NorthStar Nutritionals Blog

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  1. Ease Stiff Knee Joints in No Time

    There comes a point where simply living with stiff knee joints is no longer an option.

    Taking longer than it should to stand up. Being slower on the stairs than you like.

    Having to stop and rub out the stiffness in your knees every few minutes.

    You’ve sucked it up and dealt with it long enough. You’re not going to just “deal with it” any longer.

    When you’ve reached that point, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are ways to ease stiff knee joints – fast – and then there are ways to continue to maintain flexible, healthy knees for the long run.

    Are you ready to deal with your stiff knee joints, instead of just sucking it up? If so, read on –

    What Can Be Done in 20 Minutes a Day

    Even though twenty minutes feels like a long time, when you think about it, twenty minutes isn’t very long at all. It’s not even the length of the shortest television show you watch in the evenings!

    And those twenty minutes are going to pass anyway. You might as well use them to ease stiff knee joints and feel better.

    1. Exercise. It’s easy to think that you should rest stiff knee joints and try to stay off them, but the exact opposite is true. Think about a water pump – if you don’t keep it moving, it gets stiff. Your knees work the same way. If you don’t keep them moving, they get stiff, too. Choose a low-impact exercise like walking, swimming, or biking for best results and to protect your knees. Even some aerobics classes are low-impact. And don’t let the cold weather keep you inactive. Treadmills and stationary bikes work as well at home as they do at the gym. Some malls even open early to allow for morning walkers to get their laps in before business hours. Move 20-30 minutes every day, and your stiff knees will start to limber up.

    2. Make time to relax. Just because exercise is good for stiff knee joints doesn’t mean you should use them all the time. But sitting and being stressed won’t help, either. Instead, help relieve stiffness throughout your whole body, including your knees, with some form of meditation or other relaxation technique. Deep breathing, visualization, or guided meditation have all been shown to help relax the body and yes, help with joint stiffness. All in about 20 minutes.

    3. Temperature therapy. This is a fancy way of saying an ice pack or a hot pad, but whatever you call it, temperature therapy can help ease stiff knee joints. If your stiffness comes with swelling, consider using ice, because ice can help reduce them both. If your stiffness comes with sore muscles, consider using heat, because heat can help soothe muscles. Mostly, though, for knee joint stiffness that hasn’t been caused by an injury, feel free to use whichever one brings you the most relief. Just be sure to use both properly – don’t apply either heat or ice directly on the skin, and don’t keep temperature therapy on your knees for longer than twenty minutes at a time.

    What Can Be Done in Five Minutes a Day

    Does twenty minutes still just feel too long? Want even faster ways to relieve knee joint stiffness?

    4. A little oil goes a long way. Right there in your kitchen is a rub that will help soothe stiff joints, and it takes less than five minutes to apply. I’m talking about extra virgin olive oil. Simply rub 1 ½ tablespoons onto your knees, twice a day. It supports a healthy inflammatory response, which can help ease stiffness. Just be sure to only use extra virgin olive oil or cold pressed olive oil, because the heat of processing regular olive oil can destroy its benefits. Want something a little more exotic? Add eucalyptus oil to your olive oil. It helps reduce stiffness, too for a one-two punch.

    5. Stretching. Just like aerobic exercise is important for joint health, stretching can help ease stiff knee joints, too – even if it doesn’t seem like you’re stretching your knee! The muscles around your knees and in your legs are the ones you’ll be stretching in order to keep your knees flexible. Stretching your hamstrings (the backs of your thighs), your inner thighs, your calves, and your quadriceps (the fronts of your thighs) will all help your knees move easier. And you only need to stretch each muscle for about 30 seconds!

    Maintaining Your Results

    Now that you’ve eased your stiff knee joints, it’s important to take the steps necessary to keep them flexible and moving easier.

    6. Maintain a healthy weight – even if this means you have to lose a few pounds. If you’re already at a healthy weight, great! Don’t lose any just for your knees. Simply maintain that weight. If you do need to lose some, though, make that a priority. Losing a single pound will reduce the stress on your knees by three pounds – which is bound to help reduce stiffness!

    7. Try Tai Chi. This ancient Chinese exercise has been linked to less stiffness, greater range of motion, and more flexibility. Look for classes at your local YMCA, community center, medical clinic, or gym, and relieve knee joint stiffness while learning something new.

    8. Take the right supplements. Now is actually a good time to be dealing with joint stiffness in the knees and throughout your body because there are more supplements and herbs available than ever before. We understand how our bodies work and how natural remedies can be a part of maintaining our health. So look into adding supplements, like SynerFlex, our joint health support supplement, to your daily routine and keep your knees moving freely.

