Using A Hot Water Bottle For Self-Care

Once you use a hot water bottle, you won’t believe how you ever got along without it! The hot water bottle is one of the most useful all-purpose health care products you will ever use. It is designed to apply comfortable, soothing heat therapy easily and conveniently to any part of the body for a variety of ailments.

 Fill it with hot water from the sink. The water bottle will stay warm for up to 2 hours.

Use it to:

  • Relax particular muscles or use for the entire body
  • Deliver nurturing comfort to enable a deep state of relaxation

Try using the hot water bottle on:

  • The feet for warmth
  • The back for strain
  • The lower abdomen for cramps
  • The abdomen for digestion and relaxation of body and mind

Additional Uses:

  • To combat illness: use as a warm, soothing companion to help you through flu, chills, and aches.
  • To ease menstrual cramps: a hot water bottle on the abdomen brings pain relief and soothing comfort.
  • As a bed warmer: a warm hot water bottle placed in your bed makes for a cozy sleep, especially on cold winter nights.
  • To ease arthritic pain: a natural, moist heat therapy for arthritic pain relief, especially great for hands.
  • To calm children: a warm cuddly companion to provide a calm secure feeling when children are ill or upset.
  • As a traveling companion: take it with you on trips to comfort you – no electricity needed.
  • To calm your pet: placed under a blanket, a warm hot water bottle soothes puppies in new surroundings — it provides warmth and security and calms them down.
  • To encourage restful sleep: to help you sleep after a high-stress day, lie down with a hot water bottle on your stomach, close your eyes and breathe deeply, so the bottle rises and falls. Many people carry a lot of tension there and the weighted heat releases it. Try it!

© Integrative Nutrition, Inc. | Reprinted with permission

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Boost your bones for life: Top diet and exercise tips to avoid fractures

By Charlotte Haigh Macneil

It is easy to assume that osteoporosis only affects more fragile people but one-in- two women and one-in-five men over 50 will suffer a fracture, mainly due to poor bone health. Around three million people in the UK suffer from osteoporosis.

The condition occurs when the strength of bones, known as bone density, declines, with the result that they become weaker and more likely to break under fairly minimal pressure, such as a fall.

The problem is that you probably won’t know your bone density has declined until you suffer a fracture. Breaks of the wrist, hip and spine are the most common and these can be debilitating, particularly if you’re also coping with other medical conditions or are elderly.

A hip fracture, for example, can mean a long hospital stay and possible loss of independence. Osteoporosis doesn’t happen overnight though. In fact the diet and exercise choices you make throughout your life will have a bearing on your risk once you hit middle age.

So it’s important to think about your bone health at every age and it’s also good to know it’s never too late to take action to improve it.

Why do our bones deteriorate? Specialist cells called osteoclasts break down the old, worn-out bone tissue while other cells, known as osteoblasts, build new tissue.

Until your mid-30s new bone tissue is laid down at about the same rate as the old tissue is broken down. So the amount of bone tissue you have remains steady and your bone density, or strength, is stable.

As you get older however bone starts to break down faster than it can be repaired and restored. Anyone can, of course, break a bone under extreme pressure but it’s this reduction in bone strength that explains why it’s more common for people over the age of 50 to have a fracture more easily.

Focus on calcium This mineral is a must for healthy bones. You need more when you’re breastfeeding otherwise most adults need 800mg daily. If you have a glass of milk, a small pot of yogurt and a matchbox-size piece of Cheddar cheese, you’ll hit that target.

Don’t worry about missing out if you choose reduced-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk or reduced-fat cheese, they contain just as much calcium if not a little more than full-fat ones.

Sardines containing soft bones, dried fruit, nuts (especially almonds), seeds and broccoli are also good sources, along with white flour that’s fortified with calcium.

Bear in mind however that calcium in dairy is more easily absorbed and used by our bodies than the calcium in other foods, so if you don’t eat dairy for any reason speak to your GP or a dietitian about how to get enough in your diet. Remember Vitamin D This vitamin is vital as it helps the body absorb and use calcium.

It’s hard to get enough vitamin D from diet alone because there are only a few foods that naturally contain it. These include oily fish such as salmon, fresh tuna, trout, mackerel and sardines and eggs.

The best way to get more vitamin D is by safe exposure to the sun. In autumn and winter the sun’s rays aren’t strong enough in the UK to make vitamin D. So it’s no surprise that national surveys show the levels in our blood (in all age groups) are highest from July to September and lowest from January to March.

For most fair-skinned people exposing the hands and face for about 15 minutes a few times a week during spring and summer is sufficient, darker skins may need a little longer. Make sure you never go red or burn to avoid increasing your risk of skin cancer.

