?

The concept behind eating carbs late in the day can stem a couple of misunderstandings. There are different times in the day where carbs are used as energy or stored as fat.

For instance, you decide to go on a workout after eating your lunch. You can have enough energy to keep you going during and after your workout by eating carbs.

On the other hand, you may think that when you don’t immediately exercise after consuming carbs, then those get stored up and turned to fat faster. Well, not entirely.

When you take in carbs, the body releases insulin, a hormone that helps reduce blood sugar levels by managing the use and storage of glucose.

During your workout session, your body releases less insulin as it tries to produce more glucose for your hard-working muscles. When you are fast asleep, your energy stores are what fuels the brain.

The function of insulin and the course of carbohydrate metabolism can be quite complex.

All you have to remember is that eating carbohydrates whether in the morning or evening will have little to no difference.

Why Eating Carbs at Night is Good

Evening consumption doesn’t necessarily promote weight gain; it’s excess consumption that does.

Your daily caloric intake depends on how active your lifestyle is and how much weight you’re trying to lose, or if the latter is actually your goal at all.

Your workout schedule should also be considered when you should have carbs. For instance, if you have an office job and spend all day in your chair, chances are your workout happens at night.

You absolutely then need to consume carbohydrates at night to help your body recover adequately and restore glycogen stores.

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Even if there are days where you skip working out, as long as you eat the recommended amount of carbs, the time of when you consume them matters little.

To put it simply, your body doesn’t really know the time, and it wouldn’t just react like, “So you’re eating late tonight, I’m going to go ahead and turn these into fat right away!”

Having a tiny amount of complex carbohydrates at night with dinner can aid you in feeling fuller without having to dread craving for a midnight snack.

How many times have you found yourself hungry only two hours after having your dinner? Probably more than once.

Losing weight and staying healthy in general is hugely about maintaining a balanced and more importantly, realistic mean and exercise plan.

The Types of Carbs to Eat for Weight Loss

healthy-dietBefore you think of doubling your pizza consumption, you should first know the type of carbs you should be having.

The best type of carbs is complex carbs. These are good for everyday consumption and are digested slower than simple carbs and keeps you from feeling hungry longer.

If you eat a small amount at night, it will keep you nourished until breakfast. Simple carbs tend to be unhealthy, being found in processed and sugary drinks.

Generally, natural fiber-rich carbohydrates are healthy, while those processed and stripped of fiber are not. A whole, single ingredient food regardless of its carb content is perhaps a healthy option for the majority.

Having said that, we can categorize good and bad carbs, but they are never restricted within their category. In nutrition, foods are hardly black and white.

Good Carbs

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  • Whole Fruits: Apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, common figs, pineapples, prunes, raisins
  • Whole Grains: Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa
  • Vegetables: All of them! Artichoke, aubergine, asparagus, legumes, broccoflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, endive, fiddleheads, frisee, fennel, greens, herbs and spices, lettuce, mushrooms, nettles, New Zealand spinach, okra, onions, parsley, peppers, radicchio, rhubarb, root vegetables, salsify, skirret, sweetcorn, topinambur, squashes, tatsoi, tomato, watercress
  • Nuts: Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts
  • Tubers: Carrots, cassava, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnip, taro, yams
  • Seeds: Chia seed, hemp seed, pumpkin seed, sesame seed

Bad Carbs

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  • Candies and chocolates: if you will, go with dark chocolate
  • Fruit juices: even the fruit juices that promise to be all-natural and healthy can have the same metabolic effects as a soda
  • Sugary drinks: you name it, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, VitaminWater – these are among the unhealthiest you can give your body
    Cakes, cookies, and pastries
  • Potato chips and French fries: while whole potatoes are healthy, their fried versions are not
  • Ice cream: naturally high in sugar

Most of these foods are fine to be consumed in moderation, but it’s best to avoid them if you can.

Click here to read my review on The Half Day Diet. <<

How to Avoid Eating Carbs at Night

So many of us try to keep our hands off more food at night, but fail to do so because it is only natural to feel the want to satisfy ourselves after a long day.

A lovely, filling meal seems like the perfect way to end the night.

Also, we tend to rewards ourselves with food throughout the day, thinking that maybe just having a salad for dinner can make up for it.

Unfortunately, the hunger for a more satisfying meal wins most of the time.

With this, you will find it easier to reel your carbohydrates throughout the day rather than consuming a massive amount in one go at night.

By doing so, you won’t feel as hungry as you were before and you’ll feel fuller even just by having a light dinner. The key is to plan and distribute your meals that suit your lifestyle.

