The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scoring system that rates the impact foods (carbohydrates) have on your blood sugar levels. In short, the lower the GI, the less of an impact that food will have on your blood sugar. Low GI foods are great for those with diabetes and are utilized by many diets. But a low GI doesn’t always mean the best nutritional option, so understanding the GI is helpful in balancing your diet.
The long days and warm nights of summer are finally here (except in the Northwest, where Teeter corporate offices are located… send us some sun please!). That means more time outside, more time grilling with friends and family, and maybe even time off for a road-trip or extended vacation. These summer pastimes are not without maladies of their own, however. Here are some tips to avoid these common Summer annoyances and mistakes:
In addition to slathering on the sunblock and avoiding prolonged exposure to sun, scientists have found that taking regular supplements of Vitamins E and C can help decrease your sensitivity to the sun and avoid getting sunburns. Since these vitamins help build up antioxidants in your body, and prolonged exposure to the sun creates “oxidative damage to skin cells.” (Huffington Post)
- Bug Bites
Prevent mosquito bites naturally by considering a few natural alternatives to DEET sprays and other harmful chemicals. Did you know that mosquitoes can only fly 8 m.p.h? Consider keeping a fan on at your outdoor gatherings. A light breeze to us can feel like a heavy wind to a mosquito and will deter him from entering your space. Keep your skin oiled. Mosquitoes do not like to have “greasy wings” (Nature Skills), and an oily skin may be a natural deterrent. Even better, if the oil is scented with cedar, conifer, or citrus smells – these scents are all unappealing to the mosquito. Pay special attention to the high-risk zones like wrists, ankles, necks, shins and forearms. Where your blood vessels are naturally closest to the surface of your skin is where you have the greatest chance of being bitten.
- BBQ Overload
Many of us are guilty of overindulging at a neighborhood BBQ and suffering from indigestion. To prevent that awful feeling, try slowing down when you eat, minimize your alcohol intake alongside your food and try filling up on fruits and vegetables first before hitting the ribs and brats. Still suffering from indigestion? Try sipping peppermint or chamomile tea to naturally sooth your stomach. A few bites of candied ginger may also help calm a rumbly tummy. If you experience frequent heart burn or indigestion, think about introducing some probiotics into your diet. Yogurt with active cultures can help you break down foods and balance the acids in your stomach.
Overall, summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors and be with friends and family. Being mindful of your surroundings and taking simple precautions is a sure way to ensure you have a fun and relaxing summer!
Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/18/sunburn-remedies-natural-relief_n_897103.html#s304241&title=Aloe_Vera_ http://www.natureskills.com/outdoor-safety/mosquito-bite-prevention/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/indigestion-natural-remedies-for-relief_b_812458.html
What is Magnesium Oil?
Magnesium oil is inexpensive and easy-to-use supplement claimed to improve sleep, ease aches and pains, relieve PMS, and improve retention of calcium in the body, among many other benefits. Some circles even proclaim magnesium oil as a “wonder supplement” that can benefit almost everyone who takes it.
How Does it Work?
Most proponents of magnesium oil suggest you apply it to your body in the form of a spray (it is absorbed better in this manner rather than via an oral supplement). The spray comes into contact with your skin and gets to work immediately. Often times we take vitamins and supplements and can never be quite sure that what we are taking is doing us any good, but proponents claim that the effects of magnesium oil are noticeable right away.
This blog writer was skeptical of the extraordinary claims made by those who love it, so I decided to embark on a personal experiment and try it every day for two weeks. Note that this is my personal testimonial and not an endorsement by Teeter.I was shocked to find that I fell asleep faster and slept more soundly on the nights I applied it right before bed (I sprayed 5 sprays on my lower back and hips and rubbed it in). After a particularly hard workout, I would spray the oil on my muscles and I experienced almost no soreness the next day!
A Magnesium Oil Deficiency?
