Home Archives 2010 February

Monthly Archives: February 2010

We watch these amazing athletes like Shaun White, Lindsey Vonn, and Bode Miller tearing up the slopes in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and the next thing you know we’re booking a ski vacation.  

The Olympics motivate and inspire us.  All over the world skiers are opting for black diamonds, baby boomers are trading their skis for snowboards,  parents are enrolling their toddlers in ski school and amateurs are attempting the half-pipe.  I’m pretty sure hockey tickets just got harder to get too.

Are you looking to step up your game?

Skiers, Snowboarders and Skaters:  There are ways to guarantee improved performance on the slopes or the ice!  Practice is key, but even if you don’t have a mountain or an ice rink nearby, you can be well-prepared to for your next ski trip with a little homework. 

You cannot ski, snowboard or skate well without leg strength and balance.  Even if you have strong legs, you are useless without good balance.  Put some time and work into it at home and you won’t believe the difference in your agility, ability, control and confidence on the slopes.

 Not a skier, snowboarder or skater?  Doesn’t matter.  Here are 21 Reasons to Improve Your Balance

Balance is the ability to maintain your center of gravity over your base of support.  Starting out, you can practice balancing on a flat surface with some static balance exercises.  Stand on one foot and lift the opposite leg so your knee is parallel to the ground.  Kick that foot out slowly and then bring it back in. Do this on each side until you can do it without falling over.  Once you have mastered the static moves you can do more dynamic balance exercises by twisting and rotating with one foot off the ground.  This simulates the movements you will make when trying to correct or regain your balance on the snow or ice.

When you feel stable balancing on flat ground, you can advance to  balance products. Many start with a simple Balance Disc, but  Balance Boardsare the most popular among skiers, skateboarders and snowboarders of all ages. 

BEST Balance Products for Skiers, Snowboarders and Skaters

 

Bongo Board Balance Board – The hottest balance board on the market today. 

 

Indo Board Balance Board Training Package– Includes deck, roller, IndoFlo balance cushion and FREE instructional DVD.  Claims to be the easiest model to learn on.

See all Indo Boards

See all Vew-Do Boards

 

Twist Board –  Loosens your knees and waist.  Large, stable 17″ base.  Can be used with rocker boards for ultimate balance training.   

See all Stroops Agility Training

Fitter Classic 16″ Wobble Board – Plastic – Adjusts from basic to advanced with a simple twist.  For all ages and skill levels.  I like the Wooden Fitter Wobble Board, myself. 

See all FitBALL

 

Airex Balance Pad – Improve your balance while doing your regular workouts.  Great for lunges. 

See all Airex

 

Jumbo Balance Dome – Just like the ones in the gym. Large enough for your whole foot.  Use upside down or right-side up for two levels of difficulty.

See all SPRI

 

Serious about skating?  Ice skaters and Hockey players will want a Slide Board for off-ice training.

BONUS TIP!  You will see a difference in your shock absorption, power transmission and edge control if you add SuperFeet Insoles to your skates or ski boots.  Try the hotPINK Cold Weather Insoles for Women or the REDhot Cold Weather Insoles for Men.

Whether the Winter Olympics have you snuggling deeper into the couch or running for the lift lines, we hope you stay healthy and safe.  Stay warm with  Cold Weather Gear to Warm you Inside and Out.  Thanks for being an Allegro customer.

Raised toilet seats are divine inventions for those who have trouble bending to sit on a standard toilet seat.  These elevated devices are routinely prescribed for short term use upon hospital discharge, usually to accommodate fractures or post-hip replacements and knee surgeries.  Elderly individuals and those with chronic arthritis, hip pain,  knee pain, back pain or mobility issues may require a more permanent solution to maintain independence in the bathroom. 

Sizes, prices and safety mechanisms vary considerably so you need to know your options.   