Regulating your food distribution is an essential factor in successfully managing your carbs and overall health.

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7 Yoga Poses for Joint Pain Relief

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If you’ve ever experienced joint pain, you know how debilitating it can be…

It does not only generate pain and discomfort, but it also limits you from going about your day to day life as you would usually.

Needless to say, this is irritating and annoying, but in cases of severe or chronic joint pain, it can even lead to depression.

Many chronic joint pain patients have tried countless ways to eliminate joint pain, and most of them provided little or no relief. But, there is one thing that without exception has helped every single person that tried it, and that is yoga.

Yoga has had countless proven benefits for the whole body, especially when it comes to joint or muscle pain and some of the main ones are:

It increases blood circulation

When you do yoga, your heart rate increases which open up your veins and lets blood flow through them freely.

Your body, and most importantly, your joints will receive all the important nutrients that they need to function healthily throughout the day.

It increases flexibility

Yoga makes your whole body more flexible and awakens your “sleepy” muscles.

And by stretching these sleepy muscles and activating them regularly, you alleviate the pressure placed on your joints as well as the stiffness you feel in them which can later lead to discomfort and pain.

It increases muscle strength

If your muscles are weak, your body relies on the joints for support and balance, which wears them down fast and makes them weaker.

But, practicing yoga activates your muscles and makes them stronger, enabling them to support your body better and with it, minimizes the strain placed on your joints.

It improves overall wellness

Doing yoga helps your overall body and spirit. It helps you feel lighter, more flexible and stronger. It also helps bring balance between your mind and soul, which has countless benefits for the whole body.

Your body will start functioning in a healthy way, and that includes all your joints and muscles.

Yoga improves the range of motion of your joints

Every joint in your body has a range of motion that should be maintained over time.

If you don’t move your joints enough, this range will decrease and the other way around – when you move your joints, you improve the range of motion, which results in better movement overall.

You’ll be able to do things you weren’t able to do previously and that’s all thanks to the better range of motion of your joints.

Alleviates pressure placed on your joints

When you do yoga, you help your body function in the right way, as it should. This means that every part of your body can do only the job that it’s meant to do, and not compensate for the lack of other parts, which is the case with your muscles and joints.

If your muscles don’t work right, your joints work double their role to compensate for it, which wears them down faster and makes them more prone to injuries, inflammation and chronic pain.

But, if you practice yoga and maintain healthy muscles, they will support your body along with your joints, minimizing the probability of any inflammation.

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7 Yoga Poses for Joint Pain Relief

1. Tadasana

This is one of the easiest poses to do, especially if you’re a beginner and haven’t done much exercise prior to this. All you need to do is stand on your toes and stretch your arms as high up as you can while keeping your hands clutched together.

To further stretch your muscles, you can bend your arms backward while stretching them upwards. This will help your muscles stretch and relieve the pressure from your joints by promoting blood flow through them.

Having a healthy circulation to your arms and legs lets all the important nutrients come to your joints and heal any inflammation you might have going on there.

2.Virabhadrasana

Also known as The Warrior pose, this is a great exercise to strengthen your shoulders and bring balance to your whole body.

It’s also fairly easy to do since all you need to do is turn your right foot outwards and your left foot inwards while keeping your lower torso faced forward.

Bring your arms up to the level of your shoulders and press the weight of your body to the foot facing outwards while gazing at your thumbs. Then rotate to the other side and hold the pose for 1 minute on each side.

After doing this pose for a certain period, you will start feeling your balance improving and your shoulders and arms become stronger.

This means that you’re returning the lost strength in your joints, which will minimize any pain or stiffness you might have been experiencing previously.

3. Makarasana

Makarasana is one of the easiest yoga poses out there, and one of the favorite ones too since it involves only laying down (it’s true!).

Believe it or not, this pose helps the knees and joints to stretch and become more flexible, stronger and healthier by improving circulation and bringing healthy nutrients to them.

It’s done by laying on your stomach with toes straight and your hands placed beneath your head to support it. By holding this position, you’re letting your joints rest, at the same time stretching your muscles to increase their flexibility and strength.

4. Januhastasana

This is the best yoga pose to do to alleviate joint pain. Doing this pose regularly every day helps increase circulation to the lower part of the body and bring more nutrients to your joints and muscles by doing so.

Not only will your joints be more flexible, but you will also minimize the risk of inflammation and experiencing any type of pain in this area.

It’s done by laying on your stomach and lifting your upper body with your arms as high up as you can and holding that pose for one minute in a few series.

