In today’s digest we bring you articles on The Pain-Free Guide to Choosing and Using a Backpack, Healthy Meal Prep Ideas That Make it Easy to Cook on Weeknights, 10 Superfoods to Eat During Cold and Flu Season and 10 Things That Happen To Your Body If You Walk Every Day. Hope you enjoy them…
The Pain-Free Guide to Choosing and Using a Backpack
From grade-school students to adults, it seems like everyone is carrying a backpack these days. When worn correctly, a backpack can be a comfortable way to transport all the things you need for work, school, or play. A backpack’s two straps distribute the load evenly across both shoulders, putting less strain on the body than, […]
From grade-school students to adults, it seems like everyone is carrying a backpack these days. When worn correctly, a backpack can be a comfortable way to transport all the things you need for work, school, or play.
A backpack’s two straps distribute the load evenly across both shoulders, putting less strain on the body than, say, a tote bag, briefcase, or messenger bag. And backpacks with hip belts and sternum straps can further distribute the weight so it’s not all sitting on your shoulders.
But wearing a backpack incorrectly, or carrying one that’s too heavy, can have harmful effects on the spine. Incorrect backpack use is associated with back pain, neck pain, bad posture, and intervertebral disk compression, possibly leading to a herniated disk.
Unfortunately, it appears that many backpack users, particularly young ones, are putting themselves at risk of pain and musculoskeletal injuries.
In a study of 650 schoolchildren published in March 2018 in the , researchers found that more than 85 percent of students were carrying their backpack incorrectly, and about 40 percent of them had a backpack that was disproportionate to their size.
So how should you be wearing a backpack? Here’s what the experts have to say.
Buy the Right Size Backpack, and Don’t Overload It
The right size backpack depends on your body size and, more specifically, your torso length, measured from the base of your neck to your waist (top of the iliac crest). Many outdoor gear shops can measure your torso and advise you on what size backpack will fit best. Once it’s on, the pack should feel comfortable, with the top of the pack riding slightly below shoulder level and the bottom of the pack at about waist level.
The same principle applies for children’s backpacks. Parents should have their child try on a backpack before buying it to make sure the pack is no larger than the child’s back. The top of the pack should sit just below the child’s shoulders, and the bottom of the pack should sit at the waistline.
Keep in the mind that the size of the backpack is different from its capacity, or how much you can put in it. A size small day pack may have a capacity of anywhere from about 18 to 35 liters, depending on the model you choose.
The more capacity you have, the more stuff you may be tempted to put in your pack, but “a fully loaded backpack should not weigh more than 15 percent of a person’s weight,” says Anissa Jones, a chiropractor and clinical director of Total Health Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Macon, Georgia.
If you must carry more, pay attention to how the weight is distributed. “Within the bag, place heavier items so they sit closer to the spine. This helps make the bag feel lighter, so your spine endures less stress,” says Thanu Jey, a chiropractor and clinic director at Yorkville Sports Medicine Clinic in Toronto.
Pick Up Your Bag Properly, Without Twisting Your Spine
It’s easy to grab your backpack quickly off a chair or the floor without thinking about how that action may affect you. But lifting a heavy pack using improper technique can cause back pain.
Ideally, you should face your pack and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and squat “so your weight is on your heels, with a straight back. Keep the backpack close to your body as you lift it off the ground, and use both hands. Avoid lifting from the side or twisting motions,” says Kevin Hallmeyer, a chiropractor and the owner of True Spine Chiropractic in Bend, Oregon.
Once you’re standing upright again, swing your backpack onto your back.
Avoid Wearing a Backpack on One Shoulder
Once you’ve properly lifted your backpack, don’t hurt yourself by wearing it improperly.
“Backpacks should always be worn with both straps and positioned so the top [of the bag] is just below your shoulders and the bottom is above your hips,” says Hallmeyer.
Think of wearing your pack like this as a way to keep the weight centered instead of being pulled to one side or the other, something that can lead to chronic pain.
“[Wearing a backpack] over one shoulder can affect the spine, ribs, shoulders, and neck. It should be situated so your arms are free to move in a normal walking pattern. Any restrictions in arm movement can create a phenomenon known as spinal fixations, which are a ‘locking up’ of the spinal bones,” says Eugene Charles, a chiropractor and director of the Applied Kinesiology Center of New York in New York City. “This can lead to scoliosis, trouble breathing, and overall tension.”
Jey concurs: “Using one strap only will shift your spinal alignment and can bring on postural changes to your muscles and spine in the long run.”
Don’t Let Your Backpack Hang Too Low on Your Back
Once you’ve got both backpack straps on your shoulders, the final step is making sure your body isn’t getting dragged down by a low-hanging bag.
“The mistake most people make is letting the backpack hang too low, without tightening the arm straps enough,” says Theresa Marko, a physical therapist and the owner of Marko Physical Therapy in New York City. “This causes undue pressure on your neck and shoulders as well as some banging on your lumbar spine and sacrum. This also affects [the way you walk] since your center of gravity is pulled off, and you have to lean forward to compensate.”