Optimal Seat Height:  Raised toilet seats sit atop the stool and typically add between 2 inches and 6 inches in height.  The higher the seat, the less flexion is required  in your hips and knees, making it easier to sit down and stand up.  If your toilet seat is too high, however, you will feel unstable.  The ideal height is one where your feet are flat on the floor.

You can also elevate your toilet seat by raising the entire toilet from underneath.  Allegro Medical sells a toilet seat riser that doesn’t change the look of your standard toilet but will raise it about 3.5″ off the ground. 

See the Toilevator Toilet Riser, 500 lb Capacity 

 Most Popular Raised Toilet Seat

Hinged Elevated Toilet Seat – 3″ – Perfect for the men in the house, this device raises the seat by 3 inches but also allows the ring to be lifted the same as your standard toilet seat.  It barely changes the look of the toilet. 

Use the following “Raised Toilet Seat Buyer’s Guide” to help decide which toilet seat is right for you or your loved one.

 

Raised Toilet Seat Buyer’s Guide

Short Term Use – Non-locking Raised Toilet Seats   –  For short recovery times, occasional use or some post-surgery, the raised toilet seats without locking devices work fine.  They are portable and very easy to use.

Depending on the stability of the user, we recommend that these be used along with a Toilet Safety Frame since these elevated toilet seats are attached by reliable methods, but not clamped or bolted on for increased security. 

Medium Term Use – Locking device – Special locking devices, front-clamps and brackets keep these raised toilet seats from shifting providing a secure, comfortable toileting experience.  A fantastic alternative to permanent fixation.

 

Long Term Use – Bolt on Toilet Seat – Perfect for disabled, elderly or those with a chronic need for an elevated toilet seat.   These raised toilet seats are super secure and have many helpful features to make getting on and off the toilet much easier. 

 

 Specialty Toilet Seats

Hip Replacements, Post Surgery, Leg, Hip and Knee Injuries and Fractures often require a unique, asymmetrical shaped toilet seat riser with one side “cut out” to allow one leg to remain in the prescribed position while sitting (knee should be lower than the new hip during hip replacement recovery).    

See Hospital Discharge Favorites

 

Bariatric, Heavy Duty, Extra Wide Raised Toilet Seats– Choose from styles that accomodate users up to 600 lbs.

 

Wheelchair Transfer Toilet Seats – Convert your toilet into an elevated wheelchair transfer seat.  Bolts onto most standard toilets.

Please call an Allegro Customer Care agent at 800-861-3211 if you require further assistance in choosing the right raised toilet seat or see all Raised Toilet Seats for more ideas.

See all Bathroom Assists

Thank you for your business. We appreciate it.

The 2010 Winter Olympics start on February 12th and we are sure to see plenty of spills and thrills.  And though slips and falls are commonplace in the arena or on the slopes, they shouldn’t happen at home.  

It surprised me to learn that more than 1 million people in the U.S. experience a significant slip, trip or fall each year.  And an average of 17,000 of them die because of it. 

According to the National Safety Council, 70% of slips and falls occur on level ground, by everyday people like you and me.

The risks of falling increase as we age.  Annually, about 30% of those age 65 and older fall at least once, and 15% fall twice.  Many falls result in broken bones or death.  Of course there are risk groups among children as well.  Infants are more likely to fall from furniture, while toddlers are more likely to fall from windows. 

The good news is that most falls are preventable.   What are you doing to prevent falls in and around your home?

Slip and Fall Prevention Products

Standers and Standing Aids

 

Walkers

 

Rollators

 

Mobility Scooters for Indoors and Outdoors

 

 

Canes

 

Grab Bars

 

Bed Rails

 

Toilet Safety Frames

 

Raised Toilet Seats

 

Shower Chairs

 

Bone Health

 

Balance and Core Strength

 

Ramps

 

Bed Alarms

 

Baby Gates and Railnets

 

Children’s Bed Rails 

 

 Nightlights

 

Don’t let slips and falls happen to your or your loved ones!  Take stock and put together your Fall Prevention Plan today.