5. Cow Pose

The cow pose helps the most important bone in our bodies – the spine. By doing the Cow pose regularly, you will promote flexibility and stretching of the spine, ultimately resulting in better circulation throughout the whole body which prevents inflammation and joint pain.

It’s also fairly easy to do and very beneficial for all muscles and joints.

To do this pose, you need to go down on all fours with your hands on the ground with your fingers spread and your hands positioned parallel to your shoulders.

Bring your chest down towards the mat and tip your pelvis up so you’re positioned with your sitting bones reaching up. Hold this pose for 30 seconds in a few series.

6. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Named after the body shape you make while doing it, the Bow pose is ideal for anyone experiencing shoulder stiffness, discomfort, or pain. By doing it, you open up the shoulders, make your back more flexible and relieve your body of stress and fatigue.

You do it by laying down on your stomach and stretch your arms and legs towards your spine by grabbing your feet with your hands. It’s good to hold this position for around 30 seconds to let your muscles relax and allow blood to flow through the parts of the body where there’s tension.

7. Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana (Dolphin Plank pose)

This pose does wonder for the back, shoulders, arms, and legs. It does this by stretching the shoulders and hamstrings and strengthen the whole body at the same time relieving the body of any fatigue and backache. In fact, it has also shown to help prevent osteoporosis.

If you’re wondering how it’s done, it’s actually not very different from the regular plank. You lay down on your stomach, place your elbows on the ground parallel to your shoulders and lift your body up by supporting it with your elbows and toes.

By doing this, you’re making your joints and muscles stronger, which results in less pain.

YogaDownload

yoga-download-reviewCreated by people who love Yoga, YogaDownload empowers you to practice yoga in your own way and time.

Not only is yoga great for your health, but it also trains your mind to be calmer and less reactive.

Practicing yoga regularly is the key to living a happy, healthy and balanced life.

Yoga Download is an affordable and convenient way of having your own personal yoga studio open 24/7.

Here are some of the benefits of joining YogaDownload:

Convenience: Practice yoga where you want when you want. You don’t have to worry about long studio classes or being stuck in traffic.

Variety: Choose from a wide selection of classes, instructors, meditations and music. You can also download printable guides to assist you with your classes.

Quality: Videos are all professionally recorded and edited to provide you with superior audio quality on most devices.

Affordability: Enjoy high-end yoga with flexible subscription plans. Don’t have to worry about expensive studio classes anymore.

You can read my YogaDownload review here and find out how you can get 50% off your membership!

Conclusion

You can probably tell by the exercises only that yoga is a wondrous practice that helps the whole body, both physically and psychologically.

It calms the soul and strengthens the body through simple exercises that are tailored for any level of strength, both beginners and experts.

Having your joint pain taken care of can be life-changing, for you and your close ones. It will bring a new perspective of life, a pain-free future where you can enjoy your life to the fullest and leave all the medications, sleepless night and worries behind you.

A new future where yoga is not only a daily routine but also a part of your life.

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8 Effects of Bad Posture

Don’t slouch, sit properly, stand up straight – these are just some of the phrases you might have been told when you were a child.

Unfortunately, not all of us listened to these pieces of advice. The consequences now haunt us in our adult lives.

We become burdened with health problems as effects of bad posture.

There are several factors why you develop a bad posture: your way of living mostly, but sometimes it just occurs.

Bad posture can be seen as bad in and of itself, but it does come with other negative effects.

1. Bone Problems

When you have bad posture, your body’s weight is putting too much pressure on your bones. Your spine is what mostly suffers.

It feels and carries on the gravity it’s being subjected to, which can damage and weaken your bones.

2. Injury Risk

Having bad posture is just setting yourself up to some injuries.

When you do certain activities such as weight lifting, lunges, bends or squats, you are straining your back more especially when you are not doing it correctly.

You can be adding injury to your back instead of fixing it.

3. Reduced Height Growth

It’s not just about feeling shorter. When you were younger, growth was still actively taking place, and because you may have been slouching, the muscles on your back have become shortened.

This resulted in being in that position permanently. So not only do you look short, but growth has been inhibited because of your posture.

4. Prominent Body Fat Appearance

If you have made efforts in the past – or currently – to lose weight, a lot of coaches would advise you to straighten your body.

Your chin and stomach become less pronounced this way. Doing the opposite makes your extra weight more visible. Try it out by standing in front of a mirror!

5. Poor Digestion

Yes, even your digestive organs suffer when you have poor posture. Firstly, it changes your bowel movement due to the compression they experience.

Then, your metabolism is altered too which in turn gives you a harder time consuming and processing what you are eating.

