When to Use External Analgesics

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You’re sore from your workout. You’re hurting from chronic aches and pains. Maybe you went too hard playing back yard football with the kids and now you’re paying for it. Whatever the source of your achy muscles and joints, you want relief. If you’re looking for a solution besides OTC internal analgesics, external analgesics may be what you need. Also known as topical pain relievers, these products are applied on the skin directly at the source of the pain, rather than going through the digestive system and liver to be disseminated through the body. There are many great reasons to use external analgesics and we’re going to cover them, as well as some of the cons, so you can make the most educated decision possible when looking to relieve your pains and discomforts.

Despite being generally accepted as safe, ingesting internal analgesics can have negative effects on the body, especially the liver. The FDA has some good tips on avoiding liver damage, which include not taking the medication if you consume over a certain amount of alcohol daily and following proper dosage amounts. More powerful ingested pain relievers can have very addictive properties, unfortunately contributing to the opioid epidemic. For these reasons, and others like them, external analgesics are preferred. Zim’s MaxFreeze is non-habit forming and is not digested. Instead, it is applied directly to the source of the pain, outside of the skin.

Along this same line, because external analgesics are applied directly to the location of the pain, they act very quickly. Ingested medications must be processed in the body before being sent out all over. External analgesics are put right on the source and work fast. No pain-relief is wasted on areas that don’t need it. Zim’s offers three convenient means of application: continuous spray for fast, convenient application, roll-on stick for no mess application, and gel for total coverage and absorption.

The biggest downside to many external analgesics is that they have a strong, not-always-pleasant, scent. This usually comes from the primary active ingredient, which could be menthol or salicylate. Zim’s MaxFreeze has a quick vanishing scent, so you can apply it to your sore spots then get on with your day.

It’s Rainy and Cold but the Cardio Doesn’t Stop

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Thanksgiving is over. You’re still sporting a food baby of turkey, dressing and all sorts of delicious foods. Outside It’s cold. It’s rainy. You just want to stay home and nap. So there’s no better time to crank out some cardio.

There are plenty of great options for doing cardio indoors (where it’s not freezing and raining). You don’t even need equipment, though if you have some, that’s great! From fat burning to cardio-improving to muscle building, there’s an option for every exercise journey.

Body weight exercises

Body weight exercises are the tried and true methods of working out. People have been using body weight exercises since Ancient Greece. Back in those days, it was mostly exercises mimicking combat and sports, but the idea of using just body weight and the environment was the same as today. Instead of practicing throwing spears and swinging swords, modern body weight exercises are more about getting the heart rate up in a limited space. Some great, general exercises include jumping jacks and jogging in place. More advanced, high-intensity exercises include burpees and mountain climbers. Though we’ve all done jumping jacks and jogging in place since grade school, don’t underestimate exercises like burpees just because they’re body weight exercises. Those can kick your butt from here to next Tuesday and you’ll be feeling them for days.

Now you’ve chosen which body weight exercises you want to do, now you need to put your plan together. Consider building a circuit to hit all your muscle groups and keep your heart rate up.

Exercise Videos

Maybe you’d rather workout with a group, instead of by yourself. Sometimes it’s good to have someone encouraging you (or yelling at you) to help you push yourself. There are tons of great workout videos available free online. Many serve slightly different purposes, like teaching you proper form to workout on your own or helping you understand why certain exercises work. Check out a lot so you can find what works best for you. Just make sure to wear your brightly colored leotard and matching headband for best results.

Exercise Games

Video games that help you exercise and get in shape are a fairly recent development in the world of fitness. The first and most obvious of these games is Wii Fit. It’s fun, inviting and offers a number of exercise options. It has yoga, strength building, aerobics and even balance, all of which give a very robust set of exercises to fit most everyone’s fitness plan. Another great type of “exergame” is any dancing game. There a plenty of options in this category as well. Some are strictly for fun while some help you track progress. All of them will make you sweat and laugh. Some people wonder if you can even actually lose weight by just playing dancing games (with a little diet help). The answer? Yes. Just one song will have you breathing heavily and feeling your heart rate. Now try 30 minutes. The downside to “exergames” as a fitness method is you have to have the hardware to play them on. Game systems and kinetic trackers can easily run you a few hundred dollars, but these are a great option if you already have a game system of some sort.

These are a few great ways to stay on track of your fitness journey even when the weather outside is trying to convince you to grab a blanket and a movie. And don’t let that post-workout soreness slow you down. Grab some improved formula, fast-acting Zim’s Max-Freeze and keep on your journey!

Running: Where Do I Begin?

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Where do I begin… Tips on How to Start Running, for People who Hate Running

There are all types of exercise routines and fitness strategies out there, but nothing beats a long run on a beautiful fall day. But what if you HATE running? Running is one of the original and most accessible forms of exercise but to many people, it’s miserable. So, if you are someone who wants the health benefits of running but hate running, here are some tips for you.

Breathing

Proper breathing is extremely important for a successful run. I’m not talking about the normal breathing your body does without thinking about it, I’m talking about persistent, focused inhales and exhales that require concentration and prevent side cramps. A great breathing technique to follow is a two second inhale every two steps then two second exhale the next two steps. You are either inhaling or exhaling every time your foot hits the ground. Utilizing this technique will create a consistent rhythm for your run and help prevent your sides from cramping.

Posture

The position of your body is also important if you want to run properly. Running is a whole-body exercise because you are not just moving your legs but also your arms, back, and core. You should try to maintain a “balanced forward” posture where your looking forward and you lean into the run without actually bending in the waist. Your arms should pump in short compact movement and match to the speed of your legs. Your feet should land softly and not land past the knee. A good way to see if you are running properly is to count your steps per minute. You should try to stay within 170-180 steps per minute.

Recovery

How you recover after a run helps you prepare for your next run. Whether it was a short couple of sprints or a 3-mile run, you should drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and to help in muscle recovery. Muscles that are going through recovery tend to be sore. Applying a small amount of Zim’s Max-Freeze to the area that is sore will provide lasting cooling relief while your body recovers.

If you are determined, follow these tips, and remain consistent, you can find that running on a beautiful fall day can be rather peaceful, instead of painful.