Tag Archive for: wellness

older couple dancing in a kitchen

How to Boost Your Mental Health in 2022

Having good mental health affects every aspect of your life, from how you perform at work to the strength of your personal relationships.
 
Additionally, your mental health impacts your physical health in several ways. First, when you don’t feel well mentally, you’re more likely to do things that negatively impact your body. For example, you might reach for the pint of ice cream instead of an orange.
 
In addition to letting healthy habits fall by the wayside, people who suffer from poor mental health have an increased risk of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
 
Of course, it’s one thing to know about the importance of mental health. It’s an entirely different thing to achieve it.

5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health


We know that adding more stuff to your to-do list can feel exhausting. So, don’t try to do it all at once. Instead, start by incorporating one of these ideas into your life before moving on to the next.
 

  1. Get more sleep
    Adding more sleep to your life will improve just about every aspect of it. For example, you’ll be more alert throughout the day and less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks to give you an energy boost. Plus, sleep helps with creativity and memory processing. So, you’ll be better able to solve problems and remember important things when you’re well-rested.
     
  2. Embrace the beauty of “NO”
    Do you feel like you’re in a never-ending cycle of being chronically overcommitted? If so, make this the year of “no.” Piling too much on your plate is detrimental to your health and wellbeing. Instead, only say “yes” to things you have time for that bring you happiness and “no” to everything else. Then, you’ll have more time to devote to the things that matter most in your life.
     
  3. Read more
    Researchers have found that reading just six minutes a day can lower your stress levels by 68 percent. Find something enjoyable to read that lets you zone out from the world and de-stress.
     
  4. Prioritize self-care
    Putting yourself first isn’t selfish–it’s essential! Self-care looks different for everyone. For some people, self-care means making time to exercise every day. For others, it’s taking a bath or going to the store without the kids. Figure out what activities rejuvenate you and find ways to work them into your daily schedule.
     
  5. Don’t forget to stretch!
    Of course, we believe in the power of stretching here at StretchSPOT. It’s a great way to improve circulation, which improves oxygen flow throughout your body. Additionally, stretching releases endorphins, which make you feel good all over. Best of all, you don’t need any fancy equipment to do it. So whenever you start to feel stressed, take a few minutes to stretch.
    Treat Yourself to Stretches at StretchSPOT
    The last few years have been rough for everyone. So, this year, it’s more important than ever to make your mental health a priority.
     
    At StretchSPOT, we offer stretch therapy for even the busiest people, with sessions ranging from 20 to 90 minutes.
     
    Whether you want to release tension, heal from an injury, improve mobility, or just learn more about the best ways to stretch your body, we’re here for you! Book an appointment today.
bowl of fruits and vegetables with exercise mat, sneakers, scale and weights

Get Pain Free Without Addicting Meds

Nothing tests people like constant pain for which there seems to be no effective treatment. And yet, as we age, more and more of us face pain on a daily basis.
 
Science has proven you do not have to become a slave to pain medications. Too many doctors will prescribe a potentially addictive drug instead of explaining the many lifestyle modifications you can adopt to relieve pain. Most people can manage pain without the drowsiness and confusion caused by many pain medications.
 
It behooves everyone with pain to advocate for their own well being, even if it means talking back to a doctor or two. StretchSPOT invites you to read on to learn how you can fight pain and lessen its impact on your life.
 

Eliminate Triggers at Home

If you are living with pain, make sure that you have removed triggers in the home. If you have allergies, for instance, ensure the home is dust and mold free. Make sure litter boxes are always fresh. Wash fabrics like bedspreads and curtains at least three times a year to remove dust mites.
 
If your pain comes from migraines, look critically at your lighting to make sure it’s neither too bright, nor too dim. If you suffer from sore joints and muscles, put heavy objects, like step ladders, in one central place so that you don’t have to move them around a lot.
 

Eat Right to Reduce Inflammation
 

Much chronic pain is related to inflammation of joints and cartilage. Scientists at Harvard University tell us that diet alone is an important factor in reducing inflammation. If you suffer from chronic swelling, avoid margarine, red meat, processed meat (such as sausages and hot dogs), anything made with white flour, sodas, and fried foods — especially fried carbohydrates, like french fries.
 
At the same time, there are foods that reduce inflammation. In general, people who adopt a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, tomatoes, and fatty fish, will live with less pain. Other foods that promote health and reduce inflammation are dark and leafy vegetables like spinach, turnip greens, kale, and mustard greens; cherries, oranges, blueberries, and strawberries; and nuts.
 

