Review: CareCo Exercise Band

Review - Exercise Band by CareCo: the discount mobility experts

RewviI was diagnosed with hypermobility at the age of 14 after multiple ankle injuries which culminated in the tearing of all the ligaments in one ankle. Not pretty right? So when the opportunity came around to review some products from CareCo the discount mobility experts I grabbed the chance to review their exercise band. Exercise bands like this were a core part of the many years of intense physio I had that focused on stabilising my ankles. Although I used them primarily for working with my ankles back then,  exercise bands have a variety of uses for such a simple and inexpensive product.

 

Careco Exercise Band in Pouch

First Impressions

I was really impressed with the neat little pouch that the band came in. It’s exactly as advertised on the site, however, anyone who’s ever done physio will know that you don’t get handed one so neatly packaged. In the past if I’ve been given one by a physiotherapist they have quite literally gone to a massive role that they have and cut a length off of it. So just having that little bit of extra effort made in the presentation and also having somewhere to put the band between exercises makes a big difference to me.

CareCo 4 Week exercise resistance plan booklet

 

The band also comes with a 4 week resistance exercise plan booklet which is fantastic! The contents include the four weeks plan as well as exercise tips, dieting tips, mental fitness and further advice. I really appreciate that Careco have included mental fitness in the booklet and it has some great – and more importantly useful – advice in that respect. The diet page is brief and useful, not at all lecturing or guilt tripping.

 

CareCo Exercise Resistance Plan Week One

 

In regards to the exercises each week tackles a separate area of the body; week one is upper body, week two is legs, week three is abdominal (chest and back) and week four is legs and triceps. You have the option of doing the plan as it is set out or using the booklet as a guide for what area of your body you need to focus on. For someone with a condition like mine, hypermobility/hypermobile EDS, it could be wrists one day and legs the next so I can quite easily flip through the guide and select an exercise that pertains for that area of the body. And there are several options to choose from as well.

 

Careco Exercise Band for Resistance Exercises

Exercise Band

The band itself is pretty much a standard exercise band made of the same stretchy rubber material as all the bands I have previously encountered. Exercise bands can come in different strengths depending on the needs of the patient, and the CareCo band does not seem to come with any strength details. The specification segment of the product page is empty so no luck there. When testing the strength for myself I found that it had quite a high resistance strength so this may not be the best product for someone with weak joints or muscles.

 

Numbers on the CareCo Exercise Band for hand positions

What I did like about the exercise band is that it is numbered; each number pertains hand places for the exercises outlined in the guide book. This is a really useful feature that helps the users become accustomed to using the band and grow comfortable and confident in doing so. It also ensures that they use the band correctly reducing the risk of injuring by over stretching their muscles.

 

The CareCo exercise band fits easily back into the pouch with plenty of room to spare!

 

One last thing I wanted to check was whether the handy pouch was actually as useful as it seemed – and yes it is! Sometimes when you get an accompanying bag for an item, especially one that can be messy to put back in like a rubber exercise band, the bag isn’t as up to the job as it first appears. But as you can see I had absolutely no problem popping it back into the pouch. The band folded up easily and there was plenty of room left in the pouch for a time if I wasn’t able to fold it neatly (which is an issue if my fingers are sore) and I needed to just jam it in.

 

Resistance Strength Rating of the CareCo Exercise Band

Conclusion

Overall it’s a good product for £11.99 (inc. VAT) and CareCo have put a lot of time and effort into the supporting material to ensure that users have the information they need to get started straight away. This makes the product a great all rounder for a variety of customers; whether you’re just starting out with fitness, have been recommended resistance exercises by a physiotherapist or you’re a fitness fanatic this exercise band has something for everyone.

My only reservation about the product is that it does not come with a resistance strength rating and I do feel that this is an oversight by CareCo. I gave it a few strong tugs to test the resistance for the purpose of this review, and the day after my wrist was still tender. It would be remiss of me not to mention that this band might be too strong for, or at least requires careful use for those with weak joints/muscles and who run the risk of hyper-extension or dislocation. It can still be used provided you are aware of the strength and take that into consideration when using this product for exercises.

 

Over to You

I hope you enjoyed this review and found it useful! Don’t forget to check out CareCo’s website they have a great range of mobility products at good prices compared to other places. They also offer a price comparison service so if you find it cheaper else where they will match it!

Have you used an exercise band before?

Are you familiar with CareCo?

What are some of your favourite mobility or health aids?