Vitamin D-fortified foods, such as cereals and yogurts, or a supplement are good ways to top up. The Department of Health recommends a daily 10mcg supplement each day for pregnant and breastfeeding women, people who spend most of their time indoors (elderly people in care homes, for instance) and people who cover their skin when outside.

Walk, jog or dance Exercise is crucial. Activities that involve jumping are particularly good for boosting strength, jogging, brisk walking, dancing, rebounding and Zumba are all bone-friendly options. Experts also recommend resistance training which helps blood flow to your bones. One study in The Journal Of Sports Medicine And Physical Fitness found that low-weight, high-repetition resistance training classes could increase bone density. Watch your BMI Your body mass index should be between 20 and 25.

If it’s too low you’ll have less bone tissue overall which makes osteoporosis more likely. Yet carrying too much weight puts your bones under strain. A study from Harvard Medical School in Boston found some overweight people actually carry fat inside their bones which makes them weaker. It also revealed fat around the middle indicates a higher risk.

Source: Express.co.uk | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Stiff Ankles Might be Keeping you from Working Out to your Full Potential

By Rachel Song

The ankle is an often overlooked ligament that is actually crucial in utilizing the full strength of your legs, hips, and glutes and maintaining a healthy posture & gait.  Stiff ankles inhibit full fitness potential by restricting your movements and may even cause pain in the heels, calves, shins, knees, hips, and lower back as surrounding muscles compensate for the lack of mobility in your ankles.

Before you scramble to start ankle stretches & exercises, take a moment to assess yourself and make sure there’s an issue to address.

Here are 3 ways to test your ankles:

  • Perform a basic squat, feet hip width apart with a neutral spine. You should be able to get your thighs parallel to the floor without lifting your heels.
  • Stand up straight with your feet together. Lift the balls of your feet from the ground without moving the rest of your body.

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  • Get into the hip flexor stretch stance with one knee on the ground, the other knee up with the foot directly below it, upper body held straight up above the hips (see above image). You will be testing the ankle of the foot in front of your  body.  Face a wall with your knee at a distance about 5 inches from it.  The closer you can get your knee to the wall without lifting your heel, the better your ankle mobility.  Ideally, you should be able to touch your knee to the wall without lifting your heel.

If any of the above tasks are difficult, you may want to include the exercises below in your daily fitness routine to increase your ankle mobility:

  • Massage calf and foot muscles: Using a hard, round ball, roll the bottom of your foot from side to side and top to bottom several times, applying firm but not painful pressure. Do the same for your calves using a foam roller or similar item like a rolling pin. This exercise will help relax connective tissues that may be playing a role in your tight ankles.

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  • Heel raises: Stand with your forefoot slightly lifted (about 2 inches) on any workable object. Bend your knees while keeping your upper body straight with a neutral spine and heels completely on the ground.  Stand up straight. Repeat for about 5 minutes a day.
  • Half-kneeling ankle flex: Get into the same hip flexor stretch position from the ankle assessment exercise above. Stretch your ankle by pushing your knee forward, getting it past your toes if possible. Stay in position for 1-2 seconds before returning to the starting pose. Remember to keep your upper body straight with a neutral spine. Repeat motion 10-15 times.

In conjunction with these exercises, it’s important to wear proper footwear when exercising.  Correct support & cushioning can make a huge difference in your posture and stability, allowing you to prolong the health of your joints and muscles for lasting fitness & health!

Why Forgiveness Helps You Heal

Have you ever downed an entire package of chips, crackers, or cookies? Ate pizza or cake until you felt sick? Drank more coffee or wine than your body wanted?

Do you remember how you were feeling at the time?

I ask because sometimes we overeat to help distract us from emotional pain. Think about it—have you noticed that sometimes when you overeat you’re not hungry at all? What you are is lonely. Or angry. Or sad. Or resentful. Or frustrated. Or something else.

So what hurt are YOU holding on to?

Tap Into the Power of Forgiveness

Wouldn’t it be more effective to address your uncomfortable feelings? The best, most thorough, most divinely perfect way to do that is forgiveness.

Forgiving is not easy, even for the most enlightened among us. If you’ve been allowing your present health to be controlled by past hurts, I urge you to commit to forgiving. These steps can help:

  • Talk to sympathetic friends and family about your desire to forgive. Chatting with others is tremendously comforting.
  • Write a letter to the person you’d like to forgive. You can decide whether or not you send it.
  • See the situation from the other person’s perspective—your own perspective may change.
  • Don’t forget to forgive yourself. Sometimes we can be harshest with ourselves.
  • Understand that you are responsible for your own attitude. Don’t let holding a grudge keep you from feeling free, open, and powerful in your own life.

Forgive and watch how much easier your relationship with eating becomes.