Back exercises that take only 15 minutes!

Do you want to prevent back pain? Try a few basic exercises to stretch and strengthen your back and supporting muscles. Repeat each exercise a few times, then increase the number of repetitions as the exercise gets easier. If you’ve ever hurt your back or have other health conditions, such as osteoporosis, consult your doctor before doing these exercises.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Using both hands, pull up one knee and press it to your chest. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg. Return to the starting position and then repeat with both legs at the same time. Repeat each stretch two to three times — preferably once in the morning and once at night.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your shoulders firmly on the floor, roll your bent knees to one side. Hold for five to 10 seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. Repeat each stretch two to three times — preferably once in the morning and once at night.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Arch your back so that your pubic bone feels like it’s pointing toward your feet. Hold for five seconds and then relax. Flatten your back, pulling your bellybutton toward the floor so that your pubic bone feels like it’s pointing toward your head. Hold for five seconds and then relax. Repeat. Start with five repetitions each day and gradually work up to 30.

Position yourself on your hands and knees. Slowly let your back and abdomen sag toward the floor. Then slowly arch your back, as if you’re pulling your abdomen up toward the ceiling. Return to the starting position. Repeat three to five times twice a day.

Sit on an armless chair or a stool. Cross your right leg over your left leg. Bracing your left elbow against the outside of your right knee, twist and stretch to the side. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side. Repeat this stretch three to five times on each side twice a day.

Sit on an armless chair or a stool. While maintaining good posture, pull your shoulder blades together. Hold for five seconds and then relax. Repeat three to five times twice a day.


Help I Have Migraines!

The symptoms of migraine headaches can occur in various combinations and include:

  • Moderate to severe pain (often described as pounding, throbbing pain) that can affect the whole head, or can shift from one side of the head to the other)
  • Sensitivity to light, noise or odors
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea or vomiting, stomach upset, abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sensations of being very warm or cold
  • Paleness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Fever (rare)
  • Bright flashing dots or lights, blind spots, wavy or jagged lines (aura)

There are very few studies on massage and migraine, which adhere to the top standards for clinical trial.

One small 2006 study of 47 migraine sufferers randomly assigned some participants to receive massage therapy. Those who had massages had fewer migraines and slept better during the weeks they had massages.


Winter Produce Guide


Healthy Winter Produce

As each year ends, a new season arrives. And with it a supply of fresh ingredients that offer you comfort from the cold. From hardy root vegetables to bright, sweet citrus, winter produce delivers a surprising range of flavors for you to enjoy with family and friends.

Blood Oranges

Blood oranges are best eaten fresh—out-of-hand, or in salads, salsas, or marmalades. The two most popular varieties are the dark-fleshed Moro, which is available from December through March, and the delicately flavored Tarocco, which you can find from January through May. To select, pick those that are firm to the touch and heavy for their size. Avoid any fruits with mold or spongy spots.


Fresh beets are now commonplace on fine-restaurant menus. With hues ranging from yellow to purple, they lend themselves to dramatic presentations.
To select, choose small to medium beets with firm, smooth skin and no soft spots, with stems and leaves attached.


Although the membranes of pomegranates are bitter and inedible, the pulp and seeds contribute a juicy, sweet-tart flavor to  many winter recipes. To select, choose pomegranates that feel heavy, are bright in color, and are free of blemishes.


Fresh kumquats are in season as early as October and as late as June, but they’re most plentiful from December through April. To select, test with a gentle squeeze, and buy only firm fruit.


Often called winter greens, turnip greens are actually available almost year-round. But in deep winter, they become sweeter.  The greens aren’t the only good product of this vegetable, however. The roots can be boiled and mashed or roasted and pureed; they can also be cubed and tossed with butter or used raw in salads.


Although leeks resemble large green onions, they’re milder and sweeter. Leeks are usually cooked since they’re very fibrous when raw.


This hardy root vegetable enjoys cool climates—it requires frost to convert its starches to sugars and to develop its sweet, nutty flavor. To select, look for small to medium-sized parsnips with beige skin. They should be blemish-free and firm.


Consider using kale as a stand-in for spinach in other dishes. Its sturdy leaves are excellent sautéed and added to casseroles. To select, look for a deep blue-green color and choose small bunches devoid of any signs of wilting or discoloration.


Unlike any other fruits, cranberries need to be cooked to release their full flavor and to absorb that of other ingredients—one  of which is sugar. To select, you probably won’t be able to choose them individually, so check the see-through plastic to make sure you get bright, intensely colored berries.


Whether you use the juice, the zest (rind), or the slices, the acidity of lemon adds to the balance of flavor in all types of food. To select, look for smooth, brightly-colored skin (green means under-ripe), and lemons that feel heavy for their size.


Whether sectioned, sliced, juiced, or zested, these juicy fruits are a kitchen staple. To select, choose firm oranges that have smooth skins and are not moldy. Don’t worry about brown patches on the skin; this does not indicate poor quality.