6. Heart Problems

Several studies show that bad posture increases the risk of having cardiovascular diseases. Spending your whole day in your chair at the office is not something that rewards you in the long run. For career women, they mostly develop varicose veins. The worst case scenario: it stops the heart.

This is partly due to the slow or absence of blood circulation. Get up and stretch every once in a while!

7. Back Pain

Most of us in our adult lives experience lower back pain now and then, yet a disc degeneration from bad posture leads to extreme back pain.

This heightens the stress level in your back from exhibiting poor posture all the time.

8. Reduced Sports and Exercise

Lastly, another effect of having bad posture is reduced agility to go into even your simplest routine workout or light sports.

When you are used to poor posture, you compromise your breathing, therefore doing some exercises can leave you breathless.

Not only that, your endurance and strength suffers as well. If you attempt high-intensity workouts, you will experience fatigue alongside back pain.

The pain can render you immobile for a few days if you’re not careful.

These effects of bad posture are not without its causes. Many things factor in why bad posture happens, and these include:

Age – As you age, the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and back slowly lose their function in supporting your body weight.

Foot Placement – If you’re doing your best in keeping your spine straight but failing to keep your feet in their natural position, your back still suffers.

Fatigue – The combination of all the activities you go through each day can cause your body to feel fatigue and put stress onto it.

Developing a bad posture can result from different actions. However, people working in offices for long hours usually suffer the most from the effects of bad posture.

The good news is you don’t have to live with it. You can counter bad posture in several ways, by having better chairs whether at home or the office, getting back pain relief products or going into corrective exercises.

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Correct Sitting Posture – Neck and Back Pain Solution

Finding the correct sitting posture is easy; maintaining it is where it gets difficult.

If you know that you have to sit up straight and have a workstation that comforts your back, you’re halfway there.

Your muscles get tired especially keeping straight for long periods. How do you know you’re genuinely sitting correctly? Here are a few tips.

Distribute Your Weight

First, sit on your chair where half of your thigh is on the chair, and the other half is off it. If necessary, scoot forward. Position both your feet flat and firmly on the floor.

This position allows you to distribute some of your weight through your feet, and away from your spine.

Moving forward in your chair makes you slightly slouch away from the backrest, and you no longer have back support.

The solution to this problem depends on what chair you have. Some have backrests that let you move forward or backward and still give you support.

If you do have a chair that has a fixed back, try doing one of the following tips:

  • Fold a pillow in half – Place the pillow between the chair and your back at about the same level as your belly button.
  • Roll up a towel – It should form a roll about 6 inches in diameter. As you would with the pillow, basically place it between the chair and your lower back.
  • Buy a lumbar support roll – The two mentioned above are useful as temporary fixes, but they’re not able to give you support all the time. You may need a different type of support, and a pillow or towel can only do as much.

The benefit of buying a lumbar support roll is that they have several straps that can be attached to your chair so that it’s in position at all times.

Adjust the Height of Your Chair

Make sure that your knees are level with your hips, or just slightly below. You can do this by adjusting the height of your chair.

This is vital because if your chair is low, your hips will be lower than your knees. This gives way to a slumped sitting posture and puts stress on the discs, ligaments, and muscles of your lower back.

Alternatively, if your knees are below your hips or level with them, it makes it easier for you to sit up straight. You get a better posture for your lower back this way, which in turn provides better posture for your neck and upper back.

Find Your Neutral Spine

First, position your legs and do this by rolling your pelvis and hips backward to round out your lower back. Next, move them forward and arch your lower back.

With this position, you are indeed sitting up straight, and your lower back is extremely arched.

From here, lightly roll your pelvis and back a little, maintaining your straight position. However, rather than having your back in an arched position, it’s in the middle of being slumped and arched.

From here, raise your arms with elbows bent so you can position your shoulders (think of the “stick up” position).

Then, pull your elbows back so that you are letting your shoulder blades “touch.”

When your arms are back as you can let them be, gradually lower your elbows to your sides.

One thing you need to pay attention to is to not shrug your shoulders up toward the ears. Ensure that while your shoulders are down, your shoulder blades are “touching.”

Do this as if you are trying to pull them down toward your back pockets. Finally, pull your ears back over the shoulders.

All these may feel a little awkward at first, but doing these makes your body feel more accustomed to a correct sitting posture. It will feel more natural when you get used to it.

If you don’t maintain good posture and doing the correct sitting posture, you’re just asking for neck and back pain problems.

By making the necessary adjustments to the way you seat – and maybe throwing in a couple of posture exercises – you will be able to sit up straight and feel good while you’re at it.

Save yourself from the pain you can avoid through correct sitting posture.

