Category Archives: Lifestyle

Mattress pad

mattress pad is an elasticized cover that is fitted on top of your bedding mattress. It is primarily made of foam and is designed to provide an added layer of comfort for you and protection for your mattress.

Since the dawn of time, people have been searching for comfortable sleeping materials. The very fist mattresses were basically a few pillows thrown on the floor. Palm bows, sticks stuffed with reeds, wool, hay or even feathers were used later during the glory days of the Roman Empire. Pea and corn shucks as well as straw covered in a rope frame were used later on. Today, many choices in bed mattress and mattress pads exist, from feathers to advanced memory foam and straw; however, the most common materials in use today are latex, polyutherane foam, blends of cotton and polyester.

Mattress pads are yet another option to improve our sleep. In addition to improved comfort, they add protection to your mattress. A mattress pad is less expensive to replace than a bedding mattress and is usually easier to clean. Some mattress pads like the waterproof type, will keep your mattress clean and dry while your kids are in the bed-wetting phase. Other mattress pads like the heated type, can keep you warm throughout each freezing cold winter.

Choosing the right mattress pad can be a little tricky considering the wide variety of types and materials available. Following is a brief explanation for some of the most common types of mattress pads.

Crib mattress pad

The crib pad is waterproof and usually made with non-flammable and non-allergenic materials. Most are machine washable and durable. Crib pads will add 2-3 inches of thickness to basic crib mattresses, thus improving your baby’s sleep comfort. Safety, comfort and durability are key features to look for.

Heated mattress pad

A heated mattress pad can not only provide extra comfort, but it can also save you tons of money on heating during the winter. Instead of keeping your entire home heated, you can essentially bring down your thermostat a few degrees and let your heated mattress pad cover the difference. This will save fuel or electricity and ultimately money. Heated mattress pads are often referred to as electric mattress pad. They range from a simple low-medium-high knob to advanced individually zoned automated temperature sensing thermostats.

Waterproof mattress pad

A waterproof pad can be used on full-size beds to protect the mattress from children, the elderly or anyone with urinary incontinence. This type of mattress pad offers a protective waterproof barrier often made of vinyl or absorbent breathable cotton.

Foam mattress pad

These are often referred to as memory foam mattress pads. Developed by NASA in 1966, it had become one of the favorite materials in mattress pads. Its high density makes it capable of shaping around your body while remaining firm and cool. Normally, polyutherane or polyfoam are used which are hypoallergenic materials and do not promote growth of harmful bacteria or mold.

Polyfoam is used on most anything that requires padding like mattresses and mattress pads, furniture and pillows. Foam mattress pads are available in grades rated by density, but usually categorized as soft, medium and firm.

Pillow top mattress pad

Pillow top mattress pads come in a variety of materials such as latex, feather and wool. Latex mattress pads are less expensive than memory foam and provide similar benefits. Latex is naturally hypoallergenic and resists bacteria. These mattress pads are offered in various thicknesses from two to four inches. Natural and synthetic latex mattress pads are available.

Feather mattress pads or down-style are soft and will not keep their shape, but they do provide and extra level of “coziness” thanks to additional padding. Down-style mattress pads can be considered the next best thing after memory foam.

Wool pillow top mattress pads are made from well, wool which comes from lamb. Of course, the less expensive synthetic wool version exists too. These mattress pads will absorb moisture and maintain body temperature which makes them ideal for any climate. The downside to these pads is their tendency to flatten out over time.

Egg crate mattress pads

The egg crate mattress pad is built into an egg carton like shape using closed or open cell foam. It has bumps and dips distributed evenly across its surface and are usually less expensive than most other types of pads. They are excellent for back support and can be placed over just about any type of mattress.

Magnetic mattress pad

Magnetic mattress pads are designed to radiate a magnetic field which provides a soothing sleep and helps with circulation. It may also help increase the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. The high strength magnets are usually positioned to face north, towards the body. These pads are best suited for people with arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, fibromyalgia and basic aches & pains among other conditions.

Magnetic mattress pads offer other health benefits including:

1. Reduced cellular stress level, which reduces oxidation (aging)
2. Magnetic therapy increases the alkaline levels which in turn reduces our natural acidic nature and improves health overral.
3. Prevents calcium build-up on bones and joints by changing the structure of calcium molecules. Calcium build-up causes most forms of arthritis.

Tempur-Pedic mattress pads

Tempur-Pedic is not another type of mattress pad; it is a registered trademark name for a memory foam mattress pad. It is often confused as another type of mattress pad due to the name recognition created by advertising similar to Coke in the soda industry.