I use my pedal exerciser at home while watching t.v. and it works great.  And we certainly sell plenty of pedlars and stationary bikes to elderly, recuperating and mobility-challenged customers, but who would think to use it while working at a desk? 

 MSN health writer Diane Mapes did!  

Does it work? Read Teeny Bike Pedals Away ‘Sitting Disease’ Fears – msnbc.com

Glamour Fitness Trend author Sarah Jio followed suit with Fitness Trend: Burn Calories at Your Desk With This Inexpensive Gadget – Glamour.com 

So, I guess it is official.   Allegro Medical’s Resistive Pedal Exerciser Stationary Bike ($26.95) may be your answer to pedaling your bottom off while you work.

Will a Pedlar work for you? Even if you can’t manage it under your desk, you can use it all sorts of places.  Pedlar exercisers are transportable, generally inexpensive and span a large range of options.  Order one today and we’ll ship it to your doorstep.

See all Cycles/Pedlars

See all Exercise/Fitness

Happy Heart Month!  What a blessing that just a few simple changes in your lifestyle can improve your chances of living a longer, healthier life.  The beauty is, anyone can make these changes, the steps are not expensive and even modest improvements will make a big difference.  

The American Heart Association (AMA) calls them “The Simple 7”.  Seven things you can do to reduce your chances of dying of heart disease, stroke, or other cardiac related incident.  Take it slow – start with 1 or 2.  Even small changes in lifestyle can make a big difference.

7 Steps to a Long and Healthy Life

Get Active– The AMA suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise – or a combination of both.  When you break it down, that is only about 22 minutes per day of moderate exercise.  The simplest solution is to start walking.  Join AMA’s Start Walking Program to develop your walking plan.  If you are mobility-challenged or just not the outdoorsy type, there are plenty of great ways to get your heart pumping at home. 

Browse Allegro’s Fitness category for hundreds of Exercise/Fitness Products to fit any level of fitness or ability.   Sorted into helpful sub-categories.  Get instruction from books, DVDs and videos to make your home workouts even more fun!

 

Control Cholesterol– Cholesterol is in your bloodstream and your cells.  It is soft and waxy.  Too much of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, the LDL, is a bad thing.  It clogs arteries and puts you at major risk for coronary disease.  75% of cholesterol is produced by the body and the rest comes from the foods you eat.  Many people inherit the genes that make too much cholesterol so you might not be able to control it without medication. 

The AMA says “It’s important for all people to know their cholesterol level.”  Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood.  A cholesterol level of 200mg/dL or higher puts you in a high risk category and you need to take action. 

Monitor your cholesterol at home with the  CholesTrak – FDA approved Total Cholesterol Device.

Cholesterol can be controlled by prescribed medication, diet and/or lifestyle changes.  The AME recommends you schedule a screening, eat foods low in cholesterol and saturated fat, skip the trans fats, maintain a healthy weight and stay active.

See all Home Test Kits

 

Eat Better– If you haven’t heard it already, you must be living under a rock.  Stop with the fast food, trans-fat laden crap and get healthy.  Eat a diet of vegetables, fruits, unrefined whole-grains, fish (at least twice a week), lean meats, poultry (without skin), fat-free/low fat dairy.  Aim for less than 1500 mgs of salt per day and less than 300 mgs of cholesterol.  Stay away from foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.  If you do all this, you’ll be fine.

Maybe.

Even your best intentions may need a little supplemental help from time to time. See Allegro’s large selection of Vitamins and Herbal Supplements.  I take a multi-vitamin, glucosamine and an Omega-3 tablet every day.