Some studies suggest that as much as 68% of the US population is deficient in magnesium – a crucial supplement in our bodies. While magnesium is naturally occurring in many foods and even hard water, we frequently ingest alcohol, caffeine and carbonated beverages that work to leach magnesium out of our bodies and cause the deficiency. A daily dose of magnesium spray is said to help restore the lost supplement in our bodies.
If you have any health concerns or medical questions about using magnesium oil, please consult with your doctor first. It is important to note that you should not use magnesium oil while on some medications without first seeking the advise if your doctor.
If you work in an office, you likely spend most of your day hunched in front of a computer. Sitting in poor posture can place up to 2 times your standing body pressure on your spine, according to medical research. Having an inversion table at your office is a quick and relaxing way to put your back pain on break, but when inversion isn’t an option, here are some other types of products that can help improve your health, posture and well-being while you work (Teeter does not benefit from or specifically endorse products listed below):
Overhead lighting, direct sunlight or dark rooms can all produce strain on the eyes. When possible, try to use table lamps and “task specific” light bulbs that allow your eyes to take in the right amount of light to focus on a computer monitor, desk or other work space.
Sometimes something as easy as moving your feet or your legs as you work can help improve your health, reduce stress and increase duration of concentration. Here is one neat gadget that looks more like a skateboard than a foot rest!
Depending on your specific needs, there are chairs that are specifically designed to support your back and enhance your posture where you need it most. There is even a chair that is endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association.
From desks that let you stand to desks that actually incorporate a treadmill at the office, standing and moving as much possible while working can help reduce all manner of sedentary-related illnesses.
You could spend thousands of dollars buying products to help you achieve the optimal environment in which to work, but our all-time favorite way to immediately improve your work space is a good old fashion phone book! Prop a phone book or two under your monitor to make sure that your monitor is exactly at your eye level when sitting in good posture. This will reduce strain on your neck which will in-turn reduce strain on your shoulders and your overall posture.
Citations:  Nachemson, A and Elfstrom, G: Intravital Dynamic Pressure Measurements in Lumbar Discs. Scandinavian Journal of Rehab Medicine, supplement, 1970. Photos: Lamp: http://www.humanscale.com/ Footrest: http://store.yankodesign.com/ Chair: http://www.squidoo.com/haworth-zody-chair?utm_source=google&utm_medium=imgres&utm_campaign=framebuster Desk: http://www.beyondtheofficedoor.com
You’ve been working hard all spring and were rewarded with a 3-day weekend to kick off the beginning of summer! If you are like us, dear reader, sometimes it feels like you never have to go back to work again! Inevitably, we must face the Tuesday-morning blahs and return to our day-to-day routine with the accompanying responsibilities, chores and deadlines.
What do you do if you are experiencing a post-holiday blues? Here are three tips to help you recover.
Start off on the right foot…er…diet
Between BBQs, camping trips or making the rounds of parties, holiday weekends can mean that we temporarily suspend healthy eating habits. We can wake up Tuesday morning feeling, tired, bloated and sluggish from too many processed foods, alcohol or sweets. Make sure you drink a lot of water the day you return to “normal” and begin to include fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. Resist the temptation to snack on the potato salad leftovers all week and focus on making food choices that support your body and can help you return to feeling great.
Often we spend so much time focusing on an upcoming vacation or three-day weekend that when the event comes and goes, we can temporarily feel depressed. To ward off the slump, make sure to plan a fun activity in the coming week or two and mark it on your calendar. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant – a trip to the farmer’s market, a preplanned drive into the country, or dinner with friends can give you a light at the end of the week and help give you a lift while looking forward to something enjoyable in the near future.
Having a 4-day work week can make some of us feel frantic, trying to accomplish the same amount of work with only four days in which to complete it! Studies have shown that working to the point of exhaustion has diminishing returns. Work smarter, not harder. Take frequent breaks to refresh your eyes and your mind (even 90 seconds to take deep breaths and close your eyes can help) and find ways to automate your most mundane tasks to reduce stress and repetition.
