Electric Blankets – Reviewing the Best

 

Electric Blankets – Reviewing the Best

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve sorted through user reviews and expert opinions to name the best electric blankets, mattress pads and throws on the market today. 

 

For a primer on what to look for and how to use electric blankets, read my previous post, Electric Blankets for Comfort and Energy Savings.

 

 

 

Best Overall Electric Blanket

 

 

Soft Heat Luxury Micro-Fleece Low-Voltage Electric Heated Twin Size Blanket, Beige

The Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece‘s low-voltage heating system provides safe, soothing warmth wrapped in a soft, cozy polyester blanket. Adjusting temperature is simple and dual controls for the queen and king sizes keep couples comfortable all winter long. The thin, unobtrusive interior wires disperse heat evenly and go unnoticed by users.

Pros
  • Safe, low-voltage heating
  • Thin interior wires
  • Easy-to-use controls
Cons
  • Bulky power adaptor
  • Slow to heat up
  • Controls aren’t durable

The Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece Blanket provides low-voltage warming in a soft, well-made electric blanket you’ll want to keep on your bed year-round. The low voltage technology is deemed safer than what’s used in other blankets — though those are safe as well. The downside is slower warming.

 

Performance

Low-voltage heat warms safely but not quickly. The Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece Blanket uses “non-hazardous low voltage,” which is considered to be the least likely to shock the user if the blanket becomes wet or insulation is damaged. It’s also less likely to harm pets if they chew on the blanket (though pet owners might be better served still with an electric mattress pad such as the Best Reviewed Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad, which sits completely under the rest of your bedding).

However, the same low-voltage technology that makes the blanket exceptionally safe also makes it slow to warm up — something Good Housekeeping testers note in their comparative review; the Soft Heat took over an hour to reach 70 degrees and more than 25 minutes to cool down. Users find this blanket provides warmth to the bed without feeling “hot” to the touch.

 

Ease of Use

Intuitive backlit heat controls. The straightforward controls of the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece Blanket allow users to preheat their beds or fine-tune temperatures with a simple twist of a dial. The control’s backlit display is easily visible at night, users say, and the brightness of the display dims automatically after adjustment. Queen- and king-sized blankets sport dual controls, so couples can set their side of the blanket for their individual heat preferences. For convenience and added safety, the auto-off feature shuts off the blanket after 10 hours.

 

Comfort

Unobtrusive wiring. While users appreciate the low-voltage safety of the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece, they also love its soft fabric. Made of brushed polyester fleece, the blanket’s top and bottom layers protect the internal heating wires without feeling too heavy or bulky, users say. The wires themselves are thin and flexible and spaced far enough enough that sleepers do not feel them, even when the blanket is sandwiched between a top sheet and a comforter.

 

Ownership

Washes well but control connections are finicky. Users who machine-wash the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece according to the manufacturer’s instructions say it looks as good as new afterward, without any pilling, pulling or other common issues. However, many owners note the connections linking the bedside controls to the actual blanket are temperamental, despite coming with clips to secure the cord to the blanket. Users also complain the large power adapter takes up too much room under the bed. The product is backed by a five-year warranty, and several users report the customer service department was friendly, though perhaps not always helpful.

 

 

Also Consider (Traditional Style):

Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket, Twin, Lagoon, BSM9BTS-R596-16A00

The Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket is a favorite with many thanks to its velvety plush fabric, toasty warmth and attractive price point (starts at $75).

It lacks the low-voltage technology of the Soft Heat blanket, and the interior wires are felt more readily, but it heats up faster and is warmer to the touch. It is also safe when the manufacturers’ instructions are followed, and meets UL standards for heated bedding.

 

 

 

Also Consider (Budget-Friendly)

Sunbeam Heated Fleece Electric Blanket, Twin Size, 10 Hour Shut Off with a 6 Foot Cord, Off White

Reviews indicate that the Sunbeam Electric Heated Fleece Blanket is a good quality heated blanket considering its price. Features are good, including dual controls in larger sizes and automatic shut off after 10 hours.

There are only five heating levels, but most users don’t seem to mind — or even notice — the reduced versatility compared to pricier blankets. It meets UL safety standards.

 

 

 

Best Electric Mattress Pad

 

 

 

 

The Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad is made of machine-washable polyester. It meets UL safety standards for heated bedding and has a lot of great features, including a preheat function, 10 heating levels, automatic shut off and independent heating with dual controllers for each side of the bed (in queen sizes and above). Durability isn’t bulletproof, but it scores better in that regard than most heated bedding.

Pros
  • Heats quickly
  • Heating wires are unobtrusive
  • Machine-washable
Cons
  • Cords attach at an awkward location
  • Some complain about the feel of the top fabric
  • Not the best customer support

 

The Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad provides heat from underneath by clinging to your mattress like a fitted sheet. That improves efficiency as heat radiated upwards is absorbed by you instead of diffused into the air in the room. Durability is good — though not perfect — and is helped by the fact that all heated mattress pads are less likely to be tossed or kicked about than other heated bedding.

 

Performance

Warm bed is ready when you are. The Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad‘s preheating function is a hit with users who  say the mattress pad heats their bed to the right temperature in the time it takes them to brush their teeth and switch into pajamas.

The pad warms evenly, reviewers say, and keeps the right temperature up to the 10-hour safety shut-off. If sleepers feel too hot or cool during the night, there are 10 different heat levels so you can adjust the temperature up or down. Dual controls on the king- and queen-sized mattress pads allow couples to independently adjust the temperature on their side of the bed.

 

Ease of Use

Awkward cords. The Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad is ready to use right out of the box. The only difficulty users report is positioning the device’s cords. For safety reasons, the cords cannot be tucked under the frame of the bed or kept within the bed coverings.

Some owners say it’s easier for them to reverse the pad and have the cords attach at the head of the bed — which is also how some also address the issue of being able to feel the cord connection with their feet. Pads with dual controls require two nearby power outlets.

This Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad is machine-washable and can be dried in a home dryer as per manufacturer’s instructions, users say.

 

Comfort

Hides wires well. This Sunbeam Quilted mattress pad feels much like non-electrical mattress toppers, despite the embedded heating wires. Most owners say they could not feel the wires through the pad and their sheet.

The reviewers at Good Housekeeping write that they found the covering fabric “cheap” and recommended topping it with high-quality sheets. Users, on the other hand, don’t typically raise similar objections.

 

Ownership

Customer service could be better. The Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad earns hundreds of positive reviews from users. However, customers who mentioned the after-sales service from Sunbeam in their reviews had little positive to say.

One issue that crops up is that getting Sunbeam to honor the mattress pad’s five year warranty requires shipping a defective item at the owner’s expense back to the company. However, according to our assessment of hundreds of owner reviews, this seems to be a persistent problem across the board for heated bedding.

 

 

 

Best Heated Throw Blanket

Soft, cozy and just the right size for the couch, the Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw offers a comfortable way to keep warm in and out of bed.

Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns to match your living room decor, it folds up neatly when not in your lap.

Pros
  • Convenient size and soft material
  • Heats quickly
  • Three-hour automatic shut-off
Cons
  • Cord is awkwardly placed
  • Durability issues
  • Just three heat levels

 

Owners love snuggling under the plushy Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw while watching TV, reading a book or working on a computer, reviews say. The 3 hour automatic shut-off is both a great convenience and a safety feature.

The three temperature settings are fewer than with other heated bedding products, including other heated throws, but users voice few complaints about it.

 

Performance

Heats quickly with three settings. Users say the Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw warms up quickly and is thick and insulated well enough to maintain its warmth even after the 3 hour safety switch turns the heating elements off. Once the temperature is set, it heats quickly, and then shuts off for safety after three hours.

The Microplush Heated Throw blanket has three heat settings and a digital control. The control is connected to the power cord, which detaches to allow for easy washing.

 

Ease of Use

Simple intuitive controls. Using the Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw is as easy as plugging in the blanket and setting the temperature to high, medium or low. However, many users find the cord placement at the foot of the blanket awkward.

Depending on your furniture’s location in relation to electrical outlets, this may put the control out of easy reach. Additionally, some users report that the controls are very sensitive and that even jostling it a little can turn it on.

 

Comfort

Microplush fabric is soft enough for all-day use. The Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw wins top marks from reviewers looking for something to put over their laps while watching TV or working at a desk.

It’s not a heavy throw, users say, and neatly folds up over the arm of the couch when not in use. Many of those who share feedback on Amazon.com or Walmart.com note they purchased this blanket for friends and family who are recovering from surgery or illness.

 

Ownership

Easy to own, for as long as it lasts. Though the majority of reviewers are pleased with their Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throws, even claiming to use them daily, there are a significant number of owners who have encountered durability issues — even within the manufacturer’s five-year warranty. Many reviewers complain that the blanket either stopped warming, warmed inconsistently, or shut off before the 3 hour timer.

On the positive side, users find that the Sunbeam Microplush keeps its shape and feel after machine-washing. The throw comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

 

You may also be interested in:

Electric Blankets – Comfort and Energy Savings

Electric Blanket Buying Guide

Adjustable Beds – Benefits and Reviews

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

Top 10 Massage Chairs Reviews

A Guide to Hospital Beds For Home Use

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Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

Top Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

 

 

 

Waking up in the morning with a pain in the neck is an awful feeling.

 

Not only does a kink in the neck make it hard to move, sending stabbing pains down the arms or back, it is often the reason for headaches, ranging from dull to migraine level.

Morning neck pain can last all day, and can even be the reason for back aches, sciatica, arm and leg numbness, and usually leaves people feeling irritable and tired.

 

 

What Causes Nightly Neck Pain?

