One of our favorite people, Burt Morrow, was a lover of life and an avid user of Teeter Hang Ups well into his 80s. He credited good nutrition, stretching and routine inversion therapy (which included 40 inverted sit-ups every day!) with helping him to maintain an active lifestyle – he even set multiple world records in hurdles as a Senior Olympian!
We are all looking for the fountain of youth. Today, we take a look at some of the greatest words of wisdom on longevity from some of our favorite people. As we look for advice from those who have lived long, robust lives, some of the answers may be surprising and certainly entertaining!
Julia Child: “Eat well and drink well,” says Julia Child, “everything in moderation — and never snack.”
Phyllis Diller: She believed laughter was the key to longevity – she performed her stand-up comedy acts well into her 80s
George Burns: Smoke 10 to 15 cheap cigars each day. Play bridge. Drink a couple of martinis each day. Keep your humor. But never, never retire.
Harry S. Truman: ”Take a two-mile walk every morning before breakfast.”
Herman Smith-Johannsen: The secret to a long life is to stay busy, get plenty of exercise and don’t drink too much. Then again, don’t drink too little.
Ann Landers: One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything before you go to bed.
Dr. Deepak Chopra: Maintain a high level of personal hygiene, get plenty of fresh air, sunlight and rest, have enjoyable leisure time, satisfying hobbies.
Johnny Carson: Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.
Muhammad Ali: Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.
Lucille Ball: The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.
Betty White: Take wheatgrass, soy and carob pulp, then toss in the trash and cook yourself a big piece of pork-butt.
Recently, Teeter sent a few pairs of our Gravity Boots over to some gentlemen serving overseas in the United States Army. They contacted us with some great feedback, which they have allowed us to pass on to you! We’ll be sharing their testimonials over the coming weeks.
The first story comes from SPC, Brian S., who says that he’s never had relief from his pain as quickly as when he used the inversion boots.
“When I first went to try the boots on, I was not sure if they would work or not. I had seen them before, but had never used them. It was kind of a daunting task trying to get my feet to the pull up bar and locked into place. I’m sure my workout buddies had a good laugh at me the first time I tried. However, once I got my boots locked in place on the bar and stretched out, the relief I felt in my lower back was immediate. It was amazing that I felt better that quick. Even after having gone to chiropractors and massage therapists for years, I have never felt the pain go away and stay away quicker than using the Teeter Hang Ups Gravity Boots.”
If you are feeling some aching in your back when you return upright from inverting, there could be several causes for this. As we discuss a couple of the possible causes of this, it may be a good idea to re-familiarize yourself with the Use Instructions (or Instructional DVD with some models) to assure you are following all of the suggestions to effective and safe inversion.
You did too much too soon: If you are new to inversion, your body is not used to being inverted (chances are you haven’t hung upside down since the monkey bars in 2nd grade!) By inverting too much too soon, you are probably going to be a little sore. You can liken inversion to beginning any new exercise program. If you over-do it on the first day, you will probably pay for it later. Do what you can and stick with it! Not everyone will experience immediate relief, but most due through consistent inversion. At first, only invert to about 20 degrees or a little more than being parallel to the floor, and only for a couple of minutes. Progress as you feel your body is adapting to inverting.
You returned upright too fast: When inverted, your vertebrae have a chance to separate and the discs can decompress. This action reduces pressure on the nerves that run through your spinal column. When you ascend (return upright) on the inversion table, your spine “re-compresses”, meaning that the vertebrae return to their normal position and the pressure on the discs increases again. If you come up from inversion too fast, you might place sudden pressure on the nerves that run through the spine, which can cause some pain. Instead, you should invert to a mild angle (30-40 degrees) for a just few minutes. Come back up so your head is only slightly above your feet, just past the horizontal position (lying flat). Remain here for a couple of minutes to allow your spine to slowly re-compress, then slowly come up the rest of the way.
Always listen to your body. If you experience extreme pain, or if you always experience pain while inverting, you should discontinue inversion until you have had a chance to talk with your doctor.
If you are in a lot of pain before you invert, your pain may not go away instantly if you invert for a few minutes. While some people experience dramatic popping or feelings of their back loosening, for many, the feeling of decompression is more subtle. You may invert at night and still have a sore back, but wake up the next morning and feel great.