If others around you are feeling hectic and stressed, take a moment to remind yourself that you are in control of your emotions and you do not need to let their stress bleed over onto you. You can work more efficiently if you stay focused on your work and not get caught up in any workplace drama created by tight deadlines.
Happy Lucky Penny Day! Of the many days a year that are for celebrating, we like to think we should embrace any cause to have a good time! Today if you see a penny, take a moment to contemplate your luck and pick it up!
Want to make sure you keep the spring in your step after all that stooping to pick up lucky pennies? Check out these tips:
- Bend with the knees
Even if the load you are carrying is as light as a feather (or a penny), use your knees as you bend down and stand up straight. Squat down instead of bending to reduce injury. Take a hint from golfers and watch how they bend to line up their shots.
- Develop strength in your legs
Squats may not be fun, but they are your best friend when it comes to strengthening your lower body. Some experts say it is the single best strengthening move you can do for yourself. No need for heavy weights or lots of grunting. Squeeze in 3 sets of 20 squats a day for strong legs that represent the foundation of your body and help reduce back injuries.
- Wear supportive shoes to prevent ongoing back pain
High heels, flip flops or other shoes that don’t support your arches or the natural gait of your walk will change your stride. Your body must adapt to compensate for this which can lead to stiffness, aches and a sore back. If you do want to indulge in impractical footwear from time to time, try to keep a backup pair of shoes in your car, bag or at the office so you can switch out when penny hunting.
- Keep muscles loose and flexible for maximum mobility
Once upon a time, gym teachers and physical therapists encouraged “static stretching” to help loosen muscles. Now research has shown that stretching combined with movement is the best way to go. Walking is actually the easiest form of stretching, and can be the best for your body in a pinch. Yoga is also a great way to stretch while moving, and inverted stretching on a Teeter Hang Ups are both great ways to stay loose.
- Remember the back muscles must be strong too
Sometimes when we read about our core muscles, we only think of what is on the front or sides of our body – but the back is laced with muscles, and these are often the ones that cause pain as they hold our bodies in misalignment. Focus on performing exercises for your back to help discourage misalignments and back pain.
- Walk out the kinks
As we said in tip 4, walking is one of the best ways of stretching. If your back is sore, try going for a walk. The natural stride of your step will help loosen many muscles and may help your body work itself back into natural alignment. Sitting is the worst thing you can do for the health of your back (and the rest of your body). Stand up and walk around every few hours to prevent hunched posture, extra loads of pressure on your lower back, and to help stretch your lower body in general.
- Be kind to your body
In the day and age of “go, go, go” it can be easy to think that taking time to stop and care for our bodies is an indulgence that we can’t afford. It may seem selfish to take an hour for a massage, five minutes to invert or half an hour to practice yoga – so instead we pop a pill and hope for the best. In the long run, you are the only one responsible for taking care of the health of your body. Set time aside for yourself every day to nurture your body and check in with yourself to discover where aches and pains are popping up. In these quiet moments, you can often sense minor complaints before they turn into larger problems. Address these complaints with love, care and action and they will save you pain in the long run.
A healthy lifestyle requires a holistic perspective that not only addresses your state of mind and physical exercise but also sound nutrition. So occasionally we’ll share tips that can help you meet your nutritional goals and keep your body feeling good. Here’s a look at one food with which you may not be overly familiar.
Athletes, especially those involved in long-distance events like running or cycling, are well familiar with all manner of endurance gels, goos and other products that promise a boost of energy for those final stretches. But some cultures have been using their own natural form of energy supplement for hundreds of years: Chia seeds.
If your first thought was “Chia Pet,” then you’d be right – these seeds are best known in our culture from the Chia Pets, a popular gag gift and staple of many households in the 80s. But the seeds themselves have amazing properties. Chia is a member of the mint family and the seeds are high in Omega-3s, protein and fiber. When mixed with water, they form a gelatinous substance that can help fill you up and keep you energized.
