8 Exercise Ideas To Burn Thanksgiving Calories

Now that everyone has celebrated their annual Thanksgiving traditions, many people are looking to burn off the calories they ate. If you ate just one meal, you have fewer calories to burn than those who have eaten multiple plates of food and/or desserts.

If you are looking for some ideas on how to burn off these big meal pounds, this is a good article for you.

Please note that some of the exercises mentioned below are high-impact and will not be recommended for those who have arthritis or other joint issues. If you have knee problems, try to avoid any high-impact workouts. Talk to your doctor to find out which exercises are best for you.

High Calorie Burning Exercises:

1. Running – Running at 8 miles per hour will burn about 860 calories in one hour. Running faster will burn more calories, and running slower at 5 miles per hour will burn about 600.
2. Jump Rope – Jumping rope will also burn around 860 calories per hour.
3. Swimming – Vigorous lap swimming for one hour will burn about 715 calories. If you can find a place with an indoor pool that is a good place to start out.
4. Stairs – Stair exercises (climbing real stairs or using a stair machine) will burn about 660 calories. Try taking the stairs up to your apartment or workplace to boost calories burned.
5. Hoops – Hula hooping or hoop dancing can burn 400-600 calories per hour. This depends on the type of hoop you use, the type of movement you do with the hoop, how much you move around and dance, and how intensely you do the exercise. Ask a professional fitness hula hooper how you can maximize your hoop workouts.
6. Sports – Playing basketball, singles tennis, or football can burn about 584 calories per hour. Joining a gym such as a YMCA can provide many of these workout opportunities.
7. Aerobics – Higher impact aerobics can burn about 533 calories per hour. Some examples include doing jumping jacks or vigorous step aerobics. Find out what classes are available.
8. Skiing – Cross country skiing burns about 500 calories in an hour. Although not everyone has access to such an exercise without paying money and traveling first.

There you have it. Hopefully these exercise ideas will inspire you to be your healthiest during this holiday season.

Remember to use this list for any other holiday meals you have planned such as a Christmas dinner or a new year’s eve/day party meal. It is best to try to stay healthy and exercise all year.

Some Stretches For Relieving Back Pain

One of the most common pain problems in physical therapy offices happens to be back pain. Some of the best ways to prevent back pain are staying active and stretching often. If you have back pain and it is preventing you from staying active, this article should be helpful for you.

Stretches for back pain:

1. Pelvic Tilt – Lay on your back on a comfortable yet firm surface. Use a yoga mat or soft blanket on hard surfaces if you need. Your legs will be bent with feet flat on the floor. Let the curve of your spine lift your lower back up off the ground. Arch your lower back upward while pushing the stomach upwards. Engage the muscles of your core, push your pelvis up, and tighten the butt muscles. Keep your lower back pressed into the floor. Hold for 10 seconds.

2. Knee to Chest – Same start as the pelvic tilt with you on the floor, feet flat, knees bent. Keep left foot on the floor and pull your right knee (bent) toward your chest. Hold for 30-60 seconds while relaxing your lower back, legs, and hips. Release and repeat with the other leg.

3. Child’s Pose – This stretch is good for removing tension and pain along the spine, shoulders and neck. Start on your knees on the floor and put your hands on the ground. Sit down on your heels with the tops of your feet touching the floor. Fold your body forward, walk your hands out in front of you until you can’t stretch any further. Rest your stomach on your upper legs/thighs. Breathe deeply and release any tension you feel. Hold for up to one minute.

4. Piriformis stretch – This stretch will help lower back pain and butt tightness. Lay on your back with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Cross your leg and put your right ankle above your left knee. Grab your left thigh and pull it up toward your chest til you feel a stretch. Hold for 30-60 seconds and repeat with other leg.

5. Supported bridge – This is another one for the lower back. You can use a foam roller or back cushion for this one. Same start as the previous moves with the back on the floor, knees bent and feet on floor. Put the foam roller or cushion under your hips and relax your whole body until all of the weight is on the cushion or roller. Hold for one minute and repeat 3-5 times.

The bottom line here is that your back is incredibly important. If you can’t imagine being unable to use your back, keep taking care of it and use the tips in this article. As always, if you are in too much pain and think something is wrong, always call your doctor for the best care. Happy stretching!

How To Prevent Pulled Muscles This Winter

Now that we have made it to November 2021, it is time to gear up for the cold winter months. As you get colder, your muscles tighten and contract to keep you warm and keep the cold air from making you cold. When this happens, everyone is much more likely to get pulled muscle injuries.

One of the most common instances of this comes from shoveling snow. You get your coat and boots on and head right out into the cold to shovel. That can cause you to pull any muscles you will be using to shovel.

Another example of pulled muscles is when you are out in the cold and happen to slip and fall on some ice. Your muscles will be cold and unprepared to fall. You may not only get a broken tailbone but also a few pulled muscles. Continue reading below to find out how to avoid these muscle injuries this winter.

How To Avoid Pulled Muscles In Winter:

1. Don’t shovel without stretching – Make sure you are nice and warm, and that you haven’t been inactive for too long. Move around a bit if your muscles haven’t been used in a few hours or more. Then take a few minutes to stretch out any muscles you may use during your shoveling adventures. However don’t work up a sweat first and then go out in the cold. It isn’t good to expose moist and sweaty skin to cold temperatures. The main point is to get stretched and start off with warm muscles. For extra prevention, stretch your muscles after you get back inside as well. Reward yourself with some hot coca and relaxation.