If you want to help yourself get the most out of inversion, you can also try to make sure your muscles are relaxed before you begin inverting. If you take a warm shower or use our Vibration Cushion, you can loosen your muscles before you invert. This can help your body decompress like it needs to and it can reduce the possibility of reoccurring back pain later on. Also, inverted stretches will help your muscles relax and allow your spine to naturally realign itself. When you are kind to yourself, it is likely that inversion will be kind to you
If you are a fan of Teeter, you know that we are proponents of treating the root cause of a problem instead of covering it up. Our state of health comes down to how we take care of our bodies – a healthy lifestyle requires a holistic perspective that includes addressing state of mind, lifestyle, exercise and proper nutrition. If you are suffering from joint pain, inversion is a wonderful way to temporarily relieve pain and help improve your overall health – but don’t forget their are other tools in your arsenal that can help with joint health, namely food choices.
Foods High in Omega-3
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (and their Omega-6 cousins) have been darlings of the health and fitness world for the past five years or so, and with good reason. Clinical studies have shown that patients who incorporate omega-3 fatty acids in their diet had less joint pain and more than half were able to reduce or discontinue their use of anti-inflammatory medication. Foods rich with omega-3′s are wild salmon and grass-fed bison and beef. Walnuts, flax seeds and small fatty fish like sardines are also great ways to get your daily dose.
Go crazy with the clementines and don’t be afraid to add half a grapefruit to your breakfast because citrus fruits have also been linked to reducing inflammation and therefore reducing joint pain. Their high Vitamin-C content not only helps relieve joint pain but can help keep your immune system strong. Berries, peppers and spinach also have high concentrations of Vitamin-C and can help promote collagen formation.
Next time you are cooking dinner, consider adding ginger or turmeric to your meal to help reduce joint pain. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties from the compound gingerols, and turmeric is said to relieve stiffness in joints and relieve symptoms of arthritis.
Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps clean up the dead cells within our body, according to Jennifer Grossman, Vice President of the Dole Nutrition Institute. Pineapple is the only natural source of this enzyme and could potentially help you recover more quickly from injuries or soreness. It also is a good source of manganese which can promote bone density – an important factor as you age.
Food or Supplements?
While it may seem easiest to simply take an array of pills that contain all of these vitamins, enzymes and acids, nutritionists often encourage getting these nutrients in their most natural forms, food. The way our bodies interact with these vital components is still not well understood in the scientific field, and consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables and nuts is still one of the best ways to ensure a well-rounded diet and a healthy body rather than simply relying on supplements to replace these nutrients.Sources: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=84 http://www.livestrong.com/article/255540-foods-for-joint-pain/ http://www.livestrong.com/article/286395-food-for-sore-joints/ http://www.creationsmagazine.com/articles/C107/Grossman.html Photos: Walnut image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericabreetoe/6638086483/ Grapefruit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dullhunk/5456511612/
Don thought surgery was his only solution to back pain, until he found Teeter Hang Ups.
“Hi, I thought I’d share my experience with the Teeter Hang Ups system. I’m a 55 year old male who’s very physically active but have had neck pain for several years. I found out I had two herniated disks in my neck and started my quest for relief a couple of years ago. I ended up having 5 (that’s right 5) surgeons (3 orthopedic and 2 neuro) tell me my best solution was a 2 level fusion. I refused to believe that and purchased your product. I began inverting for just a few minutes a day and eventually just 3-4 times per week. I also stretch my neck as much as possible. My neck pain is now almost completely pain free and I’m as active as ever. Sometimes when I now jog past one of the surgeons offices who told me I had to have surgery, I send two thumbs up and a big smile his way. I’m a big believer in inversion and have told many of my friends about it. Keep up the good work! Thanks.”
How To: Arm Dips with the DEX or DEX II
Triceps, Chest & Shoulders
Grasp the “hook” shaped handles with each hand. With your legs straight out in front of you and your feet a pivot point on the ground, lower your torso in a slow and controlled motion until your elbow creates a 90 degree angle, then push your torso back up until your arms are straight.
Reps: 10 to 15
Sets: 3 to 5
Whether you are brand new to inversion and are looking to make your experience as easy as possible, or an inverting veteran looking to increase strength or deepen your stretch, Teeter Hang Ups offers a variety of accessories to customize your inversion table for your needs.
What kind of accessories do we offer for our inversion tables and how do you know if you may need them? Use this handy guide to find out.
