fbpx

Make Your Feet Happy with Toe Separators

Avoid Foot Injuries and Improve Performance 

With all the beatings our feet take, do you ever wonder if it is possible to have happy feet?  Believe it or not, the answer is yes–  you can make your feet happy with toe separators.   You may know these gadgets as the piece of foam used in pedicures to keep your toenails apart while they dry.  It turns out they now come in many varieties, and are widely used to heal foot injuries.  They are also used to prevent injury and improve foot strength.  Using toe separators may improve your comfort level, posture and athletic performance.  Best of all, these little gadgets are readily available and cost about $30.00 or less.

You may be asking yourself whether it’s worth investing in a set of toe separators.  Here are some factors to consider.  Our foot structure and form is more important than some of us realize.  Most footwear forces our toes into an unnatural position.  This is compounded when we wear high-heeled or tight shoes which crush our big toes against the others.  To top it off, our feet take a pounding from hours of standing, walking and running.  Over time, our foot form and toe alignment can be thrown off, causing a host of problems.  

Because our feet take a daily beating, many of us experience foot or foot-related problems.  Runner’s knee, bunions, crooked toes, corns, claw toes, plantar fasciitis and hammertoes are just some of the injuries that can result from toe compression.  When your toes are not properly aligned, your tendons, nerves and joints can become inflamed and damaged.  Misaligned toes can also place undue weight on the balls of your feet.  How and where your foot hits the pavement each time you step affects your hips, knees, lower back, joints, bones and tendons.

It’s easy to take for granted that our toes and feet will do what we need them to do on a daily basis.  Most of us probably haven’t spent a lot of time pondering the importance of foot form.  You might not have realized that spreading your toes out helps your posture, balance and athleticism.  Toe separators can realign your toes, thus allowing your muscles to better activate when you are walking or running.  This will prevent a host of injuries, while strengthening your foot over time.  

Strengthening your feet is, of course, of prime importance for athletes.  Wearing toe separators while running loosens the ligaments and tendons around your toe joints.  This can, in turn, improve your toe-offs and performance.  The wider running surface distributes pressure better, provides a stable surface to protect vulnerable muscles and lessens fatigue.  There are even upscale toe separators that release moisturizing vitamins and minerals into your skin to prevent friction, chafing and fatigue.

From fancy to no-frills, the toe separators of today come in a variety of sizes and materials.  There is even the option of separate spacers you can place just on the specific toes affected.  If you will wear your toe separators inside your athletic shoes, you will want to ensure your toe-box is wide enough to accommodate them.  Extra shock absorption in your sneakers is always a good idea, and this is no exception.

Whether or not you are an athlete, you may prefer to wear your toe separators post-workout.  If you find spacers during a workout are not for you, you can wear them any other time during the day or even overnight.  Either way, starting with 20 minutes a day and building up to wearing them for longer periods is a good way to go.

Wearing toe spacers for twenty minutes or more is a small price to pay for happy feet.  Having sore feet or foot injuries can negatively affect our mood, activity level and performance.  In the worst of cases, it can cause pain, disfigurement and necessary surgeries.  Why not make your feet happy with some toe separators.  They are likely to heal or prevent most foot injuries, and to make your life more comfortable, fun and active.

Of course the main way to avoid foot injuries is to exercise regularly with proper form.  In a squat, for instance, improper foot positioning increases stress to your knees, hips and lower back.  If you plant your feet firmly on the floor, spread your toes and maintain floor contact with your heel, ball of the foot and outer ball of the foot you create a solid foundation.  With this solid foundation you can move or lift without fear of injury.  