 

People often blame their mattress when they wake up with neck pain, but it is rarely the fault of the mattress or a person’s sleeping position.

When you wake up with neck pain, it is usually because you slept with the wrong pillow. Having the right pillow to avoid neck pain is a vital necessity for getting a good night’s sleep.

The reason for this is simple. The neck is made of up muscles, tendons, cartilage and just seven tiny bones. What’s more, those seven bones are all a part of one single column of bones—the cervical portion of the spine.

As small as these bones are, not even connected directly to each other, but sitting on a bed of fluid, they are responsible for protecting one of the most vital parts of our anatomy – the central nervous system, as well as supporting the head and allowing us free movement of the head and neck.

Inside the cervical column, nerves run up and down from brain to all parts of the body. While any part of the spine can be compressed or pinched, causing various degrees of pain or numbness, the neck is the most vulnerable, especially during the night when we are asleep.

Keeping the neck in line with our heads and back is one of the best ways to prevent injury, stiffness and pain in the morning, and the best way to keep our neck straight is to have the right support system – a good, solid neck pain support pillow.

 

 

 

Top 10 Pillows to Relieve Neck Pain

 

 

This luxurious pillow provides a high level of comfort and support for the back, neck and head as you sleep. The Mediflow’s inner water chamber is completely adjustable to offer you the exact amount of support and thickness you need, no matter what your favorite sleeping position is.

The Mediflow Waterbase pillow was the subject of a clinical study at Johns Hopkins University, one of the leading medical training schools in the country, and participants found that the Mediflow Waterbase pillow was the best in its class, testing at the top of every category possible.

The study included categories such as: how long it took to fall asleep using the Mediflow Water chamber pillow, how many interruptions to readjust the pillow there were, how long it took to get back to sleep, sleep quality and if the pillow helped reduce neck pain. Overwhelmingly, the Mediflow Waterbase pillow ranked at the top, especially in the reduction of neck pain.

The Mediflow works by allowing you to fill an inner chamber with water, making it a soothing waterbed for your head. The outside is made of durable, easily cleaned polyester that is hypoallergenic and soft.

Keeping the Mediflow Waterbase pillow clean is simple. All you have to do is remove the outer cover and machine wash and dry. Then wipe down the inner water chamber with a damp cloth. It takes just minutes and you can have a fresh, clean pillow whenever you need it.

Typical consumer reviews of Mediflow Waterbase Pillow include:

“If I could rank it higher than 5 stars, I would.”

“Highly recommended for anyone who suffers from neck pain.”

“Get it while you can.”

Material: Polyester | My Rating: 5/5

 

 

 

 

Premium Shredded Memory Foam Toddler Pillow - Made in USA - Washable case derived from Bamboo Viscose Rayon Blend

 

The Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow gives you excellent flexibility and superior comfort that cradles your neck as you sleep. The shredded foam lets you position the pillow any way you like, and is perfect for side, stomach or back sleepers alike.

The airflow between the pieces of foam also keeps the pillow cool during the night, and the proprietary blend of polyester and bamboo fabric of the cover won’t absorb moisture and increases the coolness of the pillow for the ultimate in comfort.

All of the materials in this high-tech pillow are hypoallergenic to provide a healthy, clean atmosphere for sleep. The inner foam material is superior to down or cotton filled pillows, because the springy foam will always keep its shape and mold perfectly to your body as you move in the night for complete support.

Down or cotton pillows flatten and give, and do not keep your neck in the proper position, so you are more likely to wake up with neck pain. Sometimes neck pain or pinched nerves in the neck result in migraines, tingling in the hands and feet, shoulder and lower back pain. Other times you just go through the day feeling groggy and weak.

The Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow for neck pain provides advanced ingenuity to create a powerful sleep aid. Coop Home Goods is a company dedicated to producing the very best in bedding comfort, and stands behind the products with excellent warranties to guarantee your satisfaction.

Typical consumer reviews of the Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow include:

“Best pillow I’ve ever used.”

“Stays in place great as I change positions at night.”

“Cool and comfortable, I wake up pain free now for the first time ever.”

Material: Shredded memory Foam |My Rating: 4.9/5

 

 

 

 

Hypoallergenic Bamboo Pillow - Shredded Memory Foam With Kool-Flow Micro-Vented Bamboo Cover - Made in the USA by Xtreme Comforts - Hypoallergenic and Dust Mite Resistant (Queen)

This soft, comfortable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow by Xtreme Comforts is made of the highest quality shredded memory foam right in the USA. The double airflow system including the vented bamboo cover that stays naturally cool thanks to the moisture resistant, ventilated bamboo cover and the shredded foam pieces that allow air to travel through the pillow without restriction stops body heat from building through the night.

The Shredded Memory Foam Pillow by Xtreme Comforts also offers the extra flexibility that isn’t an option with a solid memory foam pillow, so you can shape it to your neck and it maintains its position through the night, no matter how much you toss and turn.

The no questions asked guarantee gives you the optimal security in knowing that no matter what, the Shredded Memory Foam pillow for neck pain by Xtreme Comforts will always provide you the best in sleep luxury. It protects your neck and is easy to care for.

The hypoallergenic cover and mold resistant inner core help you sleep soundly and keeps the atmosphere healthy and clean. The inner core of the Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam pillow is made from 1005 Certipur-US foam and it is vacuum sealed for safe, eco-friendly shipping.

The Shredded Memory Foam pillow is great for any sleep position. Whether you are a side sleeper, a stomach or a back sleeper, you will be able to adjust the pillow to your exact needs thanks to the inner foam maneuverability, and still enjoy the firm, supportive comfort that it provides your head and neck to alleviate any neck pain. The shredded foam is also great for anyone who likes to sleep with their arm under their pillow, the adjustable nature gives you plenty of leeway and the ability to shape the pillow to any angle.

Typical consumer reviews of the Xtreme Comforts pillow include:

“Love the flexibility and support of the Shredded Memory Foam pillow by Xtreme Comforts.”

“Thick and supportive.”

“Came flat and squished in package, but fluffed up like a marshmallow once unwrapped.”

Material: Shredded memory Foam | My Rating: 4.8/5

 

 

 

 

Memory Foam Pillow Contour for Back Pain, Neck and Travel - ON MASSIVE PROMOTION - Reduces Snoring, Aligns Spine, Stays Cool - Also Used As Maternity Pillow, Body Pillow, Seat Cushion, Wedge - Free Bonus Sleep Mask, Ear Plugs, Sleep Ebook - Not Decorative or Pet Pillow

Contoured to be specifically beneficial to people who experience neck pain in the mornings the Memory Foam Pillow from Smarter Rest is a strong, durable and easy to care for sleep aid.

There is no specific position that lends itself more to cramped muscles and neck pain in the morning. Side sleepers, people who sleep on their stomachs, or on their backs, are all equally subject to the pain of a sore neck from improper neck alignment.

Whenever a person sleeps in a position that allows their necks to curve upwards, sideways or down, it is out of alignment with their spine. That causes sensitive nerves inside their spinal column to be compressed or pinched. The end result is pain.

When nerves in the neck are pinched, supporting muscles in surrounding areas bunch up and swell in an effort to support the injured area. That leads people to often believe the pain they are experiencing is coming from those muscles, but in reality, the sore, swollen muscle tissue is simply a result.

The actual cause is in the way the bones of the neck are supported during the night. Pinched nerves in the neck can radiate pain throughout the shoulder girdle, down the arms and into the hands. Pain can also go down the back causing lower back pain, sciatica and numbness or pain in the legs as well. More often, pinched neck muscles from an improper sleeping position causes headaches that last for hours.

The Memory Foam Pillow contoured for neck pain by Smarter Rest is made of toxin free German quality memory foam. It is made to maintain spinal alignment and prevent neck pain, stiffness and even snoring during the night. The granulated fabric is soft and luxurious, while allowing for better airflow. The case is mite and allergen resistant, and is entirely washable so you can have a clean surface easily and quickly.

Typical consumer reviews of the Smarter Rest pillow include:

 

“Woke up feeling better than I have in years.”

“Using the Memory Foam Pillow from Smarter Rest got rid of the constant neck pain and headaches.”

“The perfect combination of soft comfort and firm support.”

 

Material: Memory Foam | My Rating: 4.7/5

 

 

 

MyPillow Premium Series Bed Pillow, Standard/Queen, White Level (Medium)

The MyPillow is uniquely engineered to provide the perfect level of support depending on body size. One of the most difficult parts of finding the right pillow for neck support is that no two people are exactly the same size. The differences are especially noticeable between the sexes and between adults and children.

The MyPillow uses shirt size to determine special needs so you can buy the size that will fit you the best. Available in four different loft levels, My Pillow has created something that isn’t found anywhere else, and is guaranteed to not go flat under use or machine washing.The MyPillow Premium Series bed pillow for neck pain is made in the USA out of a patented blend of poly filling. The open cell construction of the fibers allows air to flow freely through the pillow to keep you comfortably cool during the night, and will not ball up like down or cotton filled pillows. The poly-fill of the MyPillow is better than thick, solid foam pillows because it will mold to your body shape easier, and you can adjust it to any position you need during the night.

The MyPillow is great for back and stomach sleepers as well as side sleepers. It will also help support the back and shoulders for people who like to put their arms under the pillow while they sleep.

Typical consumer reviews of the MyPillow Premium Series bed pillow include:

“Love this pillow! It is soft and comfortable all night long.”

“Great warranty and easy to care for.”

“The MyPillow fits perfectly and feels great. I get up without neck pain for the first time in ages.”

