Injured on the job? Make sure you’re ready to work by exercising at home

Anyone who’s suffered a debilitating injury knows how difficult the recovery period can be. Doctors and specialists will recommend the importance of exercising when possible to stimulate muscle recovery but that can be very difficult if not approached the right way. If you wish to return to work feeling fit and capable for the work then you need to stimulate your muscles and keep them moving, otherwise returning to work can be even worse than the recovery period

The longer you spend inactive the more muscle atrophy you will suffer. This occurs in two ways. Disuse atrophy in which the muscles waste away from lack of movement or exercise and Neurogenic atrophy in which they waste away due to an injury. It’s important in the recovery period that you listen to your body. If you’ve just had a cast removed it will be some time until you can flex it properly and do some exercises. Other factors that will influence your recovery time include gender, age previous injuries and fitness level prior to the injury.

To make the process as easy as possible follow these steps. Always consult your doctor about steps in recovery.

At first take it slow

Allow time for your brain and body to communicate again. After prolonged under-use, it can take some time before you can make a limb respond to what you want. Be patient and give it time

Start with light cardio

When you feel ready to move again begin with some light cardio. As the old saying go’s “You have to walk before you can run.” Start with some walking to get your limbs moving and as you regain flexibility move up to swimming which can also help.

Consider hiring a personal trainer

By hiring a personal trainer you’ll have someone who can assess what your needs are and what exercises to follow. They have vast knowledge of muscles and fitness to know what works best for each person. This can make a big difference if the recovery is particularly difficult as they can determine areas of muscle weakness that need attention and guide you from one level to the next in recovery.

Keep yourself well fed and hydrated

In order to keep your strength up, you need to stay well fed on a healthy diet. A high-carb low-fat diet can be very effective for maintaining energy levels as you’ll need all you can to speed recovery. Greater nutrition will give your muscles the subsistence they need to properly recover. A personal trainer can also assist with this providing the right recommendations. Keep well hydrated as well.

Move up to strength training

As you regain strength start to practice some weight lifting. If your job is labor intensive then you need to get your muscles flexing again otherwise the first week back at work will be hell. Start with dumbbells before moving up to weights. Take things slowly at first and be careful not to overexert yourself.

Stretches to avoid injuring yourself on the job site

Getting injured at the job due to a wrong body position or movement are more common than you think.  In some instances during the work, you have to do some heavy lifting or adjusting.  Not only will a wrong position of your body injure you but so will a poorly stretched muscle.

Therefore, having the correct position and stretched muscles is pivotal to avoiding injuries at work.  If you are working on a construction site, this is not really a place to stretch.  If you want real exercising and stretching, Fresh Fitness has what you need and more.

First, you need to realize that, given your line of work, you are more susceptible to suffering injuries in your neck, arms, ankle, wrist, legs, just to mention a few.

Before getting down to labor, you should stretch your body to avoid unnecessary injuries.  When you do so, you warm up your muscles and reduce the chances of tears, strains, or other muscle issues. Do the following simple stretches before going to work.  They will only take you five minutes.

Wrist stretch

Hold your hands in front of your body with the palms facing down.  Slowly bend your hands down so that your fingers are pointing to the ground.  Hold this position for 10 seconds.

Upper back stretch

While sitting on a chair, pull your body down as if you were trying to touch your toes.  Stop when you feel the stretch and before you begin to feel pain.  Hold this one for 10 seconds.

Lower back stretch

Stand up straight and hold your arms stretched in front of you with the palms facing each other.  Gently push your arms forward and hold it for 10 seconds.

Leg stretch

This one helps stretch the thigh and the leg.  Standing straight, bend your right leg behind you and grab it with your right hand on the ankle.  Hold this position for at least 10 seconds.  Repeat with the other leg.

Ankle stretch

Sit on a chair and lift your feet no higher than waist level.  Point your toes toward the ground and hold this position for 10 seconds.

