When you're looking for a little inspiration to get back in the gym, a bit of self-investment can go a long way. Whether it's a new lineup of workout gear, a fitness tracker or a new pair of running shoes, you don't want to waste your hard-earned money -- which might just be the boost you need to stay on top of your fitness goals.
Exercise can help prevent many health issues later in life, so why wouldn't fitness products be FSA-eligible? The reality is that IRS regulations are pretty rigid about FSAs covering only products that treat a specific condition. As of right now, these fitness expenses are NOT eligible. But, let's cut through the confusion about a few of the most asked about fitness products and services, to see if they're FSA-eligible.
1. Fitness trackers
We hear about trackers -- like Fitbit or even the Apple Watch -- all the time. While digital fitness trackers have been introduced to company wellness programs as an incentive for employees to get in better shape, they aren't considered FSA-eligible by the IRS because they don't treat or alleviate any one specific health issue.
However, we know that tracking vitals is important for some to keep on top of their wellness. That's why we carry a wide range of more targeted, hi-tech, 100% FSA-eligible health tracking products like blood pressure monitors.
Because of IRS guidelines, even the most advanced cross-training shoes don't qualify as FSA-eligible. But that doesn't mean you can't treat your feet with your flex dollars. Your FSA will cover orthotics, arthritis pain insoles and other shoe inserts. They can reduce the impact of exercise on your feet and lower body and help you avoid injuries from poorly-fitting shoes.
3. Gym memberships
As much as we want to use our FSA funds to cover your monthly gym membership, it's not considered a qualifying expense. However, if regular exercise becomes necessary for your health, this is an expense that could be eligible with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN).
If you have a medical condition, such as obesity, and a doctor requires you to work out, they can create an LMN for your benefits administrator that could allow you to cover these costs with your FSA. Check out this post for more about these exceptions, and the LMN process.
If you're looking to invest in home exercise equipment to meet fitness goals, they follow the same guidelines as gym memberships. You'll need to prove that you have a medical condition which requires you to buy specific workout equipment for your home, using an LMN provided by your physician.
Shoe inserts provide support where you need it most. Shop our variety of FSA-eligible inserts and find a pair that best fits your needs.
Blood Pressure Monitors
Measure blood pressure in your home or on-the-go with our selection of easy-to-use blood pressure monitors.
Don't waste time hunting for ways to spend your tax-free funds. In That's Eligible?!, we'll bring you these updates every Monday, so you don't have to. And for all things flex spending, be sure to check out the rest of our Learning Center, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Have you used our FSA Calculator? It's one of the easiest ways to figure out your flexible spending account (FSA) allocation for the coming plan year. But if you overestimate or don't find yourself making qualifying purchases or visiting the doctor as often as expected, you may be sitting on extra cash you don't want to forfeit!
With the summer weather finally here (and many mid-year FSA deadlines approaching), this is the perfect time of year to splurge on FSA-eligible products, and you'd be amazed at how much $100 will cover to boost your long-term health and wellness. Here are a few ways you can spend down remaining FSA dollars based on our most popular customer groups!
From prenatal vitamins to breastfeeding supplies, new parents can build a foundation for the future by saving with their FSA!
BabyGanics Cover Up Baby Sunscreen for Face and Body SPF 50+, Fragrance Free, 6 oz - $11.99, Link
Medela Breast Milk Storage Solution - $32.99, Link
NoseFrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator - $15.99, Link
Medela Breast Milk Cooler System - $23.99, Link
Thinkbaby LIVE STRONG Safe Sunscreen SPF 50, 3 oz - $12.99, Link
Whether you're looking to get back into the gym or building on your gains, FSA-eligible products can help you prevent and treat injuries, and help you manage your workout regimen free from acute and chronic pain.
KT TAPE PRO, Pre-cut, 20 Strip, Synthetic, Laser Blue, $19.99, Link
Arctic Ease Instant Cold Wrap Black (4"X60"), $15.99, Link
ACE 3" Self-Adhering Bandage, $5.09, Link
Icy Hot Smart Relief TENS Therapy Knee and Shoulder Starter Kit, $39.99, Link
KT Tape Recovery+ Patch 4 ct Black, $9.99, Link
Be safe on your next hike or camping trip with FSA-eligible products! Your FSA can cover sun protection, first aid supplies, foot cushioning treatments and more!
