It’s Never Too Late!

It’s Never Too Late!

Hello everyone! Today is March 1st and that means that Spring is just right around the corner! This is just a friendly reminder that it is never too late to start on the fitness goals that you set earlier this year! If anything, this beautiful weather that we will have coming up should motivate you even more!

As the sun starts to come around and as temperature start to cool you should consider going for a run or taking a hike out in our beautiful backyard of British Columbia!

Grab a basketball or your tennis racket and play outside for some sunshine!

Remember, all of us at Neurofocus is cheering you on as you strive for a healthier lifestyle!

Got Sore Neck?

Got Sore Neck?

Did you wake up this morning with a sore neck? Does it feel stiff and tight? Is it painful to look to your left and to your right?

Whether or not you’ve bene sleeping in an awkward position or may have done something strenuous last night, stiff necks are always an inconvenience.

Here are three tips to help you soothe the pain!

1) Massage and Stretch your neck:

You want to find the sore spot(s) and try your best to massage and relieve the muscle. IF you have a tennis ball laying around, you can push yourself up agains the wall with the ball and massage the sore muscle.

You can stretch your neck by bringing your ear to your shoulder or looking up at the ceiling. It is important to stop any of these stretches or massages if you begin to feel more pain or feel dizzy.

2) Utilize heat and cold:

You want to relieve the muscles by applying some heat in the forms of a hotpack or cold through ice/icepacks. The cold will help numb the pain and relieve any tension. The heat will help with promoting further blood circulation to the muscle.

3) Take medication:

IF the pain is unbearable and if it persists, it is recommended that you take some over the counter medicines to help relax and relieve the sore and tight muscles. This should be a last resort after you have tried the top two tips!

If the pain grows unusual and these three tips do not help, it is always good to consider seeing your family doctor in case there are any other complications.

Stay Safe!

Stay Safe!

Unfortunately, many falls and injuries occur in the comfort one’s own home. More often than not, your home may require you to go up and down a few steps in order to get around. This is a task that many individuals find difficult and have anxiety doing so. In addition, stairs become more difficult when you are recovery from an injury or illness. Here are a few tips to help you be more confident and safe when navigating through stairs in your home or outside in your community.

GOING UP:

If your set of stairs has handrails we advise you to use them! There is an important adage that is used when going up the stairs. Remember the phrase “UP WITH THE GOOD” when going up stairs. You want to lead up with your stronger leg and carry your other leg as you go up. This ensure that your strong leg takes all the weight and keeps you safe as you ascend.

You want to make sure that you stay upright, engage your core muscles and activate the glute to help bring your strong leg up.

GOING DOWN:

Once again if there are handrails, please use them as they will provide solid support. Building off the adage we mentioned earlier, when going down you want to remember the phrase “DOWN WITH THE BAD”. When you go down with the bad, it prevents you from putting all the weight on that weaker leg and use your stronger one for support. Once again, ensure that your core is engaged and that you stay upright.

Remember this is a simple rule that can help you out when going up down stairs within your home or in your community. However, there may be other factors involved such as gait aids or different styles of stairs/handrails. Also, if you need support to go up and down stairs, do not hesitate to ask a friend or family member! It is important that you always consult with your physiotherapist or occupational therapist in order to stay safe.

Do You Use a Walker?

Depending on your current condition, you may find yourself using need to use a walker to help you stay steady and balanced! Walkers are a great tool to help promote stabilization and safe walking.

Unfortunately, walkers can become a hindrance when used incorrectly. Here is are some tips to make sure that you are using your walker safely and correctly!

1) Make sure it is the right height!

Whether you have 4 wheeled walker or a 2 wheeled walker you want to make sure that the walker is not too high nor too low. A high walker can cause balance problems as you body may tilt back due to the extra height. A lower walker will have you slouch and will cause pain in your back and tension around your neck when you are walker.

If there is a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist around, they should be your first option in adjusting your walker as they know what will be correct for you.

However, if you need to figure it out on your own this is what you do:

Relax shoulders and have arm dangle down comfortably. The top of the walker should be the same height as the crease in your wrist.

2) Do not pull on your walker!

When you are standing up from a chair or from your bed, refrain from pulling up on the walker. The walker is not stable enough on the ground and when you pull on the walker, there is a risk of you losing your balance as you fall backwards. Instead, push up form the handles or from the bed when standing up.

Moreover, when sitting down, you want to back up into the chair or bed and make sure the back of your knees touch the surface. Once it is safe, reach back for the chair or bed to sit.

3) Do not pick up your walker!

Many times, people will pick up the walker as they walk forward. This removes the walker from the picture for a moment and increases the risk of you losing your balance. Keep the walker on the floor as you push it around.

These are a few tips to keep you safe with your walker! Remember that practice makes perfect and if you have any questions, it is best to ask your therapist.

New Year! New You!

New Year! New You!

In 2017, a survey revealed findings that in Canada, 33% stated that their New Year’s resolution was revolved around improving their fitness.

It is an amazing resolution to have! There are many ways to improve our fitness and health. You can eat healthier, exercise more, improve your sleeping habits and even strengthen healthy relationships! These are all great things but the number one thing that sticks out when improving healthy is going to the gym!

The gym is an excellent place to build muscle, improve cardio and relieve stress but it is also a place where injuries can occur. There are many machines and many ways to do workouts and one wrong more or a misuse of a machine can cause unnecessary injury!

As you venture into your new resolution of getting healthier and hitting the gym, consider these tips to keep you safe as you work out!

1) Ask for help! If there is a workout that you are unfamiliar with more often than not, there will be people around who may help you. Depending on the gym that you go to, there may be trainers and employees there who will be more than willing to help! 

2) Bring a friend! 

Bringing a friend to the gym not only makes it fun and bearable at times, but a friend can help spot you and assist you as you begin to lift heavier. Also, just like the last tipm your friend may have some experience and some tips to share.

3) Practice proper technique/mechanics!

This can also tie in with the first 2 tips as it is important to have feedback when practicing certain lifts such as the bench press, squat, deadlift to name a few. Always remember that form is way more important than how heavy the lift is. It is important that you stay aware of your form and body mechanics when going through workouts! Once again, feedback and help from others is important!

Body mechanics also helps when returning weights or moving equipment around. It is good gym etiquette to always return your weights and equipment so that the space is tidy and that the risk of injury is reduced. However, more often than not, we tend to move things around with bad body mechanics. We forget that we are still lifting things in the process and may injure ourselves when putting back weights or moving benches.

4) Have proper gym gear!

The right shoes and right clothes will definitely keep you safe in the gym. You wouldn’t wear high heels or steel toed boots to the gym right? Good shoes with support will help you maintain balance and even strength as you complete your workouts. Clothes that are not restricting/loose will help as well with lifts and reduce the risk of injury.

5) Stay hydrated!

If there is one tip that you do not forget, it is this. It is important to stay hydrated as you workout to reduce the risk of injury! Water helps fuel our bodies when working out and help remove the toxins in the process. Less water will make you feel tired and less energized to finish your workouts. No matter what you do, do NOT forget to hydrate!