The weekend isn’t just about getting away from work and rejuvenating your mood and energy levels. It’s also about your diet

The weekend isn’t just about getting away from work and rejuvenating your mood and energy levels. It’s also about your diet.

For many, the weekend is a time to celebrate. You’re off of work, the big game is on, and there’s nothing keeping you from that tub of ice cream that’s calling your name. But what if your weekend could be about something better? What if you look back over the week, take a hard look at where you failed and succeeded, and took the weekend as an opportunity to prepare for success in the coming week?

That’s where the weekend diet comes into play. Yes, it takes some work, but it’s well worth it. Because in a few months, instead of putting on a few pounds due to your no-dietary-restriction weekend, you’ll be slimmer and feel better than you have in years.

Here’s how to get started.

1. Evaluate the Week

Some people don’t struggle with maintaining their diet, Monday through Friday. These people can get by with a little indulgence over the weekend. Whether this is a thin sliver of cake or a beloved cup of overly indulgent coffee, these breaks in an otherwise healthy routine do wonders to keep the healthy routine in tact.

If, however, you find yourself indulging in small or large ways Monday through Friday, a weekend diet plan could very well set you on a healthier course for the week to come. Think your week’s routine could handle a steroid shot? Keep reading.

2. Adopt the Right Mindset

Yes, you could easily see a weekend diet as a horrendous way to spend a weekend. Or if you have an eye on the future, you could view it as a positive step in the direction you want to head. So before you begin the weekend diet, you’ll need to ask yourself what health goals you want to reach and if you’re willing to use your weekends to meet these goals.

Everyone who is willing to put up a fight during the weekend should move on to the next point. For those whose weekend is more important than their health goals, it may be time to work with your trainer to reevaluate those goals.

3. Go Full Throttle

Want your weekend to jumpstart a week of healthy eating? Then you’ll need to make every bite count. It’s recommended that those considering the weekend diet choose to eat 1,200 calories a day on the weekend. If your normal diet is higher than this, this can be a difficult task. But talk it over with your trainer and dietitian. If they feel it is safe, you’re good to go. You’ll just need some will power.

To make sure those calories get you through the weekend without causing a mental breakdown, drink plenty of water and choose the proper foods. Go with those that are high in protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. This will help you get full and stay that way until Monday arrives and you return to your regularly scheduled diet routine. With this reset in your dietary ways, Monday may be a relief. As a result, you may find that sticking to your diet Monday through Friday is easier than you ever imagined.

Do it for a few weeks or months in a row and you may find such success throughout the week that you can turn your weekend into a more relaxed dietary affair. Just be careful! Get too slothful over the break and your previous weekday habits may sneak back up on you, causing you to lose the gains you work so hard to reach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may be craving these foods, but you’re better off without them

You may be craving these foods, but you’re better off without them.

What are your favorite foods? Most likely a few of them are foods your diet plan restricts. Maybe the food is especially high in empty calories, refined white flour, added sugar, empty carbs, sodium, or unhealthy fat. Regardless, sacrifices usually have to be made in order to reach your weight-loss goals. After all, the foods you crave may not be the foods your body needs for health.

Keep reading to learn a few of the foods you’re better off without, despite what your mind and taste buds may tell you. Learn to choose healthier options to satisfy your cravings and stay on the track to better health.

White Bread

Toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and garlic bread with dinner—all made with white bread. Unfortunately, most white breads are made with refined wheat flour that’s been stripped of its fiber and nutrients. When you eat white bread, you’re eating empty calories and simple carbs. The bread may fill you up for a short time and give you a short burst of energy, but it causes your blood sugar to spike and provides little nutrition. Put the white away and choose breads made with 100-percent whole grain.

French Fries

There aren’t many foods tastier than French fries with your hamburger or chicken fingers, but French fries are one of those foods that should be avoided or eaten only on rare occasions. While fries are made from potatoes, and potatoes are healthy on their own, fries are extremely high in calories and sodium. When a food is fried in oil at high temperatures, acrylamide compounds (substances are known to cause cancer) form, so it’s not just your waistline at risk. It’s your life.

Sweetened Drinks

Sugar-sweetened drinks should top your no-no list. This includes sodas, sweet tea, energy drinks, fruit punches, and many coffee drinks. Because drinks don’t fill your stomach like food does, it’s easy to overdo it on extra calories. People who regularly drink sugary beverages are at a much greater risk of being obese and of developing fatty liver disease, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Make the switch to water, carbonated water, coffee, or unsweetened tea to give your health a liquid boost.