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23 Top Foods That Boost Your Metabolism

The metabolism functions in a simple way – the faster it is, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to lose weight and extra body fat.

This is why nutritionists have been working for decades towards finding new ways and new foods to boost the functioning of the metabolism and help people lose weight in a healthier, but more efficient way.

Through those years, some foods have shown to perform better than others when it comes to boosting your metabolism.

If you want to find out which ones, keep reading to find our 23 of the best foods that boost your metabolism.

1.Tea

Tea is one of the best beverages you can consume when you’re trying to lose weight or lead a healthy lifestyle.

It has shown to help increase your metabolism by 4% to 10%, which results in burning around 100 calories extra per day.

One of the best types of tea you can consume is oolong and green tea since they help your body use stored fat as energy, which additionally improves your fat burning abilities.

2. Nuts

Nuts are rich in protein, specifically the pure plant-based protein which is extremely efficient in boosting your metabolism for a few hours.

Your body needs more energy to process proteins, so it wastes away more calories, which is known as the thermic effect of food, or TEF.

Foods that are high in protein have been known to maximize the TEF and boost your metabolism up to 30%.

You can add almost any type of nut in your meal: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts and since they are easy to combine, you can add them to any meal – meats, breakfasts or smoothies.

3. Black coffee

Black coffee is with reason recommended to fight off constipation.

It’s really efficient in stimulating bowel movement that helps digestion, which results in faster processing of the food, and an increased metabolic rate (around 11% faster).

Additionally, studies have shown that coffee helps burn an additional 100 calories a day and helps your body burn more fat for energy.

However, skip adding sugar or any artificial sweeteners to your coffee because they will minimize and counter the beneficial effects of it.

4. Spinach

The high quantities of iron, zinc, and selenium are crucial to the healthy function of your thyroid glands that play a major role in regulating your metabolism.

So enriching your diet with foods like spinach that has iron, zinc, and selenium helps your thyroid gland to regulate the hormones in your body more easily, which helps improve your metabolic rate.

5. Legumes and pulses

Lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans, and peanuts all belong to the food category legumes and pulses, and they are all higher in protein to other food groups.

Protein helps boost your metabolism by increasing the number of calories it spends when it’s processing what you ate during the day.

Additionally, legumes and pulses have high quantities of iron, another important factor in boosting metabolism.

Iron regulates the healthy function of your thyroid gland, which regulates the hormones in your body which ultimately affects your metabolism.

6. Avocado

Every single nutritionist will tell you that avocados are a blessing for your body.

The reason behind this is because it has high quantities of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants in it.

Monounsaturated fats and antioxidants can enhance your metabolism and kill free radicals that prevent it from doing its regular work.

7. Chili peppers

When it comes to your metabolism, chili peppers have one important chemical in them – capsaicin.

Capsaicin increases the amount of fat your body burns by increasing the number of calories it wastes while processing the food you consume.

Additionally, capsaicin makes you less hungry by reducing your appetite, causing you to consume fewer calories.

However, people that consume spicy food often in their life have been shown to get fewer benefits from adding chili peppers in their diet.

8. Eggs

Eggs are one of the best things to consume when you’re on a diet because they are fat-free, low in calorie and have high levels of the protein that can boost your metabolism efficiently.

To add to their metabolic benefits, they also have fat-soluble vitamins and fatty acids, but what your body benefits most of is the choline in eggs, a compound that attacks the gene mechanism that causes your body to store fat around your liver.

9. Salmon

Salmon is one of the healthiest types of fish out there, and its pro-metabolic abilities are not to be overseen.

We already mentioned the importance of your thyroid gland in regulating your hormones and metabolism, so if it becomes inflamed, it won’t be able to function as it should, resulting in slower metabolism and irregular nutrients balance.

But, eating salmon gives you the much needed omega-3 fatty acids that eliminate inflammation in your thyroid gland and by doing so, help your body function properly.

10. Spices

Amongst the thousand spices this world has to offer, there are a few that you can add to your diet to boost your metabolism and with it, your weight loss.

Some of them include ginger, ginseng, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and black pepper.

You can add them to your diet too because they help your body burn more fat for energy and boost your metabolism at the same time.

And if you’re cooking a healthy dessert, you can add cinnamon to it to achieve the same metabolism-boosting effects.

If you don’t notice your metabolism speeding up after adding different spices to your diet, you might be a non-responder, which happens in some cases.

11. Cocoa

Cocoa helps your metabolism AND is tasty to eat.

Many studies have found that ingredients in cocoa have the ability to stimulate your body to waste fat for energy, which results in you wasting more fat and losing more weight with it.