    It’s time to stop living with the hassles and discomfort of stiff knee joints. In just minutes a day, you can take back control of your stiff knee joints – and your life!

  2. Are There Different Types of Urinary Incontinence?

    urinary incontinence typesHaving a type urinary incontinence isn’t something most people like talking about.

    At best, it’s embarrassing. At worst, it can lead to social and professional isolation.

    But it shouldn’t be shameful, or a source of embarrassment, because it’s a medical condition, just like so many other medical conditions.

    In fact, nearly 13 million people are affected by some type of urinary incontinence – which is why we’re willing to demystify it and talk about it.

    Talk about the types of urinary incontinence and what, if anything, can be done about them.

    The 8 Types of Urinary Incontinence

    While it may seem like all bladder conditions are the same, there are really several types of urinary incontinence – and they’re caused by different conditions.

    Total incontinence. This is the rarest type of urinary incontinence, so we’ll touch on it and then get it out of the way. This is when a person loses all control over bladder functions. It’s only caused by injury or severe physical debilitation.

    Urge incontinence. This type of urinary incontinence is characterized by a sudden urge to urinate – thus its name – followed by losing urine, often before you can get to the bathroom. Part of what makes urge incontinence so frustrating is you don’t even have to have a full bladder to experience the urge to go – but it can still create urgency and cause leaking. More than 12 million people struggle with this type of urinary incontinence, and it occurs more often the older you get.

    Stress incontinence. If you leak when you laugh, sneeze, or cough, you are one of the millions of people who have this type of urinary incontinence. Weakening of the pelvic floor is the primary cause of stress incontinence, so make sure you work on your Kegels!

    Mixed incontinence. This is the most common type of incontinence, and includes symptoms of both urge and stress incontinences. With mixed incontinence, you may feel sudden, uncontrollable urges and have to deal with leaks whenever you put any pressure on the bladder at all.

    Overflow incontinence. In some cases, another medical condition can prevent your bladder from emptying completely. When that happens, you might leak because you have more urine in your bladder than room – and that’s called overflow incontinence. It’s sometimes referred to as the opposite of urge incontinence, because you probably won’t feel any indication that you have to go to the bathroom. While it can happen in women, it occurs more often in men.

    Transient or temporary incontinence. This type of incontinence is caused by some other medical condition, such as a urinary tract infection, a surgical side effect, or a medication. Once the primary condition has been resolved, the incontinence goes away as well.

    Functional incontinence. In this instance, the bladder is functioning properly, but some other part of the body isn’t. For some reason, the person with functional incontinence cannot get to the bathroom in time. Frequent sufferers of this type of incontinence may have a form of dementia or other physical ailment that keeps them from registering that they have to urinate or from moving fast enough to get there in time.

    So What Can Be Done About Urinary Incontinence?

    The good news is that most types of urinary incontinence can be resolved without much effort.

    Start with the Kegel exercises mentioned earlier. These help strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor, which in turn helps reduce, and sometimes even eliminate, leaks. While most women know about them, men can benefit from Kegels as well!

    To perform a Kegel properly, start with figuring out which muscles to flex. When you’re urinating next, try to stop the flow. Those muscles are the ones you’ll use for Kegels – just be certain not to do Kegels while you’re going to the bathroom! Instead, try lying or sitting in a comfortable position and flex those muscles. Hold the flex for a count of ten and relax.

    Do this as often as you think to do it. The best part about Kegels is that once you get good at them, you can do them anywhere and no one will notice.

    If Kegels aren’t enough to resolve your type of urinary incontinence, consider bladder and muscle retraining. Start by scheduling bathroom breaks. Maybe you need to go every hour, or every two hours. The key is to go on schedule, even if you don’t feel like you need to. Once your body understands the schedule, start adding time between bathroom breaks.

    This will teach your body to hold it longer and has been found to be particularly effective with urge and mixed types of incontinence.

    Remember, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about having any of these types of urinary incontinence – but there’s plenty you can do about them.

  3. Can This Common Fruit Really Improve Sex?

    When you think of ways to improve sex, you probably think of tabloid magazine sex tips, but those can be embarrassing.

    Or maybe, when it comes to improving sex, you’re thinking about better communication, and that’s great!

    Some people even think about exotic ingredients that are just now being recognized by Western society, and yes, some of those really do work to improve sex.

    But I bet you don’t often think about a common fruit that’s been in your grocery store produce section year round, for your whole life, as an easy and convenient way to improve sex.

