How to Relieve Back Pain Using an Inversion Table

Today, more people are purchasing inversion tables than ever before. The main reason for this is that this “hang upside down machine” enables spinal decompression thereby relieving back pain. Unfortunately, despite the increase in the number of people buying this particular machine, many people still don’t know what to do with it once they get home. Below is a beginner’s guide on how to relieve back pain using an inversion table.

Step 1
The first thing that you should do before you begin your lower back exercises is to adjust the height setting. To ensure that you leave enough space between your head and the floor, the height setting should be about 2 inches more than your actual height.

Step 2
Once you have adjusted the height setting, go ahead and adjust the tether strap. Remember, it is the tether strap that determines your angle of inversion. If you want to achieve a full, 90 degree, inversion, do away with the tether strap.

Step 3
While standing on the foot platform, put the ankle clamps around your ankles and adjust them until they feel secure enough.

Step 4
Raise your arms above your head one at a time and the inversion table will begin to tilt. That’s because many inversion tables are designed to respond to shifts in body weight distribution.

Step 5
Once your body is inverted, you can remain in that position for between two and seven minutes. During this time, you can perform any of the following back strengthening exercises.

Jackknife Stretch
To perform this simple stretch, just raise your arms so that they are below your head and remain in that position for 30 seconds. The purpose of this exercise is to increase blood flow to your back’s muscles.

Inverted Crunches
In order for your spine to maintain its natural shape, you need strong abdominal muscles. To perform an inverted crunch, cross your arms over your chest and slowly raise your upper body towards your legs until you are in a sitting position. Repeat this exercise as many times as you want.

To perform an arch, just grab the frame of the table and raise your stomach away from the table so that you back looks like an arch.

Step 6
To return to an upright position, slowly place your arms at your sides and bend your knees slightly.

Step 7
Loosen the ankle clamps and slide your ankles out.

Protect Your Data and the Environment Through Drive Recycling

I find myself sitting in the second floor of a huge public library in a good-sized college town. I came here for the quiet and solitude, for a change of scenery that was different from my home office. What I got was an overwhelming sense of how technology has changed our lives. Even though I am sitting amidst long, tall rows of books on every conceivable subject, I look around and see folks at tables, clicking away on laptops and netbooks.

This particular library has over sixty public computers scattered throughout its two-story repository. There is even a computer lab for patrons to use. In addition, I am connected to the virtual world outside through their free Internet WIFI connection. Do you remember the card catalog cabinets and the Dewey Decimal System? It’s all on computer now, thank goodness. You don’t get just a shelf location; you get a map!

As I gaze out the window to the street below, I see college students walking, or rather, dancing down the sidewalk with tiny headsets stuck in their ears, harnessed to a tiny mp3 player. I think back to my vinyl LP record collection that took up two shelves that were six feet long. There is more music stored on those tiny devices than I could ever fit in my house.

When I walked in the door to get my new library card, I was advised to put my cellphone on silent. I can remember back when our telephone was on a party line and we had to wait our turn to use the service. These days, the tether of the handset cord to the phone is gone; we have free rein to roam anywhere in the world and still be able to phone home.

Unfortunately, those technological advances that have enriched our lives have a downside: electronic waste. According to a recent Environmental Protection Agency study, our electronic waste is having a negative impact, not just locally, but globally. In the United States, the EPA estimates that 1% of our municipal waste streams are composed of electronic waste. They also estimate that 30 to 40 million computers will be scrapped each year for the next couple of years as they reach their end of usable service. Technology and software advances are making computers obsolete, almost before they are sold off the shelf.

Recycling old computer parts, such as hard drives, may not eliminate the problem, but it can surely help. Data loss that requires a hard disk file recovery service often means that the hard drive is toast. Physically damaged drives can be repaired enough to perform NTFS file recovery, but they are no longer reliable. The next time you need internal or external hard drive data recovery, look for a company that has a hard drive recycling program. Those folks care, both about your data and about our environment.

The Minnesota Camping Experience

Camping in Minnesota can either be relaxing and quiet, or exciting, depending on what you are looking for. From the rushing rapids of the St. Croix State Park, to the beautiful Gooseberry Falls, and up to the Boundary Waters Canoe area. There is plenty to see and do, just grab your tent and a few supplies and a wonderful weekend is in the making, looking for agates, walleyes and beautiful birds, and perhaps some wild bear, timber wolves, coyotes, beaver, white tail deer. One campground known for its white tail deer population is Jay Cooke State Park. The deer find this rocky outcropping on the St. Louis River a good place to winter as do 45 other species of mammals.