2. Prepare for ice – Many people don’t know how to avoid slipping on ice when it comes down to it. It helps for everyone to follow these tips. First, wear shoes or boots that have lots of non-slip tread on the bottom. Invest in some shoe spikes that go over and under your shoes/boots. Secondly, just walk with caution, slow your walking speed way down, bend at the knees, and watch where you are going. Walk with your eyes down at the ground to be sure you know exactly where you are putting your feet. Lastly, make sure to keep walkways and stairs shoveled and use plenty of salt to melt the ice often.

3. Stay flexible – Take time once in a while to work on your flexibility. Warm up your muscles a little bit, and stretch as many of your muscles as you can. An expert tip would be to use YouTube or other online resources to learn how to stretch your muscle groups effectively. Give extra attention to your back and arms if you need to shovel snow often.

4. Work on your balance – Even if you do all of the tips above, you may still struggle if you have poor balance. Prevention of injuries and falls really comes down to having enough good balance to catch yourself or shift your weight to one leg when necessary. Being able to think quickly and center your body weight really matters. As an example, you may need to shift all of your weight to one leg while avoiding a patch of ice. If you have bad balance you will probably have a hard time. Just like the previous tip on flexibility, you would benefit from looking up balance exercises online. Try standing on one leg while you watch TV or while you wait for dinner to get done cooking.

Whether we like it or hate it, winter is on the way. Use the tips above to stay healthy, safe, and happy during the colder months. Happy Holidays!

Avoiding Seasonal Depression During Daylight Savings Time

The clocks just fell back for fall, and we lost an hour of our day. With even less sunlight and warm weather seasonal depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) becomes an issue. SAD affects about 5 percent of people in the U.S. and lasts for approximately 40 percent of the year for them.

This number does not include the people in the U.S. who get SAD and don’t seek treatment for it.

This article will help you learn more about SAD during the darkest part of the year. It will also include some tips that should make SAD less debilitating to you.

Avoiding SAD during the darker and colder months:

1. Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D. Many people don’t even get enough sunlight during the summer and have even less Vitamin D in their bodies. There are many different options for how to get more Vitamin D into your body. This includes taking supplements, eating fish, eggs, red meat, mushrooms, or milk. As often as you can, get 10-30 minutes of sunlight when the sun is the highest in the sky. Typically, between 11am and 3pm. If you have darker skin, you may need to try for 30-60 minutes in the sun for the same effect.

2. Use a UV lamp or a SAD lamp to provide more light and boost mood. Whichever light you get, be sure to consider the ones that have Ultraviolet (UVB) light to stimulate the body to produce Vitamin D. Some SAD lamps don’t have UVB rays, but still provide enough bright light to help.

3. Set aside plenty of time for mood boosting activities that you enjoy. Try planning a few extra events that you want to do such as hanging out with your favorite friends, or going to your favorite places. Looking forward to plans that you enjoy is one of the best ways to stay happy and fulfilled during the dark months. It is very important to stay active and keep your endorphins running while you endure the colder and darker times of the year.

4. Talk to your doctor about anti-depressants. If things get too hard, you may need to take some seasonal anti-depression medication.

5. Try aromatherapy with essential oils. This can have a better effect when combined with soothing and relaxing activities. Try this during a warm bubble bath or doing yoga.

Considering all of these tips should really boost your ability to get through the rest of fall and winter.

Keep your head in the positive zone and maybe get excited about Halloween. Look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas if you can. Next thing you know it will be the New Year and spring will be here a while after that!

5 Tips For Improved Mental Health

The key thing to know about mental health is that it can affect the health of everything else in your body.

Did you know that anxiety and depression can cause physical health problems? Some mental health conditions can cause stomach problems, headaches, muscle tension and soreness, fatigue, chest pain, fast heart beats, and more. So it is safe to say that your mental health can be very important to your physical health as well.

This article will include 5 handy tips for how to improve and maintain your mental health. In addition to these tips, see your primary healthcare doctor and discuss your mental health with them. Your doctor should be able to help you out more than this article will.

These tips will help you recognize and work on the things in your life that are perhaps contributing to your mental health struggles.

5 Tips for Mental Healthcare:

1. Sleep – Are you getting 7-9 hours of sleep most nights? It can help to set a timer on your phone to remind you to turn off all electronics an hour before you go to sleep. Instead of using devices, try other things such as drawing, coloring, reading a book, or listening to a meditation podcast. Make sure to set aside enough time every night for sleep.
2. Eating – What are you eating regularly? Are you filling up on sugar sodas, processed foods, and greasy foods? Try starting with one healthy meal per day and work your way up. Any improvement in your diet is a good start. Also, try eating without electronic devices. Try to stay relaxed during meals.
3. Physical activity – How much exercise are you getting? Try choosing exercise options that are enjoyable for you so that you stay interested. Not all exercises have to make your heart race and body sweat like crazy. Try walking, swimming, yoga, or other options.
4. Breaks from social media – Try making plans to meet up with friends in real life. Limit how much time you spend on social media. Use your phone’s screen time feature to find out how many hours per day you are spending on your phone. You may free up a lot of time to do something you enjoy, such as painting or practicing dancing! Even if your social media experience is often enjoyable, it is good for everyone to take breaks.
5. Talk to someone – If things are getting bad and you feel you can’t do this on your own it may be time to talk to a therapist. Use google to find local therapists or psychiatrists near you. If you can’t make it in person, look into the online therapy options available to you. You deserve an unbiased and professional helper to get through the harder mental health issues that may happen.

With all the above tips in mind it is important to stay mindful and practice. Not everyone can take complete control of their habits and it helps to try one step at a time. Try one of these tips each day and then try to do two or more after a while. Hang in there, it will get better!