See all Dietary Supplements

 

Manage Blood Pressure – The AMA says that high blood pressure is the single most significant risk factor for heart disease.  The scary thing is, you can’t feel high blood pressure.  That’s why they call it “the silent killer”.    Blood pressure is exactly that – the pressure of your blood on your veins.  If it gets too high, over time it will stretch your veins and cause microscopic tears.  When the body heals these tears it creates scar tissue which can form clots, blockages, blood clots and weakened arteries leading to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and heart failure. 

Normal blood pressure is less than 120 mm Hg systolic AND less than 80 mm Hg diastolic.  High blood pressure (hypertension) is a reading of more than 140 over 80 (140/80).

Another scary fact about blood pressure:  One in three adults have it, yet 21% don’t even know it.  And of those with high blood pressure, 69% are receiving treatment, yet, only 45% have it controlled.   Having your blood pressure checked only once in a while is dangerous.  It took years to diagnose my high blood pressure because it was only tested periodically. 

Take your own blood pressure.  It’s easy! – I highly recommend the wrist models.

See all Blood Pressure Monitors

See all Diagnostic Products

If you have high blood pressure, please read I’m off my Blood Pressure Meds.   By the way, I am still monitoring my blood pressure at home and it remains normal without medication.  I still see my chiropractor about 3 times a month and check in with my physician every 4 months.

 

Lose Weight – Are you overweight/obese?  If your body mass index (BMI) is 25.0 kg/m2 or higher, then you are among the 145 million overweight or obese Americans.  Calculate your BMI by multiplying your weight in pounds by 703, then dividing that number by your height in inches and then dividing again by your height in inches.

Reduce your risk for heart disease by losing weight and keeping it off.   My approach to weight loss is summed up in How to Not Gain Weight in 65 Days or Less and The Secret to Making Resolutions Work.

See Weight Loss Products  Please be careful if you use synthetic weight loss supplements!  Consult your physician.  My body prefers all-natural foods and supplements.  See FucoTHIN.   For tried and true weight-loss advice, read Eating for Life by Bill Phillips.

Obesity is a major, independent risk factor for heart disease.  And if you have a lot of belly fat you’re at even higher risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.  Get rid of it.

 

 Reduce Blood Sugar – Diabetes is controllable and treatable, but even so, adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or stroke than adults without diabetes.  

The AMA says that controlling glucose levels can slow the progression of long-term complications. Often, many small changes add up to surprising improvements in diabetes control, including less need for medication.

What is Diabetes?

 How to Tell if you have Diabetes

Diagnosed Diabetic?  See our Diabetes Care Medical Supplies

 

Stop Smoking – Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the U.S.  It increases the risk of heart disease, decreases your tolerance or physical activity, increases the tendency for blood to clot.  It decreases HDL (good) cholesterol.  It creates a higher risk for peripheral artery disease and aortic aneurysms.  Ick.

Quiting cigarettes is hard, even for adolescents.  How do you do it?  Here’s a 5-Step Process to Stop Smoking.  Don’t feel bad if you slip.  It’s very common.  Just try again… and again… until it works.  Don’t give up.  Look to your local resources through hospitals and hotlines for help.

Education Center for Heart Smarts

Are you a rehab specialist or physical/personal trainer?  Learn more about cardiac health and rehab, see The ABCDE’S of Cardiac Rehabilitation, Yoga for Cardiac Rehab, Cardiovascular Disease and Women, Heathy Hearts, Healthy Women and Major Cardiac Risk Factor Screening.

See all Healthy Learning books, CDs and DVDs

Anyone can learn more about health, nutrition and fitness with the Health & Fitness in Plain English book.

How prevalent are heart problems? Read Staggering Heart Facts

Are you at Risk for Heart Disease? 

Did you know that heart attack and stroke symptoms for men and women may differ? Read Heart Attacke & Stroke Warning Signs.

We hope you will take this to heart and make the changes in your life that will see you through a long, healthy life.   Read more about the  The Simple 7 on the American Heart Association’s website.

And as always, we thank you for your business – from the bottom of our hearts. (sorry, had to).

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