In recent years, the Chia seed has experienced popularity in the United States and many attribute the attention to the book Born to Run,in which Christopher McDougall recounts how the bare-footed Tarahumara runners of Mexico would ingest the seeds before and during runs of 100+ miles.
Nowadays, you can easily find Chia seeds in local health food stores or order them online. 2 teaspoons diluted into 8-10 ounces of water with the juice of a lime makes for a refreshing drink. The seeds can also be sprinkled over salads, baked into breads or snacked on raw. Dr. Oz has called Chia seeds the “perfect food,” since they are loaded with nutrition and no empty calories. If you can get over drinking a gelatinous beverage (some say it resembles a bubble tea or tapioca), you can enjoy the many benefits of Chia seeds.
Photo Courtesy Of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/notahipster/4999199198/%EF%BF%BD/address
Teeter Hang Ups founder, Roger Teeter, often travels around the world to promote inversion. After many years, he’s developed his own tricks for staying healthy and maintaining his energy on the road and at home. Read more on how he does it:
“I travel a lot and many of the trips are international with 6 to 12 hour time changes. Since most all of my travel is related to inversion, there is usually a Teeter inversion table waiting for me, which is a huge plus!
To speed the adjustment to a new time zone, I go as soon as practical to the gym for a full workout. Sometimes this means I am doing this in the middle of the night based on my home time zone. It takes some willpower but after the first 5 minutes, my body accepts the challenge and the rest of the workout feels no different than if my internal clock was on mid-day.
After a good night’s sleep, I am virtually time-adjusted in one day. I have recently changed my eating habits which are more difficult to maintain on the road – you are never sure what you are getting in restaurants. I make a point of eating lots of fruit and vegetables and skip any of the sauces which are often filled with fats or sugars. I have always liked vegetables, so that part is easy, but adding lots of fruit is new.
My dad and both grandfathers died of heart attacks at or near my current age, so I recently did some serious research on having a healthy heart and found that the main culprits are fat and sugar. Sugar seems to be everywhere, tomato ketchup is full of it for example. I eat only small amounts of red meat, consuming mostly fish and occasionally chicken.
I have also greatly reduced my intake of all processed foods, especially meats and salt (I do use a limited amount of sea salt). One big surprise was losing 10+ lbs with no other changes. Since I was not trying to lose weight, I ate normal amounts… in fact, probably eating more than normal, certainly all I wanted.
The weight loss was a total shock. After talking to Jeremy Levine, who trained the Navy SEALs for 5 years and designed our ThunderBell program, he confirmed that that a super buffed body is more a matter of what we eat than heavy workouts. Cutting out all sugar and salt while maintaining a balanced workout program is the trick.
I am within a couple of pounds of my weight when I was drafted into the Army in 1961 and I have not felt this good in 20 years. Yes, I do the ThunderBell program as the core of my fitness program, augmenting it with snow and water skiing, running, cycling and occasionally perhaps once a week some heavier weights to round out arm, leg and back exercises.
I think you will be amazed at how the weight falls off with cutting out fat and sugar and getting adequate exercise.”
Many of us spend a great deal of time sitting in front of our computers. A physically demanding day may involve contending with a paper cut or replacing the toner in the copy machine. However, the relative comfort and safety of an office job is one of the most misleading aspects of the workplace.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time negatively impacts our memory, metabolism, the condition of our spine, circulation and a host of other factors. When you spend 40 hours or more a week in front of a computer, you may want to consider incorporating a few tricks to help you stay in top shape.
Improve Memory By Getting Away
Sitting in front of a computer for more than 90 minutes at a time can help drain your ability to stay focused and reduce your short-term memory. You may notice that you have to repeat certain tasks as the day wears on, or something that would take you 10 minutes when you are feeling fresh may take you 15 or 20 minutes if you have been working for at least five hours.
Studies show that getting up and walking around (not simply taking a break to check your personal email) can help refresh your memory and recharge your mental batteries. In a recent study, a group of scientists at the University of Michigan found that people improved their working memory span by about 20% after they took a walk outside.