Material: MyPillow’s Patented Interlocking Fill | My Rating: 4.6/5

 

 

 

Sleep Innovations Contour Memory Foam Pillow, Standard Size

 

Sleep Innovations is an industry leader in top-of-the-line support pillows. Their Contour Memory Foam Pillow is excellent for preventing neck pain, because it has a special shape designed to cradle the head and neck, giving it a more comfortable feel no matter what your preferred sleep position is.

The Contour Memory Foam Pillow has a recessed center that allows side sleepers to keep their heads in line with their spine, and also gives stomach sleepers the ability to lay with their face on the pillow without pressure from the filling blocking airways or making their skin hot.

Back sleepers avoid having their neck curved and chin forced downward, a position that is ripe for pain in the morning, because the Contour Memory Foam Pillow has a curve that keeps the head form being pushed up and forward.

Sleep Innovations Contour pillow is made from Sure Temp memory foam, and has a long warranty that guarantees it will not flatten, break up or lose its shape in any way.

Some users report an odor which is a common occurrence with any memory foam product that has been in a package for any amount of time. Simply packing it for shipping can cause a build up that will be easily eliminated by airing out the pillow or using a household odor eliminator such as Febreze.

Memory foam pillows are a great choice for people with neck pain in the morning. The strong foam core is pliable enough to move comfortably with your body as you sleep, allows freedom without ever losing support that is so vital to the neck during the night.

The pillow casing is made of soft, luxurious terry cloth velour fabric that stays cool and comfortable. The cover is simple to remove, and washes in the machine.

Sleeping on the Sleep Innovations Contour Memory Foam Pillow is soothing, and made to give you a peaceful night’s sleep. All of the fabric and materials that comprise the pillow are hypoallergenic and allergy free. The Contour Memory Foam Pillow is made in the USA, and even helps reduce snoring and stress caused by insomnia.

Typical consumer reviews of Sleep Innovations pillow include:

“Everyone in the family loves this pillow from my husband and me, along with all of my children, including my toddler.”

“Best sleep in ages thanks to the Contour Memory Foam Pillow.”

“Fits perfectly, and I can sleep on my back without waking up with a stiff neck.”

Material: Memory Foam | My Rating: 4.5/5

 

 

Core Products Tri-Core Cervical Pillow, FIB-222, Mid-Size, Gentle

 

The Tri-Core Cervical Pillow has a patented design created specifically to support the neck in all sleep positions. The shape of the pillow allows anyone to get a good night’s rest no matter what position they favor.

Side and stomach sleepers can enjoy the thick padding along the edges to support the neck without pushing the padding into their face. Back sleepers rest comfortably with their heads in the center depression, and their necks bolstered by the thick outer rim to keep the spine perfectly aligned with the back during the night.

The Tri-Core pillow comes in three sizes for a perfect way to give everyone in the family from the youngest members to the oldest a comfortable, pain free sleeping surface.

At first, the shape of the Tri-Core pillow may throw you off. It doesn’t look like any pillow people are accustomed to seeing. Not only is there a deep depression at the center, which is perfectly created to offer the best neck support in any sleeping position, it has sides that are a variety of sizes. The different side thickness allows any user to get just the right level of support at all times.

There are also two firmness levels to choose from, standard and gentle. Both offer excellent support, but are geared to offer buyers a choice between extreme fill and soft, plush fill levels.

All Tri-Core Cervical Pillows for neck pain are made from durable, easy to care for materials. The inner fiber provides luxury while letting air flow smoothly throughout the pillow to alleviate heat buildup.

Typical consumer reviews of Tri-Core Cervical Pillow include:

“Best support pillow I’ve used since an auto-injury required neck support at night.”

“I’ve used this pillow for years and it is the best support I’ve ever found.”

“The Tri-Core Cervical Pillow completely relieved my neck pain.”

Material: Fiber | My Rating: 4.5/5

 

 

 

The precisely contoured Arc4life Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow is designed to aid anyone who experiences neck pain when waking up. Neck pain can last all day long, make getting around difficult and is responsible for severe headaches, fatigue, limb pain and numbness and even lower back pain.

This unusual looking pillow is the answer to those problems. It has a recessed center with sculpted sides that vary in shape so you can get the right support in any sleeping position. The Arc4life pillow works great for stomach and side sleepers, back sleepers and people of all shapes and sizes from the oldest in the family to the youngest.

Along with helping alleviate neck pain, the way the Arc4life Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow helps you relax makes it easier to fall asleep better and faster. It also helps promote healthier sleep by making it easier to breathe correctly, and eliminates snoring.

The hand-stuffed, fiber filling is moldable for easy movement during the night, and it allows for complete air flow to keep your sleeping surface cool and comfortable.

Along with the varying side shapes, you can fold the Arc4life Cervical Neck Pillow so that both opposing sides are together for extra thickness when sleeping on your side.

Typical consumer reviews of this neck pillow include:

“Completely got rid of the stiff neck problem I’ve had for years.”

“The Arc4life Pillow is such a relief. My physical therapist credited it for getting rid of my neck curvature.”

“Best pillow for my cervical disc problem.”

Material: Fiber | Our Rating: 4.4/5

 

Chiroflow Professional Waterbase pillow

The Chiroflow Premium Water Pillow offers smooth movement as you sleep without bunching or flattening. It is a great way to get complete support in any sleep position. Because the water core moves with you, it isn’t necessary to get up and reposition the pillow in the middle of the night as you move from side to side, back to front and it makes a great support for pregnant women too.

This luxurious pillow is recommended the most by chiropractors and makes you feel like you’re sleeping at a 5-star resort. Clinical studies show that sleeping on the Premium Water Pillow by Chiroflow helps to reduce neck pain. That is because it has a firm, easy to use support base that you can fill to the desired level of comfort to keep your neck and head cradled all through the night.

You do not need any chemical additives to keep the water clean. Just fill the inner chamber with common tap water, and get ready to experience sleep the way it should be—soothing, peaceful and pain free.

The Chiroflow Pillow is great for side sleepers, stomach and back sleepers alike.

The inner pad is made of a cool, smooth Dacron StaLoft Hollfil fiber fabric for durable, easy care for comfort. The slip cover case is a soft 300 thread count quality, and it is thermal insulated to prevent a buildup of body head. The entire Chiroflow Pillow is machine washable, so you can have a fresh, clean pillow every night.

Typical consumer reviews of the Chiroflow Pillow include:

“Easy to use, comfortable and I have never slept better.”

“Best pillow ever for neck pain.”

“I was skeptical, but slept pain free for the first time in years from the very first time I tried the Chiroflow Premium Water Pillow.”

Material: Polyester | My Rating: 4.3/5

 

 

Classic Brands Conforma Memory Foam Pillow, Queen

Classic Brands is a name that is instantly recognized in the bedding industry. They have a strong reputation for quality pillows that provide complete support, and a great customer service department to ensure complete satisfaction.

Their Conforma Memory Foam Pillow is a solid 5-inch thick foam pad that won’t warp, break down or flatten. It maintains its shape throughout the night no matter how much you move and is a fantastic stomach or back support for side sleepers and pregnant women.

Even though the Conforma is a single pad of memory foam, the finely drilled tunnels that perforate the entire surface provide easy air flow to keep the surface cool and comfortable at all times.Memory foam is great for allergy sufferers as well, because the material is naturally hypoallergenic, and also resists mildew, mites and most of all, maintains the proper neck alignment so you always get a good night’s sleep and awake pain free. Your pillow makes up a large percentage of the sleeping surface your body relies on to be comfortable during the night. Picking the right pillow makes a big difference in the type of sleep you get.

The Classic Brands Conforma Memory Foam Pillow is soft and comfortable, and instantly matches the shape of your head while still being firm enough to make sure your neck is safe from strain and injury.

Typical consumer reviews of Conforma Memory Foam Pillow include:

“Great for everyone in my family. My kids love it and my husband and I love it.”

“Just the right mixture of softness and strength to keep my neck from hurting while being soothing to sleep on.”

“Sturdy and easy to keep clean.”

Material: Memory foam | My Rating: 4.3/5

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

Amazon Echo Great Help for Dementia Patients

 

 

Amazon Echo Great Help for Dementia Patients

 

 

 

 

 

New Technology Helps Seniors With Dementia!

 

Amazon Echo is a new technology innovation that has amazing potential for helping seniors with dementia. It’s similar to Siri on the iPhone, except that it understands better and is more useful.

 

 

At first glance, the Echo (also referred to as Alexa) might seem like another tech toy.

But if you take a closer look, you’ll see how this tool could improve quality of life for older adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia as well as for seniors with mobility limitations and other health conditions. 

 

 

 

 

In this post, I’ll explain:

 

  • How Echo helps seniors with dementia
  • Why it’s recommended by someone with Early Onset Alzheimer’s
  • Who else would benefit from Echo
  • How it works and how much it costs
  • Where to find reviews and demos

 

 

 

Amazon Echo for Dementia

 

Caregivers often get frustrated because seniors with dementia repeat questions endlessly, need to be entertained, or get anxious when you’re not around. Having Echo there to answer questions, talk about news or weather, or play music can give caregivers much-needed breaks.

Echo can’t completely replace human touch or real conversation, but the intelligent voice controls can make it feel like a helpful friend.

 

Echo Features that are Great for Seniors With Dementia

 

  • Instantly answers questions, like “what day is it?” or “what time is it?” — it’s a machine, so it will never get annoyed or frustrated!
  • Plays music and read audiobooks and the news — no need to fuss with complicated controls
  • Tells fun jokes and riddles
  • Looks up information about anything — like, “what’s playing on TV tonight?”
  • Reports traffic and weather

 

 

 

Recommended by an Advocate Who Has Dementia

 

Rick Phelps bought an Echo in February 2016. He’s 63 and was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease in November 2010. After his diagnosis, he became an advocate for dementia awareness and founded the Memory People private Facebook community. Memory People now has over 13,000 members!

