How to combat seasonal allergies for healthy sleep

How to combat seasonal allergies for healthy sleepFall has often been touted as the best season. And why wouldn’t it be? With the fall season comes football, sweaters, Halloween and Thanksgiving, pumpkin spice lattes and the list goes on.

Unfortunately, this coveted time of year also brings seasonal allergies, which for the estimated 50 million Americans (1 in 5) who suffer from allergies, means unwanted sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes in the coming months. And if things couldn’t get any worse, more than half of nasal allergy sufferers experience sleep issues because of their symptoms. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help combat seasonal allergies for a healthy night’s sleep.

  • Keep the windows closed. It may be tempting to keep those windows open on cool, autumn nights, but you may be letting pollen and ragweed into your home, which can sink into furniture and fabrics that you might not think about cleaning.
  • Take a shower before bed. Taking a hot shower before bedtime can help loosen nasal congestion so you’ll breathe easier when you sleep. In addition, seasonal allergies, like pollen, that circulate through the air can also get stuck in your hair and washing it out in the shower can help prevent it from transferring onto your sheets and pillowcases.
  • Wash your sheets. That being said, you should wash your sheets and pillowcases at least once a week. Make sure the water is hot though – at least 130 F (54 C) – so that it’ll kill any dust mites harboring in your sheets, which can also trigger allergy symptoms. Mattress encasements and pillow protectors, like the AllerZip® Smooth Mattress Encasement and AllerZip® Smooth Pillow Protector, can help. They’re designed specifically for allergy sufferers to provide a protective barrier against dust mites, bacteria and other allergens.
  • Rinse out your nose. Just like washing your hair, cleaning out your nostrils with a salt water nasal spray can help relieve allergy symptoms.  Many of these are available at your local drug store.

If you’re running a fall race or looking to ramp up your fitness, avoiding the sniffles is key. By beating fall allergies, you’ll sleep better and, consequentially, improve your exercise routine. Check out the REM-Fit Motivate Plush Mattress Protector and REM-Fit Motivate Plush Pillow Protector, which are designed for athletes who need protection from dust mites, allergens and other irritants, helping you to rest comfortably, recover and stay motivated to achieve your fitness goals.

How to prevent sports injuries

How to prevent sports injuriesAs with any sport or exercise program, there are always associated risks and the possibility of getting injured. However, research has suggested that “injury rates could be reduced by 25 percent if athletes took appropriate preventative action.” Here are a few strategies that can help reduce the risk of sports injuries.

 

  • Be in proper shape. Don’t expect the sport to get you in shape. One of the best ways to prevent sports injuries is to build and condition the muscles for the sport or activity you are doing.

 

  • Know the proper form. If you’re starting a new exercise program or sport, don’t be afraid to take a lesson or class. Poor or incorrect form can result in both acute and chronic injuries. A trained professional can identify bad habits, train you on proper form and help prevent injuries from occurring.

 

  • Warm up and cool down. Warming up and cooling down can help reduce your risk of sports injuries and also improve your athletic performance. Warming up raises your muscles’ temperature for better flexibility and range of motion. Cooling down allows your heart rate and blood pressure to gradually recover after intense activity. Stopping suddenly can cause your heart rate and blood pressure to drop, which can make you feel dizzy or light-headed. Here are some examples of warm-up and cool-down activities.

 

  • Avoid playing or exercising when fatigued or in pain. It’s important to learn to listen to your body. Ignoring the warning signs that your body gives you could result in a more serious injury.

 

  • Rest days. Playing or exercising hard every day takes a toll on your body. Rest days reduce injury risks because they give muscles time to repair themselves. Experts recommend that at least one day a week be dedicated to rest. The REM-Fit Rest Adjustable Pillow is great for athletes who need to rest. It’s designed for those with an active lifestyle and you can can add or remove filling to tailor it to your specific sleep style, helping you to rest comfortably, recover and stay motivated.

 

  • Treating an injury. If you do sustain a sports injury, it’s good to remember RICE, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Using the RICE method as soon as possible after an injury can reduce pain and swelling. As with any injury, it’s best to contact your doctor or health care provider before attempting to treat the injury at home.

 

When you have a persistent problem, such as an aching CrossFit injury, make sure to talk to your doctor or a medical professional.

CrossFit Injuries: Three Ways to Avoid the Sport’s Risks

We’ve seen the headlines. We’ve read the rumors. According to “experts,” CrossFit is dangerous and causes injury.

But these speculations are neither true nor false. As with any exercise program, including CrossFit, there are always associated risks and the possibility of getting injured. But it’s not a given.

Whether you’re a new or old pro, you can avoid CrossFit injuries with three simple steps.