If you are new to the practice of inversion, you may want to use some tools to help you ease in and out of inversion. Consider our Over-EZ Training Handles, large support handles that are like training wheels for your Teeter Hang Ups Inversion Table. While Teeter inversion tables are precisely calibrated to rotate with simple arm movements, some beginning users find peace of mind using these handles for assistance as they move in and out of inversion.
All Teeter manual inversion tables provide an adjustable Angle Tether so that you can pre-set your desired angle of inversion. Our EZ Angle Tether Strap takes the guesswork out of finding the angle with color-coded straps for 20, 40, and 60 degrees (and remove altogether for full inversion, of course).
Looking to Relax
One of the greatest benefits of the Teeter Hang Ups Inversion Table is simply taking time out for yourself to relax. What better way to do that than with these Teeter relaxation accessories, sure to increase your level of relaxation and loosen your tense muscles:
The EP-Series Vibration Cushion combines vibration motors and light technology for heat and massage to relax and revive tired muscles. With the LCD remote, you can control the speed, frequency, location and heat while you invert.
Change It Up
Add another element to your inversion experience with our most popular accessory, the EZ-Stretch Traction Handles, which allow you to implement a deeper stretch by pressing against the handles while you invert. If you aren’t comfortable inverting at the more advanced angles but are still looking for a deep stretch, these handles are a great option.
The Traction Handles can also be used to practice intermittent traction, a form of rhythmic rocking that allows you to gently rock back and forth as you invert. Additionally, if you are exploring full inversion, the Traction Handles allow you to easily return from full inversion with a quick release.
If you’ve decided that full inversion is your new favorite activity, you may want to consider investing in our EZ-UP Gravity Boots and Conversion Kit for added ankle support and comfort. The Gravity Boots distribute the pressure around your ankles more evenly. You may want to consider using Gravity Boots with your Teeter Hang Ups if you have particularly sensitive ankles and you desire some added comfort as you invert. If you are going to be doing inverted exercises like crunches, situps or twists, the Gravity Boots are a good option to enhance your comfort as you build strength.
No matter what your inversion style is, we have accessories that can help enhance your inversion experience and give you the most from your Teeter Hang Ups Inversion Table.
Pick up any fitness magazine and you’ll read recipes to improve your diet and give you energy, tips for burning more calories per hour when you perform cardio or photos demonstrating proper form for weight lifting.
When reading about fitness, stretches are often an afterthought. Instead of stretching as compulsory exercise when you warm down from other activities, consider the many ways it can physically benefit you:
Stretching Prevents Creaking Joints
Stretching and holding poses for at least 30 seconds helps bring nourishing oxygen into your muscles and also distributes synovial fluid around our joints – this fluid helps provide ease of movement and a greater range of motion by keeping the cartilage lubricated around your joints. The more you stretch, the fewer pains you will have. Joints stiffen from lack of use, if you’ve ever had a limb immobilized from a cast and then tried to move around after it was removed, you know that lack of use causes atrophy. As we age, we assume that we naturally feel more “stiff,” but the more you move and stretch the more flexible you can remain.
Stretching Addresses the Whole Body
If you suffer from a sore neck, don’t just focus on neck stretches to help you feel better. Most often misalignment occurs at multiple points in the body, and while a symptom may appear in one place it can be indicative of issues throughout the body. Uses 10 minutes of stretching a day to get everything moving. If your hips are tight, don’t neglect stretching your lower back and glutes; if your feet have been killing you, work on stretching your calves and hamstrings as well. Stretching your entire body can help work out pain in specific areas as well as help all the components of your body work better together.
Manage Stress with a Stretch
Stress is not simply a state of mind but a physical manifestation. Stress can creep into our muscles, pull our body out of misalignment, shorten our breath and weaken our immune system. Spending 10 minutes stretching before bed can help you to quiet your mind, deepen your breath and help work out the tense places in your body after a long day. Stretching has been shown to reduce blood pressure and help you sleep better, in addition to increasing circulation and blood flow to all parts of the body which helps improve your immune system and reduce cortisol levels (the hormone associated with stress).
Stretching on its own can help provide many benefits to helping you feel better on a daily basis and when combined with a regular program of inversion with a Teeter, can help you feeling younger, more energized and healthier.Sources: http://www.naturalnews.com/026118_yoga_stretching_lymphatic_system.html http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/stretching-back-pain-relief http://www.wellness.com/workplace/manage-your-stress-at-work-by-stretching Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lululemonathletica/4535734153/in/photostream/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/lululemonathletica/4536389508/in/photostream/