In order to reduce the chances of injury even more, you could also perform some simple exercises.  A brisk walk in the morning also helps circulation and warm up of the muscles.  Besides stretching and exercising, you could try some other ways to prepare yourself for a hard day of work.  Remember, it is about reducing the chances of an injury at the workplace.

Should tradespeople listen to music on the job site?

The question is often posed whether it is better to listen to music while at work or not. The general way of thinking is that it boosts productivity and employee moral but a quick search on the internet will reveal a variety of differing opinions. Reading through some of them I was left with a simple answer to this old question. It depends.

One classic study on assembly line workers tested how music affected how they worked. Their overall productivity had increased greatly but based on what we know of human psychology now it’s more likely their mood was simply given a boost given the repetitive and boring nature of their job.

Now that’s not to say that your job needs to be boring and repetitive for music to be good for it. The main point is that performing any task which doesn’t require a lot of thought or verbal communication, in essence, a job that can largely be done on auto-pilot, is perfect for music. Having some earbuds plugged in can add a sense of isolation and allow you to focus fully on the job at hand. Other studies have found that music with a high bass is the best for this due to the rhythm they induce. Electronic music like that done by DJ Krista is one example. Depending on your role so as a tradesman, music could help you a great deal to get through the more repetitive parts of it. However, considering the role of most trade jobs with the risk of accidents and the need to work as a team, it’s probably best to leave the earbuds at home.

However, another interesting finding was that surgeons were found to listen to music a lot during surgery. Many of them felt it helped them relax and remain calm through a surgery. Researchers speculate that because surgeons are experts in their field music allowed them to relax and stay uplifted rather than distracted. And since their jobs are largely non-verbal any presence of lyrics in the music didn’t distract them from the job at hand.

In one other study introverts and extroverts were tested to examine the effects of listening to music which engaged in a memory task. Participants had to remember objects immediately or after a delay as well as a reading comprehension test. It found that on average introverts performed worse on this than extroverts. Especially when asked to remember an object after a delay. They concluded that this was because introverts process things more internally and find external events far more energy draining.

 

All this taken together what are we left with? Music can boost productivity when the job is a bit repetitive or the person has it mastered so well that they required less thinking about it. For those jobs, though that involve a lot of verbal communication and cognitive thinking music can serve more as a distraction. Also, whether you’re an introvert or extrovert can also have an influence. Best thing to do is test out a few songs at work and see how you perform. And of course, if your job involves an element of danger exercise caution and leave the earbuds back home.

Why construction workers need myofascial massages

For construction workers and indeed anyone who works in the laboring industry the chances are very high that will suffer an injury at some point. It could be a direct injury from an accident at work or chronic pain that develops over time. Almost every tradesman whose been in the business for a long time has some form of back or muscular pain.

This is sadly an unfortunate side effect of the job. Any job that involves heavy machinery, a lot of noise, or having to work in an unstable environment, will carry a degree of risk. But with proper safety precautions and the right care you can lessen the chances of an accident as well as reducing pain from an accident.

 

This is where massage therapy comes in. anyone who has undergone an accident and is now trying to recover should consider a myofascial massage. As you’ll see this is also great for those who have developed extreme back or muscular pain from years on the job.

 

And before you scoff at the idea of having regular massages, consider the fact that the majority of the world’s professional athletes utilize massage therapy as part of their workout. It’s benefits in reducing pain and the chances of an injury has been well documented.

What is a myofascial massage?

A myofascial massage is a type of massage therapy that is often used to treat myofascial pain syndrome. This is a chronic pain disorder caused by sensitivity and tightness in the myofascial tissues. These tissues act as supports for other tissues all throughout the body usually, the pain originates from specific points within these myofascial tissues which are known as ‘trigger points’.

 

How does it work?

A myofascial massage seeks to reduce this pain by easing the tension in these muscles but while it is easy to understand where the pain comes from it is a little more tricky to locate these exact trigger points. A massage therapist will feel around your myofascial tissues for any stiff or tightened areas. Normal myofascial tissues should feel elastic and stretch well under pressure. The therapist then gently massages these areas and others until he feels the tensions loosen. Chances are the areas the massage therapist massages will not be where you feel the pain myofascial seeks to work on the broader areas of your bodies tissues by targeting specific pressure points.