Gluten-Free Processed Foods

Millions have made the switch to gluten-free in hopes of improving their health. Whether they truly have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or they’re trying to relieve unwanted inflammation, lose weight, or treat digestive problems, going gluten-free is gaining popularity. But many people mistakenly think that every food labeled “gluten-free” is healthy. You should know that junk foods like cookies, cakes, brownies, pancake mixes, pizza, and snack bars can be made without gluten, while still containing added sugars, simple carbs, unhealthy fats, and lots of calories.

Low-Fat Yogurt

The protein, calcium, and probiotics found in yogurt make it a healthy addition to your diet, but it has to be the right kind of yogurt. Many people seek out low-fat yogurt varieties in their quest to eat fewer calories. The bad news is that yogurt made without natural dairy fats tastes unpleasant and to improve the taste, manufacturers add sugar. As a result, most yogurts found in the refrigerator aisle are loaded with added sugars. When buying yogurt, look for regular, full-fat Greek yogurt that contains active probiotics.

Processed Meat

Meat may be your go-to main dish, and unprocessed beef, pork, poultry, and fish provide iron, protein, and valuable nutrients. However, processed meats come with health risks. You may love the taste of bacon, deli meat, hot dogs, and sausage, but you’d be better off not eating them on a regular basis. Frequent consumption of processed meats is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BCS Fitness Featured in Men’s Health

BCS Fitness Featured in Men’s Health

Get a behind the scenes peak both at our customized coaching process with TLC‘s Chad Dean as well as updates on his powerful fat loss journey in the latest issue of Men’s Health here …

https://www.menshealth.com/…/my-600-lb-life-chad-dean-weig…/

The most popular New Year’s resolutions

The most popular New Year’s resolutions.

Everyone has things about their life they wish were different. At the start of each new day, week, month, or year, you have the opportunity to resolve for change. Millions of people around the world take advantage of the beginning of a new year to make resolutions. They look back at the previous year, see areas that need improving, and set goals to make changes in the year to come.

Are there things in your life that need to change? It’s never too late to make a resolution and take steps to help bring about that change. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, here are a few of the most popular.

Eat Healthier

Maybe you’re overweight, have high blood pressure, or feel tired all the time, so you’ve made it your goal to eat healthier this year. Sometimes the best way to make healthy food choices is by starting small. Choose one food you know you need to give up and replace it with a healthy alternative. Swap out soda for green tea. Stop buying white bread and eat whole wheat instead. Or, keep sweets out of the house and snack on fruit.

Exercise More

For years now, exercise has been at the top of most people’s list of New Year’s resolutions. Weight loss, mental health, and heart health can be powerful motivators to move more. Buy athletic shoes, workout clothes, a fitness tracker, and gym membership, and don’t let them go to waste. Work with your personal trainer to stay motivated and committed to getting in shape.

Spend Less/Save More

You don’t have to live your life beholden to your lender. When you’re tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck with little to no savings and a constant fear of retirement, make a resolution to get your finances under control. If you don’t already have a written budget, sit down and make one. Get on the same page with your spouse. Take a class on how to get out of debt and save for the future. Stop eating out all the time, shopping every weekend, or buying brand new cars. Shop around for the cheapest insurance policies, have a yard sale, and get serious about paying off your debt.

Get Organized

Tired of living in clutter? Embarrassed to have guests over in your mess? Feel like you can’t keep up with your busy schedule? Organization may be at the top of your list of resolutions. An organized home or life won’t happen overnight. While you could organize your home in a matter of days, without change, the clutter will only build back up with a vengeance. Maybe your resolution should be to stop impulse shopping, set aside 15 minutes each day to tidy up, not go to bed until the dishes are done, or keep a consistent calendar.

Spend Time with Loved Ones

What’s really most important? Is it your job, making money, and having a big, fancy house, or is it your family and friends? Make an effort in the coming year to spend quality time with those you love. This may mean setting aside time on your calendar, turning off your cell phone, or cutting other things out of your schedule. Plan family game nights and a family vacation. Go for a walk in the park, stop for ice cream, or catch a movie together. Make a routine of regularly calling family members who live out of town and take time to enjoy those in your life.