Reduce Fat Tissue
 

A National Institutes of Health study suggests that loss of fat (also known as “adipose tissue”) can reduce the inflammation that frequently leads to pain, especially in people over fifty. That is why the best thing you can do to reduce pain might be to lose weight.
 
Even if your weight is within normal range, a loss of fat tissue could have benefits. Consult the Mayo Clinic’s BMI chart to see how much weight you can safely lose. A sixty-year old woman who is five feet and seven inches tall can weigh as little as 120 pounds without being too thin, according to the Mayo Clinic.
 

Find Ways to Battle Stress
 

Stress can make chronic pain much, much worse, which is why it’s important to find ways to decrease your stress and anxiety levels as much as possible. Some techniques to help you reduce stress include keeping your mind from jumping on stressful thought trains, identifying the things that can trigger extreme stress in your everyday life, and reducing contact with people who tend to stress you out.
 
Discover the many foods that can help you reduce stress. Options like herbal tea, dark chocolate, avocados, and whole grains can help you fight stress and manage those levels. Keep your home free of stress by adding some indoor plants and decluttering.
 

Do the Right Exercises
 

No one knows exactly why resistance exercises, combined with aerobics, reduce inflammation in some patients. However, at least two studies suggest that this specific regime has the potential to reduce inflammation in patients with ongoing pain. Patients of all ages with type 2 diabetes in particular seem to reap rewards.
 
Another good reason to do resistance training is that it builds up muscles. The stronger your muscles are, the more work they can do, taking pressure off sensitive joints. If your pain is located mostly in your neck and back, do exercises that strengthen those muscles. People with knee pain from osteoarthritis benefit from working out their quadriceps.
 
Of course, people with chronic pain need to approach exercise with caution. Exercise for pain is a long-term proposition, and you need to build up slowly. That’s because exercise can easily cause the inflammation that you are trying to escape.
 
When you are trying out a new exercise, do it for no more than five minutes the first time. Then gradually increase the amount of time you spend on it. Building up to one hour of low-impact, targeted exercise a day should make you feel much better.
 
If you’re feeling sore after your workout, book an appointment with StretchSPOT. Our professional stretch therapy can help with relieving muscle pain and tightness, as well as help speed up your recovery from working out.
 
You are not powerless against your pain. Fight it the right way, and you will put it in the background of your life where it belongs.

5 Tips for Staying Hydrated This Winter

It’s easier to remember that you need to drink water when you’re sweating outside during the heat of the summer. But, just because it’s not hot outside doesn’t mean your body doesn’t still need water.

As the weather cools off, your body might not send the same obvious cues that remind you to take a swig from your water bottle. In fact, we experience a 40 percent drop in thirst response in cool weather compared to hot weather.

So, if you’re not feeling as thirsty as you did a few months ago, it’s not your imagination. That doesn’t mean you get a free pass to skip out on drinking water, though.

Why Hydration Matters


Your body is made up of 60 percent water. We need water for every single function, from breathing and circulation to bone and joint mobility. So if you want to stay flexible, stay hydrated!

When you’re dehydrated, your cells don’t get the water they need to do their function. As a result, you might experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including headaches, insomnia, trouble concentrating, dizziness, fatigue, dry skin, and a lack of energy. If you’re an athlete, you can become more prone to injuries.

In short, hydration is what keeps your body functioning as it should. When you don’t get enough water, your body just can’t perform at optimal levels.

In general, men are recommended to have 15.5 cups of water per day, and women should have 11.5 cups of water. If you are active, you should have more to compensate for the loss of fluids you experience when you exercise.

How to Stay Hydrated in the Winter


If you can go a whole workday without taking a sip of water, you probably need some help remembering to hydrate. Here are some tips that can keep your body hydrated this winter

1. Carry water with you

Some people have an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality with water. However, carrying a water bottle with you can remind you to drink water throughout the day. Eventually, you’ll find yourself reaching for it mindlessly as you write an email or sit through a boring meeting.

2. Make it taste better

Water isn’t known for its great taste. If that’s why you never choose to drink it, it’s time to get creative. Add some flavor with fruit, like lemon or oranges, or a refreshing cucumber slice. These flavors will make it seem more like you’re drinking a fun, flavorful beverage.

3. Make some soup

Broth-based soups, like vegetable soup or minestrone, are excellent for helping you stay hydrated and warm. Make a big batch over the weekend that you can divide up for lunches all week long to give yourself a midday hydration break that’s also loaded with veggies.

4. Cut back on alcohol and caffeine

During the winter, people tend to rely more on coffee to wake up in the dark, early morning, and alcohol to wind down during the dark, early evening. However, these are both diuretics that can dehydrate you quickly. If you can’t avoid them altogether, at least add some balance by having a glass of water in between caffeinated or alcoholic drinks.