After about a week of use, Rick wrote a public blog post strongly recommending it to people with dementia. He doesn’t normally recommend products, so the fact that he raved about it means that it’s working really well for him.

 

Quotes From Rick’s Positive Review of the Echo

“It has afforded me something that I have lost. Memory. I can ask Alexa anything and I get the answer instantly. And I can ask it what day it is twenty times a day and I will still get the same correct answer.”

“’Alexa, remind me to take my medicine at 8:00am and 8:00pm everyday.’ Once you tell Alexa to do this, it will indeed remind you daily to take your medicine.”

“‘Alexa, play New York, New York, by Frank Sinatra.’  ‘Alexa, add paper towels to my shopping list.’ ‘Alexa, what is the weight of an elephant?’…All you need to do for this thing to read any book to you, is to have this book on audio. Which I buy all my books like. Since I can no longer read. That alone makes this thing worth it’s weight in gold to me.”

 

 

 

Who Else Would Benefit From an Echo?

 

Older adults with mobility issues or health conditions like Parkinson’s can also benefit from an Echo. It gives them more control over their environment and more independence.

For example, a senior could easily turn on the light across the room or adjust the room’s temperature using only their voice. If they wanted to hear music or read a book, they could do it with another quick voice command. Without Echo, they’d have to ask someone else to help them with these simple tasks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Does Echo Work and How Much Does it Cost?

 

It’s a Personal Assistant

The Echo is basically a hands-free speaker that you control with your voice. It acts like a personal assistant by playing music, providing information like date, time, news, sports scores, weather, and helping with a variety of tasks.

 

 

 

How to Use It

When you want to use the Echo, just say the word “Alexa” to wake it up and let it know that you’re giving it a command. Currently, there are 3 choices for the “wake word” — Amazon, Alexa, or Echo. The amazing thing is that the Echo responds instantly when asked a question.

Because you must use the wake word to activate the Echo, you could put a large sign on it with its “name” to make it easier for older adults with cognitive issues to remember.

 

How to Set it Up

Echo only needs a wireless network connection to work. You will need a computer or smartphone to set it up, but after that, it works with just the WiFi connection. It does need to be plugged in for power — it doesn’t use batteries.

 

 

Helpful Reviews and Demos

See the Echo in action in this helpful review and demo (11 min). Skip to 3 min 10 sec to see how Echo responds to a variety of everyday questions and commands. For another perspective, find out how a blind woman named Joy uses Echo.

 

Features and Skills

Echo can connect to smart home devices to controls lights, switches, and thermostats. It also connects to the Alexa mobile app to create shopping and to do lists. Amazon is continuously improving the features and adding new “skills” — other services it connects with.

 

Bottom Line

It’s not cheap, but the Echo could significantly improve quality of life for your older adult and give you a well-deserved break. It’s like an intelligent companion and helper that never gets tired, bored, or frustrated.

There are over 36,800 customer reviews on Amazon with a 4.4 star average, as well as over 1,000 answered questions, technical details and videos.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Preserving Alzheimer’s Patients’ Dignity

 

Important Seniors’ Nutritional Supplements Reviewed

 

 

Important Seniors’ Nutritional Supplements Reviewed

 

 

 

Scientists studying eating habits have found that on average, the elderly suffer from malnutrition more than other age groups.

A combination of loss of appetite, lack of dietary variety, and poorer absorption capacities means seniors require additional micronutrient intake to achieve full nutritional well-being.

 

Scroll down to read my full review of Centrum Silver

 

 

Whenever possible, seniors are encouraged to improve their nutritional intake by increasing the nutrient density of their meals and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

 

For example, selenium, a core micronutrient found in tuna and seafood, may help boost cytokine production, while studies show that the zinc present in shellfish and beef aids T helper cell proliferation.

 

BRI Nutrition Selenium 180ct 200mcg Vegetable Formula - Superior Absorption Supplement - Essential Trace Mineral to Support Thyroid, Prostate and Heart Health - Yeast Free - Made in the USA
Nature's Bounty Zinc Chelated 50 mg, 100 Caplets

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is the most important way to get nutrients, but nutritional supplements for the elderly are great all-around options, providing regular doses of a range of much-needed minerals and nutrients that can be difficult to assemble on one plate.

 

 

 

Probiotics

Science has known for some time now that there are good and bad kinds of bacteria, and every healthy body needs its fair share of the former. The good bacteria lodged in our gut may also play a key role in T helper cell development, according to recent studies.

 

Probiotics  play on this recent discovery, supplementing our body with healthy, gut-loving bacteria that bolster our immune defenses and replenish bacteria levels.

 

Optimum Probiotics: Deep Immune System Support - With Patented Probiotic Booster - Effective in Small Doses Within Hours - Nutritional Supplement

 

Probiotics loaded with immune-bolstering bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium may be found in a number of foods, including dairy products, drinks, energy bars, cereals and other products. Probiotic supplements are thought to help prevent allergies and colds, and alleviate chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.

 

 

Fish Oil

 

As we age, our bodies become less responsive to physical activity and produce less muscle mass after exertion. In addition, 25% of seniors over the age of 50 develop sarcopenia or muscle loss, a common condition that makes our bodies shed muscle over time.

 

Muscle mass loss can pose a number of serious issues for seniors, as everyday tasks requiring strength and balance become increasingly difficult. Sarcopenia-related issues are some of the biggest problems that seniors face as they age, with frailty and immobility being among the principal symptoms.

 

A study presented at the British Science Festival found that fish rich in omega-3 oils, such as mackerel and sardines, serve as great nutritional supplements for the elderly on account of their strong muscle-building properties and coronary benefits.

 

These fish oils, which are rich in omega-3 acids EPA and DHA, are known to significantly strengthen body mass development and improve skin luminescence.

 

For best results, make sure your fish oil supplement contains high levels of EPA and DHA, the core fatty acids that are linked to muscle synthesis.

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil Pills (120 Capsules Count) Triple Strength Supplement, Burpless Softgels, High EPA (800mg) High DHA (600mg) (LEMON FLAVORED)
Guaranteed The Highest Quality and Purity Of Any Fish Oil Available Anywhere Is all Omega 3 Fish Oil the Same? Not all fish oil is created equally.
 
The source, the purity, and the density of DHA make major differences in the quality of the fish oil that you put into your body. BodyVega Omega 3 Fish Oil is the highest quality fish oil that you will find anywhere.


BodyVega Omega 3 Fish Oil has Amazon’s highest concentration of DHA and EPA, so it supports many of the body’s processes for overall health and thriving well-being, including: Brain function, so you’ll be more alert, focused, and happier Healthy eyesight, including reducing tired, dry eyes Reducing pain and inflammation.

 

Carefully crafted from deep-sea, cold water fish and molecularly distilled for purity from all toxins, BodyVega is designed to have maximum potency without the nasty fish taste or burps. 60-Day Money Back Guarantee If you are anything but thrilled with your order, simply return the empty bottles for a 100% no hassle refund.

 

 

Herbal Supplements and Botanicals

 

A range of herbal supplements and remedies have been used throughout the centuries to combat the health problems associated with aging with mixed results. In recent times, herbal supplements have become increasingly prevalent on the market, with more and more seniors electing them as their choice alternative to standard medications.

 

Herbal supplements are perceived as both inexpensive and natural, but may also produce unknown side effects. Remember, these supplements should be used with caution and only taken if you are positive they do not interfere with any other treatment you may be receiving.

 

Saw palmetto nutritional supplements for seniors have been used to reduce the effects of enlarged prostates and certain types of prostate infections. Saw palmetto is also reported to reduce prostate swelling and balding, and to aid in bladder control.  

 

Saw Palmetto Capsules For Prostate Health - Extract & Berry Powder Complex To Reduce Frequent Urination - DHT Blocker To Fight Hair Loss - 500mg Natural Supplement - 100% Money-Back Guarantee
Black cohosh, a supplement derived from the Native American cohosh plant, is widely used to treat menopause and various other ailments. Black Cohosh has emerged as a natural alternative to hormone therapy, with its combination of headache and hot flash-relieving properties making it ideal for senior women. Black Cohosh is also known to reduce mood swings, sleeping disorders and heart palpitations, among other things.

 

Nature's Bounty Black Cohosh 540 mg Natural, 100 Capsules

 

 

Glucosamine is a naturally-occurring chemical found in the body. Now marketed as a dietary supplement, glucosamine plays a key role in keeping our joints healthy. Bone deterioration and joint pains are part and parcel of the aging process, and glucosamine provides an effective barrier against arthritic pain.

Doctor's Best Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM, Capsules, 240-Count

 

In addition, glucosamine has also proved to be capable of reducing the effects of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and temporomandibular joint dysfunctions, making it one of the best nutritional supplements for the elderly.

 

 

Melatonin – Reduced sleep cycles affect our cognitive performance and disrupt our normal metabolic processes. In addition, seniors with irregular sleep patterns will likely have higher levels of the protein-depleting hormone cortisol in their system. Hence, getting at least seven and a half hours of sleep per day is essential to maintaining senior health.

NOW Foods Melatonin 5mg Vcaps, 180 Capsules

Melatonin is a safe, naturally-occurring chemical used to help regulate sleep cycles. Melatonin levels rise naturally in accordance with the daylight cycle and fall during the morning, but the elderly may produce very little or no melatonin at all. This supplement is used to treat insomnia and sleep disorders, and may indirectly boost senior immunity and general well-being.

 

 

The benefits of garlic are well documented and have long been accepted in the medical world. Garlic possesses infection-fighting properties that make it a great organic medicine against fungi, bacteria, and viruses.