Sciatica Back Pain

Sciatica is pain, tingling, or numbness produced by an irritation of the nerve roots that lead to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is formed by the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord into the lower back. It goes down through the buttock, then its branches extend down the back of the leg to the ankle and foot.

The most common cause of sciatica is a bulging or ruptured disc (herniated disc) in the spine pressing against the nerve roots that lead to the sciatic nerve. But sciatica also can be a symptom of other conditions that affect the spine, such as narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis), bone spurs (small, bony growths that form along joints) caused by arthritis, or nerve root compression (pinched nerve) caused by injury. In rare cases, sciatica can also be caused by conditions that do not involve the spine, such as tumors or pregnancy.

How is it treated?

In many cases, sciatica will improve and go away with time. Initial treatment usually focuses on medicines and exercises to relieve pain. You can help relieve pain by:
Avoiding sitting (unless it is more comfortable than standing).
Alternating lying down with short walks. Increase your walking distance as you are able to without pain.
Taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve).
Using a heating pad on a low or medium setting for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 or 3 hours. Try a warm shower in place of one session with the heating pad. You can also buy single-use heat wraps that last up to 8 hours. You can also try an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. There is not strong evidence that either heat or ice will help, but you can try them to see if they help you.

Additional treatment for sciatica depends on what is causing the nerve irritation. If your symptoms do not improve, your doctor may suggest physical therapy, injections of medicines such as steroids, stronger medicines such as muscles relaxants or opioids, or even surgery for severe cases.

Is it Carpal Tunnel?


Mild carpal tunnel symptoms most often affect the hand and sometimes the forearm, but they can spread up to the shoulder. Symptoms include:

Numbness or pain in your hand, forearm, or wrist that awakens you at night. (Shaking or moving your fingers may ease this numbness and pain.)

Occasional tingling, numbness, “pins-and-needles” sensation, or pain. The feeling is similar to your hand “falling asleep.”

Numbness or pain that gets worse while you are using your hand or wrist. You are most likely to feel it when you grip an object with your hand or bend (flex) your wrist.

Occasional aching pain in your forearm between your elbow and wrist.

Stiffness in your fingers when you get up in the morning.

Massage can be quite effective relieving the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and treating the cause.

Oily Hair

1) Powder Your Roots
If your hairline starts to look greasy, dig up a big, fluffy makeup brush, and dip it into a pot of loose powder. Tap it once on the back of your hand to remove the excess, then dust it over your roots. It mops up oil and blends into your strands, so no one will know you didn’t shower.

2) Scent Strands with Perfume
Spray a light shot of fragrance into the bristles. Run it through strands from roots to ends and your hair will smell amazing throughout the day.

3) Cure Calluses with Vaseline
Slather on the petroleum jelly, and put on socks before bed to dissolve tough calluses overnight.

4) Spot-Treat Smudges
Dip a cotton swab in eye-makeup remover, and trace it along your lids to erase any slipups or goofs when there’s no time to redo your whole look.

5) Fix a Flushed Face
If you turn red and stay that way after exercising (like seriously red for hours, even though you’re healthy and hydrated), take an antihistamine like Benadryl when you leave the gym to reduce redness.

Health Benefits of Bananas!

  • Bananas are good for people who suffer from ulcer. Banana is a barrier against stomach acids.
  • Fresh bananas are highly potassium content fruit. Potassium is good for nerve and muscle function and prevents muscle cramps after exercise. Potassium also helps to control heart rate and blood pressure, countering bad effects of sodium.
  • Bananas are naturally fat and cholesterol free.
  • Bananas are very useful in gaining weight fast. It is used as supplement food in the treatment plan for underweight children.
  • Bananas contain a good amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C is responsible for helping the body absorb iron and also destroys free radicals, most commonly associated with cell damage and signs of aging.
  • Bananas are easy to digest. It keeps digestion regular and helps to maintain low blood sugar and curbs overeating.
  • Bananas prevent the weakening of the body’s bones. Probiotic bacteria present in bananas help in absorbing calcium and increasing the digestive ability. Bananas are also good source of manganese which is necessary for bone health and metabolism.
  • Bananas diminish the uncomfortable effects of constipation and diarrhea. It contains good amount of soluble dietary fiber.
  • Bananas are being used by athletes to get instant energy. Bananas contain fructose, glucose, sucrose and maltose. Bananas also provide antioxidants that are not found in sports drinks.
  • Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that prevents cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, as well as obesity. Vitamin B6 also helps the body make several neurotransmitters and maintain healthy brain function. Neurotransmitters are endogenous chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to another.
  • Bananas are rich in iron. Eating bananas increase iron and thereby hemoglobin content is increased. Bananas are beneficial in anemic treatment.

How much water do you really need?

Take your weight in pounds, divide by two. The answer equals the number of ounces you really need.

A typical bottle of water contains 16.9 oz of water.

For an example, a 150 pound person requires 4.5 bottles of water, or 200 pound person needs 6 bottles.