5. Enjoy winter fruits

Fruits are an excellent source of water. Get seasonal by indulging in winter fruits like clementines, grapefruit, and pears.

Stay Flexible with StretchSPOT

If your muscles are feeling tighter than usual, it could be due to dehydration. We can help you regain mobility and improve your flexibility, whether you’re an avid athlete, a weekend warrior, or an active person who wants to improve your mobility.

Book an appointment with StretchSPOT to get started.

Woman in a beanie blowing her nose and screwing up her face

10 Natural Ways to Get Over Your Cold

When you have a cold, you might feel any combination of symptoms—headache, fatigue, dry cough, congestion, muscle aches.

Most colds peak at around 2–3 days, but it could take as long as 14 days for your symptoms to disappear completely.

There isn’t a cure for a cold; however, there are several things you can do to ease your symptoms, so you start to feel more like yourself.

1. Take it seriously

It’s important to treat a cold instead of trying to push through it. In some cases, an untreated cold can lead to more severe problems, like pneumonia or a lung infection. Call your doctor if you feel chest pain, start vomiting, develop a fever, or have other symptoms that don’t feel like a cold.

2. Rest

Don’t try to power through your cold. Taking a break so your body can rest is the best way to fight your symptoms. Even a few hours of extra rest can make you feel better.

3. Do gentle movements

If you have some energy and want to exercise, stick with something gentle, like stretching. Avoid heavy lifting or intense cardio workouts. Stretching during the day will circulate blood and oxygen through your body. Doing some gentle stretches before bed can help you sleep better.

4. Stay hydrated

Keeping your body hydrated is always essential. When you have a cold, getting enough liquids can help loosen congestion so you can breathe easier. Stick to water, herbal teas, and broths. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can both interfere with sleep and make you dehydrated.

5. Get a humidifier or vaporizer

Adding some moisture to the air can help break up congestion. Use a humidifier or a cold air vaporizer. Make sure to change the water daily to avoid mold buildup.

6. Have some chicken soup

This magical meal can ease inflammation throughout your body, helping you feel better. Plus, it’s easy on your stomach and can get nutrients to you in a soothing cup.

7. Have some vitamin C

Overall, researchers seem to agree that, while vitamin C can’t prevent a cold, it can ease symptoms quickly. You can take a supplement or eat citrus fruits, broccoli, or bell peppers as soon as you feel a cold coming on.

8. Gargle with warm salt water

If you have a sore throat, make a saltwater mixture by dissolving a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Gargle with it for around 30 seconds at a time. This can help your sore throat feel better and reduce swelling.

9. Elevate your head when you sleep

You know you need extra sleep when you have a cold, but it can be difficult when you’re congested. Elevating your head with an extra pillow can relieve your nasal passages.

10. Take a bath

A nice warm bath with Epsom salt can help ease your aches and pains. Also, taking a bath at night can relax your body and help you sleep better.

At StretchSPOT, we care about your total body wellness. Whether you are an avid athlete or just want to improve your flexibility and balance, our pros are here to help you feel better with customized treatment plans. Book an appointment to get started.

The Big Benefits of Stretch

In a nut shell, stretching is great for you! But you knew that right? Check out the reasons to get some kind of stretching into your life…
 

1. Stretching Reduces Pain
Tight muscles cause pain! They cause parts of the body to be pulled in the wrong directions, example, tight hamstrings can cause the pelvis to be pulled down creating pressure and pain on the lower back. Stretching out tight muscles will relieve this pain and make you feel a whole lot better. It could also help you avoid surgery and everyone wants that, right?! 

2. Stretching Helps You Compete as an Athlete
Whether you’re a Pro Baller or a Weekend Warrior, you want to be the best you can be at your sport, right? Of course! Regular stretching gets the blood and therefore oxygen and nutrients flowing quickly through your body This boosts performance, keeps you going for longer and reduces post-workout soreness. 

3. Stretching Combats Stress
We all get stressed, some of us more than others. Stress restricts the blood flow and causes tension in your muscles and lower back. Stretching stimulates receptors in the nervous system that decrease the production of stress hormones and stretching out those tight muscles brings physical and mental relief. 

4. Stretching Improves Health
Because it increases circulation and gets the blood flowing, stretching can be seriously good for your overall health! Good circulation produces vigorous cell growth and improved organ functioning. Well-functioning circulation keeps the heart rate lower and protects against high blood pressure and heart disease.

The moral of the story? Get your stretch on guys! Whether you do it alone, with a partner, in a class or with us down at StretchSPOT, clear out a little patch of time in your schedule to stretch and you will reap the rewards.