“If the pack is too low, it acts like a weight that pulls you back,” Hallmeyer explains. “To compensate, we shift our upper back and head forward to counter the weight.”
According to Hallmeyer, this can contribute to a hunched posture — similar to the posture many people assume when using their smartphones — and muscle pain. Avoid the hunch and chronic pain by simply tightening your backpack straps.
Marko also recommends using the chest and belly straps found on many backpacks. While they may not be stylish, fastening them helps to stabilize the weight you’re carrying.
Backpacks are a great way to carry everything you need throughout the day. Make sure your backpack is working for you rather than against you by practicing these backpack safety tips as you go.
The Pain-Free Guide to Choosing and Using a Backpack was originally published at LINK
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Healthy Meal Prep Ideas That Make it Easy to Cook on Weeknights
Anything that you can do ahead of time to make the upcoming week a little less stressful is definitely worth it, right? Right! These healthy meal prep ideas will simplify the way you think about food. By removing excess stress and simplifying your diet, you will set yourself up for success! Meal prepping has become […]
Anything that you can do ahead of time to make the upcoming week a little less stressful is definitely worth it, right? Right! These healthy meal prep ideas will simplify the way you think about food. By removing excess stress and simplifying your diet, you will set yourself up for success!
Meal prepping has become popular in today’s fitness world for a good reason! It makes sense that we’d want to find ways to optimize our precious time. With early morning workout routines, late nights at the office, and everything in-between, meal prepping has become a non-negotiable tool for maintaining your healthy eating habits.
What is Meal Prepping?
When we say meal prepping, we mean making your meals ahead of time. Some people choose to meal prep for three days at a time while others have figured out how to prepare the entire week’s worth of food on a single day. While it may sound like a good idea to cook up a huge batch of something on a Sunday and eat it for 4-5 days in a row, it won’t be long before you’re dreading your next meal.
We figured out how to keep things fresh and delicious while still adopting and applying the healthy meal prep ideas to your lifestyle. Get ready to keep your diet exciting and kick your fitness progress into overdrive!
Healthy Meal Prep Ideas That Make it Easy to Cook on Weeknights
Plan the Week Out Ahead of Time
One of the biggest mistakes that newbie meal-preppers make is trying to cook a new dinner every single night. Instead of making beef tacos one night, fish the next, and chicken the day after, focus on meals with similar ingredients. Keeping the menu specific will eliminate unnecessary work and stress. It also keeps your grocery bill low and provides you with lots of variety to prevent you from getting bored.
What do we mean by “focus on meals with similar ingredients?” An example would be using chicken as your base. You can make the following recipes and enjoy them all week long:
If you choose salmon as your base, another example might be:
Cutting down on the number of groceries you need to buy will save you money and time!
Buy in Bulk
Since you’re trying to stick to just one or two types of protein each week, you’re going to need quite a bit of it (especially if you’re feeding your family, as well.) Purchasing meat in bulk will save you a considerable amount of money. If you don’t use everything, don’t worry about it! Freeze it and use it at a later date!
You should also focus on buying foods like nuts, seeds, oats, rice, frozen fruits for smoothies, and frozen vegetables in bulk since they’re usually much cheaper that way. These foods also typically last quite a while, so it’s perfectly acceptable to buy them in larger quantities!
When it comes to buying fresh fruits and vegetables, we recommend purchasing no more than you’ll need for the week. Keep in mind that organic produce goes bad faster than non-organic options due to a lack of preservatives.
Stock Up On Kitchen Essentials
Now that you have all of the food that you’ll need, there are several kitchen appliances and other essentials that will make meal-prepping easier than ever!
The first appliance that you’ll want to have in your arsenal is a slow-cooker. You will find hundreds of delicious and nutritious slow-cooker recipes on SkinnyMs. Better yet, you’ll be able to cook your dinner all day and come home to a fresh, ready-to-eat meal! It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Try meal-prepping these fantastic slow-cooker recipes:
Chicken is delicious no matter how it’s prepared, but it’s even better when it’s grilled! If you don’t have an outdoor grill, don’t worry. The T-Fal Grill not only makes perfectly grilled chicken, but it can also cook fish, pork, steak (to any temperature), and more! If you grill your food ahead of time, all you’ll have to do is warm it up when you’re ready to eat!
When it comes to meal-prepping, you’ll obviously need containers. These containers should be microwave safe and reusable in order to save you money! Consider trying these Freshware Meal Prep Containers.
Mason jars are great to have on hand for pre-made salads, overnight oats, and smoothies. These containers are compact, so you can fit several in the refrigerator at once. They’ll also keep your food fresh and delicious!
Last but not least, you might want to think about getting yourself some reusable silicone sandwich bags. These will save you money and are better for the environment. You can use these for your cleaned and chopped fruits and vegetables as well as your pre-blended smoothies.
Prepare Ingredients Ahead of Time
Choose a day where you’ll wash, chop, and divvy up fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and any other snacks that you’ll eat this week into the proper portions. This will make packing your lunch for the next day a breeze!