 

Garlic and onion consumption in Southern Europe is also thought to be linked to a lower prevalence of certain cancers in the Mediterranean region.

 

Kyolic Garlic Formula 100 Original Cardiovascular Formula (300 Capsules)
Garlic also provides a range of coronary benefits, including reducing high blood pressure and risks of atherosclerosis. Garlic is also thought to have been originally used as a prevention method against E.coli and other bacteria associated with food poisoning. The active ingredient allicin gives garlic both its strong medicinal properties and its potent odor.

 

 

Multivitamin Supplements

 

Micronutrient intake is one of the most essential factors of good nutrition, yet often one of the hardest to manage. Luckily, there are a number of safe and effective multivitamin supplements on the market that are specially designed for mature adults.

 

As we grow older, our heart, bones and muscle tissues require additional levels of micronutrients such as vitamin C and calcium in order to remain healthy.

 

Multivitamin formulas fill in gaps in our diets, ensuring that seniors fulfill their daily recommended nutritional values of vitamins and minerals.  Many formulations also contain additional nutritional components, making them an easy way to ensure full compliment of health factors.

 

 

Make sure you watch for the following in your multi:

 

Experts agree that vitamin A plays an essential role in maintaining cell surfaces associated with T helper cells and other immune system molecules. While too much vitamin A may prove harmful to the bones, at the right level, retinoid-rich nutritional supplements provide added defense against prostate cancer and improve eye vision, skin appearance, and bone growth.

 

Vitamin B6 is one of the most important nutritional supplements for the elderly, as its prime function includes strengthening appetite and inducing sleep. Vitamin B also plays an important role in immune system health and may have an impact on our cognitive and psychological performance.

 

Vitamin B12 is one of the core features of any multivitamin formula. This vitamin is important for maintaining healthy nerve function, amino acid processing, and red blood cell production. Vitamin B12 is notoriously hard for seniors to absorb, so the elderly are encouraged to eat fish, poultry and meat to supplement their micronutrient intake. A lack of vitamin B12 may lead to dementia or memory loss.

 

The effectiveness of vitamin C as a prevention against colds is a hotly debated subject, but most scientists agree that this micronutrient helps produce collagen and maintain blood vessel walls. Vitamin c has also been said to reduce the probability of certain cancers such as breast and stomach cancer.

 

This is one of the most important nutritional supplements for the elderly on account of its function as a bone strengthener and a blood pressure regulator. Calcium also has an effect on hormone secretion and enzyme activation. A high-calcium diet may help prevent fractures of the spine, wrist or hip, all of which are common injuries among the elderly.

 

For years now, doctors have been telling patients to try to spend time out in the sun in order to boost vitamin D and calcium absorption. Vitamin D has been shown to lower the risk of lung infection and produce bone-strengthening benefits.

 

Iron helps hemoglobin transport oxygen in red blood cells, making it an essential ingredient in any multivitamin formula. This micronutrient is also needed to produce certain chemical reactions associated with amino acid, collagen and neurotransmitter production. Adequate iron levels may also help keep senior anemia at bay, making it one the best nutritional supplements for the elderly.

 

 

 

My Review of Centrum Silver Multivitamin for Adults Over 50

  • Specially formulated multivitamin for people over 50, with higher levels of specific vitamins to help meet the needs of older adults
  • Centrum Silver balances combinations of nutrients to help them work to their full potential
  • Improved formula includes lycopene, one of the ingredients in tomatoes that may help support heart health
  • Centrum is produced by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, one of the largest over-the-counter health care products company in the world
Pros
  • Contains no iron, which is unneeded by seniors
  • More vitamin B12 and vitamin K than other varieties
  • Contains 50 percent DV (2,500 IU) of vitamin A
Cons
  • Vitamin K may interfere with blood-thinners

 

 

Key Ingredients

Good levels of B vitamins. People older than 50 need more B12 in a multivitamin, and Centrum Silver Adults 50+ contains 25 mcg.

It lacks iron, but that’s not an issue because experts say iron isn’t needed in supplement form for this age group. It also has less vitamin A than most multivitamins because it’s easy to ingest too much, which can pose serious health risks.

However, this Centrum formula’s 220 mg of calcium falls short of current recommendations of 1,200 mg per day for women over 50. Post-menopausal women in particular may be at greater risk of osteoporosis, and should talk to their doctors about appropriate calcium supplementation.

 

Contains:

Amount Per Serving% Daily Value

Vitamin A 2,500 IU (40% as Beta-Carotene)50%

Vitamin C 60 mg100%

Vitamin D 1000 IU250%

Vitamin E 50 IU167%

Vitamin K 30 mcg38%

Thiamin 1.5 mg100%

Riboflavin 1.7 mg100%

Niacin 20 mg100%

Vitamin B6 3 mg150%

Folic Acid 400 mcg100%

Vitamin B12 25 mcg417%

Biotin 30 mcg10%

Pantothenic Acid 10 mg100%

Calcium 220 mg22%

Phosphorus 20 mg2%

Iodine 150 mcg100%

Magnesium 50 mg13%

Zinc 11 mg73%

Selenium 19 mcg27%

Copper 0.5 mg25%

Manganese 2.3 mg115%

Chromium 50 mcg42%

Molybdenum 45 mcg60%

Chloride 72 mg2%

Potassium 80 mg2%

Boron 0 mcgN/A

Nickel 5 mcgN/A

Silicon 2 mgN/A

Vanadium 10 mcgN/A

Lutein 250 mcgN/A

Lycopene 300 mcgN/A

 

Directions

Suggested use: adults -take one tablet daily with food. Not formulated for use in children.
Do not exceed suggested use.
As with any supplement, if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking medication, consult your doctor before use.
Store at room temperature. Keep bottle tightly closed.
Bottle sealed with printed foil under cap. Do not use if foil if is torn.

 

Bottom Line

Users say Centrum Silver Adults 50+ is easy to swallow and causes no noticeable side effects like stomach upset.

It contains less than the recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D, so women 50 years and older should ask their doctors about their nutrient needs.

Centrum Silver has 30 mcg of vitamin K, which can interfere with some blood-thinning medications, so talk to your physician before taking a new multivitamin.

 

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About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

 

Propet Women's W0001 Breeze Walker Sandal,Dusty Taupe Nubuck,10 X (US Women's 10 EE)

The Right Shoes Look Good and Prevent Fall Risk

 

Proper shoes for the elderly can reduce their risk of falling, which is one of the leading causes of injury for older people. A fall can cause an injury such as a hip or pelvis fracture which means months of rehabilitation therapy. It can even have long term affects to the senior’s mobility.

As we age our feet go through changes that make us more likely to fall. It is important to understand what changes to expect to avoid falls. Falls can be very dangerous for seniors and can lead to cuts, bruises, broken bones and even serious head injuries. Photo above: Propet Women’s W0001 Breeze Walker Sandal, Dusty Taupe Nubuck

 

 

 

Footwear Can Prevent Falls

 

Recent research has found that good footwear can reduce the risk of falls in the elderly.

Researchers followed study participants for an average of 27.5 months. Almost 52 percent of participants who said they experienced a fall during that period were either barefoot (18 percent), wearing socks with no shoes (7 percent), or wearing slippers (27 percent) at the time.

Those individuals also suffered more serious consequences from their fall, including fractures, sprains, dislocations, or torn muscles.

A good pair of shoes for the elderly are not only comfortable but safer.

Wearing the right shoes can be helpful in the prevention of falls so seniors should know what to look for when choosing their shoes.

In this article, I will share some tips for seniors about how to choose the right shoes to help avoid falls, as well as some tried and true shoe examples.

 

As people age it is common for seniors to begin to lose feeling in their feet which can cause them to feel less balanced when walking.

Our feet can also change shape and begin to flatten out or develop bunions or curled toes which can be very painful and can also cause balance problems and make seniors have trouble walking.

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing sensible shoes is the best way to manage these changes and keep seniors safe while walking.

The first thing that seniors should do when choosing their shoes is to have their feet measured.

As the feet change it is possible for them to change size as well which can be problematic if seniors continue to buy the same shoe size without measuring their feet. Shoes that are too small can cause pain in the feet that can lead to accidents and shoes that are too big can slide on and off the feet while seniors are walking and cause falls as well.

Family caregivers should make sure that their loved ones have their feet measured when shopping for shoes or assist them in measuring their feet at home if they are going to shop for shoes online. Seniors should make sure that they have their feet measured each time they buy shoes just to make sure that they are always getting shoes that will fit properly.

The next thing that seniors should do when shopping for shoes is look for shoes that are sensible and comfortable. High heeled shoes or shoes with slick soles might look nice but they are not very sensible for seniors because they can easily cause falls. Flat and sturdy shoes with nonskid soles are best for seniors because they can help seniors stay balanced to avoid falls.

 

Some Examples:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extra Wide for Swelling and Edema

 

Shoes should also be comfortable to help seniors avoid pain in their feet when walking, especially if there is swelling.
 
Wide shoes are often best for seniors as they help prevent bunions on the feet and give seniors a better sense of balance because of the extra width. Women who are having trouble finding shoes that are wide enough can try looking at men’s shoes because shoes for men are often designed to be wider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orthotics and Shoe Inserts

Seniors that are still having trouble finding comfortable shoes can try orthotic shoes or inserts. Custom made orthotics and orthotic shoes but the prefabricated orthotic inserts often work very well at a fraction of the price.

Orthotic inserts are designed to stabilize the feet and redistribute pressure so that seniors will have more feeling in their feet and be less likely to stumble and get hurt.

