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Cold Shower Benefits For Your Health

Taking a hot shower can be very relaxing. However, cold showers have also been proven to have a positive affect for your health. Water therapy helps the body adapt to harsh conditions and this way they become more resistant to stress. So in this article we’ll look into 10 cold shower benefits for your health and wellbeing.

Improves Circulation

cold shower benefitsIt might feel uncomfortable under a stream of freezing cold water but the lower temperatures also causes the body to work harder in order to maintain normal body temperature. This makes our circulatory system more efficient. Improved circulation is great for cardiovascular health, healthier skin and better healing after an injury. It’s also beneficial for people with poor blood circulation, diabetes or high blood pressure.

Improves Metabolism

Everyone is born with brown fat, which is important for adult health. It’s healthy levels indicate that the white fat is also at a healthy level. And it’s activated in low temperatures, which increases the metabolic rate. However, for overweight people it’s not enough to just start taking cold showers if they want to loose weight. They need to change other lifestyle habits as well, which include having a balanced diet and regularly exercising. But also including 2 or 3 cold showers a week will also contribute to becoming fitter and healthier.

Improves Immunity

One of the most important benefits is the increased immunity. Cold showers increase the amount of disease fighting white blood cells. This helps build resistance to common illnesses, such as cold and flu.

Increases Alertness

The feeling of cold water pouring over you sends the body into a response of deep breathing. This increases the overall oxygen intake. As a result, your heart rate increases, give you a boost of energy for the whole day.

Eases Stress

Cold showers can also help to destress. Jumping into a cold shower, like jumping into the cold ocean without acclimating, helps to build tolerance to stress. So they train your nervous system to become more resilient to everyday stress.

A cold shower acts in a way as a form of oxidative stress. Your body will overtime adapt to this, making you calmer and increasing your tolerance to stress.

Moreover, cold showers reduce uric acid levels and the same time increase levels of glutathione. The latter is an antioxidant that maintains all the other antioxidants in your system at optimal levels.

Improved Skin and Hair

Cold water improves the health of your skin by preventing the loss of too many natural oils, tightening your cuticles and pores. The same goes for the hair. Hot water tends to make our skin fill dry, while cold water leaves our skin leaving looking healthy and rejuvenated. Cold showers will also make the hair appear shinier and stronger.

Speed Up Muscle Recovery

Athletes know that an ice bath can do wonders after an intense workout. It helps to remove some of the lactic acid, improves circulation, all contributing to faster recovery of your muscles. You can just make yourself an ice bath or take a cold shower.

A Good Way to Wake Up

If you have a hard time waking up in the morning, try taking a cold shower. You’ll be awake in a second. A cold shower in the morning will also give you alertness and will provide with energy for the rest of the day.

For the most invigorating shower experience, it’s to good to have a good shower with great flow. Shower Reports features great articles with reviews of shower heads and other shower fixtures and products.

Lower Back Pain Treatment

It could be that you bent the wrong way when trying to lift something heavy. It could also be health condition, such as arthritis. Lower back pain is quite common, especially for people between the ages of 30 to 50. Almost everyone experiences it at some point in their lives. For serious back pain, you should call the doctor, of course. But mild lower back pain treatment can be done at home.

Give It a Rest

lower back pain treatmentThis could be just reducing your level of activity for several days. The cause of your lower back pain could be all the stress from your busy schedule. Try lying on your back with a pillow under your knees. This way, your back should be kept in a neutral position. However, the rest should be moderate. Too much inactivity can cause the muscles too weaken.

Chill or Heat It

Applying a hot or cold pack can help to reduce inflammation, reducing your pain and increasing mobility. Wrap the ice or frozen vegetables in a piece of cloth in order to protect your skin from frostbite. You can use this method several times a day, 20 minutes at a time.

After a few days, you can switch to heat. Make a warm bath or use a heating bad. This will help to loosen the tight muscles, relaxing them and soothing.