BullFrog Water Sport Lotion SPF 50, $11.99, Link
Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister, Cushions, 6 ea, $5.79, Link
Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman Whitetail, $49.99, Link
Banana Boat Aloe Vera with Vitamin E Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 45, 0.15 oz, $2.99, Link
Dr. Scholl's P.R.O. Pain Relief Orthotics for Lower Back, Men's Size 8-13, 1 pr, $12.79, Link
ACE 3" Elastic Bandage with Clips, $4.99, Link
Got a vacation on the horizon? FSAs are a boon for regular travelers to help you avoid motion sickness, neck stiffness and sunburn with a huge variety of travel necessities.
Vichy Idéal Capital Soleil SPF 45 Dry-Finish Body and Face Sunscreen with Antioxidants and Vitamin E, 5 Fl. Oz., $28.50, Link
Johnson & Johnson First Aid Kit, Safe Travels, 70 pc, $7.49, Link
IMAK HappiNeck Orthopedic Neck Support, $32.99, Link
Psi Bands Acupressure Wrist Bands - Racer Black, $18.99, Link
Solar Sense Clear Zinc Stick for Face and Lips, SPF 50, .45 oz, $4.99, Link
For everything you need to stay healthy year-round, rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your employee benefits!
Father's Day arrives on Sunday, June 18, and it's your day to spend with family and friends in your celebration of all things "Dad." As enjoyable as this holiday is, it also sheds light on the indispensable role that you play in your loved ones' lives, and maintaining your overall health should be your top priority to enjoy many more Father's Days for years to come.
If you are enrolled in a flexible spending account (FSA), your benefit can cover a huge range of qualifying health products that can support your long-term health, and even help you enjoy your favorite activities more safely! Here's how to use FSA money to do just that!
- Blood Pressure Monitor
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hypertension affects 75 million Americans, or about 1 in 3 American adults. If you have hypertension, or a family history of high blood pressure, tracking your numbers with a blood pressure monitor is a smart choice for your long-term health.
These devices will shed light on fluctuations in your blood pressure levels and create reports that you can share with your doctor to help make positive lifestyle changes for the future. Best of all, many of these devices are compatible with your smartphone!
Check Out: Qardio Arm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor
- TENS Machine
Have you recently contended with chronic or acute pain issues? You may be a great candidate for a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine! TENS machines administer electrotherapy, which utilizes electricity to interfere with the transmission of pain signals through the nerves to alleviate pain. These devices can also promote the release of endorphins, a form of natural pain reliever that can reduce instances of pain in a variety of situations.
- Vehicle First Aid Kit
You have a first aid kit at home to handle any emergencies, but what about your car, boat or recreational vehicle? First aid kits are FSA-eligible and can help you tackle major and minor injuries with confidence before seeking out medical attention. Adventure Medical Kits has a full line of first aid kits to suit any vehicle, lifestyle and price point.
Check Out: Adventure Medical First Aid Kits
- Mineral Sunscreen
Do you find yourself constantly re-applying sunscreen during trips to the beach or during outdoor activities? Mineral sunscreen is your answer! These products are dermatologist-tested, do not absorb directly into the skin and contain ingredients that can reflect UVA/UVB rays that contribute to sunburns. As long as sunscreen is SPF 15+, you can use your FSA to cover the sun care products that do the most for your overall wellness!
- Cold Wraps
Looking to get back into the gym this summer? Starting a new workout plan will come with its own share of post-exercise soreness, so make sure you don't stray too far from your routine with re-usable cold wraps! These pads require no pre-cooling and can be used right out of the package's resealable pouch.
For everything you need to maximize the potential of your FSA, visit FSAstore.com! Search the web's most comprehensive Eligibility List available, submit a question on our FSA Learning Center and shop the largest selection of FSA-eligible items on the web!