Many studies have also shown that cocoa extracts promote the expression of genes that stimulate the use of fat as energy especially in people that consume high quantities of fat or calories.

12. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is good for every part of your body – both inside and out.

Coconut oil can help you boost your metabolism thanks to the MCT it has, which are medium-chain triglycerides.

These are actually a type of fats, which unlike other fats go directly to the liver and are transformed into energy immediately.

Because they aren’t kept in your body for long, the probability of them being stored as fat is minimal, which alleviates the function of your metabolism and makes you healthier overall.

13. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

When you’re picking the seasoning for your food and salads, make extra virgin olive oil your primary pick.

Why? Because it’s the healthiest type of oil that has dietary fat which our bodies need to suppress hunger and speed up the dispersion of nutrients throughout your body.

Another effect of the dietary, monounsaturated fats is the boost they give to the metabolism and the role they play in burning calories.

Plus, olive oil is high in polyphenols, antioxidants that fight a variety of diseases, including cancer brain deterioration diseases and osteoporosis.

14. Milk

Milk, specifically full-fat milk helps “teach” your body and train it to metabolize fat easier and more efficiently.

Milk is also rich in calcium, an ingredient that helps regulate your gut function better and get rid of the bad fat instead of stocking it in your body.

15. Cheese

Contrary to the popular belief, cheese is not a definite “no-no” in weight loss diets.

When consumed in moderate quantities it gives your body important nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and protein.

Your body uses these elements later on to maintain your muscle mass and burn more calories, which ultimately results in an increased metabolic rate and faster weight loss.

16. Asparagus

This green, sticky vegetable is an impressive metabolism boosting agent you should definitely include more in your weight loss diet.

It has high quantities of copper in it, which is responsible for oxygenating the blood in your body.

If your oxygenating process is not functioning as it’s supposed to, it can lead to slow metabolism and weight gain caused by it.

Additionally, asparagus helps in the regulation of hormones and blood sugar, maintains healthy skin, improves eyesight, and reduces inflammation.

17. Seeds

Seeds, in general, are healthy to consume because of various reasons, one of them being their positive effect on metabolism increase.

Seeds boost your metabolism because they contain omega-3 fatty acids that , the fiber that helps your body digest food easier, the protein that gives you energy and antioxidants that cleanse your organs.

If you’re confused on exactly which seeds to choose, some of your top choices should be chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.

18. Whole grains

Brown rice, oatmeal, sprouted grain bread and quinoa are better known as whole grains.

Our bodies need more effort to break down whole grains than processed ones, and you can use this to boost your metabolic rate.

Whole grains are also rich in fiber that makes you feel fuller during the day, so it helps you lose weight in more than one way.

19. Garlic

Garlic is very tasty to add in every food you cook, but it’s also healthy to eat.

When you eat garlic, it functions as a soldier in your body that controls the fats and carbs found in other foods and prevents them from doing damage or causing inflammation to your organs.

By doing so, your body is able to process food easier, burn more calories efficiently, and maintain a healthy functioning metabolism.

20. Dark chocolate

Of course, chocolate can be part of a healthy diet, don’t be surprised by that.

As long as you don’t overindulge in it, dark chocolate can boost your metabolism.

If you’re wondering how exactly, it’s because it’s made of mostly cacao, an ingredient that’s has been proven to boost the genes that stimulate your body into using fat for energy.

By melting the fat in your body, you’re losing weight efficiently and giving your metabolism the boost it needs.

21. Organic beef and dairy

As long as they are organic, beef and dairy foods can be very beneficial for your metabolism.

Unlike the hormone-infused beef and dairy we listen and talk about often, the organic versions of these have all the healthy proteins and saturated fats our body needs to get the energy for the day.

The protein in beef and dairy foods boosts your metabolism by increasing the number of calories your body spends when processing it, and the monounsaturated fats help your body eliminate free radicals and inflammation, which ultimately results in your metabolism rate to be improved.

22. Mustard

Believe it or not, mustard can actually boost your metabolism.

Research done at England’s Oxford Polytechnic Institute has shown that eating as little as one teaspoon of mustard can boost the metabolism for the next few hours for up to 30%.

You don’t have to worry about consuming extra calories since one teaspoon of mustard has only around 5 calories.

23. Water

Of course, we can’t make this list without mentioning water.

It doesn’t only help you stay hydrated during the day, but research has also proven that it helps boost your metabolism temporarily by 24-30%.

This is because the body needs more energy to heat the water to body temperature, resulting in more calories being spent to process it.