Native Americans discovered that the St. Louis River could not be traveled by canoe so they blazed a 6.5 mile portage around it. Later the fur traders and voyageurs would use this same portage, and it, along with a few more portages became known as the Grand Portage. Once the train made its appearance it was quicker and safer using it and the portages became over grown and unused. In 1915 the Pennsylvania financier, Jay Cooke, who had developed the nearby St. Louis Power Company, and the Northern Pacific Railroad donated 2,350 acres of land to the state of Minnesota which turned it into a state park and as time went on the state added more acreage to the park until its present size of 8,818 acres.

Seismic activity is responsible for the steeply tilted slate, greywacke and exposed brownstone, making this a treasure trove of information for the geology students to study from the many universities in the state. The large dark rock formations jutting up from the ground give you a sense of the Rocky Mountains, which for those not living in a mountainous region conjures up great fun and adventure. With a little imagination you can be climbing up Mt. Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary.

In the 1930’s and 40’s two different CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps.) Camps were established on site and are responsible for building the inspiring swinging suspension bridge and other picnic facilities in the park, facings of these structures are made of the local basalt found here. The swinging bridge was partially destroyed in the flood of 2012, but has since been repaired and is back in service for those young at heart individuals being chased by Masai Warriors across a great gorge with only minutes from being overtaken. Of course, the warriors would cut the ropes supporting the bridge and it is only with the aid of Tarzan that you can make it across safely. Sheesh, that was close!

There are over 50 miles of hiking trails some tying into the Willard Munger State Trail again with some imagination you can be the fur trader Coureur des bois portaging through the rugged land with a 90 lb. pack of furs hanging from your portage strap on the newly renovated trails.

It was in the early 70’s that we as a family traveled to Jay Cooke for the weekend, of course Kobra, my dad’s Leader Dog, traveled with us and could usually be found tethered to the picnic table at the campsite. Also traveling with us was one of my mother’s coworkers, Florence. Florence was a big ol’ gal fond of the stylish muumuus of the day. She had neatly packed up her big old station wagon with all her camping gear and was leaning over the tailgate trying to unload. When suddenly Kobra’s ears perked up as he overheard a commotion at Florence’s car, he watched quietly as Florence swatted the air behind her telling Kobra to knock it off. What? He wasn’t doing anything, and he was quite a distance from her to boot. Again, Florence swatted the air and told Kobra to knock it off, a little more firmly this time. Kobra, shook his head, a little frustrated himself being blamed for something he had nothing to do with. The third time, Florence’s voice was becoming a tad shrill. As she turned she couldn’t help but notice that Kobra was across the campsite from her, so what had been bothering her? She looked down and let out a shriek, here scurrying across the road and down the ditch was the culprit, a handsome raccoon even more curious than Kobra.

Later that evening, at dusk, the campground was beginning to settle down, you could look across the clearing and see families roasting marshmallows, some quietly singing camp songs, some just visiting, it was a peaceful scene out of a Terry Redlin painting. Quietly behind us we heard a foot step and then a rumbling chuckle. We turned and much to our surprise the Ranger was right behind us. He said, “This is the time of night I love best, time for the fun to begin… watch.” Much to our amazement a family closest to the outer perimeter screamed and their entire group jumped on their picnic table, then the next family, then the next in a straight row across the campground west to east, one after another family was screaming and jumping on their picnic table. What was happening now? “That would be my Fred, he does stir up the campground a bit, don’t you think?” the Ranger quietly explained. But who was Fred? We watched in silence as the Ranger moseyed over to the furthest most camp to the east, then he squatted down and tapped the ground beside himself, out from under the furthest east picnic table waddled a beautiful black and white skunk. No wonder everyone was trying to get to high ground. The Park Ranger then introduced Fred to the campers and everyone had a good laugh. When the Ranger brought Fred over to meet us my dad was lucky enough to hold him, ever since then he wanted a skunk of his own, Mom did not agree.

Camping is a good family bonding experience, or a time to relax and enjoy nature and reconnect with your spouse or significant other. When I was particularly drained after a long hectic week I packed up my 4 man tent some goodies, grabbed my fishing rod and spent the weekend at the park all by myself. When I went home that Sunday I felt refreshed and renewed, and good about what I had done and was able to face Monday with a smile. There is something invigorating about the great outdoors which just is not found behind a TV screen or computer monitor. Remember when mom used to shoo us outside? My mom always said “… to blow the stink off.” Well when we came back in the house for supper we did feel better, finished our chores real quick like, and then headed back out again until bedtime. We slept better and school was not such a downer, it was fun. Get out in the great outdoors and become invigorated. Next time I think I’ll share some of Yellowstone with you