When it's an especially beautiful day, it can feel like a crime to stay indoors. So it's no coincidence that many of us will use the warmer weather to jump start a fitness plan. To help you gear upfor summer, FSAstore.com/HSAstore.com has your back with our Shape Up for Summer Sweepstakes!
To enter, visit our contest page and fill out the entry form for a chance to win this epic health & fitness prize package:
- 2 pairs of Physiclo Pro Resistance Workout Shorts, Capris or Leggings ($250 value)
- Summer Sunscreen Bundle from FSAstore.com ($150 value)
- Water Fall Home Filtration System + 2 Water Bottles from KOR Water ($125 value)
- 3 Month Supply of Premium Omega 3 Plus and Vitality Force Supplement from Athlete's Best ($200 value)
- 40-day Organic Superfood Smoothie Box from Raw Green Organics ($160 value).
Our contest runs until May 12, 2017, so submit your entry now and let your friends and family members know about our sweepstakes too! Good luck and be sure to check our blog on Mother’s Day weekend when we’ll announce the lucky winner.
Now, what are you waiting for? Use your FSA funds to stay safe and healthy all year long!
While the 12/31 deadline is the most important date of the year for millions of FSA users, a huge segment of this population is enrolled in plans that feature a 2.5 month grace period. This option, which is chosen by employers, gives FSA users 2.5 months after the end of their plan year to spend down the remainder of their FSA funds and submit claims for reimbursement.
If you have the FSA grace period and your FSA ended 12/31/2016, the countdown to March 15, 2017 (your 2.5 month grace period deadline) has begun! To avoid forfeiting money to your FSA plan sponsor, we have compiled the FSA Grace Period Product Guide to help you find the eligible products your family needs to stay healthy throughout 2017. Whether you have $20 or $200 left to spend, we can help you put those remaining FSA dollars toward items that can enhance your health and wellness for the year.
Need to get away?
If you and your loved ones are looking to escape the winter blues or planning a trip in the spring, your FSA covers a surprising amount of travel items that you may need along the way. Travel in comfort and avoid unnecessary neck pain with an orthopedic neck pillow, and keep track of any medications you take with an FSA eligible pill organizer. And don't forget sun protection (SPF 15+, broad spectrum sun protection is FSA-eligible)! Pick up children's sunscreen for the little ones and keep your skin protected with mineral sunscreen.
Make a renewed commitment to fitness
Whether you're trying to craft the perfect beach body this summer or are heading back to the gym for health-related purposes, your FSA can cover the cost of a wide range of physical therapy and wellness products to help alleviate pain while you reach your goals. Cold packs are smart buys that can help you control workout related soreness and inflammation, kinesiology tape can promote the healing process of strained muscles, while braces & elastic supports can immobilize joints to prevent re-injury and help you stick to your exercise regimen.
Improve your vision correction methods
Whether you wear contact lenses, reading glasses or prescription glasses, all of these vision correction methods are covered by your FSA! Best of all, in addition to the devices you use to improve your vision, the accessories needed to take care of them are eligible as well! Eyeglass repair kits & cleaning cloths, contact lens solution, contact carrying cases and many more eye care products are eligible and can keep you seeing clearly year-round.
Pick up home health essentials
Is your home's first aid kit up to date with fresh bandages and wound dressings? Do you have a first aid kit for your car or boat? What about over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, acid controllers, allergy remedies or antihistamines? FSAstore.com can help you pick up the medicine cabinet essentials your family needs to stay healthy year-round. And with our hassle-free Prescription Process, we can help you quickly obtain prescriptions from your doctor for eligible OTC medicines to complete your purchases!
Bundle of joy on the way?
If your family will be growing in the coming year, your FSA can help you lay a strong foundation for parenthood with a wide range of qualifying products. Prenatal multivitamins are eligible without a prescription, as well as breastfeeding supplies, baby sunscreen and much more! FSAs can help you save on the huge amount of care items that an infant will need throughout the early stages of life, so you can be prepared for whatever parenthood has in store.