However, the metabolism boosting effects have been shown to last only around an hour or so after drinking water, so it might not do wonders for you as you might’ve expected.

 

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25 Best Weight Loss Tips

Losing that extra belly fat may seem difficult and hard to reach, but sometimes, a small boost is all your body needs.

There are so many myths about weight loss that it seems impossible to know what is right and what is wrong nowadays.

However, there are quite a few things and habits all nutritionists agree that can help and boost your weight loss.

Following is a list of those 25 weight loss tips that have been confirmed over time, so keep reading to find out which things you’ve been hearing are myths, and which ones are truths.

1. Drink as much water as possible

Water does wonders for our bodies in every aspect.

It doesn’t only cleanse your body from all the harmful chemicals, but it also helps boost your metabolism and help your body to process foods faster which ultimately results in less fat being stored.

Additionally, a study has shown that drinking water half an hour before your meal helps consume fewer calories than usual, which helps weight loss drastically.

People often confuse thirst with hunger, so a glass of water might be what you wanted, not food.

2. Avoid sugars

Sugar is one of the major factors for weight gain and obesity, and by reducing the amount of sugar you consume, you not only minimize the probability of gaining weight, but you make your body healthier and stronger.

By consuming less sugar and fewer calories, your body starts feeding off the stored fat, resulting in you losing more weight.

Additionally, when your cut sugars, your insulin levels lower, which causes your kidneys to shed all the excess sodium of your body, reducing bloats and excess weight.

3. Go on a low carb diet

The whole nutrition world has been talking about carbs lately.

Thanks to the technological and medical advancements, everyone is becoming more aware of the effects of carbs and why they are bad for the body.

And unlike a few years back when everyone recommended a low-fat diet, today nutritionists recommend going on a low-carb diet instead.

Why? Because minimizing the consumption of carbs and practicing a low-carb diet has shown to help lose 2 to 3 times more weight than being on a low-fat diet.

4. Reduce your portion sizes

The whole problem behind your weight can be solved with a simple reduction of portion sizes.

By reducing your portions, you reduce the calories you consume, which is obviously the right path to weight loss.

The good thing about this method is that you don’t have to consume 50% of you did previously.

Instead, you can start slowly and removing one bit at a time until you’ve come to a portion size that satisfies your daily needs.

5. Count the calories of your meals

Counting calories is one of the oldest weight loss methods that never dies.

When you know how many calories your body needs you can adjust your meal plans to consume only as much as it needs.

By doing this, you’re giving your body just enough energy it needs to go through the day along with all the nutrients, at the same time minimizing the damaging calories you don’t need.

6. Eat fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, fat and high in nutrients, vitamins, and fiber, essential ingredients to weight loss.

Nutritionists recommend that 50% to 75% of your plate should be fruits and vegetables.

Additionally, you should tend to include the ones that have more distinct and bright colors because they have more antioxidants in them that help reduce inflammation and boost weight loss.

7. Eat spicy foods

Research has shown that eating some spicy foods can help increase your heart rate and boost your metabolism.

Additionally, capsaicin, a chemical found in some spicy foods like chili peppers is a very efficient appetite suppressant that can help you feel less hungry.

But, beware not to consume too much spicy food, as some people develop tolerance of the effects of capsaicin which will limit or eliminate completely the long-term effects of it.

8. Do some kind of exercise

Exercise helps you burn calories and improve your overall physical and mental health, as well as lose fat in areas you focus the exercises on.

You can do various exercises such as aerobics, lifting weights and cardio.

All of them focus on different types of calorie burning and muscle building, so you can try them out and find a type of exercise that fits your lifestyle and preferences.

9. Eat foods that are rich in fiber

Fiber is one of the most effective nutrients for weight loss.

The reason for this is because fiber helps you feel fuller during the day.

When you feel full, you experience less hunger and eat less, which ultimately results in losing weight.

10. Consume supplements

Contrary to the beliefs a few years back, supplements can help your body function healthy, boost your metabolism, and improve your gut function.

There are various types of supplements you can add to your diet, including probiotics, proteins, vitamins, and omega-3 acids.

These are food supplements that don’t have harmful chemicals in them but can help you lose weight while maintaining your healthy nutritious values and aid your body to shed those extra pounds a bit easier.

11. Avoid sodas and sugary drinks

Sodas and sugary drinks are one of the worst things to consume when you’re on a diet or trying to lose weight overall.

That’s mainly because they are extremely high in sugar, and sugar is just a way to get a sudden rush of energy without getting anything nutritious in return.

Instead of drinking sodas and drinks that have tons of sugar in them, you can opt for natural teas, fruit beverages, or, the best option for any diet – water.