 

 

Recommended: Pinnacle Plus Full Length Orthotic Shoe Inserts

Maximum cushioning, full support with built-in met pad. Pinnacle Plus Full Length Orthotic Shoe Inserts feature built-in metatarsal support to spread and cushion the metatarsal heads to help alleviate pain.

Ideal for morton’s neuroma and metatarsalgia, the pinnacle plus provides the perfect blend of foot control, flexibility and cushioning. The encapsulated design with a firm but flexible support shell, built-in arch support and heel cradle offers stability and motion control. Plush cushioning with vct technology increases stability and comfort in casual, athletic and work shoes.

Ideal as metatarsalgia orthotics, Pinnacle Plus Full Length Orthotic Shoe Inserts prevent and alleviate pain associated with plantar fasciitis, metatarsal pain, heel or arch pain and discomfort, mild to moderate pronation, sore/aching feet and other common foot conditions.

 

 

Shoelaces – Don’t Overlook Them!

 

Many people overlook shoelaces when selecting a pair of shoes, but seniors and family caregivers should take them into consideration when making a purchase. Having shoelaces come untied can be very problematic for seniors as it can cause them to trip and fall. Seniors that do want to purchase shoes with laces should keep a close eye out to make sure that their laces do not come untied while they are walking.

Seniors that are unable to bend down easily to tie their laces should consider shoes with fabric fasteners. Fabric fasteners can be secured in place when the shoe is put on and will not come undone until they are pulled on. There are several shoes with fabric fasteners available for seniors and they can be very beneficial for seniors to purchase because they can prevent falls and help keep seniors from having to constantly check and re-tie their shoelaces.

Another great option is No-Tie Shoelaces.

 

Recommended:

  • Reflective laces provide great nighttime visibility. The reflective elastic no tie shoelaces and fastening system fits any style and size of shoes with shoelaces.
  • Package includes: 5 sets of elastic shoelaces. Each set come with 2 lock pieces, 2 cord clips and 2 laces suitable for lace up 1 pair of shoes.
  • Time saver – more comfortable than regular shoelaces, elastic cords distribute pressure of laces evenly over your feet. Very convenient and easy to use for the elderly or those with reduced mobility.

 

 

Following these tips is a good way to prevent seniors from falling. Family caregivers can help their loved ones by assisting them when choosing shoes so that they can purchase shoes that are comfortable and safe.

Seniors might be reluctant to give up their former shoes but they will be much safer and less likely to fall in the long run so family caregivers should try to do everything that they can to help their loved ones choose shoes that are safe and that they feel comfortable wearing.

 

 

 

Practical Tips and Suggestions

 

 

What Makes a Shoe Safe?

 

There are certain features you should look for in a shoe that makes it “safe” – reduces falls risk.

These include:

  • Heel (upper) – A firm heel collar to provide stability
  • Laces – Laces to ensure the shoe holds onto the foot while walking
  • Heel (bottom) – A bevelled heel to prevent slipping and a broad flared heel to maximize contact with the ground
  • Sole – A textured sole to prevent slipping
  • Midsole – A thin firm midsole so the wearer can feel the ground underneath

 

 

What Makes a Shoe Unsafe?

 

There are certain features that make shoes for the elderly unsafe and increase the risk of falling.

These include:

  • Heel (upper) – Soft or stretched uppers make the foot slide around in the shoe
  • High heels (women’s shoes) – High heels should be avoided as they impair stability when walking
  • Narrow heels (women’s shoes) – Narrow heels make the foot unstable and can cause ankle sprains
  • No Laces – Lack of laces could mean the foot can slide out of the shoe
  • Sole – Slippery or worn soles are a balance hazard, particularly in wet weather.

 

So, to sum up, look for shoes with:

  • A Firm base
  • Cushioning
  • A Non Slip Sole
  • Ankle Support

 

 

Footwear Can Prevent Falls

(It’s Been Studied!)

 

Recent research has found that good footwear can reduce the risk of falls in the elderly.

Researchers followed study participants for an average of 27.5 months. Almost 52 percent of participants who said they experienced a fall during that period were either barefoot (18 percent), wearing socks with no shoes (7 percent), or wearing slippers (27 percent) at the time.

Those individuals also suffered more serious consequences from their fall, including fractures, sprains, dislocations, or torn muscles.

So a good pair of shoes for the elderly are not only comfortable, but safer.

 

 

 

Shopping Tips for

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

 

If you are heading to the store to buy shoes, remember to bring:

  • Orthotics (if you use them)
  • Socks that you normally wear
  • Old shoes so the salesperson can look at the wear pattern (ex. worn on one side of shoe).

 

When To Shop:

  • Buy footwear in the afternoon when your foot is the largest

 

Sizing:

  • Shoes should fit snugly without being to tight
  • If your feet are different sizes, buy the size that fits the larger foot
  • There should be about 1/2 inch of room between your big toe and the end of the shoe when you are standing
  • Try shoes of different widths to get the correct fit

 

 

Shoe Features to Look For

  • Toe – A wide deep toe are gives space for toes. Not enough space can lead to bunions, hammer toes, corns and calluses.
  • Heel (upper) – Should be firm enough so that you cannot squeeze it between thumb and fingers
  • Sole – This is the most important part of the shoe to reduce falls risk. Shoes with a greater contact area with the ground are more stable and provide more grip. Soles should be non slip but not sticky. They should not be too thick as it is difficult to feel the ground which can cause falls on uneven terrain.
  • Heel – A low slightly beveled heel is preferred
  • Fastening – Shoes with velcro or lace are preferred and they improve stability and hold the shoe to the foot.
  • Lining – Lining will stretch to fit the shape of the foot. Lining should have few seams, especially over bony areas of the foot as these can cause irritation.
  • Material – A leather shoe will stretch over the foot and form to its shape. Leather can also be shaped to accommodate bunions or hammer toes.
  • Arch Support – There should be enough arch support for your type of foot to make it comfortable.
  • Tongue – Should be padded and easy to get the shoe on and off.

 

Walk around the store for 5-10 minutes to test the shoe’s fit. Is there any rubbing or slipping? Are there any red areas on your feet when you take them off? This can be a sign of a poor fit.

 

 

Also Recommended:

 
Women’s & Men’s Diabetic Non Skid / Slip Grip Socks – Available in several colors

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical suggestions for finding a great pair of comfortable, stable shoes. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

 

 

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Why You Should Use an Infrared Sauna Often

 

Why You Should Use an Infrared Sauna Often

 

 


 

Infrared saunas are an effective tool for natural healing and disease prevention.

Infrared light has the ability to penetrate human tissue which in turn produces a host of anti-aging and healing benefits making infrared saunas one of the most popular home therapies for overall healthier living.

If you want to get yourself back into balance, an infrared sauna may be the ticket to achieving your wellness goals.

 

Detoxification

 

 

Sweating is the body’s safe and natural way to heal & stay healthy. Far infrared sauna benefits the body by heating it directly causing a rise in core temperature resulting in a deep, detoxifying sweat at the cellular level, where toxins reside.

Sweating is good for you. Seriously, sweating is one of the body’s safest and most natural ways to heal and maintain good health, and infrared saunas are specifically designed to promote a deep, healthy and natural detoxifying sweat.

Detoxification is important because it strengthens the body’s immune system and helps the body’s biochemical processes function efficiently so that we are better able to digest the nutrients in our foods. Detoxification has also been shown to be helpful with cholitis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, auto-immune disease, immune deficiency states, autism, ADD and ADHD.
-Dr. Rachel West

The leading principle of sauna detoxification states that the build-up of toxic substances can lead to a host of common illnesses. Ridding the body of these toxins through a natural sauna detox may help relieve symptoms, prevent future illness and increase overall health and vitality.

The United States Center for Disease Control estimates that the root causes of more than 80% of all illnesses are found in personal environments or lifestyles. In other words, the world around you can make you sick. It’s in the air we breathe, and in the food we eat.

There’s very little we can do to reduce exposure. We can, however, use sauna detox as a treatment. Sweat the small stuff in an infrared sauna, and sweat yourself to better health and wellness.

As long as you maintain proper hydration, the more you safely sweat, the more toxins you’ll expel from your body. And what is one of the safest and most effective methods for inducing a detoxifying sweat? A sauna, of course. In sauna detox, your body sweats out numerous toxins through pores. But not all sweats are the same; and neither are all saunas.

It is believed that infrared saunas are seven times more effective than a traditional sauna. It is commonly thought that sweat from traditional saunas is 95 to 97% water with salt making up a part of the rest.

Far infrared saunas are believed to be more effective in moving toxins through the skin than traditional saunas because in a far infrared sauna only 80 to 85% of the sweat is water with the non-water portion being cholesterol, fat-soluble toxins, toxic heavy metals, sulfuric acid, sodium, ammonia and uric acid.

Far Infrared saunas are highly effective detoxification because the technology which is proven to raise core body temperature by two-to-three degrees. Rather than simply heating the ambient air to draw out toxins, an infrared sauna session will heat your core to expel them. As a result, regular usage of an infrared sauna will provide a truly deep, productive sweat where toxins reside, at the cellular level.

 

Relaxation

Unlike traditional saunas which operate at extremely harsh temperatures, infrared is a gentle, soothing and therapeutic heat that promotes relaxation and improved sleep. Infrared sauna benefits include therapy that helps you relax while receiving an invigorating deep tissue sweat, leaving you fully refreshed after each session.

Relaxation is more important to health than most people realize. The American Institute of Stress estimates that 75 to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related problems.

Long-term stress is the cause of countless physiological effects on the body, including increased blood pressure, weight gain and weakening of the immune system.