How do you keep up with your busy schedule? Here are a few tips from the experts

How do you keep up with your busy schedule? Here are a few tips from the experts.

There’s no way around it. People these days are busy, busy, busy. With long work hours, household chores, errands, and social events, it’s no wonder you’ve got little down time. If you’ve got kids, your schedule is even more hectic. Between kids’ games, practices, rehearsals, play dates, homework assignments, and doctor’s appointments, life is full.

It can be hard keeping up, and sometimes you may feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water. You’re forgetting important dates, frequently late to appointments, or just feeling run down and ready for a vacation. When you think about your full week ahead, here are a few things that can help you stay organized so you keep your sanity.

Make a List

One thing that can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed with a hectic schedule is making a list. At the beginning of each day or week, take a few minutes to write down everything you hope to accomplish. Add to the list as new things pop in your head. With a list, you can focus your brainpower on getting things done instead of racking your brain and stressing about trying to remember everything you have to do. If it helps, write your list in order of priority or put stars next to the most urgent tasks.

Use a Daily Planner

At the beginning of each year, purchase a calendar or daily planner. If it helps, make it stylish or pretty. If you prefer to do everything on your phone, use a calendar app. A functional planner will have space for writing lists, notes, and your daily schedule. As each new month, week, and day begins, check your calendar for what’s ahead. But remember: a calendar will do you no good if you don’t write in it. Keep it with you and as soon as you schedule an appointment, hear of an event, or commit to a date, write it down. Online calendars let you color-code entries for different people, types of events, or priority of events. Take advantage of these options to have a quick glimpse at what’s ahead.

Utilize Apps

Your smartphone can do wonders at helping to keep you organized. There are apps to make to-do lists, checklists, and grocery lists; apps to keep your calendars, remind you of upcoming events, journal things you want to remember, track your bank account, and send you alerts. Remember, your phone is a tool. When it starts to become more of a hassle or when it adds to your emotional stress, it may be time to set it aside. Until then, use it wisely and watch your stress levels diminish.

Divide Your Days

Whether at home or at work, you may find it helpful to assign each of your weekly duties a specific day of the week. By doing this, you won’t procrastinate until the day before a project is due, not wait until Saturday to do all your household chores, or try to fit all your errands into one afternoon. Monday could be the day you handle bills, Tuesday the day you do laundry, Wednesday your grocery day, and so on.

Schedule Rest

Your mind and body need times of rest and refreshment. Don’t let your schedule get so full you don’t have any time to yourself or time with your family. To make this happen you may need to schedule times of relaxation on your calendar, learn to say “No” to avoid overcommitting, or cut things out of your schedule. Without some down time, stress builds and your busy schedule becomes a burden instead of a full life.

 

 

 

 

 

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 
Powered by FitPro Magazine™Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Three steps to toned muscles

Three steps to toned muscles.

 

If you’re a man, your fitness goal may be to bulk up. But it’s not just big muscles you desire. You want well-defined, sculpted, chiseled muscles that will get noticed. Women, on the other hand, don’t want to get bulky, but, like men, they want muscle that is firm and defined.

Maybe you wish your stomach, arms, legs, or entire body was toned. Whatever your trouble spot, the question remains: How do you get toned? Is there some secret form of weight lifting? More reps with less weight? Weight machines? A special diet or supplement?

Keep reading to learn how to get the body you desire. Spoiler: it’s not going to happen overnight, so get ready for some work.

Eat Right

You can’t have well-defined muscles if your muscles are hiding underneath a thick layer of fat. The fastest way to lose fat that’s covering your muscles is through what you eat. It’s a lot easier to cut 500 calories from your diet than it is to burn the same amount through exercise. Find a diet plan you can live with for the rest of your life. Fad diets may lead to immediate weight loss, but they’re unsustainable for the long run. As soon as you end a fad diet, the weight returns, sometimes with a few extra pounds.

The best first steps to uncovering your muscular undercarriage is to cut out unhealthy fats, simple carbs, foods high in sodium, and added sugars. Fill up on whole foods (minimally processed foods) from the major food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, dairy, and healthy fats. Reduce your portion sizes and eat mindfully.

Cardio to Blast Fat

Along with a healthy diet, you need cardio exercise to burn serious calories and shed pounds. Commit yourself to a workout routine that includes intense cardio sessions several days a week. Break a sweat, get your heart pumping, and move your body. Need tips? Talk with your trainer.