12. Chew slower

Not chewing your food enough and swallowing big chunks makes it difficult for your body to process, which results in you feeling bloated.

But, if you chew your food slower and to smaller pieces, you help your body break it down easier and you will give your brain the time it needs to register that you’ve had enough food.

13. Eat more proteins

Proteins help you feel more full during the day and with it, reduce your cravings. A study has shown that being on a high protein diet helps boost metabolism and reduce calorie intake by 441 calories.

Protein can be consumed through different meats and natural foods, but adding a protein supplement to your diet won’t harm you either.

14. Avoid processed foods

Processed foods are bad for your body in so many ways.

They aren’t only unhealthy, but also full of fat and other chemicals that cause you to gain weight in more than one way.

Most processed foods have had their nutritious values stripped off them, so by consuming them, you don’t bring anything nutritious to your body, only calories, and fats.

Moreover, eating processed foods is tightly linked to obesity, so if you want to lose weight, it would be better to go for natural or less processed foods.

15. Eat at the same time every day

Your body is being trained by your habits, and it shows in your physical looks.

When you eat at the same time every day, you’re getting your metabolism used to function the same way every day.

You will notice that your visits to the bathroom will be more consistent every day which helps your body function healthy and regulate your nutritious values easily.

16. Drink black coffee and tea

We already explained why you should avoid drinking sodas and sugary drinks, so what can you drink if you’re feeling thirsty?

Well, if you’re feeling tired, sleepy or thirsty, don’t reach for that juice or soda.

Instead, replace the sodas and creamy coffee with pure black coffee without any milk or sugar when you’re feeling tired and tea when you’re feeling thirsty.

17. Rest well

Yes, exercising does help weight loss, but so does resting and sleeping.

Lack of rest drains your body of energy, and we all know what we crave to get a boost of energy – sugar.

And that extra sugar does not only contribute to you gaining those extra pounds but also sabotages your diet.

If you continue depriving yourself of sleep and rest, it will be difficult to keep your meal plan going, which causes many to quit the diet and give up their weight loss.

18. Write down what you’re eating

A really important step on your weight loss journey is knowing what you’re eating, especially if you’re following a certain meal plan or want to change your current one.

This will allow you to see what you’re doing wrong if you’re not losing weight and see what benefits your body when you’re dieting.

19. Eat a good breakfast

Breakfast is with reason titled the most important meal of the day.

It sets you up for either success or failure for that day, so you have to carefully pick what you will eat for breakfast.

The best option for breakfast is some type of quality protein that will keep you full during the day.

Eggs are the most common source of protein that is suitable for breakfast, but if you don’t eat eggs, any other substitute will do.

Just remember to avoid consuming processed foods or food that is high in carbs.

20. Set your periodical goals

Whatever you do in life, it’s important to have a goal to work towards, and the same thing goes for weight loss.

To keep yourself motivated, it’s good to set a weekly, monthly and even a yearly goal.

When you reach your short-term goal, you will be motivated to keep working and reach your long-term goals.

21. Include 3 food groups in every meal

Nutritionists recommend preparing each meal with 3 ingredients: protein, vegetables, and grains.

These ingredients give your body all the essentials it needs to go through the day without burdening it with unnecessary things.

Just make sure when you choose grains, choose some that provide plenty of fiber and nutrients.

22. Don’t skip meals

Skipping meals is not something that’s recommended if you want to lose weight, regardless of how many calories it cuts from your daily intake.

It just causes you to feel hungry all day and force your body to store everything later on to compensate for the lack of energy and nutrients.

23. Don’t mind the scale

Dedicating yourself to dieting completely and not seeing the results in the number that you wanted, it can be so demotivating.

But, the number on the scale is not actually that important.

You may be losing weight as fat and replace it with muscle at the same time if you’re exercising, so when you look at the scale, it won’t show a lesser number when you’re in fact, losing weight.

24. Pack snacks

No, not snacks like chips and fries.

Pack something healthy that would satisfy your cravings when you’re out and about.

When you’re out with your friends or just strolling through town, you might start feeling hungry and having a healthy snack in your bag is really convenient in these types of situations.

Eating something healthy will temporarily tone down your hunger and you won’t have to cheat your diet.

25. Reward yourself

It’s important to keep yourself motivated throughout your weight loss journey, and not just by looking at the numbers.

You can reward yourself when you reach a certain milestone and buy yourself those shoes you’ve always wanted, or that dress you wanted to buy when you lose enough weight.

However, avoid rewarding yourself with cheat meals as it goes against your initial goal, which is to lose weight.

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