Happy New Year! As we turn over a new leaf for 2017, many Americans will take this time of year to commit to a New Year's Resolution for the coming year, and many will make the choice to hit the gym to lose a few of those extra pounds gained over the holidays. We here at FSAstore.com want you to stay committed to your goals and stay active this winter, and a few FSA-eligible products and motivation can help you get there! Here are a few of our best tips to stick to your New Year's resolution and build a healthier foundation for 2017!
- Define your goals
First and foremost, you should go into any weight loss endeavor with a clear idea of what you're trying to achieve. Whether it's being able to run a mile without stopping, losing 10 lbs or being able to do a pull-up, no matter what you decide, make sure your goals are measurable, specific and achievable to have something concrete to work toward.
- Invest in a fitness tracker
With the rapid development of fitness tracking devices and smart watches, there are more options than ever to not only track your progress toward your overall goal, but allow you to savor the small victories along the way. The right fitness tracker for you will be based on your individual needs and how active your lifestyle is. Some will just look for step counting and reliable sleep tracking, while others will look for heart rate monitoring, blood pressure tracking or GPS for outdoor activities. Making this investment will also provide extra incentive for you to work harder toward your overall goals.
- Enlist the help of a friend
Reaching the summit of any major goal is far easier when you have someone by your side, so when you're starting to plan for your weight loss plan for 2017, ask a friend or family member to join you. A little healthy competition may be just what you need to stay on top of your fitness goals, and you can push one another on days when you may not have the motivation to get to the gym.
- Embrace social media
Encouragement from family and friends is an extremely helpful tool in reaching your fitness goals, but this time around, put yourself outside of your comfort zone and catalogue your experience on social media. It takes some serious courage and vulnerability to share your personal journey, but having that extra support system can be the difference between giving up and pushing to meet your goals.
- Use your FSA!
Don't let a sudden injury or soreness interfere with your New Year's Resolution goals! Your flexible spending account (FSA) covers a huge range of rehabilitative products that can help you bounce back from injuries and discomfort with ease. Some of the most useful FSA eligible items for your workout goals include kinesiology tape, hot and cold packs, knee/ankle/wrist/back/elbow braces, cushioned insoles, TENS therapy machines and much more!
If you're dedicated to a regular fitness regimen, cold weather can be a pain in the face of workout goals. Here are some tips from FSAstore.com to help!
At FSAstore.com, we sell a range of athletic treatments, kinesiology tape, cushioned insoles and other products to help you stick to your workout plans, but winter calls for some extra motivation. Here are a few ways that you can adhere to your fitness goals in the coming season.
Invest in proper workout wear
If you're going to try and brave the cold this winter, you need to have the right attire to stand up to the rigors of the season. Sporting some new workout attire is a great source of motivation, and investing in a hat, hoodie and gloves can help keep you warm when running outdoors or on your way to the gym. After spending the money on some new threads, make your investment worthwhile by keeping your fitness regimen up!
Enlist a personal trainer
Try as you might to get to the gym on a regular basis, you may be tempted by the allure of the couch and a Netflix marathon. Of course, if someone is waiting on you at the fitness center, you'll be less likely to take the lazy route, so hiring a personal trainer is a great idea. This professional will design a workout plan that is tailored exclusively to you, and can provide the structure necessary to help you reach your workout goals.
Set an exercise goal
Another way to stay active in the winter is to set a goal for yourself for the spring and summer months and use this time of year as a training period for the big event ahead. Whether it's a Tough Mudder, a half-marathon, or getting in better shape for a spring sports league, set yourself up for success by putting an attainable goal in sight you can work toward realizing.
Begin an indoor fitness activity
Of course, there are those winter days where it's simply too cold or snowy to head to the gym, but you can still get in a good workout at home. As winter gets underway, try a new type of exercise at home you haven't already done. Yoga, pilates, kettle bell training and other indoor exercises will provide an alternative during adverse weather, as well as giving you a new interest to dive into that can help you avoid boredom and stagnation in your workout plans.