High-intensity interval training should be your go-to exercise. By alternating between high- and moderate-intensity exercise, you have the potential to burn the most calories in the least amount of time. Find a workout you enjoy and get serious about it. Jogging, rowing, swimming, and cycling are all great places to start.

Build Muscle

When you lose weight, it’s common for some of the pounds you shed to be muscle mass. This is one reason why it’s important to include strength-training exercises in your weight-loss workout routine. While maintaining muscle mass, strength training is also the best way to build new muscle, increase muscle strength, and improve muscle definition. When the excess fat is finally lost, toned muscle will be revealed.

Plan to do strength-training exercises several times a week on non-consecutive days of the week, and take advantage of rest days, which give your muscles much-needed time to repair and rebuild. Just be sure to work with your trainer to develop a lifting routine that uses proper form. Lifting incorrectly can quickly lead to injury or a lack of results.

Focus your workouts on compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups and incorporate more than one joint at a time. This builds lean muscle and burns calories effectively and efficiently. Movements that only work one muscle are called isolation exercises and don’t do much good. Bench presses, deadlifts, lunges, squats, and military presses are examples of compound exercises that will get you toned, sculpted muscles in the least amount of time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six things you need to avoid before heading to bed

Six things you need to avoid before heading to bed.

Do you find that a good night’s rest is getting harder and harder to come by? Maybe it takes you hours to fall asleep or you wake in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep. Perhaps you’re one of the millions who suffer from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder that’s preventing you from reaching deep, restorative sleep cycles. Or maybe you just stay up too late and skimp on sleep.

Regardless of why you’re not sleeping well, quality sleep is one of the most important factors in maintaining the health of your mind and body. You hear suggestions about things you should do before bed like taking a hot bath, reading a book, and keeping the lights turned down low, but what things should you not do before bed if you want to sleep soundly? Keep reading to find out.

Don’t Drink Coffee

A cup of coffee after dinner is a nice routine, but it may be keeping you from enjoying restful sleep. Even though you may drink coffee hours before turning in, caffeine stays in the body up to 12 hours. For some people, a cup of coffee in the early afternoon is still too close to bedtime. And don’t think you’re safe with decaf coffee. Some decaf coffees contain up to 20 mg of caffeine. Coffee’s not the only source of caffeine that may be hindering your sleep. Watch out for tea, soda, and chocolate as well.

Don’t Use Screens

You’re surrounded by screens all day, every day, from your smartphone to the television to tablets, e-readers, and computers. It’s hard to imagine life without them, but in the hour before bed, it’s smart to turn them completely off. Electronic devices emit blue light, which slows the body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep. If you must be on a screen, turn down the brightness of the screen, turn off the blue light if possible, and hold the screen at least 14 inches from your face.

Don’t Eat a Big Meal

Don’t plan to go to bed right after dinner or if a craving hits, don’t raid the kitchen for a big snack on your way to bed. Being uncomfortably full makes it difficult to fall asleep. Fatty, greasy, or spicy foods are especially risky to eat before bed, as they increase the risk of acid reflux or nightmares. Instead, make it your routine to eat dinner at least two hours before bedtime. If you feel hungry later on, eat a small healthy snack.

Don’t Drink Alcohol

A glass of wine before bed sounds like a relaxing way to end the day, but drinking alcohol before sleep can backfire. It may make you feel sleepy, but when you do fall asleep, having alcohol in your system can shorten your restorative REM sleep. As a result, you may wake up in the morning still feeling tired. In addition, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning you may wake in the night needing to use the restroom.

Don’t Have a Heated Discussion

Stress is a major contributor to insomnia. When stressed, your cortisol levels are elevated, your adrenaline is pumping, and your mind can’t shut off. To help ensure a restful night’s sleep, avoid heated discussions or serious conversations before bed. Wait until the next day after you’ve rested and cooled off to bring up big decisions or conflicts.

Don’t Text

How many times have you just fallen asleep only to be rudely awoken by your text tone? Be smart and don’t text a friend, or especially a group of friends, before bed. If you sleep with your phone nearby, be sure to turn off all notifications before lying down for some shuteye.

 

 

 

 

 

Can Diabetes be Reversed? Is such a thing possible?

Can Diabetes be Reversed? Is such a thing possible?