Did you know that when we sit down, our metabolism starts to shut down as well? When we sit we burn as little as one calorie a minute. By standing and doing the same activity, you can dramatically increase the calories you burn. Next time you have a conference call, try standing at your desk while you talk. At the very least, try to get up and move around every few hours.
Optimize Your Environment
As much as we’d like to move around while we are at work, the reality is that we are still going to end up spending most of our time at the desk, so you may as well try to make it as comfortable as possible.
- Keep monitor at eye level to reduce neck strain;
- Sit close to your keyboard and monitor to reduce eye fatigue and wrist strain;
- Use a Swiss Ball as your desk chair to help stabilize your core muscles and keep hip and leg joints flexible. Or experiment with a standing desk to see if it is an option that can help you reduce back pain and muscle strain.
Photo Courtesy Of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/senor_codo/1334694290/
Teeter Hang Ups for Wellness
If you are reading this blog post, you are probably somewhat familiar with what Teeter inversion and have experienced what we call the 4 R’s:
- Rehydrate discs
- Reduce Nerve Pressure
- Realign Your Spine
- Relax Tense Muscles
Routine inversion can decrease your back pain and will improve your flexibility, but after the aches go away and you’re touching your toes again your Teeter Inversion Table can also help you build and increase core strength. Inversion and decompression in general are often overlooked components of keeping your joints healthy and maintaining a fit and pain-free lifestyle, while fitness is a key element to combating future back pain and reductions in flexibility. We at Teeter are on a constant mission to help the public learn more about how inversion works and how it can help you, and we also know that the benefits of inversion are more fully realized when they are paired with an effective workout regimen.
Ideally one’s routine focuses on maintaining cardiovascular health and promoting overall strength. This is why we decided to develop a complete body training program that would help meet these needs.
The ThunderBell Training Program for Fitness
Our ThunderBell Training Program is a 90-day fitness program built around the multi-functional ThunderBell product. This uniquely designed product combines the best features of a dumbbell, kettle bell, medicine ball and bar bell into one product. With its seven patent pending hand holds it is the only product available today thatcombines aerobic fitness, sequence training AND circuit training. The ThunderBell allows for quick and easy transitioning from one movement to the next, resulting in higher calorie burn, focused muscle building and recovery, as well as preventing muscle damage and burnout.
Why Use a Teeter Inversion Table and ThunderBell Together?
The foundation of a healthy lifestyle is complete body fitness. This includes diet, exercise, strength and stretching.
With the Teeter Inversion Table you can:
- Begin and end your days with gentle relaxation
- Decompress from workouts and daily activities
- Improve flexibility from joint lubrication and inverted stretching
- Realign minor misalignment and prevent or recover from injury
- Build strength with inverted squats, situps and crunches
With the ThunderBell Training Program you will:
- Be provided with a nutritional program to help maximize weight loss and increase muscle building
- Challenged by renown military trainer, Jeremy Levine, as you progress through the workout DVD’s.
- Strength training builds muscles, challenges the core and encourages increased balance and flexibility.
You could potentially fill your home gym with products that only do one of the things on these lists, rather than what all these two products offer together. At Teeter, it’s important to us that all of our products are not only made to the highest quality specifications, but also that they provide you with the versatility, utility and room to check off more than one of your fitness goals.
Sources: Nachemson, A and Elfstrom, G: Intravital Dynamic Pressure Measurements in Lumbar Discs. Scandinavian Journal of Rehab Medicine, supplement, 1970. Nosse, L.: Inverted Spinal Traction. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 59: 367-370, Aug 78. Leatt, P., T. Reilly, and J. G. Troup. Spinal Loading during Circuit Weight-training and Running. British Journal of Sports Medicine 20.3 (1986): 119-24. Print. Woo S, Vogrin T, Abramowith S. Healing and Repair of Ligament Injuries in the Knee. Journal of Amercian Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. 2000: 364-372.