Peloton Stock – How To Support The Hurting Quarantine Body, According To Experts
It’s been far from a year of rest since the onset of the pandemic. The number of employed adults working from home has more than tripled. While fitness fanatics have embraced working out in quarantine, most people have become more inactive. Parents are struggling to juggle child care responsibilities. The shift in routines and lifestyles has prompted complaints of new types of aches and pains among those who have the health insurance to seek medical treatment. Sleep-deprived and stressed out, the body is hurting.
“Over the last year I’ve seen a higher percentage of people experiencing muscular, joint and ligamentous pain and inflammation,” says Dr. Keith Burk, cosmetic physician and medical director of Avaria Health and Beauty Corp. Dr. Evelyn Bak, chiropractor, acupuncturist and founder of Balance Health Group, echos Dr. Burk, “People have been presenting to my office with injuries that are a direct cause of being at home.”
How does spending all our time at home make us so sore? “Being at home isn’t bad, the problem is too much sitting,” says Dr. Burk. “When we sit at a computer or use any screen device the majority of us have ‘head forward posture’, our ears are in front of our shoulders.” Given that the head weighs 10 to 11 pounds on average, Dr. Burk says this position puts tremendous strain on the neck and shoulders. We also tend to slouch during our downtime, highlights Dr. Burk, causing stress on the muscles and ligaments of the lower back.
Sitting for extended periods causes our postural muscles to fatigue, while being sedentary over the long term can heighten blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to Dr. Bak. “People move around less when working from home. We lose a sense of time as each hour blends into the next sitting in front of the screen and hopping from meeting to meeting without having to lift a foot,” says Dr. Bak. One solution then, is movement.
With the widespread closing of fitness studios across the United States, there have never been more options for finding movement at home. From dance to yoga to HIIT, there are now countless types of workouts available online. For the more serious gym junkies, interactive fitness technology like the futuristic MIRROR and popular Peloton stationary bike and treadmill guarantee a sweat. Even if you don’t run or cycle, Peloton now offers a variety of equipment-free classes to get the body moving at home.
Just remember to wear the right shoes—foot and toe injuries are on the rise. “People are getting aches and pain in the feet from taking up HIIT and high impact aerobics on concrete floors or even worse, on carpets and wooden floors without shoes at all,” says Dr. Bak. A comfortable training shoe like the new Brooks Glycerin GTS 19 provides cloud-like cushioning and guide rail technology to keep movement at home safe. Brooks’ handy shoe finder tool can help find the optimal shoe for your foot shape and workout.
Taking care of your body at home doesn’t have to involve burpees, research finds even small bouts of physical activity can help. Dr. Bak recommends a motorized desk that makes it easy to alternate between standing and sitting. “The desk that I worked on for 10 to 12 hours a day wasn’t suited for me, I had big issues with lower back pain,” Johannes Sauer, founder of Yaasa, tells Fintech Zoom. Inspired by an employer who made electronics for standing desks, Johannes decided to make his own—the Yaasa Adjustable Desk Pro, which silently rises and lowers with the press of a button. “I believe, and studies show, a standing desk makes people healthier, more productive and creative,” Sauer says.
While a standing desk can help, it isn’t a solution in and of itself. Dr. Bak has noticed clients complaining about foot pain from standing too long without any shoes. “When standing, your spine is in a closed kinematic chain, which our bodies don’t like for long periods of time,” says Dr. Bak. “I recommend alternating between standing and sitting every hour and when standing, wear comfortable shoes and shimmy back and forth to keep the feet in a state of motion.”
Another way to increase local circulation and prevent cramps is by wearing compression clothing. “Improving blood flow is critical to relieve physical tension during the new ‘home/work’ environment,” says Seth Casden, founder of Celliant, a body-responsive fabric that uses infrared technology to increase local circulation. While traditionally worn by athletes, performance fabrics are now found outside of sportswear, as they’re increasingly recognized as beneficial to anyone seeking prevention or relief from physical tension. Lunya and Lahgo’s Restore Pima collections, made with Celliant fabric, achieve the sleek loungewear look, while being comfortable and restorative too.
The same performance fabrics that up-cycle the body’s infrared energy can be used in bed to promote local circulation while you sleep. PureCare and Sleepletics both sell restorative sheet sets that use infrared technology. But performance textiles aside, even a simple bedtime ritual can help. “Sleep is paramount for healing,” says Dr. Bak, recommending a lower room temperature, loose clothing, dimmer lighting and activities to decompress like meditation. Dr. Bak says improving sleep hygiene is a “simple fix for people that aren’t sleeping well,” and stresses the importance of bedding that allows air flow to keep you cool.
A dimmable light like the Casper Glow Light, which automatically dims to a warm glow over 45 minutes, can help establish that bedtime routine. “The dimming light not only helps your natural melatonin production, but is a reminder to your brain and body to start winding down,” Dr. Michael Grandner, Director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona and Sleep Advisor for Casper, tells Fintech Zoom. The popular sleep company also offers ergonomic support and a cool sleep environment with their Wave Hybrid Mattress, made of breathable foam containing a cooling gel.