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is a hard pill to swallow. A lifetime of finger pricks, medications, insulin injections, and a constant and close watch on your diet is hard for anyone. With no cure for diabetes, is there any hope?
Studies show there may be a way for some people to reverse a lifetime of living with type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, diabetes is no longer thought of as a progressive disease, which means that with the right lifestyle changes you may be able to go off medication, prevent further health complications, and still be able to manage your symptoms. Could you be a candidate and are you up for the challenge? Keep reading to see what’s involved.

Diabetes Defined

Your pancreas is responsible for producing a hormone called insulin that is released when you consume foods that make your blood sugar rise. Insulin works to transfer sugar from your blood into your cells, where it’s used for energy.

Type 1 diabetes normally develops during childhood and is not associated with diet or weight. The pancreas produces little to no insulin, so regular injections are necessary. There’s no cure for this type of diabetes, it can’t be reversed, and the symptoms match those of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes typically develops later in life. With this condition, the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin or your body becomes resistant to insulin, causing glucose levels to rise in the blood. People with type 2 diabetes must keep a close watch on their blood sugar levels and take medication or insulin if necessary.

Restoring Balance

Three of the best ways to manage the symptoms of diabetes are also the ways you can possibly reverse the condition. Studies show that healthy eating, exercise, and weight loss may be able to restore healthy insulin and blood sugar levels. Whether or not you’re able to reverse type 2 diabetes will depend on how long you’ve had the condition, the severity of the disease, and your genetics.

People who’ve had diabetes for less than a few years typically have the best success at reversing it. Because body fat has a big influence on insulin production and how the body processes it, weight loss offers your greatest chance of reversing type 2 diabetes. Some people can lose enough weight through a serious commitment to diet and exercise, with some finding the most success through weight-loss surgery.

A New Eating Plan

Your diet has the greatest influence on your weight and blood sugar, so making changes to what you eat is your first priority. Work with your physician or dietician to make a diet plan. Your initial priority is to reduce the number of calories and carbohydrates you eat. Include healthy fats, a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Limit the amount of alcohol you consume and avoid junk food and sweets.

Get More Exercise

Besides your diet, exercise is the second piece of the puzzle for losing weight and reversing your symptoms. Thankfully, you have a trainer at your disposal who is ready to develop a workout routine that’s safe and effective for your condition. Be sure to check your blood sugar levels before, during, and following your workout. If you’re new to exercise, start out slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Walking is a great place to start. Your trainer may also include other low-impact exercises that may include swimming, cycling, or the elliptical, all which are great for overweight people with weak joints.

Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week. More exercise may be necessary to see the results you desire, but don’t give up. Your journey to health is a marathon, not a sprint. With the long view of your health, diabetes may one day be in your rearview mirror.

© 2009-2010 Keuilian Inc. 
Powered by FitPro Magazine™Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Is intermittent fasting something you should try?

Is intermittent fasting something you should try?

You’re used to eating three meals a day with a couple snacks somewhere in between. But this eating pattern hasn’t always been the norm. Before supermarkets and refrigerators existed, people ate when food was available, which wasn’t always at set times of day. Major religions including Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity recommend fasting for various spiritual reasons, but there may be other perks.

Studies show there may be health and fitness benefits by changing the time food is eaten and the amount of food eaten. Intermittent fasting is currently a popular trend in the world of weight loss. Could changing your eating pattern help you lose weight and improve your overall health? Keep reading to find out.

What Is It?
The word intermittent means, “occurring at irregular intervals, not on a set schedule.” Often used to refer to unsteady rain, intermittent can also be used to describe eating habits that alternate between times of eating and periods of fasting. Unlike your typical diet plan, there are no rules about what you should eat, only when you should eat it.

How Is It Done?
There are different methods of intermittent fasting from which to choose. You can either fast part of the day or part of the week. While fasting, you eat very little food or no food at all, but you can still drink water, coffee, or tea. When you do eat, you’ll want to eat healthy foods and not to overeat to compensate for your period of fasting.

The 16/8 method (also called the Leangains protocol) is the most popular type of intermittent fasting and involves setting aside eight hours during the day when you can eat and fasting for the other 16 hours. This may mean skipping breakfast or not eating anything after dinner.

Another way of fasting is to not eat for 24 hours once or twice a week. This type of fasting is more difficult, especially for beginners, but is still do-able if you’re committed. On the 5:2 or Fast Diet, you eat a normal amount five days a week, but on two non-consecutive days you reduce your intake to no more than 600 calories.