Who is a myofascial good for?

A myofascial massage is great for anyone who is recovering from a muscle related injury. Myofascial can reduce the pain and help get the person back to work again. Anyone who is undergoing muscular pain from excessive work will benefit greatly from regular myofascial massages. While scientific research to back up its benefits is lacking due to little research on this specific massage the evidence from case studies is enough to suggest its helpful effects. For those in Vancouver seeking a qualified massage therapist check out Adam Harris who provides a range of massages included myofascial.

Small Handy Tools for Trades

If you’ve been working in a trade for a while now, chances are you have developed a few habits and tricks that help make your job easier and more efficient. Many of these are the result of years of experience on the job from an apprentice position to where you are now. However, while most of this knowledge requires first-hand experience, word of mouth is also a great way to share this information with fellow tradesmen.

We would like to share a few little tricks that we have found quite useful during work as well as our everyday lives. These should not be considered “must-have” items, but rather, things you may want to consider if you’re looking to make things easier on yourself, whether or not you live in BC.

  1. O’Keefe’s Working Hands, or a similar heavy-duty hand healer. We’re not talking about your standard squeeze bottle of moisturizing hand cream. Products like O’keefe’s Working Hands are meant to be applied at night before bed, allowing your hands to heal quickly and effectively. O’keefe’s is the only brand I’ve personally tried, but I’m sure there are a lot available. It’s thick, almost a solid, scent-free, and it’s great for healing cuts and other abrasions on your hands. This won’t give you soft and supple hands (I’m not really after that anyway), but they can make the difference between an infection or meeting a deadline.
  2. Heavy-duty pens. The amount of pens I go through is crazy. Whether it’s losing them, ink running dry, or just not performing because of harsh conditions, having a heavy-duty pen can go a long way. These pens can be way more expensive than your standard Bic pen, but that will help you pay more attention to where you put it down, or at least keeping it in your pocket or pouch more often. They will also work when you need and can stand up to lots of punishment. I personally like the Colt tactical pen, mainly because the LED light works really well with it, but as long as it’s heavy-duty, you should be fine.
  3. Heavy-duty flashlight. Even if you’re working in light conditions, often times when you need a flashlight it isn’t because of nighttime or lack of electricity, but rather looking for something in a confined space shielded from light. In this case, the tactical pen we mentioned above could help illuminate small enclosed spaces, but if you want a full size flashlight to be suitable with other applications as well, we would recommend browsing around online for small heavy-duty flashlights. They’re a hot item lately, so there’s lots available. We personally like the site Tax X Tactical for those smaller items, as they have everything from pens and flashlights to thermal monoculars (might not need that last one!).

That’s it for now! We will continue to add to this list, and if you have something that you have found surprisingly helpful for your work, feel free to let us know! In the meantime, work hard, play hard!

Why Having a Dog in the Job Site is Best for You

We live in a chaotic world and to make sense of it, the majority of people work just to make ends meet. Some spend 8 to 16 hours and even more at a job and it is kind of sad that some just reach a breaking point. While stressors at work may be unavoidable because of the booming industry, there is a secret weapon to counteract or at least reduce the strain and anxiety you might be experiencing. What is it? Our canine friends!

Benefits of Having a Dog in the Job Site

Dogs are more than just companions, there are lots of scientifically based evidences that they are very beneficial to humans. Here are some of them:

Alleviates Strees, Depression and Anxiety
The environment on the job site can sometimes be stressful and depressing, but guess what? Dogs can lessen that. These furry friends are known to have the power to divert attention. Some agencies even specialize in dog training to benefit humans. But, as simple as petting or stroking a dog gets your mind off things, making you feel more relaxed and at ease.