Besides the different types of mattress pads which vary mainly by the materials used, mattress pads come in a variety of sizes to fit most beds:

  • Crib or toddler
  • Mini single
  • Twin single
  • Twin single extra large
  • Double full
  • Double full extra large
  • Queen
  • Olympic or expanded queen
  • California queen
  • King
  • California king
  • Super king
  • Grand king

A mattress topper and mattress pad are usually considered the same thing, but they are quite different. A mattress topper is usually thicker and will just lie on top of the bed mattress, while a mattress pad is fitted like a sheet.
Aside from the added benefits of comfort and bed mattress protection, mattress pads are a breeze to clean. They can be easily removed and in some cases thrown into the washing machine. Check the label as some may require a trip to the dry cleaners. In either case, they clean easier than a bed mattress which may need a call to your local steam cleaners.
Recapping, mattress pads are classified by types which is usually based on the materials used or the purposes they serve. The most common types of mattress pads include:

  • Foam
  • Heated
  • Magnetic
  • Waterproof
  • Pillow top (latex, wool or down-style)
  • Egg crate
  • Crib

Yet another type of mattress pad available is the cotton mattress pad. Its soft texture and reduced bulkiness compared to foam will give your bed a different feel. Some are 100% cotton, while others may use layers of cotton and polyester fillers. Cotton mattress pads are graded by thread count, much like cotton sheets.

Choosing the right mattress pad among all the options may be difficult. An easy rule you can follow is that thicker is better and price will usually follow quality. Mattress pads can range in price from twenty bucks to well over one thousand dollars. Your budget for a mattress pad will narrow down the options for you. Like buying a car, it is best to test the different mattress pads at your local bedding store before making your final decision.

10 Ways to Get Your Running Confidence Back After Winter

I love running, but I hate treadmills, and I can’t stand the cold which means that running during the winter is not an option for me.  Instead, I spend my winters exploring fitness videos on Youtube, and websites like Daily Burn, which I am currently in love with!

Although working in doors helps to keep me in shape during the winter, I still find that the transition back to running outdoors is a little challenging.  It takes me a little bit of time to get back into the groove of things, maybe it has to do with adjusting to moving more than a few inches during my workouts to finding myself actually using every muscle in my body in such a challenging way.

 

Running is a road to self-awareness and reliance-you can push yourself to extremes and learn the harsh reality of your physical and mental limitations or coast quietly down a solitary path watching the earth spin beneath your feet.

Doris Brown Heritage

 

Start Slow

Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with our expectations, and to strain our bodies.  When transitioning back to running from working out of the house, your body will need a little time to catch up with your mind.  Start slowly and work your way back up.

I usually start transitioning by jogging.  I love doing this with hills, the first week or two I jog a few miles up and down the hill, and move on to sprinting up the hill and either walking or jogging back down.  With the right music, it is a lot of fun, and I can do that for an hour or more.


Dress to Impress

This may be an odd one, but I do feel more confident as a runner when I love the way I dress.  Invest in a few great running outfits, from great companies like Fabletics, and Ellie Fit Fashionista. They offer active wear as part of a subscription package.  The outfits are cute, fun, and affordable, a great way to feel confident during your workouts.


Healthy Diet

What you eat does affect your energy level during your workouts, and with running, which requires a lot of energy. Get into the habit of eating at least half an hour before your workouts, a small bowl of oatmeal with some fruit, or a green smoothie is a great way to prepare for a workout.

 

Stay Hydrated

By staying hydrated, I don’t mean before and during your run, but staying hydrated all week.  Get into the habit of drinking a glass of water every hour to hour and a half.  I like to add lemon to my water, it makes drinking water more often a little more bearable and there are great benefits to squeezing a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice to your water, including an energy boost.  I love drinking lemon water before, during, and after my workouts.

 

Smile

Who can be negative with a big smile on their face?  I smile during my runs, especially when fatigue begins to set in, it keeps you in a better mood, which will help you go longer and feel better about it.


Great Music

I cannot run without music, and when I do try to, I can never go for long.  Music helps me run longer, keeps me motivated, and helps me to power through those tough moments.

Songs like Run The World by Beyonce, Stronger by Kanye West, and Lose Yourself by Eminem, help to keep me going when I feel like I can no longer keep going.

 

Timing

What time of the day do you choose to go running? Do you try to run first thing in the morning, while you are still exhausted, or at the end of the day, while you are exhausted?

When you choose to go running matters, no one can feel confident when they are struggling to stay awake.  If you prefer to run in the morning, try not to run as soon as you get up, but wake up at least half an hour before hand, eat a light meal and make time for a dynamic warm-up.

 

Talk to Yourself

Remember that the only person you are competing against is yourself!

Motivate yourself, encourage yourself, in order to work harder than you did during your previous run.  What do you think about during your workouts, do you stop yourself?

This is one of the reasons I love music during my workouts, but there are times that even that is not enough, and your ability to speak yourself through the workouts becomes important.

 

Motivation

What motivates you?

I use Pinterest for my vision board, as well as a fitness board that I use to organize workouts that I love.  It helps to keep me motivated, and it’s a great reminder to keep going.

Find ways to stay motivated, whether it is a vision board, an accountability partner, whatever works for you.  Staying motivated will boost your confidence, because you will have something to work for.
 

Get Up and Move

Sometimes the hardest part is the beginning, but once you get going, you begin to remember why you loved running, the passion is rekindled and you are off.

Once the snow starts melting, and it gets warmer out, I have less excuses and realize that it’s time to get going again, there is always a little reluctance.  You get comfortable working out in the house, and the idea of having to get back can seem a lot harder than it really is, but after a week out there I can’t help but to remember why I love running and it becomes easier to get out there and get moving.