    So what is this amazing fruit? The humble grape.

    That’s right – the same grape that is a staple in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and grape juice can also help improve your sex life!

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  4. How to Avoid Back Pain This Winter

    Winter, more than any other season, brings challenges when it comes to avoiding back pain.

    Some days, you’re active and busy. Other days are slower, more relaxed.

    Some days, you only have to worry about your own schedule. Other days, several generations of the family are all together at once.

    Avoiding back pain can be different one day to the next!

    In this article, we’re going to look at some of the common winter challenges you may face – and figure out how to avoid back pain for each one them.

    Then, you can just pick and choose as you need.

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  5. 10 Quick Tips to Soothe Dry Chapped Hands

    Winter brings snow…and hot cocoa…and cuddling by the fire…and dry, chapped hands that you just want to hide.

    Dry, cracked, maybe even bleeding hands are more than unattractive.

    They hurt! And exposure to the dry indoor heat and cold temperatures of winter will just make it worse.

    But you don’t have keep your hands hidden beneath the blankets or behind mittens!

    Soothe your dry, chapped hands with these ten quick tips that will do the trick and have you back to holding hands in no time.

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  6. Shocking Truths About Male Enhancement Surgery

    surgery male enhancementIt happens at some point in the course of every man’s life: you wonder if you’re, well, big enough.

    Between late night television, locker room talk, and normal human insecurities, it’s easy to assume that other men are far better endowed than you are.

    To the point that you may start looking at alternatives, up to and including male enhancement surgery.

    But before you take such a drastic step, let’s take a closer look at some facts and separate them from innuendo – especially about male enhancement surgery and if you really need it.

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  7. 11 Amazing Health Benefits of Ginger

    ginger root health benefitsThis time of year, it’s almost impossible to walk into any store and not be bombarded with gingerbread.

    From cookies to houses to decorations, gingerbread is everywhere it seems.

    But that might not be a bad thing once you know the health benefits of ginger root!

    Okay, so gingerbread may not be the healthiest choice you can make, but adding ginger to your daily routine can have amazing health benefits.

    Plus, you can take it in tea, capsules, powder, or as a seasoning and reap the rewards.

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  8. Is Your Nighttime Routine Helping or Hurting You?

    Routine nighttimeYou’re tired every day. You’re stressed every night.

    You toss and turn, unable to turn off your brain long enough to get to sleep.

    Or you wake up in the middle of the night, unable to get back to sleep.

    If any of these sound familiar, maybe the problem isn’t you – maybe the problem is your nighttime routine.

    After all, we know a healthy morning routine can make or break your day. Once you think about it, it makes sense that a nightly routine can be just as important.

    These suggestions can help make up a nighttime routine that will have you sleeping like a baby in no time. Not all of them may work for you, but feel free to pick and choose the ones that do.

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  9. 12 Constipation Remedies You Can’t Live Without

    Remedies constipationYour holiday season is going along swimmingly when one day, it hits you: constipation.

    The rich food and busy schedule has caught up with you.

    There’s nothing worse, but you don’t have to be debilitated by the discomfort, bloating, and uncertainty that comes with not being able to go.

    Instead, try these 12 natural constipation remedies and get your holiday back on track!

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  10. 11 Natural Remedies to Ease Your Leg and Hip Pain

    hip and leg painIf you deal with leg and hip pain then you know how all-consuming it can be.

    Sitting hurts. Standing hurts. Lying down hurts.

    You can’t escape it. It’s easy to believe there is nothing you can do.

    Luckily though, that’s not true.

    There are steps you can take to ease your leg and hip pain.

    And no, I don’t mean invasive surgeries or scary prescriptions. These steps are natural remedies that really will soothe the pain in your hips and legs.

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  11. Understanding the Link Between Exercise and Memory

    memory and exerciseThe link between exercise and physical health is – if you’ll excuse the pun – a no-brainer.

    But the link between exercise and memory may not be as obvious.

    At least not until you understand the link between the two.

    At which point, once you understand how exercise and memory are intricately linked, you’ll never forget it!

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  12. Make Joint Relief Your Ultimate Goal for 2016

    relief jointWhen it comes to New Year’s resolutions, joint relief may not seem all that interesting or exciting – unless you’ve struggled with sore, achy, stiff joints.

    At that point, you know that this is more than just a worthy New Year’s resolution – it’s the ultimate goal.

    So we’ve collected the twelve ways for you to achieve relief in your joints for 2016 – and beyond.

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  13. 14 Shocking Libido Silent Killers

    Killers silentWhen you hear the phrase “silent killers” you probably think about brain or cardiovascular health. But your libido can be under attack by silent killers as well.