Bring a friend
Meeting your workout goals comes down to your own personal motivation, and this is made all the more easier when you have a workout buddy to push you. Most importantly, a workout partner is the easiest way to increase your personal accountability to adhere to a set schedule and working out with another person adds a social element to your fitness regimen that makes it more fun and could push you to achieve more.
Want to get in shape or know a man who needs to get more active? National Men's Health Month is the perfect time to get moving.
What today we know as National Men's Health Month began as National Men's Health Week.This was a public advocacy week preceding and including Father's Day to highlight the importance of men's health issues and overall wellness. Today, this event encompasses the entire month of June and is now celebrated in dozens of countries internationally.
Whether you're a guy who wants to shape up or there's a special man in your life who needs to get more active, National Men's Health Month is the perfect time to get moving.
For everything else in your life to stay healthy, you can count on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits!
Even a few small lifestyle changes can make a massive difference in how you feel, so use this June as the catalyst to make healthful choices for the future.
Here are a few ways to shape up during Men's Health Month:
Hold a meatless meal day
One day per week, make an effort to leave meat out of your diet completely. This is not only good for you, but is good for the planet as well! This is a great way to expand your palette for vegetables to incorporate them into meals during the rest of the week.
Drink more water
Without healthy levels of water (8 glasses per day!) intake, the human body simply doesn't work at an optimal level. Instead of taking on excess calories through sodas and juices, try infusing water with herbs, lemon/limes, berries and more to make it more appealing and meet your daily requirements.
Rent a gym locker
Even if you have a gym membership, you may need a little extra incentive to stick to your fitness routine. We've all gone to the gym, forgotten our shoes, and then haven't gone back to the gym for a month afterward. Rent a locker to ensure that you are always ready for your workout.
Plan out your meals
One of the easiest ways to practice portion control and stick to a healthy eating regimen is to plan out your meals for the week. This is a great way to avoid breaking down and eating unhealthy on a whim, and it can help you stick to a diverse schedule of meals to satiate optimal nutritional requirements.
Are you behind a desk for the daily 9-5 grind each day? Make sure you get up and get moving! Whether it's a walk around the block, utilizing a standing desk or doing a few exercises from your office chair, those brief spurts of activity will raise your energy level and sneak fitness into your routine.
TV time as fitness time
In the same way that you can incorporate fitness into your office routine, you can do the same when binge-watching your favorite shows! Do some stretching and weight exercises while you watch your shows to turn a normal moment of inactivity into an opportunity for fitness.
Make a commitment to better sleep
Maintaining a proper sleep schedule affects nearly all aspects of your overall health, and if you're not getting enough each night, it can contribute to a wide range of potential health issues, not to mention your mood! The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults receive between 7.5 and 8 hours of sleep each night, so adjust your schedule to get as much shuteye as possible this June for the betterment of your long-term health.
Soak up the sun
One of the easiest ways to feel healthier is to get outside and take a walk, go for a hike or just soak up the sunshine. Vitamin D from the sun is an easy way to boost your energy levels and strengthen your overall immune system. Stay sun safe with your FSA (broad spectrum, SPF15+ is covered).
Create a secret healthy snack stash
During those moments in between meals is when most people will make poor eating choices, but this can be easily avoided with some advanced preparation. Some great options include homemade trail mix, unsweetened dried fruit and nuts to stave off major food cravings before meals.
Set realistic goals
As you make a commitment to living a healthier lifestyle, it's important to set attainable goals that can help you feel a sense of progress. Aim to lose that stubborn 5 pounds you've been trying to get rid of or make your dinners at home for a week. These small victories can add up to huge results over time, so take the process incrementally to boost your chances of success.
Shop our special Men's Week sale! Shop with your Flexible Spending Account at FSAstore.com. Get 6% OFFusing the code WEEKOFMEN at checkout.
Whether you're just getting started or are curious about exploring new fitness routines, your FSA can certainly play a role in keeping you on track.
During the winter, sometimes the last thing we want to do is go outside when it's cold or dark - especially if it involves exercising. But, sticking to your fitness is important year-round and exercise has many health benefits. Whether you're just getting started or are curious about exploring new fitness routines, your FSA can certainly play a role in keeping you on track.
