A Pain Free Life Can Increase Longevity

bunion-foot-painImproving the mobility of your body, doesn’t only help maintain your quality of life, studies now show that it also increases longevity. We all know that walking is good for us, but in order for it to be most effective you also must enjoy it, both mentally and physically.

”A decline in walking ability is a major predictor of health problems.” -reported HealthDay.

To help you get back to an active lifestyle we’ve listed below several small changes you can make in your daily routine to help you increase your life expectancy. Not only will they make you feel better, but adding them to your everyday will strengthen your heart and speed up your metabolism. A sedentary lifestyle, whether work induced or self-imposed, due to painful or uncomfortable feet, has a high metabolic cost. Here are four ideas to lower your metabolic cost today!

1. Be sure not to sit for more than an hour straight. At some point during each hour of work get up and walk for as little as five minutes. In a recent study the University of Indiana found, “it only takes one hour of sitting to cut off blood flow in major leg arteries by up to 50%. This damages your feet, legs and prevents proper circulation to your heart.” Now, are you ready for the exciting part? “The team found that subjects who took a five-minute walk once an hour did not cut off circulation. They want to be clear, they do not mean the subject had less restriction…They didn’t have any restriction of their arteries. The subjects walking pace was just 2 mph., you don’t even have to break a sweat to benefit.”Washington Post. Now be sure to have comfortable shoes that make walking easy enough to want to do every hour, and the benefit of increased blood circulation will help lower your metabolic cost with this one simple step. Compression socks can also be added to help improve blood flow through your feet and legs.

2. Wear shoes that make walking fun and painless. Be sure to support the feet not only when they’re hitting the pavement, but also when they are hitting the beach in sandals or hard wood floors at home. Most people know to select running and walking shoes that support the arch of the foot. This encourages improved weight distribution in the footwear and helps to absorb impact. It is not as obvious when it comes to selecting sandals, even though people walk many miles in their sandals during the summer. Even dress shoes can be made more comfortable with custom inserts or off-the-shelf arch supports. At Foot Solutions our highly trained and certified staff uses the most advanced state-of-the-art technology to perform a foot and gait analysis, as well as 3-D measurements of the foot. If your feet feel good, you will walk more and lower your metabolic cost.

3. When walking be sure to maintain a good posture – this will encourage your body to pull strength from your core. To do this, lift the body from your centre and focus in front of you when walking, instead of down at your feet. A more upright posture makes walking easier on your body, in preventing compression of the lungs and reducing stress on the back and feet, due to improved biomechanics. This will help you feel lighter on your feet, and lighter means lower metabolic cost. For an added benefit, include Nordic Walking poles in your routine to help improve posture, walking gait and strength.

4. Love to move your body. Attitude is one of the few things we can control. To improve the benefits of your workout or walking routine, take charge of your thoughts about walking. If the mind thinks it is doing something pleasurable, and the body is pain-free and able to enjoy the walk, the metabolic cost will be low. Walk outdoors and engage your senses, look at the scenery, listen to the birds and don’t forget to smell the roses. “Many of our expectations about the inevitability of physical decline with advancing years may be INCORRECT and that how we age is, to a large degree, up to us.”The New York Times 1/7/2015

Have any other simple tips to lower your metabolic cost? Comment below.

10 Tips for Finding the Right Shoes

Ever have trouble finding the right shoes? In this month’s post we discuss ten tips to finding the appropriate shoes for your foot type. Five of these tips apply to everyone and five more will apply to those with more serious foot concerns, such as diabetes or plantar fasciitis.

What to look out for when choosing your favourite pair of shoes

1. Shoes need to match the shape of the feet. A pointed toe box is not suitable for most feet, but especially a wide foot, as it squeezes the toes together, cuts off circulation and may even apply pressure to nerves that run between the metatarsal bones.

2.To allow for good stability, footwear should make as much contact as possible with the ground. A sole that flares out is better for stability than a sole that flares in (a sole found on most women’s dress footwear on the market to date).

3. Footwear materials play an important role as well. Synthetic linings that don’t breathe contribute to a warm, damp environment for the foot, which can lead to blisters, fungal infections of the skin and toes, or in general just a stinky shoe. Synthetic materials are seldom a good alternative for the upper part of a shoe as they are not as forgiving as leather. They can’t be stretched to improve fit and therefore won’t improve the comfort of the shoe over time. Good shoe designers pay attention to put the leather together in a way that will allow the shoe to stretch in the same direction as the foot, from side to side.

4. It’s best to shop in the afternoon, after your foot had some time to naturally expand (swell). This will ensure you buy the proper width, and do not feel the balls of your feet being squeezed as the day goes on.

5. Feet were meant to walk on soft, natural surfaces, but nowadays are mostly subjected to hard firm surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. As a result shoes should provide a decent amount of shock absorption and cushioning. A proper shoe construction, such as a steel or plastic shank, is critical to ensure proper support through the midfoot. A firm heel counter ensures the foot doesn’t slide off the shoes platform and keeps the foot in better alignment.

More Tips for Feet in need of Help

6. If you suffer plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the thick tissue that spans the bottom of the foot, we recommend a supportive, stable, yet cushioned shoe. A firm forefoot rocker sole can help prevent flexion of the toes, therefore preventing overstretching of the plantar fascia. In many cases orthotic intervention, such as an arch support or a heel lift, is necessary to counteract excessive pressures on the tissue.

7. Forefoot problems, such as bunions, hammer toes, and ball of foot pain, require a higher, wider toe box and a shock – absorbent sole. Rocker soles can also help prevent pressure on the forefoot in reducing the flexion of the toes.

8. Arthritic conditions of the midfoot, causing excessive movements in the midtarsal joints, can be painful. To relieve pain the shoe requires strong stability and support to allow the whole foot to make contact with the floor. Oftentimes this condition requires some additional support inside the shoe from an orthotic or an arch support.

9. The goal of diabetic shoes is to accommodate the foot to eliminate any areas of excessive pressure, both on the top and bottom of the feet. Many shoes are made of soft leathers, such as deer skin, which more easily adapt to a changing foot. Some shoes are made of heat-moldable, stretch uppers and can be washed to improve hygiene. Their more seamless uppers present fewer opportunities for skin aggravation and the light coloured insoles allow users to check for open wounds, to ensure immediate medical attention.

10. Last but not least, consider this. If the shoe doesn’t feel good on your foot, leave it at the store. There is no such thing as a break-in period.

Do you remember the time when you’d pull up to a gas station and the attendant would wash the windows and check the tires, while pumping your gas. We need to relearn the value of taking good care of our tires and of our feet, because both will get us to where we want to go. Allow our highly trained, expert certified staff assist you in finding the right shoe for you.

To learn more about proper fit, please watch this episode of the FootGeekz:

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