Category Archives: Health

Fun Activities to Engage in on Your Rest Days

Toiling incessantly at the gym just doesn’t cut it when the end goal is to maintain physical fitness. Once in a while, you have to take it easy and give your thews time to recover and develop resilience. However, this shouldn’t be a reason to be indolent on your rest days. Keeping yourself physically active even on rest days helps to prevent muscle soreness and maintains calorie burning. There are some fun activities that you can engage in to keep yourself active as your body recuperates.

Take a Swim

Studies have shown that swimming is a great way of enhancing body healing. It is a light cardio exercise that has a negligible impact on your already hurting muscles and joints. Floating on water reduces the effects of gravity and pressure on your body parts, and this enhances the recovery process. If you are suffering from a knee injury or back pains, swimming helps offload the weight exerted on these areas.

Meditate

Most people tend to overlook the fact that physical fitness and mental fitness are interrelated. When healing your body, remember to cater for your mental health as well. Meditation helps to reduce overthinking and this reduces stress. It also helps with respiration, which improves blood flow.

Play Online Casino

While still on the topic of mental fitness, why not take part in an activity that challenges your cognitive abilities. Playing online casinos is a perfect example of such an activity. Engaging in the games on offer helps to improve your focus, problem-solving abilities and sharpness. Research has shown that people who engage more in casino games are usually happier and fell less stressed after participation. However, in order to enjoy and benefit from casino games, one needs to understand the basics and know some tricks they can utilise to their advantage.

Get a Massage

Massages are always relaxing and enjoyable. They help to alleviate muscle soreness and joint pains, and they also enhance blood circulation. Therefore, treating yourself to a massage session on your rest days is definitely a healthy idea.

In order to realise the desired results from your work-out regime, you have to factor in regular rest and recovery days. It is also important to maintain your body mobility even when you are not working out. The above-stated activities are just a few examples of what you can do on those days. Other activities can include spa dates, walks, bike rides and yoga classes.

Exercise your brain: what can you do to give your mind a workout?

Brains. They are a bit of a mystery, even to neuroscientists. However, the connection between mind and body is an incredibly powerful one, even if the process isn’t completely understood. That’s why so many neuroscientists are to be found clad in running gear. Running, they tell us, quite literally makes us smarter. But did you know that it can also work the other way around? If you exercise your mind, it actually makes your body healthier. Sounds like hocus pocus? Read on and see.

Learning a new skill

Gardening is just one of many skills that requires a combination of concentration, repetition, planning, and problem-solving. Knitting, craftwork, and cooking all produce a similar neurobiological effect. These activities build and strengthen neural pathways, improving overall brain function.

However, a remarkable additional effect is that they also force the brain into a state of mindfulness. This has a range of health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, reducing chronic pain, and improving heart health. This isn’t just because activities such as gardening involve exercise, but mainly because the mental focus that is required sends the body into a state of healthy relaxation.

The more effort that is put into learning a new skill, the more powerful the positive mental effect becomes.

But what about ‘serious’ learning?

Think of serious mental challenges, and games of logic spring to mind. Cryptic crosswords, chess, and poker are the forerunners. All of these work in a similar way. Poker, for instance, involves memorising complex strategies and rules that can be applied in order to predict how the game will unfold. Players also have to be able to perform complex mathematics involving probability and chance, and to apply multiple rules of logic.

Difficult? Yes. However, all of these activities are learned through practice and repetition, and that’s where the secret lies. Learning how to play these mentally complex games builds neural pathways. Due to the constant repetition, these pathways are strengthened until they are hardwired.

The result is a supercharged brain, with enhanced memory, concentration, and dexterity. However, one neural pathway that chess and poker players develop is emotional control. This can have a powerful physical effect: it reduces the physically damaging stress hormone cortisol.

Closing thoughts

When people think about exercise, they often forget that the brain also needs a good workout. Learning is not just something done by students, but something that the brain naturally wants and needs to do in order to keep the body healthy. Next time you’re wondering how to improve your gym workout, consider reaching for the chess set!

Common Injuries in CrossFit and How to Prevent and Treat Them

CrossFit is an increasingly popular fitness option that consists of rapid and successive high-intensity ballistic movements. Even though it was once reserved for tough guys, it seems to attract more and more individuals interested in getting a better physical shape. For you to reap the physical benefits of CrossFit training, you need to safeguard yourself against these common injuries:

Anterior Knee Pain

Knee pain, which can occur during a lunge, squat, or single leg work, is usually associated with strain and overuse, but other times it can mean dislocation or even worse injury. If you experience swelling on your kneecap or observe a dislocation, you should avoid physical impact on the knees and do stretches to keep the knee limber. For minor injuries, just ice your knees.

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain occurs due to too much stress on the lumbar spine during squats and deadlift exercises. When you experience pain and distress on your lower back, it’s imperative that you halt your training. To prevent this injury, it’s important to first build up your core and glute strength before lifting heavy weights, as well as do the right kind of stretching and strengthening exercises.

Safety Tips

To prevent these CrossFit injuries, it’s important to start training slowly and gradually build up. If you experience any of these injuries, you should consult a qualified sports trainer or doctor. But, if the injuries are serious, lay off the training until you recover to prevent further damage. During your recovery, you can engage in less strenuous games like poker to help you stay busy. Learning a new game and it’s strategies can put your mind off the fact that you can’t workout.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is caused by overuse of the ligaments and the tendons in the elbow. In case of elbow pain, break off from the activity causing it until the pain subsides, then do some extensor muscles stretches. Wear a compression elbow brace before you start training as it minimizes micro tears, which cause pain associated with tennis elbow.

Stem Cells to help with Sports Injuries

Although stem cell research is still just that, research, there are numerous potential applications to aid those recovering from injuries. Sports injuries are identified as one area that might receive great benefit from stem cell research since about 45% of sports injuries are related to the musculature system; strains and pulls etc. Injuries to cartilage are also common and these two types of tissue have been receptive to stem cell research.

Stem cells responsible for repairing muscles are called satellite cells. under the course of normal exercise, the tissue of the muscles wear and tear. The satellite cells then initiate repair by dividing themselves to create new satellite cells as well as creating myoblast cells that are integrated into the damaged muscle tissue. Through this process muscles are built up and become stronger with use.

With the case of an injury, of course, the damage is more extensive than normal exercise and research into using stem cells to accelerate muscle repair is the focus of most stem cell research in the area of sports injury. Cartilage is a relatively simple (but important!) type of cell, and as such is a prime candidate accelerated healing. typically, the simpler a cell is, the easier it is to replicate or repair, much like anything else.

Other applications for stem cell inspired rapid healing techniques range from tendons and bones to head trauma and neurological diseases. Since stem cells are responsible for much of the body’s regeneration after any injury, stem cell research can apply to almost any injury suffered during the course of participating in a sport. Obviously these applications are not limited to sports injuries, but breakthroughs in one arena definitely cascade into other similar applications. And there are several companies that are leading the charge in respect to research and furthering the field.

By using cell cultures from companies like BioLamina, researchers are given the tools that they need to progress in their research and further the field. BioLamia offers excellent and high quality cell culture products complete with support. Companies like BioLamia are furthering the vision of creating a future where stem cell therapy is a proven and accepted medical process to help athletes as well as others. Achievements gained in sports medicine will advance the medical field in general.