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Natural Ways for Busy Moms to Fight Joint Soreness

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Being a mom can be tough on your body. From spending time with your kids to looking after the home and earning a living many of us are always on the go. What’s more, nutritionists have long realized that as we age our skeleton can change, with our bones getting progressively weaker.

This, of course, can have an impact on our health – and especially our joints. Sadly, being a mom isn’t a part-time job, and taking a few days off for rest and recuperation isn’t very likely – no matter how appealing it may sound. So what steps can we all take to keep our joints in the best health possible?

Know Your Limits

Child-rearing can ask for superhuman feats of endurance, during which our bodies can be exposed to pressures never before experienced. In many cases it can be tempting to just push on through any tiredness or discomfort, worrying about the consequences later. Sadly, such an attitude, no matter how admirable, can increase the risk of physical damage or extend recovery times.

It is important to remember that we can’t do everything ourselves, and to be more conscious of our physical limits. If you feel discomfort, aches or pain then this is your body’s way of telling you to slow down. In most cases you’d be wise to listen carefully before risking further health problems.

In the same vein, don’t be ashamed to ask for help when you need it. Sometimes making use of grandma or grandpa, while taking a few hours for yourself, can be one of the best investments you can make in your health (and sanity!).

Consider Your Footwear

There’s no denying those new heels make you look like a million dollars – but they’re unlikely to be doing much for your health. Generally speaking more comfortable footwear won’t just make moving around more enjoyable but also has the potential to help keep your joints in good condition.

A great example of this is a study that involved a group of golfers suffering from serious back pain as a result of their stretching and turning. Scientists invited half of them to swap their smart golf shoes for some comfortable sandals. Six weeks later both groups were asked to report back on any discomfort they were experiencing. The resultsshowed that the volunteers wearing the comfier (if less stable) sandals experienced huge improvements in back pain when compared to the control group. (In case you were wondering their golf abilities didn’t decline either, despite the change of shoe).

Elsewhere, scientists asked a group of people to swap their normal shoes for some that had been specially-designed to allow the foot to move naturally – as we would when walking barefooted. A range of gadgets were used to measure how much pressure was being placed in the leg joints, with the “barefoot technology” showing significantly reduced pressure on the knees.

The lesson here is that some types of footwear are much better at helping to cushion and protect the joints. The more naturally your feet can move, the better. This means that walking around in bare feet at home, and choosing shoes with flexible soles (like ballet pumps or sneakers) for when you’re outside are likely to be best. Put another way; if you’re concerned about your joints, leave the stiff-soled heels in the closet; your knees and ankles will thank you.

Take Cod Liver Oil

One of the most common reasons for joint discomfort is inflammation. This can lead to swelling, a burning sensation and a reduction in joint mobility. While in most cases this should subside after some rest, in other cases it may become a progressive issue. It is also associated with cases of arthritis, so becomes ever more likely with age. The good news is that good old cod liver oil might be a suitable solution for you.

Cod liver oil is a great source of omega 3 oils, which in turn are believed to help fight inflammation in the body. Experts believe that they function by simply disrupting the chemical channels that cause inflammation in the first place. But this isn’t all hearsay; numerous scientific studies have also indicated the benefits of taking fish oils regularly.

One particularly notable study involved 250 volunteers with persistent joint-related pain who were given 1200 mg of cod liver oil per day. After a period of 75 days these individuals were asked to complete a survey reporting back on any changes experienced. 60% of the participants stated their pain was now less, and an even more impressive 88% said they planned to keep taking cod liver oil – even at their own expense.

Pleasantly, while this article primarily focuses on keeping your joints healthy it also seems that cod liver oil can help in a range of other inflammatory conditions. For example one study asked a group of women to take fish oils before taking part in a resistance training program. The results showed that the fish oil group experienced less muscle soreness afterward. A large body of evidence also suggests that cod liver oil can help to reduce the inflammation that is associated with cardiovascular problems in later life, keeping your most important muscle in the best condition possible.

Consider Supplementing with MSM

MSM is the acronym for Methylsulfonylmethane, a naturally-occurring compound found in the joints. It is popular as a treatment for joint conditions and is widely available in supplement form, meaning that supplementing with MSM is as easy as swallowing a tablet.