Exercise

Physical activity will do more help for lower back pain than just being restful. It’s an effective way to ease your aches and pains. You can include in your daily activities stretching and a light workout. You can use adapted yoga poses, swimming or just walking. Also, try to concentrate on core exercises, such as bridges and tilts. These will help to strengthen your core and back muscles, supporting your spine and making you to be less susceptible to lower back injury.

Use a Massage Chair or a TENS Unit

Try osteopathic treatment, which works by stretching and repositioning the muscles and joints. And you can ask your massage therapist to target specific areas of your body.

Going to a massage therapist is an expensive ordeal. An alternative to that is getting a massage chair. This way you can get a massage at any time you want in the comfort of your own home. Some of the higher end massage chairs come equipped with all the features to make the massage as close as possible to the massage done by real hands.

You can also get a TENS unit. These feature electrodes that you place on your skin and then they send electronic stimulation to your nerves. This helps to block pain signals going through the nerves.

Watch Your Posture

When you slump, your back is left with less support for your weight. So if you’re lifting heavy objects, watch your posture. Make sure that you’re not bending over your waist.

Alternative Medicine

These options can include acupuncture or chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic care is the process of manual realigning spine. It also realigns other weak or injured areas of the body. It reduces inflammation around joints and soothes the pain.

Acupuncture is an old Chinese method of treating injuries and illnesses, using manipulation of pressure points.

Engage Your Brain

How your brain processes pain signals also plays an important role in how the pain is perceived. By training your brain, you can learn how to reduce or ignore the pain. It’s often too easy to get swept up in thoughts that it will never get better and your emotions can sometimes translate into even more pain. So just try to do a few deep breathing exercises, accept the pain and calmly say to yourself that it will get better.

However, if you’re experiencing severe lower back pain, the pain persists even after a few days and you’re barely standing or walking, contact your doctor.

7 Signs You Need a Water Softener in Your Home

If you live in a hard water area, you’ve probably heard about water softeners. They are the systems that remove hard minerals from your water supply, such as calcium and magnesium. Though it’s not considered literally unsafe, hard water does contribute to negative effects on your health and your home. If you’re not if you have hard water, here are 7 signs you need a water softener.

Scale Build Up On Your Appliances

signs you need a water softenerIf you notice mineral deposits on tea kettles or coffee pots, you probably have high water. Scale can also build up within the pipes, overtime causing them to clog, become inefficient and decreasing the water flow going through them. The mineral deposits can also form in the laundry machine or dishwasher, causing blockages and shortening their lifespan. Also, with a water softener, you’ll be able to save up on the repairs and maintenance of your household’s appliances.

Dry Skin And Hair

You can also feel hard water with your hair and skin. Your skin might feel dry and itchy and makes your hair look lifeless. It leaves a residue on the skin, irritating it. Also, since hard water doesn’t lather well, people start using excessive amounts of soap and other cleaning products, which can exacerbate different dry skin conditions.

Stains on Sinks, Faucets and Bathtubs

If you have hard water in your house, you’ll notice stains on your skins and bathtubs. Again, it’s the deposits of calcium and magnesium being left behind after the water evaporates. These white spots are not that easy to clean and require a bit of scrubbing with vinegar. With a water softener, you will be able to keep these stains away for good.

Gray and Faded Clothes

Hard waters harms the tiny fibers of the clothing, making them look faded and shortening their lifespan. They will feel scratchy and start to look rough. One thing you can do is use liquid water softening detergent with your wash by adding it to the fabric softening compartment. However, the best way to get rid of this issue is by getting a good water softener that will provide softened water to all water outlets in the house.

Brittled Glassware

Another sign of hard water is the loss of sparkle on your dishes and glassware. It leaves water spots and stains since the hard water doesn’t quite wash all throughout. And it’s not because of your dishwasher. With softened water, it will be easier to clean them.