Here are a few tips to help you stick to your fitness goals:
Be realistic. Setting goals is great and so is getting out there and doing what you enjoy when it comes to fitness, but you don't want to overdo it by working out too much or exerting too much strain on your body at once. If you do get muscle soreness, a great way to get some relief is through hot or cold therapy. Cold packs can reducing inflammation and pain associated with heavy exercise, and they're FSA-eligible!
Check out: TheraPearl
Tell friends or family. Having a level of accountability (telling your loved ones about your fitness routine and goals) will keep you motivated, and tracking exercise through an app can also be a great way to view your progress. If you'd like, you can even monitor your blood pressure with a handy bluetooth wireless monitor.
Sign up for a race or event. If you're looking for some extra motivation, signing up for a fitness event can be a good way to train and push yourself. Check out events listed online and in your community, or ask at the local gym. Add the event to your calendar and set up weekly goals and times to train for it.
Get support. If you're dealing with muscle soreness or needed additional support, your FSA can help with various items. Kinesiology tape or K-Tape,can add that support, and so can knee or ankle braces. Again, stay realistic and don't overlook pain or muscle soreness. Take breaks and give your body a chance to rest and heal properly.
Check out: KT-Tape
Treat (chronic)pain symptoms.TENS therapy relies on an electric current that treat muscle and joint pain in a drug-free way. TENS therapy stimulates the nerves in an affected area, and can treat regular muscle soreness but also chronic pain.
Check out: Icy Hot TENS Therapy
After the holidays, winter weight gain can be a fact of life. Learn about healthy tips to stay in shape and use an FSA via the FSAstore.com blog.
When you look at all the temptations that winter brings to the table, it's no wonder that research shows that adults typically gain between 1 to 2 pounds between late November and early January.
Heavy holiday meals, indulging on alcohol with family and friends and dwindling activity levels are a perfect cocktail for unexpected weight gain, but it doesn't have to be the same old story for 2016!
Whether you've already put on some pounds or you're holding steady, the following tips from FSAstore.com can help you stay fit throughout the cold weather months.
Tips to curbwinter weight gain with an FSA:
Indulge with care
After emerging from the office at 5 p.m. into pitch black night, it can be tempting to head off to the bar with co-workers or cozy up at home with a nightcap. But, alcohol is one of the chief causes of winter weight gain. When alcohol enters the body, it is not stored as fat and the body will prioritize burning off alcohol and depleting it from the body. Therefore, as long as the body is burning off alcohol, all fat burning will cease, which is like putting your diet on pause indefinitely. Limit your intake or alter back and forth between non-alcoholic drinks to ease the negative effects of alcohol.
Schedule physical fitness
It can be difficult to muster the motivation to hit the gym on dark, chilly evenings, but one trick is to schedule it into your weekly routine as you would any other task. Exercise is typically the first activity to drop from a busy schedule, but you should look at it as vital as any meeting or event you have planned in the future. Schedule trips to the gym or join a class to take a structured approach to continuing your physical fitness in the winter.
Stay in shape and reduce muscle pain with your FSA through FSA eligible hot/cold packs
Stock up on healthy snacks
With extra efforts to stave off weight gain and eat healthier, hunger pangs come with the territory, but you can give into those temptations confidently with the right snacking options. Go for raw, unsalted almonds or beef jerky for quick snacks on the go, and embrace seasonal fruits and vegetables to fill in the gaps between meals.
FSA tip: Schedule regular checkups (annual eye exam, annual dental exam, and more) to stay on top of your health. You can use an FSA to cover co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance.
Browse our FSA Eligibility List for more information on covered expenses.
While working out can be a great stress reliever, the new year will bring with it a bevy of to-dos and other obligations that can become overwhelming. Emotional eating can be a result of these tattered nerves, which can certainly undo your healthy streak. Stress fighting activities like meditation, breathing exercises or taking a walk can make a major difference in your overall happiness and help you stick to your health goals.