The Personal Trainers at Golden Home Fitness can create a solid fitness plan for you, ensuring that you do each rep with proper form.  You can get your FREE IN-PERSON OR VIRTUAL WORKOUT HERE.  In the meantime, you can keep your toes limber by practicing lifting marbles or a towel with them, and you can invest in some toe separators.  I think we can all agree that it’s much easier to be happy when we have happy feet so here’s to you getting yours!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Endnotes:  health.harvard.edu;  runningmagazine.ca;  bustle.com;  trainfora5k.com;  rockay.com;  bodybuilding.com

happy healthy feet
no weight workout

Pumpkin Spice Your Workout! 10 Minute No Weight Workout

Have you ever thought of getting a workout Pump with Pumpkins? Probably not, but why not give it a go? Fall is here and pumpkins are popping up everywhere: on porches, in TV shows, and even (or especially) in lattes! As we’ve shared before, while home equipment is great, you can also get a little creative for a great 10-minute home workout with no weights needed, just whatever you have! This time of year, that means pumpkins! So let’s not waste time, just pick one up and let’s go:

Pumpkin Pump: Fall Home Workout with No Weights

The featured athlete in these demonstration videos is our client and champion of life, Johanna Gorton! If you feel so moved, check out and support her fundraising for First Descents, a non-profit that provides free outdoor adventures for young adults impacted by cancer and other serious health conditions with life-changing outdoor adventures.

1. Pumpkin Goblet Squat: Ah, the classic, Goblet Squats are a staple home exercise for many good reasons! They force you to keep your core active and keep your chest up, helping you to practice good posture. All the while, they get your legs moving and help you clear up the tightness and weakness that comes as a result of prolonged periods of sitting. If Squats are King, then this Pumpkin Goblet Squat is surely the Pumpking… Perform 20 reps, then immediately move on to #2.

2. Reverse Lunge into Pumpkin Woodchopper: The rotational aspect of our core is often not given nearly the attention it deserves, and these next two exercises address just that! By stepping back into the reverse lunge, we get an added benefit for stability on the front leg and stretching on the back leg, while developing the core through rotation as we bring the pumpkin overhead. Perform 10 reps each side, either all in a row on one side – as shown – or by alternating. Then proceed to #3 immediately.

3. Lateral Lunge into Pumpkin Woodchopper: Building on the core rotation in #2, here we add a lateral element to the lunging motion as well. This helps you develop stability and resilience in the glutes and quads, as well as in the ankle, knee, and hip joints as you challenge yourself in a plane of motion not often focused on. Perform 10 reps each side, all in a row as shown, then proceed back to #1, or rest if you are finished with the circuit!

Perform this circuit of exercises 3-4 times with minimal rest between sets, or resting as needed (Save the pumpkin smashing/med ball slamming for after Halloween).

This guide for our no weight workout at home was developed by Coach Will H. Hansen and has been published here by the author.

Want a coach to come to you and help you get the most out of what you have wherever is most convenient for you? Call us at (844) 704-9477 for a complimentary workout!

peloton alternative

The Peloton Alternative to Traditional Gyms: How Peloton Paved the Way for “Chic Home Fitness” Innovation

The Peloton alternative provides you a different option than the classic gym membership that many dread. Peloton has raced ahead to become a household name, synonymous with working out at home for many.

Now, more people than ever are thinking about skipping the gym to stay home and workout without so much as putting a foot out the door. Local startup, Golden Home Fitness, founded in Winchester in 2015 with a new Personal Training Studio in North Andover, has taken this trend a step further, bringing in-home fitness instruction out of the screen and into real life, with in-home and on-site Personal Training.

Here, we’ll cover how Peloton has set the pace for the field and paved the way for local companies like Golden Home Fitness to clip-in, get in the saddle, and help clients on the road to fitness success, right at home.

The Clothes Hanger Treadmill

It’s an archetypal vice: the “Clothes Hanger Treadmill,” the January 15th cupboard of untouched Kale Smoothies, the Gym Membership that’s never used but kept for “next week/month/tomorrow when I’ll get into gear…” Hopefully, these familiar tropes are foreign to you, but frankly, as we all know, it is far to easy to slide down this slippery slope of “almost did.” Now, why is this such a common problem? 

It’s because we’re asking ourselves to climb Mount Everest without any extra oxygen; we’ve hamstrung our chances of success before even starting. By making health and fitness a rugged endeavor, where we have to summon all the willpower and carry on through the pain, we make it far to easy to quit. After all, no one’s forcing us to do it (usually), and if we decided to drink Kale Smoothies, we could just as well decide to quit. 