On the Warrior Diet, you fast during the day and eat a large meal in the evening. Small amounts of fruits and vegetables are allowed during the day.
Another fasting option is to skip meals when you are too busy to eat or aren’t that hungry.

The Results
While diets that call for prolonged, extreme calorie restriction are unhealthy and will ultimately slow your metabolism, there seems to be evidence that occasional fasting provides positive health benefits. Studies are ongoing, but intermittent fasting may make you more sensitive to insulin, lower your insulin levels, increase your levels of the human growth hormone, help repair cells in your body, and make your genes less susceptible to disease. It may reduce high blood pressure, bad LDL cholesterol, high blood sugar, and high triglycerides; help prevent cancer; and even help you live longer.

By eating fewer meals, you consume fewer calories and lose weight. Hormonal changes that come as a result may increase your metabolism, which helps burn more calories. This combination can lead to fast weight loss. Intermittent fasting may also be an effective way to lose stubborn belly fat.

Considerations
Healthy people should have no problem with intermittent fasting. Unfortunately for women, they may not have the same results with intermittent fasting as men. Because of the hormonal changes that may occur with fasting, women should proceed with caution. Underweight people, pregnant or nursing women, women trying to conceive, children, or people with a history of eating disorders should not fast at all. If you have a health condition or are on medications, talk with your doctor before fasting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2009-2010 Keuilian Inc.
Powered by FitPro Magazine™. Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Repetitive motions can lead to wear and tear of your joints and painful injuries.

Repetitive motions can lead to wear and tear of your joints and painful injuries.

They’re common among people who do jobs that require repetitive motions such as typing, working on an assembly line, or painting. But repetitive-motion injuries aren’t confined to the work world. They’re also common in athletes, with more than half of all sports injuries being caused by repetitive motions. Injuries are then made worse by the movements required by daily life. Even getting dressed in the morning can become a dreaded chore for someone with a shoulder injury.

What are repetitive-motion injuries, how are they treated, and can they be avoided? Keep reading to find out.

Many Names

Repetitive-motion injuries go by many names: repetitive stress injuries, overuse syndrome, repetition strain, or cumulative trauma disorder. No matter the name, they’re all caused by the same thing: repetitive motions with little rest in between. Performing the same movements over and over can lead to acute or chronic injury to any muscles, ligaments, tendons, or nerves involved in the motion.

A few of the most common types of repetitive motion injuries include tendinitis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injury, and tennis elbow. Overusing a part of the body causes tiny tears in the tissue. Without time for the body to heal (because the motions keep happening), inflammation and pain set in.

Now What?

You’ve been noticing worsening pain, but you don’t remember suffering a specific injury. Most likely the increasing pain is the result of repetitive motions. Before calling the doctor, you may want to try some home-care remedies. Rest the joint or part of the body for a few days, and avoid any activity that causes pain. If possible, spend time each day elevating the problem area. Apply an ice pack two to three times a day for 20 to 30 minutes.

Call your doctor when home-care doesn’t work or when you’re suffering from unexplained pain, joint tenderness, warmth or redness around a joint, pain that interferes with normal daily activities, or pain that interrupts your sleep. Seek immediate medical care if joint pain is severe or is accompanied by fever, nausea, or vomiting.

Treatment

The form of treatment for a repetitive motion injury will depend on the type and severity of injury. In addition to your home-care treatments, you may be advised to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Your doctor may also give a steroid injection to the problem area to speed healing. Moist heat, topical pain-relieving creams, specially designed bands or splints, or physical therapy to restore range of motion and strengthen the problem area are also commonly recommended.

Injury Prevention

The best repetitive-motion injury is the one that never happened. Take steps now to prevent injury. When exercising, always start out with a warm-up and end with a cool-down to give your muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments time to adjust. Spend time performing range-of-motion exercises that work all parts of your body, and be sure to get adequate rest between challenging workouts. If you have a weak spot, use proper equipment designed to limit stress on a particular area.

In the workplace, sit and stand with proper posture. Make sure your chair supports your lower back, place your feet flat on the floor, and sit with your thighs parallel to the floor. Try to avoid crossing your legs. Keep your computer screen at eye level and use a headset when talking on the telephone. Finally, take frequent breaks and stand up, walk around, stretch—especially those muscles that you use repetitively, or march in place.