Shop for the Comfort Bundle at FSAstore.com
Chart your progress
Whether you're trying to maintain your current weight or lose a few pounds, weighing yourself each day can help keep you accountable and on top of your goals. Keep a journal that outlines your meals, exercise regimen and daily weights to track relevant patterns and maximize your abilities to reach your fitness goals.
To stay on top of your health and weight loss goals this winter, be sure to check out FSAstore.com all season long! We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products to enhance your health and wellness year-round.
Whether you're easing into a new fitness program or looking to bounce back quicker, get your FSA-eligible cold pack ready for a bit of cryostretching.
How to use FSA-eligible cold packs for "cryostretching"
Any physical trainer will tell you that stretching before and after your workout is essential to avoid lingering soreness and exposing yourself to a potentially serious injury. But have you ever gone the extra mile to try "cryostretching?"
Cryostretching has become increasingly popular among physical trainers and amateur athletes alike, and it can be done using a standard cold pack that many of us already have in our homes. This technique has the ability to reduce muscle spasms and increase flexibility, resulting in a far more beneficial stretch overall. Whether you're easing into a new fitness program or looking to bounce back quicker from your regimen, get your FSA eligible cold pack ready for a bit of cryostretching! Here's how to get started:
Pre- and Post-Workout Cryostretching
Cryostretching involves a period of cold therapy, stretching and a relaxation period to prep the body for physical activity or help it recover. Ideally, this technique can be utilized on joints and specific muscles that may have given you trouble in the past, or those which you are planning to target in your fitness regimen.
First, a cold pack is placed on a specific area for about 20 minutes, during which the body part should become nearly numb. Next, perform two sets of stretches for 60 seconds each with a 20-second rest period in between. Do not alter your stretching method and aim to slowly increase the distance of the stretch with each repetition.
How does cryostretching make a difference?
Cryostretching before and after each workout can produce a more effective stretch and lessens the possibility of debilitating injuries. On a physiological level, cryostretching will numb an area of the body and prevent muscle spasms during stretching, which in turn reduces pain and enable a more efficient stretch.
When stretching post-workout, muscles are left in a shortened state after constant contraction, so they will be left tight and sore if they are not returned to their natural position after a workout. Cryostretching can boost this post-workout stretch and reduce the lingering pain that is present after significant physical activity.
If you find yourself struggling with nagging injuries or simply can't bounce back from a tough workout as soon as you'd like, give cryostretching a try! Best of all, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA), you can purchase the perfect cold pack for the job at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products to maximize your employee benefits and your overall health.
Shop for Cold Packs at FSA Store
How KT Tape can Help
KT Tape is the leading brand of Kinesiology Tape. It helps athletes and non-athletes deal with common strains and pains in an easy-to-apply strip. KT Tape is elastic and provides a light massaging effect to help reduce inflammation and pain.
Shop for KT Tape at FSAstore.com
The end of January also marks a good time to check up on your New Year's Resolutions. Often, the top resolutions people make have to do with health and saving money, as well. A Flexible Spending Account is the perfect combination of staying healthy and saving money.
Did you have specific exercise goals in 2015? Are you trying to get more sleep? Want to stay on top of your health throughout the year?
Four tips to supercharge your health with a Flexible Spending Account:
1. Stay active without pains and strains. If you're getting to the gym every week, you'll want to make sure you're properly dealing with any minor strains or pains from exercise. Hot/cold packs are a great solution and provide you with comforting relief so you can stay on top of your fitness goals.
Shop Hot/Cold Therapy at FSA Store
2. Get proper support. If you've dealt with prior injuries or are experiencing strains, then supports like ankle braces, knee braces, and elastic bandages and athletic tapes like KT Tape can give you extra support.
Shop Elastics/Athletic Treatmentsat FSA Store.
3. Reduce sore feet.When you're on our feet a lot, you can start experiencing blisters and other pains, but luckily your FSA can cover treatments and shoe insoles for added comfort.
Shop for Foot Care at FSA Store.