The Soaps Don’t Lathe Well

Hard water makes the soap more resistant, meaning it’s less lathery. This affects the whole cleaning process, be it in showering, doing laundry or cleaning the dishes. It results in longer cleaning time and using more of the soap or other cleaning products. You can eliminate this issue and save money on cleaning products by getting a water softener.

Your Bills Are Skyrocketing

Hard water affects your water and electricity bills. You water usage will go up since the pipe will be clogged and the water flow will be low. And your electricity bills will go up since the appliances will start to loose their efficiency. Getting a water softening system will help to save money in the long run.

If you are thinking of purchasing a water softener, we recommend checking out this site for reviews of the latest water softeners and a buying guide on how to choose the best one.

10 Ways To Stay Fit and Healthy

There are many things that can keep you health or not. And usually, it’s the little things that add up. Staying healthy is a work in progress. Here are 10 ways to stay fit and healthy that you can easily incorporate into your daily life.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

balanced dietDiet is one of the most important things that has a direct affect on your health. The right food can help you maintain a healthy weight, provide you with an energy boost and improve your skin. Also, it’s not about just eating the right foods, but also making sure that you have balanced meals.

Include in your diet fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, and try to make your plate colorful. To make sure that you are eating a balanced diet, include in your meal something from all five food groups.

Get Enough Sleep

get enough sleepSleep is another huge factor affecting your overall health, both physical and mental. Many of us stuck in our busy routines don’t get enough sleep. However, it’s important to make room for a good night’s rest. Also, it’s important to get quality sleep. That means not waking up many times during the night with thoughts of your plans for tomorrow. ┬áSo make sure that you get enough sleep to help your body heal, repair and rejuvenate.

Exercise Regularly

exercise regularlyFor a lot of people, their schedule seams too packed for a regular exercise routine. But consider adding at least 15 to 20 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity to your daily schedule. It will give you a good energy boost and will lower the risk of a number of health conditions. Try scheduling your workout time just as you schedule your other commitments. If you find it difficult finding time even for just 30 minute daily exercise, try working to work or home, and use the lunch break for a walk.

Keep Hydrated

We are 90% water. So you can probably understand why it’s important to drink plenty of water every day. You should drink about 8 or more glasses of water a day. It’s a natural cleanser for our organs and digestive system. It’s also crucial for the brain.

De-stress

Mental health is also important for staying fit and being healthy. Find what helps you best de-stress, be it yoga, running or meditating. Give yourself time to relax and come your mind. Also, don’t overwork and take regular breaks.

Kick Your Bad Habits

In this category you should include smoking, drugs and other unsafe addictions. It might take time, but it’s essential to quit them if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle. There are also other bad habits, which in excess can also be harmful, but are not as bad as the previously mentioned addictions. These include alcohol, sugar and junk food. For these, it’s important to maintain moderation.

Spend Time Outdoors

Even though the gym has the benefits of the air conditioning and weights, working out in the outdoors can also have major benefits for your mental health.

Stay Positive

A positive outlook on life also has a positive effect on your health. Try to focus on positive feelings.

Use Sunscreen

While we do need a bit of sun for Vitamin D, overexposure leads to skin damage and cancer. So if you’ll be out in the sun between 10am and 4pm, apply sunscreen that is rated at least 15 SPF. In this time range the sun is the most intense, so it’s important to have skin protection.

Stay Social

Having strong relationships also benefits to your wellbeing, both mental and physical. As various researches report have strong family or social ties contributes to living longer.

Massage Chair Buying Guide

Having a personal masseuse can be very expensive. However, if you opt for a massage chair, it doesn’t have to be. It’s a significant initial investment but overtime, it will definitely pay off. Moreover, you’ll have the advantage of having the relaxing massage at your disposal at any time of the day in the convenience of your home. But as we’ve mentioned purchasing a massage chair can be quite expensive, so how to choose the best massage chair. This massage chair buying guide will help you with understanding what features and qualities to look for in order to make the best purchasing decision.