Promotes a Healthier and More Active Lifestyle
Employees with a dog companion at work were proven to be healthier. According to different studies, workers who were diagnosed to have hypertension had their blood pressure lowered almost within the normal range. Their blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels had also decreased in levels. Absences due to illnesses dramatically reduced, making the company as a whole more productive and a healthier place to work in.

The periodic dog walking and playing allowed employees to engage in a more healthier lifestyle. Without being aware, they have been exercising, which is an excellent way to achieve an overall wellbeing. Furthermore the health benefits gained from these furry friends are not confined in the workspace, but these continue beyond and after working hours.

Advocates Camaraderie Among Employees
Dogs are believed to have a positive effect on people. Employees are more cheerful, receptive, and optimistic, thus building a more friendly environment where people are known to be happily working together.

Gives a Degree of Consistency of Being Needed and Loved
Humans needed to feel loved and needed and having a canine companion at work does all that. Sometimes, these furry creatures can become the reason why people come to work. The mere fact that dogs are dependent on humans to live in terms of food and shelter, makes someone feel needed and important. And in return, these loyal friends, reciprocate it with unconditional love.

Final Thoughts!
Dogs have indeed a deep impact on human beings. The benefits discussed are just a few of the countless positive effects of dogs to people. These go beyond and above what we expect of them. So, if you feel burnt out and giving up on work, then it is about time to have a new furry worker employed and surely you will be experiencing a vast number of benefits, and you will have a loyal friend around you always ready to give you the unconditional love hard workers deserve.

Does your healthplan cover dentalcare? Know before you go!

We’ve been taught about the importance and practicality of health plans, regardless of age or our state in life. Fortunately, it has been relatively easier for almost anyone to acquire health plans. They now come in different values with different levels of coverage, which are meant to suit the specific lifestyle of the plan holder.

However, one of the major catch with health plans is that they are usually not inclusive of a dental coverage, yet. Many of the clients I’ve met unfortunately find this out the moment they encounter dental or orthodontic needs. It can be quite an alarming moment to know of such sudden health expense and knowing that the health insurance you’ve been counting on does not cover it. This is why we are getting it straight out there today: to always check if your health plan whether its ‘full coverage’ actually includes dental care, already.

In your first application for a health insurance plan, you will often find dental coverage as an add-on. At this point, it is important to miss out that portion and make sure you are able to pay for the add-on. One of the great things about dental plans is that you usually have to only pay for the add-on once annually, and you can be assured that you are covered for the rest of the year. Your health plan provider should likewise be able to remind you to renew your dental coverage add-on year after year.

Why Get Dental Coverage
Among all the recurring trips to the clinic, dental and orthodontic services are recorded to be among the most expensive to have in the country. This includes the simple tooth extraction, to orthodontic treatments like braces, and dental damage procedures. Unlike other illnesses, dental needs does not pick any age nor occupation. Anyone can have dental needs for various reasons, so it’s important to simply get covered in terms of these medical services. Here are more things you need to know about dental coverage:
List of dentists: Most if not all of dental policies have their own list of accredited dentists where you can go to in order to avail of full coverage. With this, it’s important to check the list of your provider first and see whether a dental clinic you trust, or a dental clinic near is included. The healthcare provider already have their own agreed rates with these clinics, and oftentimes, you won’t have to pay for any basic or specialty care.
Annual Maximum: Sure, it gives us so much peace of mind to know that our dental needs are already covered. However, like most health policies your dental coverage have a maximum amount to be consumed, as well. It is important to note that this amount can be easily consumed especially for specialty dental care like Endodontics, Maxillofacial, and orthodontics.
Discount plan: Another form of dental policy are mere discount privileges from select list of dental clinics. This means that your dental policy provider will not fully cover your fees, but you are guaranteed with an exclusive discount for almost any service that you will avail.

Where is the Construction Industry Booming?

Where is the Construction Industry Booming?

The construction industry is very different now compared to 8 years ago when the financial crash virtually halted the construction industry. The growth of the US economy has helped the construction industry thrive. Whilst the oil price crash of the recent years negatively affected the construction industry as a whole, the industry is still growing albeit at a slower pace. However, growth is not at pre-recession levels.