    While these quiet killers may not be as life threatening as the ones going after your heart and lungs, they are still a big deal.

    Anyone who’s ever had their sex life diminish understands just how important desire and arousal actually are.

    And these emotional, physical, and dietary factors can play a huge role in how well your libido responds.

    So if you and your partner are struggling to have a satisfying sex life, check out these fourteen silent libido killers and see if any of them sound familiar.

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  14. The Ultimate Hair Growth Diet

    diet hair growthIf you really want thick, shiny, healthy hair, it’s time to stop worrying about what you put on your hair and start thinking about what you put in your body.

    You don’t need another shampoo, you need a hair growth diet.

    Shampoos and conditioners can only do so much because they only work on the outside.

    The health of your hair is determined long before a shampoo or styling product can touch it.

    If your hair is unhealthy when it first grows out, no product can change that.

    So feed your hair, literally, with a hair growth diet that will help ensure your hair starts out as healthy and gorgeous as possible.

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  15. The REAL Truth About Ergonomic Desk Chairs

    desk chairs ergonomicalHave you heard the hype about ergonomic desk chairs and standing desks?

    Because they are all the rage. But what’s the truth and what’s just marketing?

    We decided to look closer and report back.

    So here’s the real truth about ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and alternative work spaces.

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  16. 10 Unknown Reasons for Healthy Joints

    Ssshhhh…. You’ve got a secret.

    You don’t mean to brag but while other people are dealing with stiffness, aches, and pains, you’ve actually got pretty healthy joints.

    Sure, you may feel a twinge every now and then, after all, you’re not a teenager any longer. But big picture, you’re moving well and relatively pain-free.

    You probably take steps, literally and figuratively, to keep your joints healthy.

    Making sure you exercise most days, eat right, and maintain a healthy weight.

    But you do more than that, too. Read on and see if any of these unknown reasons for healthy joints sound familiar to you.

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  17. 10 Secrets to Hitting a Healthy Blood Sugar Level This Holiday Season

    blood sugar level healthyMaintaining a healthy blood sugar level can be an undertaking year-round, but it’s especially challenging during the holidays.

    It’s easy to be tempted by rich foods and indulgent treats you don’t usually get the rest of the time – after all, who wouldn’t be tempted?

    The good news, though, is that you can maintain your blood sugar levels and still enjoy the holidays – even indulge a little – with just a little planning and forethought.

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  18. 6 Fun Exercises to Improve Joint Stability

    Technically, joint stability is defined as “the ability to maintain or control joint movement or position” but that doesn’t come close to capturing what joints stability really means.

    Because you know that stable joints means living with more.

    More mobility, more balance, more living life to the fullest.

    Having stable joints is about being steady on your feet whether you’re walking a golf course or walking through the grocery store.

    It’s about knowing you can lift, bend, and reach so that you’re able to keep up with the activities of daily living and stay independent.

    In fact, joint stability, balance, and mobility are intricately linked. So much so that you can’t talk about one without talking about the other two.

    In other words, having stable joints really is about so much more than just stability. But here’s the twist - joint stability is also about living with less.

    Less pain. Less fear of falling. Less stiffness. Less isolation.

    So give these six exercises a try to increase stability, balance, and mobility.

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  19. 15 Common Lifestyle Habits That Are Destroying Your Sex Life

    Habits lifestyleYou know why your sex life isn’t so great.

    You think it’s probably age or health.

    After all, you’ve spent years listening to commercials telling you that a waning sex life is all but inevitable.

    But what if everything you’ve been told is wrong?

    Not that age and health can’t play a part in a waning sex life – but what if it’s not inevitable?

    What if you have lifestyle habits that are hurting your sex life? Lifestyle habits that you can change and get the heat back in the bedroom!

    They are habits, behaviors, and attitudes that may not even seem to be related to sex – but they impact your sex life anyway.

    If your lifestyle habits that are harming your love life are actual habits, or if they’re behaviors and attitudes, check out this list and see if there’s anything you find familiar.

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  20. The Shocking Everyday Item That Helps with Joint Lubrication

    lubrication jointWhen it comes to joint lubrication, there are a lot promises being made.

    But the truth is far more mundane than any promise.

    No miracle pills from the Far East.

    No obscure ointments rediscovered after centuries.

    Not even an ointment used since the time of Cleopatra.

    For help with joint lubrication, all you need is… Water!

    If you get it from your tap or buy it from the store – sparkling, or still – water is one of the best things you can do for joint health and lubrication.

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