Features To Look For

Massage Techniques

massage chair buying guideThe most basic massage chairs will mostly offer only vibration and rolling massage. On the more advanced chairs you can usually find a bigger variety of techniques, such as kneading, shiatsu, percussion, compression, stretching, tapping, and other. If you have chronic back pain, for example, it’s best to choose a massage chair with features catered to your needs.

Shape of the Chair

Massage chairs come in either L or S shape, though the S shape is the more common one. The advantage of it is that the chair follows the curvature of your spine, so it’s a more accurate massage.

Zero Gravity or Recline

Look for a massage chair that either reclines or has the more advanced option of Zero Gravity. The benefit of zero gravity is that it positions your body in complete weightlessness and with this take the pressure off your spine. This helps to increase massage effectiveness and your overall relaxation.

You can also choose a chair with a recline. The maximum recline you’ll find is 175 degrees. In this position, your body will also be lying almost flat. On some chairs, you can also choose the level of recline, so you can adjust it to your needs.

Massage Areas

With massage chairs, you can get massage for areas beyond your back. The most high-end models offer full body massage, including your feet, calves, arms and wrists.

Massage Programs

  • Massage intensity. It usually varies from one chair to another. However, most chairs will offer settings that allow you to customize the pressure to your preference. The intensity of the massage the chair provides is usually correlated to the number of motors. So if you’ll see that the massage chair has more motors, the more intense the massage will be.
  • Heated massage option. Chairs sometimes use infrared heat to warm up the back and seat. The heat helps to increase circulation and with this, it eases aches and pains.
  • Massage rollers. Check the length of the massage roller stroke the chair offers. The longer it is, the more back coverage will be massaged. Some of the best massage chairs offers the stroke length of 30 inches or more.
  • Air bags. These work by delivering air pressure to small pockets that are located in the chair seat, legs or sides. The air bags work with a squeezing and releasing motion, stimulating blood flow.
  • Customizable programs. Most chairs comes with pre-programmed massage options. They can combine different types of massage and target specific areas of the body. However, on higher end chairs, you can also customize these features. You can set a timer for the massage, choose the preferred massage technique and choose it work on just your back or full body.
  • Body scan technology. People come in different body types and sizes. So if you want the massage to be customized to your body shape to the maximum, look for the body scan feature. It automatically detects the position of your body in the chair, the shape of your spine and your tense areas, then it adjusts accordingly and delivers the most customized massage.

Massage Chair Material

Usually, there are two options: leather or synthetic leather. First option is, of course, the recommended one. However, synthetic leather also has its benefits as it’s better at withstanding the heat, wear and tear that is usually associated with massage.

Chair Size

Keep in mind that massage chairs are usually quite cumbersome, so plan for it take up a lot of space in your home. Check the dimensions of the chair in both upright and reclining state and then make sure that you have enough space.

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a massage chair is that they come designed for different body types and sizes. So if you’re taller or shorter than average, include it in your consideration when looking for a good chair. You can check in the product’s specifications. They often mention what is the tallest body type they can fit.

Warranty

A good warranty is usually a good indicator of the quality of the massage chair. And these products are a huge investment, so you want to be sure that you will be covered if something breaks or goes wrong. Chairs have to bear with a lot of use, so they will require some maintenance or upkeep to ensure that they continue working smoothly. So check the length of the warranty that the manufacturer offers. Some manufacturers offer coverage for up to 3 years.

Your Budget

Massage chairs are available in different price ranges. A higher end massage chair can cost around $3,000 and above. At this price, you’ll get a product with the most advanced features available on the market. However, you don’t necessarily need to purchase such an expensive chair. There are also plenty cheaper massage chairs at around $1000-$2000 price range that also offer plenty of good features.

If you find yourself overwhelmed with all the massage chair options available on the market. This Massage Chair Land site offers comprehensive reviews of the best massage chair products.