Let me know in the comments! If you have any questions about this product please do not hesitate to ask 🙂

My thoughts on going back to Physio (again)

thoughts on returning to physio

Tomorrow is my first physio session with the Centre for Integrative Care, which is a homoeopathic hospital designed for people like me who have multiple health conditions; “Most patients referred to the Centre are experiencing chronic pain, chronic low energy, and/or chronic low mood or anxiety”.

I’ve had plenty of physio before, I know what to expect, and I know what goes on. The thing that is making me really nervous is that this is an NHS physio. Last time I went to see an NHS physio I ended up walking out of the appointment because the woman was extremely unprofessional. Instead of concentrating on what I needed, I got a speech about how she has hypermobility and is s perfect (stick thin) example of how you can be active and healthy with that condition. Yeah. My doctor was not impressed either. I ended up going private (shout out to Glasgow Physio centre who have an amazing, supporting and friendly team, highly recommend them!) and made more progress in one session than I did in 8 years of on-off again NHS physio.

The problem is that a normal NHS physio is there to get you back on your feet and out the door asap so they can move onto the next person. They are only able to concentrate on one part of your body at a time, not which part is hurting that week. Do you have any idea how amazing it is to go to your physio and say ‘my neck’s been bad this week, can we take a look at it?’ and actually get help there and then? I will hopefully go back to Glasgow physio centres, but right now I need to find out what is happening with my body which means being with the Centre for Integrative Care and being referred for their different services.

The biggest worry is walking in and being told it’s my weight, again. I already have had the ‘you need to be active’ spiel from the consultant – although he was very nice and understanding about it – and the fact that I’ve lost over 2 and 1/2 stone since November is in my favour. I’m working on it, just not actively. It’s like my dissertation work; I’ve been so ill and then I get something worse. Here’s just the last few months; ill in January with glands, February chest infection, March still the chest infection (I think, I can’t seem to shift it) and a stomach bug for 7 days. That’s just the last few months. The last few years have been as bad. I’ve gradually been going down hill until the last year and 1/2 my body has finally had enough. They believe I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which fits all the symptoms and is another chronic long term health condition I’ll have for the rest of my life. It’s depressing thinking of it like that, and I need my new physio to be able to work with me and how that makes me feel. I don’t expect them to be a therapist, just understanding and supportive while also pushing me.

So fingers crossed!

Weekend Break sponsored by Spoonies R Us

Spoonies R Us

The week started out to a tremendous start; an all day migraine. Bleurgh. I alternated between the bed and the couch, just about managing to binge watch TV (see what I’m watching here!). I finally managed to get to the doctors and talked through some things, including altering my migraine medication. Unfortunately that comes with the side effect of making me very sleepy – something that probably isn’t helped by the fact that I’m trying to sort my sleeping pattern in preparation for my exams. I have two exam dates so far and they’re both morning 🙁 At the moment my days are starting at 10:30am, and that’s a struggle. So I’ve spent the week very sleepy, and with pain from a HMS flare up.

Friday came and went, as did Saturday so I decided that this weekend I’m taking a break from 5 Fandom Friday and Sharing Saturday. When I created this blog I knew this could happen, and I’m not going to apologise. It sucks, but it’s my life, and at the moment any (very few) moments of clarity need to be spent studying for my exams. I’ll be planning better this week and should have posts scheduled in advance. I am probably going to miss a few things, like Look Book and Reviews, for this month and next due to all this and exams.

I survived! (good riddance April)

Goodbye April

April is that one part of the year that I’m always glad to see the back of. I’m not sure when it started, it’s been this way since I was a kid. In some ways it is/was great; there was always a 2-3 week holiday, but then came the exams or end of term assignments. Not to mention April’s weather is always completely off the charts. It is always wet and wild, and then Spring starts to appear only to be buried under a pile of snow. Usually, it’s the last snow of the year, sometimes there’s a bit in May, but yes, April represents the end of things. It is the month of chaos before the summer starts, the time when everything comes to a head and becomes the most stressful.

This year was no exception and after trying to play catch up on my blog and photo challenges I had to admit defeat. I had a bunch of uni deadlines fall in short succession and the final one of my second term is due this Friday. I had well over a few weeks to work on it, and of course, my body decided that was way way too easy for my final assignment. Maybe it was a result of 2 busy weeks of stress (including waking up the day of a presentation for our group project with an insane migraine and actually making it into present) but my body basically started to fall apart last week. Everything was just monstrous and agonising. I managed to get the assignment completed on time but I am somewhat pissed that my body threw such a big tantrum and changed an easy assignment into more stress. For those of you who haven’t kept up with the health saga that causes me to refer to my body as its own entity, you can read about my 6 health conditions over at my health page. On top of that, I’m also suffering from monthly hell which brings a lot of crappy feeling, more joint pain, and migraines. Add to that the mysterious gland illness that I FINALLY have a hospital appointment for (yey!) and it’s this month (even bigger yey!) and possibly a cold on top of that. So yeah, my body is just being a total pain and making everything so much harder.