While it is most commonly taken for arthritic joints there is also growing evidence that it can help our joints to recover quicker after physical exercise. For example, in 2014 a group of marathon runners were given either 3 grams of MSM per day or a placebo capsule before and after a run. Interestingly, the experts found that the group taking an MSM supplement experienced less joint pain in response to their exercise.

Elsewhere individuals with ongoing joint problems were assessed on a specially-designed questionnaire for the level of pain they experienced. The volunteers were then divided into two groups and for six months they took either 6 grams of MSM or a placebo. In comparison to the control the scientists reported “significant decreases” in all measurements of joint function and discomfort among those taking MSM.

Bearing in mind how widely available such supplements are, and as a result how reasonably priced they are, it seems that it may be worth considering daily supplementation if your joints are causing problems.

Factor Stretching Exercises into Your Day

When we were at school it was considered perfectly normal to “warm up” and stretch before exercise. Professional athletes do it before every race. Yet somehow many of us have forgotten how beneficial it can be before a busy day of physical activity.

Interestingly, while stretching is most commonly recommended to prepare your muscles for action, there is evidence that it may also help to keep our joints in good condition too. The reason is simple; stronger muscles provide more support for your joints, reducing the chance of injury or pain.

A great example of this principle in action involved a group of ice skaters that were complaining of knee pain. The experts in question taught them a number of stretching exercises designed to increase flexibility, and found that 75% of those involved experienced reduced joint pain as a result – all without directly targeting their knees.

Now might therefore be the perfect time to consider taking up yoga, or simply having a decent stretch and a warm-up before you start the day.

Improve Your Sleep Pattern

It’s no secret that many of us aren’t getting enough sleep each night, and this is doubly so among the parents of young children. What might surprise you is just how much of an impact this can have on our experience of joint pain. For example, studies have found that “sleep continuity disturbance…increases spontaneous pain” meaning that if you’re regularly waking up during the night – such as tending to an unhappy child – you may be more likely to experience joint pain as a result.

This is hardly surprising when you consider some of the more interesting research to be carried out on the links between sleep and pain. Scientists have found that when we sleep the inflammatory response involved in many cases of joint discomfort slowly decline. Sleep really can be the best medicine as a result. As one group of experts summarized “maintaining adequate sleep duration…may reduce inflammatory processes”.

While getting a proper night’s sleep can be difficult at the best of times, this evidence does highlight the importance of meeting the recommended 7-9 hours as regularly as possible. So don’t think that sleeping in a little is a weakness or a sign of laziness; it might turn out that getting some shut-eye really will do you a power of good.

Conclusion

While many of us put with aches and pains for years on end and just accept it as a part of everyday life this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Thanks to the wealth of research that has been carried out in recent years busy moms are better prepared than ever before to reduce discomfort, helping to improve your quality of life. Try implementing a few of the tips discussed and see just how much of a positive impact they can make on your life.

Hey all! Big thanks to Katy Blevins for handing over the reins to me at the end of 2017 to fulfill my new years resolution to write...often! Based in Miami, you can find me blogging about family life as a mother of two young kids. But i'll also continue the Chaos and Kiddos theme of business, fashion, parenting, product reviews, and...well, I could go on and on.

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Health

Tips On Protecting Your Skin from Aging

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Our skin is usually pretty good at staying healthy as it constantly regenerates and sheds cells. Over time, and after years of chemical and sun damage, the new skin cells may not be quite as good as their older counterparts. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to give your skin the boost it needs to look young and healthy.

Mind the Sun: UV radiation is a major threat to skin. While we may see the effects of overexposure immediately in the form of a sunburn, constant, unprotected exposure to the sun will also have negative effects on skin later in life. It is never too early, or too late, to be diligent about sun protection. If you love spending time outdoors, invest in a good sunscreen as well as SPF makeup. If you are already starting to see the effects of sun damage or happen to forget your sun protection for a day, serum Vitamin C can help soothe inflammation, protect your skin from free radicals and repair damaged cells.

You Are What You Eat, and Drink: A healthy diet has both short and long-term effects on skin. Make sure that you are getting plenty of nutrients and vitamins, especially as you become busier with work and family responsibilities. It is also important to drink enough water to keep your skin hydrated.