According to New York Times best-selling author and fitness expert Jorge Cruise – as well as many other health professionals – the more stressed you are, the more cortisol your body produces. Cortisol is a “fight or flight” hormone made in the adrenal glands that raises heart rate and blood pressure and leads to the deposit of excess calories in the midsection.

Scientific evidence also shows that infrared sauna therapy helps the body maintain healthy levels of cortisol. While cortisol levels stay the same or rise slightly during a sauna therapy session, they drop immediately afterward. In fact, infrared saunas have been clinically shown to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure with regular use.

 

Lower Blood Pressure

Infrared saunas induce a deep sweat to make the heart pump faster, which in turn increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure and helps circulation.

Scientific evidence shows the infrared sauna benefits using an infrared sauna a couple times a week lowers blood pressure.

As part of a blood pressure therapy program, regular use of an infrared sauna is good for your heart! In the U.S. alone, one in three adults suffers from heart disease, stroke or some other form of cardiovascular disease in their lifetime. High blood pressure increases your risk of getting heart disease, kidney disease or serious stroke.

Infrared saunas have been clinically determined to provide one of the best, natural ways to lower blood pressure.

In a 2005 clinical study by the University of Missouri Kansas City, infrared sauna heaters were shown to lower blood pressure through a program of 30 minute infrared sauna session 3 times per week. The study concluded that infrared sauna therapy dilated blood vessels and reduced the volume of their inner lining, thus increasing circulation to promote healthy blood pressure.

Additionally, a Japanese study published in the October 2008 issue of The Journal of Cardiology examined the clinical effectiveness and safety of infrared blood pressure therapy, as compared to standard therapies for patients with chronic heart failure.

The report concluded that far-infrared sauna therapy is both safe and effective at improving clinical symptoms and cardiac function as well as decreasing cardiac size in chronic heart failure patients.

Repeated infrared sauna treatments improved impaired blood vessel functions in patients with high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. This suggests a preventive role for infrared sauna use for arteriosclerosis.

 

Cell Health – infrared therapy stimulates the circulatory system and more fully oxygenate the body’s cells. Better blood circulation means more toxins flow from the cellular level to the skin’s surface to improve cell health, aid in muscle recovery and strengthen the immune system.

Infrared therapy stimulates the circulatory system, causing the heart to beat more vigorously and blood vessels to dilate, which help cleanse the circulatory system and more fully oxygenate the body’s cells.

Better blood circulation means more toxins flow from the cellular level to the skin’s surface to improve cell health, aid in muscle recovery and strengthen the immune system.

 

Regardless of the extent of the injury, someone who regularly uses this type of sauna will recover faster…It doesn’t add additional stress to the body or the injury. It actually works with the body to heal.
-Dr. Jeffrey Spencer – University of Southern California

According to The Doctor’s Prescription for Health Living, infrared sauna heat is one of the best treatments for sprains, strains, muscle spasms, and other injuries associated with sports because it works by penetrating joints, muscles and tissues, speeding oxygen flow and increasing circulation.

 

Weight Loss

Studies have shown that benefits of an infrared sauna session can burn upwards of 600 calories while you relax! As the body works to cool itself, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate, causing the body to burn more calories.

Maintaining a healthy weight is important to your overall quality of life. That’s no secret. In fact, a 10-year study published by The New England Journal of Medicine discovered that the circumference of your waist alone is a critical factor for assessing the risk of premature death. In other words, by maintaining a healthy weight, you may be able to live a longer, healthier life.

Using infrared heat technology to burn calories, our saunas is clinically shown to aid weight loss. In a 2009 study, infrared saunas were shown to help lower weight and waist circumference in just a three-month period. The common theme among subjects in the study was that far infrared sauna use was similar to moderate exercise but “much more relaxing”. 

Therefore, infrared saunas can be an effective lifestyle adjuvant for those who cannot participate in traditional exercise programs due to medical conditions.

In addition, according to information published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, infrared sauna weight loss sessions were shown to burn up to 600 calories.

During a sauna weight loss session, core temperatures increase. The body has to work hard to cool itself, causing a healthy sweat. Using an infrared sauna increases heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate, burning more calories, leading to more weight loss. And blood flow rises, increasing from 5-7 quarts up to 13 quarts a minute.

Plus, regular use of an infrared sauna may provide many of the same benefits as regular exercise, such as cardiovascular conditioning. That’s right, using a sauna for infrared weight loss therapy is like giving yourself a passive cardio workout – wherever and whenever you need it!

 

Pain Relief

 

 

Infrared heat penetrates tissue, joints, and muscles to relieve anything from minor aches and pains to chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. Pain management professionals incorporate infrared heat therapy into treatment plans to decrease pain and muscle spasms and to speed up recovery time.

One of the most compelling reasons to purchase an infrared sauna is the natural pain relief associated with infrared sauna therapy.

Infrared sauna heat works by penetrating joints, muscles and tissues, increasing circulation and speeding oxygen flow. By reducing soreness on nerve endings, our infrared heat reduces muscle spasms and helps the body heal itself naturally.

For years, doctors have recommended infrared saunas because of proven relief from sports injury, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis and other chronic pain conditions.

Infrared wavelengths penetrate the body to create heat, which creates profound therapeutic benefits. They increase blood flow to the muscles, delivering more concentrated oxygen, which creates more energy to heal.
-Dr. Jeffrey Spencer – University of Southern California

A 2013 study conducted at the Auburn University at Montgomery compared stretching in an infrared sauna compared to a typical training room environment.  Participants completed a series of hamstring stretches in random order with 48 hours separating the sessions. 

Results showed that acute flexibility increased up to 3x in the sauna than without!  Benefits to the increased range of motion include joint mobility, less friction in the joints, enabling of joint function to diminish stiffness and joint relaxation. 

A recent Japanese study published in the journal, Internal Medicine, showed that chronic pain patients experienced a significant reduction in pain levels (nearly 70%) after the first session of infrared sauna therapy. Pain scores also decreased significantly and remained low throughout the observation period. Researchers concluded that infrared heat therapy is effective for chronic pain treatment.

Finally, a 2003 study conducted by the Department of Dermatology and Institute of Medical Research showed that use of near-infrared heat therapy helped the production of white blood cells to alleviate inflammation and reduce swelling, two key factors in easing bodily pain.

 

Improved Circulation

Heating the muscles with infrared rays produces an increase in blood flow similar to that seen during exercise. Regular infrared sauna use—especially in the mid infrared range—can significantly stimulate blood flow up to twice the normal rate.

The elevation in body temperature from infrared sauna use produces an increase in blood flow that mirrors the benefits of a passive cardiovascular workout.

Regular infrared sauna use – especially in the mid-infrared range – has been shown to significantly stimulate blood flow, even after your health sauna session is completed.

Another benefit of improved circulation from an infrared sauna use is quick muscle recovery after exercise. The increased peripheral circulation from our infrared heat reduces inflammation, decreases pain and speeds healing, all important steps in helping the body recover from activity.

…the cardiovascular cleansing properties of infrared saunas allow the circulatory system to have increased circulation and oxygenation while lowering blood pressure.
-Dr. Rachel West

 
 
Wound Healing
 
Scientific research has concluded that near infrared therapy greatly enhances the skin’s healing process by promoting faster cell regeneration and human tissue growth. Human cell growth increases to repair wounds and prevent infection.
 
 
Full Spectrum infrared saunas emit near infrared (NIR) light using LED technology. NIR therapy is already quite popular and researched in the scientific community, and the beneficial results with skin damage are promising. The perk of the sauna itself means that you can get all of the therapeutic treatment of NIR without having to leave your home!
 
 
 
Studies performed by NASA concluded that NIR LED light strongly influences the ability for your skin to heal wounds and grow tissue. Increases in cell growth were as high as 171% in some cases, which is almost double the average, natural rate. The same study showed that wound size decreased by about 36%
 
 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Get Your Barbecue Ready For The Season

Has your beloved barbecue been buried under a pile of snow for much of the winter?

Before you flip your first batch of burgers this spring, it’s a good idea to give your grill a deep clean. This will ensure it’s ready for another season of serving up sizzling goodness. Here’s what to do.

 

What you’ll need (and what to avoid)

Cleaning a barbecue is dirty work, so slip on a pair of rubber gloves before you get started.

You’ll also need a wire brush or scouring pad, a sponge, a few cloths or paper towels, and a pail of warm, soapy water.

 

If the inside of your barbecue is especially dirty, use a paint scraper or putty knife to get rid of any built-up grease and grime.

Plastic or wooden tools are best, as they won’t scratch the metal.

With most barbecues, it’s best not to use oven cleaners or other harsh chemicals. Not only could they cause damage, they may also leave a nasty residue that affects the taste of your food.

High-pressure hoses are also a bad idea – they’ll blast grease everywhere, which attracts ants, and can drive tiny bits of debris deeper into burner holes.

Be safe with your wire barbecue brush

If you use a wire brush to clean your barbecue, make sure it’s in good shape.

As brushes age and wear, the wire bristles can break off and stick to the grill grates. If that happens, there’s a risk those stray wires will get stuck on food and be accidentally ingested, leading to potentially serious health issues.

If your brush is old, dirty, warped or cracked, it’s always best to replace it. Test the wires on your brush by pulling on a few bristles with a pair of pliers – if they come out too easily, toss the brush in the trash and buy a new one.

 

How to clean

If you’ve got a gas grill, make sure to disconnect the propane tank for safety reasons before getting started.

Begin by soaping up the outside of your barbecue with a sponge, then rinse it clean and wipe it dry with a cloth or paper towel.

If your barbecue is made of stainless steel, be careful not to use abrasive sponges or cloths and remember to clean in the direction of the grain so as not to damage the metal. Avoid circular motions when scrubbing and wiping.