Now that it is Friday and the last assignment has been submitted, it is party time. Quite literally. Chris’ gran turns 100 this weekend and we have a party with family and friends on Sunday and then a mini-party at her club, in which the Lord Provost is coming to congratulate her. I’m also celebrating the fact that I survived the whole two terms of my post graduate despite the odds. I was very fortunate enough to have a department that was incredibly understanding, and a course leader who was happy for me to continue rather than forcing me to stop. It was hard, it was stressful, but it is done – for the most part anyway. I was too ill to take my exams in December so I take them in August, which also means I cannot progress to my dissertation until after those results. So I have 3 months to prepare for my exams and I intend to use them. It is also time to start exercising, gently, and start shifting this weight.

My grades for this term have been good, I’d have liked better for some of them but considering how ill I’ve been it’s a miracle I haven’t failed anything. There is still the mark for the assignment of doom, which was by far the worst assignment of the entire course. I just want a pass, anything else is a bonus. But so far I have a 64, 65, 66 and 70 – the latter was a big deal for me because it was our group project which involved building a website. Until this project I had been dabbling and learning html and website design for my own purposes, as a hobby. I was incredibly excited for the project and at the same time terrified; I’d never done it for academic reasons, never had to stand up in front of people to discuss and explain my design choices. So getting a 70, which is a distinction, was amazing. It’s the highest grade you can get. 60-69 is a first, so I have been doing much better than I could have thought possible.

This weekend I intend to enjoy the open Overwatch beta, attend the celebrations for Chris’ Gran and begin to work on new blog content.

Goodbye February

Goodbye February

February was the first month of my new blog content and I did better than I expected, although not as well as intended. I’m struggling right now with an unknown viral illness on top of my normal 6 health issues. It started at the beginning of October and despite numerous blood tests, all the doctors have managed to tell me is ‘it’s a viral illness’. It has all the same symptoms as Mono/Glandular Fever but because the test for that keeps coming up negative the doctor I saw refuses to call it that. So I’m in limbo. I’ve been trying to see my normal doctor, who on other occasions has proven to be caring and straight forward to talk to. Even that hasn’t been simple. I’ve either been too ill to attend appointments, or had to wait for weeks for one because she’s only in 1-2 days a week or has been on holiday. I am hoping to see her on Wednesday, as on top of the other symptoms I’ve either developed new ones or caught an infection in my chest as well. I literally feel like my body is falling to pieces right now.

Amazingly I am actually managing to keep up to date with university, including completing the first assignment of this term and settling on a dissertation topic. Here’s the topic summary:

Dementia is a growing problem in Scotland and around the world because the number of people who have it is increasing so rapidly. Friends and family who care for people with dementia have many demands on their time and energy. As they try to manage their lives and care for their loved one, they naturally have a need for information to help them make decisions about their loved ones and their roles as carers. Little is known about how to better meet their information needs as they change throughout the progression of their loved one’s dementia. This dissertation will look at information needs of these carers and how information agencies can best help them meet these needs.

 

I am really excited and a bit humbled by my dissertation. This is a topic near and dear to me, something I have experienced first hand and as a disabled student the idea that I can actually do something, anything, to help people with chronic illnesses is extremely humbling to me. The more I do of this course, the more I learn about what information and library studies is about… honestly it is mind-blowing. It is very scary, and may lead to something amazing possibilities and opportunities, so I’m trying not to get overwhelmed.

 

It goes without saying that this all comes before my blog. I’m sure it probably seems like a stupid idea to relaunch a blog while this was all happening, however, I needed to do something productive, something to keep me connected with people and it is helping. Taking part in Fandom Five each week in particular has been fantastic, and every comment I get (especially on those entries) makes me smile. However, I have failed to complete two tasks for this month; review and look book. I am currently trying out some new products specifically for reviewing, so there will definitely be a review next month. The look book is a little trickier because I’m having problems finding a way to get decent photographs of the completed look. I think I am going to have to ask my fiancé very nicely to help with that one. But otherwise the first month of new content didn’t go terribly and I look foward to the next month!