Invest in a Hyaluronic Acid Serum: Serums are packed with potent ingredients that can help protect your skin from aging. Among the most effective of these ingredients is hyaluronic acid, which is a powerful hydrating agent. Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in healthy skin and acts as a plumping agent by holding up to 1000 times its water weight. In case you are wondering where to buy hyaluronic acid, it can be found in plenty of various skin care and regeneration products like creams and serums.

While it is not possible to reverse time, you can combat the negative effects of aging on your skin.

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Health

How To Teach Your Child To Brush His Teeth

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Good dental practice begins at home, but every child needs the correct guidance to get started on the right dental routine. Up to 40% of children have cavities by the time they reach kindergarten and as your child’s baby teeth act like guides for their permanent ones, it is better for them to learn how to fight tooth decay and learn good dental practices from an early age.

Dr. Gary Lunn firmly advocates that good oral hygiene should begin before the child’s first tooth even appears. Parents have to ensure that the baby’s gums are kept clean and healthy, but the key to teaching your child how to brush their own teeth begins with making the whole process fun.

Allow your child to pick out their own toothbrush. Getting them to brush twice a day can be quite the challenge, and toothbrushes now come in a variety of colours, cartoon characters and sizes – all to make them more attractive to children. Even fluoride toothpastes are packaged attractively, available in different colours, shapes, flavours and some even have sparkly bits in them! Just ensure that the toothpastes have the ADA seal of approval.

Teach your child if they are below the ages of 3 to put a small amount of toothpaste on their brush – just about the size of a grain of rice. As they get older, between the ages of 3 and 6, they can upgrade to a pea sized amount, all under your supervision.

They should brush their teeth at a 45 degree angle, and brush the outer section of their teeth, the inner sections as well as the chewing areas of their teeth in short, gentle back and forth movements. The inner section of their front teeth can be cleaned by tilting the brush vertically with short up and down movements.

Parents must take great care to teach their young ones to spit after brushing to avoid swallowing the toothpaste.

To make brushing their teeth a daily, regular habit – this practice should be part of your family schedule. A family that brushes their teeth together, has healthier teeth longer.

If you are teaching them to brush on their own, play their favourite tunes, ensuring that they keep cleaning their pearly whites for the duration of the song – which should preferably be two minutes long. You can even create a reward chart – where the child gets a gold star or some equivalent symbol for having successfully brushed their teeth twice a day. The reward system works as a wonderful motivator for children to achieve their goals, and soon you will find that this habit becomes a regular one, even without a chart as the children get older.

You can even set a timer to make sure that your children don’t lose track of time.

However, to establish the great oral hygiene practices, it is best to schedule dental appointments so your dentist can educate the children about their teeth and how best to take care of them.

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Health

How To Keep High Energy All Day At Work

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Whether we like it admit or not, having to go to work is something that a majority of people have to do. We all have to make a living – and kudos to those who have found their passion in life and were able to make a living out of it. Bravo.

However, for those who may not be as passionate about their particular job and need a bit of positivity to stay productive throughout the day then in this article, we have briefly laid out a few activities you can do to keep your mind alert and to keep your focus from waning.

Sometimes the secret is just in the equipment and furniture you have. In implementing these activities throughout the day you will significantly help to speed up the time that you are there is work.

# 1 Briefly Get Up and Walk Around

This may sound somewhat esoteric but getting up, especially if you are sitting behind a computer or laptop all day, could prove to be very helpful to you in a few ways. Letting the blood flow throughout the body and just moving around will get the mind to relax and will better have your thoughts flow a bit better – more so than had you remained in your chair all day.

Now before we continue we are just saying a few minutes, like 2 to 3, so don’t get out of your seat and walk to the park.

# 2 Drink Plenty of Water

Water is something that a vast amount of us overlook. It is incredibly salient that you drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day to keep the mind focused.

Water will help to keep you hydrated, and as a result, you will have better concentration. And if you want to add something to your water try a sliced lemon or some cucumbers.

# 3 Have The Right Office Furniture

This is especially true and important for the individuals who are typing, researching or sitting down all day. Sitting down all day is terrible for your health and your body. If you are going to sit down all day, it is essential that you have the right chairs.

There are many ergonomic chairs that your place of business can invest in, and it would prove most valuable to you and the company if they could provide the right furniture for the workers.

Work Hard Play Hard

Sometimes the best thing to do while working hard is to take a few minutes and walk away from a task at hand to have a better vision and clear view of what needs to be done.

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