Another overlooked delivery channel for pain prevention and relief? The skin. While those seeking immediate pain relief may instinctively reach for a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen, topical versions, like Voltaren Emulgel Back and Muscle Pain, can target tense areas directly by being applied to the site of pain. “The skin is one of the largest organs in the human body,” says Dr. Burk. “If we develop the correct topical delivery system, it makes a safe and highly effective method for presenting therapeutic ingredients to the body.”
Dr. Bak recommends natural ointments that contain arnica, chamomilla, calendula and magnesium as they double as anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants. “Arnica, a daisy-like flower, has been used for centuries to soothe muscle aches, relieve inflammation and recover from sprains and strains,” says Melissa Ayers, Vice President of Marketing at J.R. Watkins. The company’s new Cooling and Muscle Pain Relief lines contain the popular homeopathic remedy, in addition to other anti-inflammatory ingredients like magnesium, menthol and aloe vera.
“The physical pain that comes from always looking down at the computer has only intensified with more people working remotely and not having proper work-from-home desk set-ups,” Ayers tells Fintech Zoom, explaining the company’s motivation for launching their two new pain relief collections. “It’s clear that consumers are looking for more natural formulas that address aches, pains and muscle soreness,” Ayers says.
It’s no surprise then, that CBD topicals have been selling during the pandemic too. Cannabidiol, the naturally occurring compound derived from cannabis, has become a go-to for treating inflammatory skin conditions like acne and eczema, and reducing pain and anxiety. With the global CBD skincare market expected to reach a value of 1.7 billion by 2025, there are now countless topicals containing various doses of the hemp plant. Medterra’s Nature’s Relief Daily Cream is one of the latest on the market, made with 500mg of CBD and soothing arnica, aloe and peppermint. For more of a warming and cooling effect, CBDfx’s Muscle and Joint Balm Stick combines 750mg of broad spectrum CBD with camphor and black pepper oil. Co-founder Jameson Rodgers says CBDfx launched the new balm stick line in response to increased demand for topical pain relief.
KaLaya’s 6x Pain Relief formula delivers a similar heating and cooling effect, but without the CBD. According to Dr. Burk, the six active ingredients in KaLaya’s formula interact with the endocannabinoid system—“the same system THC and CBD interact with.” Containing anti-inflammatory ingredients like MSM, eucalyptus and arnica, the formula has been found to reduce pain in less than two minutes. Dr. Burk tells Fintech Zoom sales of their pain relief products have skyrocketed during the pandemic with the 6X Extra Strength Pain Relief Massager being one of their bestsellers, likely due to its convenient massage applicator.
With spas and massage clinics closed, the personal massage equipment market is booming as people take massage into their own hands, literally. “Any type of self-massage will help get the blood flowing and work those tired muscles,” says Dr. Bak. The chiropractor recommends a roller stick, trigger point massager, lacrosse ball or foam roller. “Even using things we all have at home like a rolling pin or tennis ball will do the job,” says Dr. Bak. “And don’t forget your trusty hands for some self-massage.”
If the tension is centered in your upper body, or is as much mental and emotional as it is physical, a gua sha or jade roller can help. Both tools can be rubbed along the neck, shoulders and jawline to loosen up the connective tissue between muscles, and on the face to promote lymphatic drainage. Cooled gua sha stones have a mild anti-inflammatory effect and can decrease facial puffiness for up to 24 hours, according to Dr. Hadley King, a dermatologist and Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Cornell University. “Haphazard rubbing won’t accomplish this,” Dr. King tells Fintech Zoom. Better yet, the dermatologist says “the repetitive motion serves as a relaxing self-care ritual to calm the mind.”
The heat of a steaming bath can have a similar effect—immersing the body in warm water has been proven to improve blood flow and alleviate pain, stress and fatigue. Dr. Bak recommends incorporating Epsom salts to release muscle tension. Saje’s Pain Release Bath Salt Soak combines Epsom salts with menthol, camphor and eucalyptus to reduce inflammation. But the benefits stretch beyond the body with lavender and chamomile, two essential oils known to relax the nervous system.
“I’ve noticed increases in stress levels and mental health issues, like anxiety and depression, because people feel homebound,” says Dr. Bak. Dr. Burk says these emotional stressors have tangible impacts on the body. “Three emotions that dramatically impact our perception of pain are anxiety, fear and sadness,” he says. “Taking care of our body, which is the only structure we live in for our entire life, is important for both our physical and mental health.” Easing physical tension then—whether it’s soaking in bath salts or wearing supportive shoes—is about more than pain relief, it’s a self-care practice that is vital to our emotional and mental health too.
Peloton Stock – How To Support The Hurting Quarantine Body, According To Experts
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