Once the outside is clean, open the lid and look for any black flaking or peeling inside. Most of this messy mix of carbonized grease and smoke can be removed with a brush or scourer. Scrub off anything left behind with warm, soapy water and a sponge.

Use a brush to clean any big pieces of debris off the grill grates and burner protectors, then lift them out and scrub them with a soapy sponge.

If your grates are small enough, you may be able to fit them in the dishwasher – run them through on the pots and pans cycle.

Finish up by rinsing the grates and burner protectors, then dry them well. You can also rub grates with a light coating of vegetable oil – this seasons them and helps prevent rust.

With the grates removed, use a brush, scraper or putty knife to clean out grease and debris from inside the barbecue. Use your sponge to wipe the cooking bowl clean, then dry it with a cloth or paper towel.

 

Vinegar – your secret weapon

If any part of your barbecue is coated with a stubborn layer of grease, here’s a good way to soften it up first.

 

Fill a spray bottle with an equal mix of lukewarm water and vinegar and spray it on the problem area. Let the liquid sit for an hour, then scrub the area clean with a brush, scourer, or a ball of aluminum foil.

 

A final inspection

Before firing up your barbecue, take a few minutes to examine it for signs of wear and damage.

First, make sure the burners are in good working order, providing an even flame throughout.

Second, reconnect your gas tank and coat the tube with soapy water, then turn on the gas. If you see bubbles starting to form along the tube, you may have a leak that needs to be fixed.

This is also a good time to look inside the burner tubes for signs of spider nests, which can cause dangerous blockages. Get rid of them with a pipe cleaner or blast them out with a can of compressed air.

Finally, check to make sure all handles are tightly attached and that the control knobs are fully functional. You don’t want future cookouts spoiled by faulty equipment.

Got tips on how to get your barbecue ready for a new season of grilling? Share them with me.

 

Related:

Healthy Ideas for the Grill and Barbecue

Keep Your Elder Safe in Hot Weather

Important Tips to Keep Your Senior Hydrated

Portable Air Conditioners – What to Consider

Allergy Medications – Know All the Options

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Healthy Ideas For The Grill and Barbecue

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When the light stays longer, and the warm evening seem a little more relaxed, get the barbecue out and plan an easy healthy meal.

A meal cooked on the barbecue is a great way to enjoy the warmth of the season, enjoy quality time with your loved ones, and create new memories.

 

If you haven’t used your barbecue yet this year, or it need a little TLC, read Getting Your Barbecue Ready For The Season.

 

Here are some Heart Healthy Barbecue tips to keep in mind:

 

For Meat, Poultry and Fish

 

  • Go for grilled fish more often.  The healthiest types include salmon, trout and herring, which are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Buy chicken breasts – and remember to remove the skin before eating – instead of the fattier dark meat (legs and thighs).  Or try grilling up chicken or turkey burgers using breast meat, and add diced onions for another layer of flavor.
  • What cut of meat to buy?  Choose “loin” and “round” cuts of red meat and pork.  And buy “choice” or “select” grades of beef instead of “prime.”  While these have the least amount of fat, don’t forget to trim the fat when you get home.
  • Use a rack so the fat drips away from the food.

 

 

For Side Dishes, Drinks and Desserts

 

  • Go green… and red, orange, yellow, purple and more.  Serve green leafy salads or fruit salads (or a combination of both, like baby spinach with strawberries or mixed greens with orange slices) instead of mayonnaise-based salads.  Add some crunch – and healthier fats – with some toasted walnuts or almonds instead of croutons.
  • Instead of potato chips, which can be high in saturated and trans fats, serve raw veggies like cucumber, carrot and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes and broccoli and cauliflower florets with a low-fat dip.
  • Drink water or diet soda.  Regular sodas are loaded with sugars and calories.
  • Cut back on commercially baked foods, like cookies, pies and cakes.  Remember that most store-baked goods are made with egg yolks, butter or shortening and other ingredients that are high in saturated fat and/or trans fat.
  •  A smoothie with luscious fresh fruit in season, fat-free vanilla or lemon yogurt and a touch of honey makes a healthy, refreshing dessert alternative.
  • Try grilling fruits like pineapple slices, nectarines, peaches or plums – the natural sugars caramelize with the heat and give them great flavor.  Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber – and they’re low in calories.

 

 

Oils, Dressings, Seasoning and More

 

  • Multi-task with one bottle… Use reduced-fat, low-fat, light or no-fat salad dressings (if you need to limit your calories) on salads, for dips or as marinades.
  • Watch the salt – cut back on salty seasonings and condiments like teriyaki, soy and barbecue sauce.
  • Choose low-fat, reduced-fat or fat-free cheese for your sandwiches and hamburgers.
  • Choose whole-grain, high-fiber breads and rolls, such as whole wheat, oats, oatmeal, whole rye, whole-grain corn and buckwheat.  In addition to being good for you, they add more flavor and texture to your meal.

 

Some Delicious, Quick and Healthy Barbecue Recipes To Get You Started

 

 

 

 

 

With a wonderfully complex and flavorful sauce like this, the chicken and zucchini need almost no seasoning―just salt, pepper, and the grill’s flame. The salsa’s combination of tangy, briny, herbal, and nutty flavors is perfect for chicken, pork, fish, or shrimp, especially if they’re grilled. To save soaking the skewers for a half an hour, use metal ones instead of wood.

 

 
Ingredients
 
Salsa:
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons capers, chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
 
Spiedini:
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch slices (about 1 1/4 pounds)
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Preparation

1. Soak 12 (10-inch) wooden skewers in water 30 minutes to prevent burning.

2. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

3. To prepare salsa, combine first 12 ingredients; set aside.

4. To prepare spiedini, thread chicken and zucchini alternately onto each of 12 (10-inch) skewers. Coat spiedini with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place on grill rack; grill 6 minutes or until done, turning once. Serve with salsa.

Yield:

6 servings (serving size: 2 spiedini and 2 1/2 tablespoons salsa)

Nutritional Information

Calories 187
Calories from fat 26 %
Fat 5.5 g
Sat fat 0.9 g
Mono fat 2.9 g
Poly fat 1.1 g
Protein 28.7 g
Carbohydrate 6.3 g
Fiber 2.2 g
Cholesterol 66 mg
Iron 2.1 mg
Sodium 376 mg
Calcium 56 mg

Grilled Sirloin Salad

 
Opposites attract in this dish: hot steak sits atop cold salad, and tender meat contrasts with crunchy vegetables. The basic salad with red wine-lemon vinaigrette is easy and works great, but you can customize the salad with your favorite vegetables (or fruits) and dressing. Just about anything will match the steak.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound lean boneless sirloin steak, trimmed
8 cups spring-blend salad greens
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper strips
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 (8 3/4-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained and rinsed

Preparation

Combine first 7 ingredients; rub over both sides of steak. Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Add steak; cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Cut the steak across grain into thin slices.

While steak cooks, combine salad greens and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Top with steak.

Yield:

4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces steak and 3 cups salad)

Nutritional Information

Calories 278
Calories from fat 28 %
Fat 8.7 g
Sat fat 2.7 g
Mono fat 3.7 g
Poly fat 1 g
Protein 30.4 g
Carbohydrate 22 g
Fiber 6.1 g
Cholesterol 76 mg
Iron 6.1 mg
Sodium 530 mg
Calcium 106 mg
 

Spinach Salad with Grilled Shrimp

An Asian-flavored vinaigrette with an orange juice kicker is the secret to this simple salad, while ginger and cumin give the shrimp skewers nice spice.
 

Ingredients

Dressing:
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Shrimp:
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Cooking spray
Salad:
8 cups baby spinach (about 8 ounces)
2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 4 ounces)
3/4 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion

Preparation

Prepare grill.

To prepare dressing, combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Set aside.

To prepare shrimp, combine 2 teaspoons olive oil and next 6 ingredients (through shrimp) in a large bowl; toss well. Thread about 5 shrimp onto each of 6 (8-inch) skewers. Place skewers on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes or until done.

To prepare salad, add spinach, mushrooms, and onion to vinegar mixture; toss gently to coat. Serve with shrimp skewers.

Yield:

6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups salad and 1 shrimp skewer)

Nutritional Information

Calories 181
Calories from fat 29 %
Fat 5.9 g
Sat fat 0.9 g
Mono fat 3 g
Poly fat 1.2 g
Protein 24.8 g
Carbohydrate 6.9 g
Fiber 1.3 g
Cholesterol 172 mg
Iron 3.9 mg
Sodium 478 mg
Calcium 96 mg
 
 
 
Recommended: Char-Broil’s Grill Yourself Skinny
 
 
Char-Broil’s Grill Yourself Skinny is for everyone who loves grilled foods and healthy eating. This is not a fad diet book but a collection of 130 nutritionally sound recipes that rely on science to pack a nutritious and delicious punch.
Author Heidi Skolnik, MS,CDN, FACSM, is a nationally recognized thought leader in nutrition who believes that all types of foods can fit into a healthy diet. In this book, she offers mouth-watering, healthy recipes for everything from Steak and Eggs on the Grill to Grilled Strawberries with Balsamic Port Glaze, Blue Cheese & Walnuts.
  
Plus, you’ll find lots of savory seafood, poultry, meat, and vegetable dishes, including some from a host of celebrated chefs, such as Angelo Basilone, Executive Chef of the New York Giants and Brad Farmerie, Executive Chef at Public in New York City.
 
Each recipe comes with a breakdown of calories, protein, carbohydrate, and fiber, for those who are counting. You’ll also find informative Nutrition 411 sidebars sprinkled throughout the book.  Read the reviews
 
 
 
 
Do you enjoy barbecuing and grilling?