4. Exercise with the family. If you enjoy outdoor family fun or exercise as a family, it would be good to keep a first-aid kit on you at times. You never know when a minor scrape or cut could happen, and you'll want to have some band-aids on you, just in case!
Shop for First Aid at FSA Store
It's a New Year! New Year's Resolutions are in full swing, and often that includes fitness and health. A lot of people vow to join a gym, or try to squeeze in some exercise as best they can in their daily lives.
What are your goals this year? No matter what, your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) can actually help you stay moving and exercising, whatever your favorite indoor/outdoor activity may be.
Top 5 FSA eligible products to keep your fitness up:
1. Elastics/Athletic treatments. Items including KT Tape, knee supports, ankle braces, and elastic bandages will give you support and comfort you need to keep going.
Shop Elastics/Athletic treatments at FSA Store.
2. Hot/Cold therapy. When you're exercising, the last thing on your mind will be dealing with pain in the aftermath of fitness. But, luckily an FSA can cover hot/cold therapy packs to make sure you get pain relief for achey muscles.
Check out Hot/Cold Therapy brand:Cara
Shop for Hot/Cold Therapy at FSA Store.
3. Foot care. You can use an FSA toward items like blister treatment cushions, and shoe insoles to ensure you get the proper support and cushioning while you're on the move.
Shop for Foot Care at FSA Store.
4. First aid. While you're exercising, it's possible (though probably doesn't come to mind immediately) that you might deal with a minor scrape or cut. Keep a first-aid kit handy in your car or a mini one for your sports bag to make sure you can keep exercising!
Shop for First Aid at FSA Store
5. Specialty vitamins. Vitamins such as Glucosamine Chondroitin, which are FSA eligible, can support joint flexibility and comfort.
Shop for Specialty Vitamins at FSA Store.
Related posts about exercise:
Can I buy protein powder for weight loss with an FSA?
Can I go to the gym with my FSA?
There's nothing quite like autumn with its delightful temperatures and gorgeous natural backdrop. This is also the ideal time of year to take a closer look at your exercise regimen and see where you can improve before winter sets in.
A new fitness plan can be a lot of hard work, so make sure your body has what it takes to bounce back from physical activity by purchasing items with your Flexible Spending Account (FSA)! FSAstore.com has thousands of FSA eligible products like elastic bandages, hot/cold packs, cushioned insoles and much more that can help you avoid injury and rehab effectively to realize your fitness goals!
Here are a few reasons why fall is the perfect time tobuild a healthier foundation for the future.
1. Try something new
With the kids back in school and many gyms enrolling autumn fitness classes, you may finallyhave the free time to put yourself out there and get outside of your comfort zone. Whether it'syoga, spin, dance or other outlets, this is a chance to up your physical activity level, meet newpeople and have fun in the process! Most importantly, it can provide the structure needed toensure that you'll make regular trips to the gym.
2. Take advantage of fall weather
With the hot and humid temperatures in the rear view mirror, the crisp air of fall is a perfectinvitation to get outside! Take advantage of fall festivals and other walking locations, take hikesto check out the foliage and explore as many avenues as possible to help up your activity levelthis season.
3. Make fall chores an exercise challenge
Did you know that a 150 lb person will burn nearly 150 calories after raking leaves for just a halfhour? That autumn to-do list can actually provide a major boost to your physical activity, so setsome small, achievable goals to pass the time and gradually make them harder as the seasonwears on to turn your responsibilities into beneficial activities.
4. Embrace seasonal cuisine
An exercise regimen can fall flat if you're not eating the right foods to go along with your newhealthy lifestyle. With farmer's markets and harvest festivals popping up all season long, this isa great time to get back in the kitchen to whip up healthier meals for you and your family. Somegreat in-season foods to keep in mind are apples, kale, eggplant, chard, celery, cabbage, broccoliand escarole.
5. Rejuvenate with new interests
Revitalizing your mind and spirit is just as important as exercising your body, so on your daysoff from the gym and in your downtime, autumn is a fabulous time to take an art class, learn tomeditate, read a good book or teach yourself a new skill. These can be great steps on the roadto a happier and healthier state of wellness!