You can prepare the week’s meat sources as well by trimming excess fat, separating portion sizes, marinating, or combining them with any other ingredients. Remember, you can also make smoothies, overnight oats, mason jar salads, casserole, and crock-pot dinners ahead of time to keep your weeknights stress-free!
Consider trying out these make-ahead recipes:
Cook Extra and Freeze Individual Portions
Trust me: it’s better to have too much than not enough! Don’t hesitate to cook extra whenever possible. You can either bring last night’s dinner for lunch today or freeze the leftovers to eat next week! If you choose to freeze your leftovers, remember to freeze them in individual portions. Once you thaw something, you shouldn’t refreeze it.
Give yourself the option to just take one serving out at a time so that nothing goes to waste! Thaw your pre-portioned meals in the refrigerator while you’re at work, and all you’ll need to do when you get home is warm it up!
Related: How to Pack Your Freezer Meals Like a Pro
If you have fitness goals in mind that you want to achieve, you must apply these healthy meal prep ideas to your daily routine! Getting home from a long day of work and realizing you have nothing to eat for dinner is a terrible feeling. By having breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared ahead of time, you will set yourself up for success.
An empty refrigerator will make you reach for something fast, and probably unhealthy. Do yourself a favor and meal-prep this weekend! It’ll be one of the best decisions that you’ll ever make!
Do you currently meal-prep? If so, are there any tips that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them! Let us know in the comment section, below.
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10 Superfoods to Eat During Cold and Flu Season
The gym is a breeding ground for germs, especially during cold and flu season. Everyone is sneezing, blowing their nose and then touching gym equipment. Where’s the gym etiquette of wiping your hands clean, not just the equipment? To prevent yourself from catching the gym-floor sniffles, give your immune system a boost with the following […]
The gym is a breeding ground for germs, especially during cold and flu season. Everyone is sneezing, blowing their nose and then touching gym equipment. Where’s the gym etiquette of wiping your hands clean, not just the equipment?
To prevent yourself from catching the gym-floor sniffles, give your immune system a boost with the following foods.
10 Things That Happen To Your Body If You Walk Every Day
We know that walking is a good exercise for our body. It is therefore recommended that we walk daily for at least 15 to 30 minutes a day. But what exactly are the benefits of walking? Why should we put walking in our day-to-day list of things to do? Check the reasons below: 1. Better […]
We know that walking is a good exercise for our body. It is therefore recommended that we walk daily for at least 15 to 30 minutes a day. But what exactly are the benefits of walking? Why should we put walking in our day-to-day list of things to do? Check the reasons below:
1. Better Brain, Better Mind
There is a study done which supports walking to be very beneficial for our brain. It has discovered that walking increases the level of endorphins and decreases the level of stress in our body significantly. Additionally, it has a good effect on our overall brain health and it can even reduce the probable risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
2. Improved Vision
This might come as a surprise for you, but walking can improve your vision! It apparently releases some eye pressure, reducing glaucoma.
3. Stronger Heart
American Heart Association stated that walking is just as good as running. It is useful in avoiding strokes and other heart-related health issues. It also improves blood circulation, reduces cholesterol, and stabilizes blood pressure.
4. Larger Lungs
Walking allows our lungs to have more oxygen flowing throughout our body. So aside from eliminating body toxins, walking can largely affect our lung functions to prevent us from getting any lung-related diseases.
5. Healthier Pancreas
If you want to maintain a healthy glucose level, make it a habit to walk regularly. As a matter of fact, when compared to running, a study found out that walking is better in preventing diabetes. Those people who walk have better blood sugar levels than those who ran six times as much.
6. Good Digestion
When we are walking, our colon is literally moving as well. This movement helps normalize our colon, and thus balancing our gut to prevent cancers and other digestion problems like flatulence and constipation.
7. Leaner Muscles
Our muscles become more prominent and leaner when we lose our body fat. Walking for 10,000 steps a day can help you achieve this. Furthermore, you can up the intensity of your workout by walking uphill or adding an interval between your walks. The effect of these is the increase of muscle tones in the different parts of your body. In addition, our body finds it easier to walk, and thus it causes lesser soreness and almost no healing time which leads to continuous walking.
8. Firm Joints and Bones
Walking to have a healthier body is being recommended by The Arthritis Foundation. By means of walking for 30 minutes a day, the pain of stiffed joints and bones will be lessened. Its primary effect is stronger joints, avoiding injuries and bone loss.
9. Lesser Back Pain
Higher impact exercises can damage our back. However, lower impact exercises such as walking can do the opposite: relieving our back from pain. Through the circulation of blood within the spinal area, together with strengthened posture and flexibility, walking can practically remove any back discomfort.
10. Balanced Mind
If you’re suffering from mood disorders, walking can help lighten up your mood. It is even better if you walk with others. Stress, anxiety, and depression levels are proven to be reduced by regular exercise like walking.
So why not pass this article to your loved ones? Let them know the benefits of walking!
10 Things That Happen To Your Body If You Walk Every Day was originally published at LINK