Where is the Construction Industry Booming?

Most of the cities that have seen the largest growth rate in the building industry are located in oil-rich Texas. New York also has high construction growth. This is to be expected since it is the US’s largest city and has a thriving financial and tourist economy.However, the state that has added the most construction jobs is California.

California

The Golden State is actually struggling to find skilled workers. California has seen the highest addition of construction jobs of any state. The construction industry in California is only expected to increase as the economy is growing and the Los Angeles bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics has increased construction prospects. Even Trump’s wall will add construction jobs. Many companies from international corporations to family business have lined up to the offer of building and designing the wall made by the Department of Homeland Security. It is estimated that almost 100 companies have signed onto this offer in California alone.  Here is a video showing how big the demand is in California.

New York

Demand for construction workers in New York is high. The market is busy to the extent that projects are booked a year and a half in advance. Firms have started to increase pay in order to attract more workers. With such a dense city, construction in New York is a nightmare and only adds to the delay in production. A Trump administration is unlikely to affect the industry. With such high demand and low supply of labor, construction workers are seeing their incomes skyrocket in New York and the future seems to be the same.

Texas

Dallas has seen a large increase in construction jobs. It has even beaten Houston in adding more construction jobs. Whilst Houston’s economy is largely based on oil, Dallas’s economy is more diversified. Houston’s economy depends on the worldwide price of oil. This has recently been a benefit due to the growth of fracking and Trump’s approval of the oil industry. With OPEC finally being able to decide on cutbacks, Texas as a whole is benefiting from this and in turn the construction industry.

As a whole, the US construction industry is going through a renewed increase that is not expected to slow down. California is seeing the biggest growth in jobs in construction and is benefitting most. For those looking for higher wages and in the construction industry, California seems like a fantastic choice.

Always Play is Safe on a Building Site

Always Play is Safe on a Building Site

One of the most dangerous jobs in the world is in the construction business. It has contributed to merely 0.015% or 15 out of 100,000 fatalities each year in Europe compared to the 0.005% or 5 out of 100,000 in the other sector. The numbers have said it but this doesn’t mean that it cannot be prevented. Construction workers and owners are both liable for what will happen and will pay the consequences. Owners could get sued by their employee, and the employee pays the price of the accident. So with the right attitude and the right knowledge you can stop an inevitable accident.

One reason why accidents happen on a building site is the ignorance of the workers about what to do in a place like a building site. Here are some few tips on how to stay safe on a construction site.

Take advantage of the training provided

The first tip you can grasp on is to know what you need to do. You should take advantage of the training that is provided by your employer, your union, and your safety society. This will aid you in dealing certain situation where an accident is about to happen or to prevent accidents from happening. Like the Law, accidents excuses no one, so be on guard always.

Exercise safety precautions always

Whenever you are in a building site wear your safety helmet at all times. This might save you from falling debris. You should also wear goggles if it’s necessary for that working area or it has been given to you, goggles prevents debris from penetrating your eye. Aside from that is to familiarize your equipment or know how to use it, what it does and what it can do. There a lot of employee in a construction environment that are not familiar with some of the construction equipment and this later on contributes to the mishaps of a worker. It is advisable that when you are not familiar with the equipment, don’t play with it or have training first before working with it.

Avoid Shortcuts

One more thing that you should bear in mind is not to take shortcut with fire, electrical, and fall protection safety, be sure to crib, block and secure all loads as soon as possible. Also be knowledgeable about chemical hazards. Varnishes and fiberglass, as well as insulation, can be hard on your body. These chemicals cause irritation and rashes. If you are assigned in a confined place, then let the doors in the building be left open for air to circulate. Or in most cases open the windows and turn on the fans to protect yourself in inhaling these chemicals. Fans help protect against the particles that you could possibly breathe into your lungs. Like asbestos when inhaled can get into the lung tissues and as a result, you get lung cancer.

A construction site is a dangerous place so always remember to play safe on a building site.