The Maillot Jaune of “Chic Home Fitness” Equipment

Now, with that mindset of “no pain, no gain,” home fitness has been relegated to the fringe, even with the ease of the Peloton alternative. Why would you want to think of agonizing workouts when you’re trying to watch Netflix?

The key is to make going towards your fitness goals fun, attractive, results-driven, and incremental. You should look forward to not just the result, but to enjoy the process, choose the activities and equipment that you can integrate into your day-to-day lifestyle. 

Where Peloton has changed the game is by making challenging seem chic, sweaty feel swanky, and intense feel inspired. A now-viral twitter chain makes fun of the company’s seemingly over-the-top advertising of where Peloton bikes look to be best-suited.

Still, the effect of this persistent branding, combined with showrooms in luxurious malls (something itself blasphemous of for home workout gear), has opened the door for an entirely new “Chic Home Fitness” industry. The success of this approach is evident in their 0.65% churn rate (monthly membership turnover), which is roughly a quarter of what most gyms experience. 

Racing Ahead of the Peloton Alternative Together

Despite the negative attention on being over-priced or unnecessary, people seem to be agreeing with their wallets. Having grown from $348.6 million to $719.2 million in revenues during the Fiscal Year 2019 and recently held their Initial Public Offering raising over $1 Billion, there seems no sign of slowing down the cadence soon. New competitors such as Mirror, Fight Camp, and Tonal, as well as established brands like Technogym, have capitalized on this new mindset towards exercising at-home in style.

What all these companies lack is an in-person human connection. Local startup Golden Home Fitness has addressed this need while providing the convenient, time-saving, and results-driven training that we’ve now come to associate with these “Chic Home Fitness” companies. This approach has struck a chord, having seen steady growth since founding in 2015, now including a live personal training and wellness studio in North Andover. More and more people are associating fitness success with fitness in-home: they do not see it as a painful process, but as an elegant addition to home life, and as an inspired, fun, and chic addition to daily living.

. . .

By Coach Will H. Hansen, a professional Personal Trainer of six years and a Home Fitness enthusiast of over fifteen years. Photos include Coach Dovile Zemaityte on a Gronk Fitness RXM Bike in the cover photo, as well as the GHF Team with Gordie Gronkowski Jr. of Gronk Fitness Products at the Studio Grand Opening.

Personal Training Studio Ribbon Cutting

GHF Personal Training Studio Grand Opening with Gordie Gronkowski!

In North Andover, MA on October 16, 2019, we celebrated the Grand Opening of our first GHF Personal Training Studio! This gives us the opportunity to combine the best of the personal training studio model and the convenience of the in-home training model, giving clients a results-driven concierge solution to their fitness needs. Gordie Gronkowski, Jr. joined us to unveil the Gronk Zone functional training area and to demo the Gronk Fitness equipment that our personal training studio clients are already getting to know and love!

 

Personal Training Studio Team

Empowering People to Live Longer, Fuller Lives No Matter Their Age

We are an in-home and on-site concierge fitness company, founded in Winchester in 2015 by Dr. Bill Thorpe, and have grown steadily throughout the North Shore and beyond. By bringing personal training and wellness services to our clients at home or in their apartment community, our clients have been able to train more consistently and see better results.

GHF Personal Training Studio Grand Opening in North Andover, MA

Many of our clients have a home gym (often outfitted with Gronk Fitness Equipment). The time is now prime for this North Andover Personal Training Studio to become our first “Home Gym” base of complete wellness, welcoming in clients to achieve their goals at-home, in-studio, or both! By adding massage, physical therapy, yoga, and group exercise all under one roof, the GHF Studio will be the new home for fitness in North Andover.

Want a coach to help you see your best results yet? Call us at (844) 704-9477 for a complimentary workout in the studio or in the convenience of your own home!

Personal Training Studio Massage Gordie Gronk