 

1. Find a good gym and a coach.

With CrossFit gaining in popularity, boxes are popping up everywhere, so it’s important to do your research. A good CrossFit studio will have introductory or “on ramp” programs, which will introduce beginners to new movements, teach form and position, and assesses your level of flexibility.

A good coach should be invested in your well-being and modify exercises for individual ability, which is particularly important for preventing CrossFit injuries in those who are new to the sport. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your coach questions, and make sure whoever is coaching you is CrossFit Level 1 certified!

2. Listen to your body.

CrossFit injuries: Three ways to avoid the sport’s risksIf you experience extreme muscle soreness following a workout, feel weak or light-headed during exercise, pay attention. This is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and that you need a break.

To help prevent CrossFit injuries, learn to listen to your body and recognize the signs of overtraining before they occur.

3. Sleep.

This should be a no-brainer, but sleep is essential after any intense exercise, as your body heals itself while you’re sleeping. This is particularly important after strength training programs, like CrossFit, where your muscles have been torn down to some degree and need time to repair.

The REM-Fit Rest Adjustable Pillow can help. It’s designed for those with an active lifestyle and you can add or remove filling to tailor it to your specific sleep style, helping you to rest comfortably, recover and stay motivated.

 

Still nervous about picking up CrossFit? Here’s your insider guide to all things CrossFit, including wardrobe suggestions, lingo and, most importantly, how to rest up and reach your fitness goals.

 

Five Things to Know Before Your First CrossFit Workout

Five Things to Know Before Your First CrossFit WorkoutStarting any new workout can be overwhelming and intimidating, but going to your first CrossFit workout can be downright scary. If you’re trying CrossFit for the first time, fear not.

This list of five things to know before your first CrossFit workout will help you fit in at the box like a seasoned pro.

  1. You don’t have to be in great “shape” to start. As a beginner, you’re probably thinking of bodybuilders and former gold medalists, but really anyone can do CrossFit. What’s great about the sport is it’s designed for “universal scalability.” So if grandma can do it, so can you.
  2. It’s called a “box,” not a gym. CrossFit studios are called “boxes” because that’s what they look like. Most are located in warehouse-like spaces with a square mat covering the floor and an assortment of weights, kettlebells and ropes. So don’t expect any fancy thrills when you head to the box for your first CrossFit workout. Also, be sure to study up on the other CrossFit lingo you’ll be hearing around the box.
  3. You will sweat, so dress comfortably. Wear clothes that allow you to move and sweat. And make sure you bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated after all that sweating.
  4. Have fun with it. As with any exercise program, the most important thing is to challenge yourself both mentally and physically, but make sure you have fun while you’re doing it. Many have found the sport to be a great social setting. In fact, this mother/daughter duo enhanced their relationship with regular CrossFit training.
  5. Rest and recovery. Sleep is essential after any intense exercise as your muscles need time to repair. This is particularly important after strength training programs, like CrossFit, where your muscles have been torn down to some degree. The REM-Fit Rest Adjustable Pillow is great for athletes who need to rest. It’s designed for those with an active lifestyle and you can you can add or remove filling to tailor it to your specific sleep style, helping you to rest comfortably, recover and stay motivated to head back to the box tomorrow.

Want to learn more about the sport? Check out these tips from REM-Fit spokeswoman Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, the fittest woman in the world.

Race Weekend Checklist

Race weekend checklistIt’s normal to feel a little anxious before a big race weekend, which is why it’s important to try to not put any unnecessary stress on yourself – like waiting until the last minute to pack and leaving your lucky shoes at home. Avoid the last minute rush (and stress) and make a race weekend checklist of the items you want to take and start getting them together in the days leading up to your departure.

Luckily, Runner’s World has compiled an extensive race weekend checklist for both local and out-of-town races that will have you covered no matter the destination. Here are some important items to include in your race weekend checklist.

 

  1. Photo ID and race confirmation
  2. Shoes (and extra socks)
  3. Ear plugs and sleep mask
  4. Singlet/ short-sleeve or long-sleeve shirt
  5. Shorts/ tights
  6. Hat or visor
  7. Watch or GPS
  8. Snacks or energy bars
  9. Band-Aids
  10. Sunblock

If you’re traveling out of town for your race and staying overnight in a hotel, you might want to consider bringing your own pillow as it may help you sleep more comfortably and avoid last-minute neck injuries. The REM-Fit Rest Adjustable Pillow is designed specifically for active runners and fitness enthusiasts. Users can sleep well before race day by adding and removing filling, tailoring it to specific sleep style needs.

For more information on how to rest comfortably while traveling away from home, check out these tips.

By making a race weekend checklist, you’ll feel more prepared and less stressed come race day. Good luck!