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

Restart Exercise Without Injury

Turn Your Post-Quarantine Caterpillar into a Butterfly (Restart Exercise Without Injury!)

“One day the caterpillar stops eating, hangs upside down from a twig or leaf and spins itself a silky cocoon…Within its protective casing, the caterpillar radically transforms its body, eventually emerging as a butterfly.”

If you’re wondering how to restart your exercise program without injury, we can walk you through it.  In fact, if you were an avid runner before the Pandemic who took some time off, walking is a good place to start.  Slow and steady wins the race.  It’s also a good idea to consult with your doctor first, particularly if you are older or have a medical condition.  Here are lots of other recommendations for a post-quarantine revival.

WebMD suggests hiring a Personal Trainer.  “The trainer will help you create a safe and realistic exercise program.”  If you want to get stronger, faster, thinner, more toned or all of the above, reach out to Golden Home Fitness.  Our Personal Trainers can get you the results you want fast and injury-free.  Claim your free workout today.

Whether you are working with a Personal Trainer or not, you will want to start with a small goal and work up from there if you want to restart exercise without injury.  Nobody likes when an exercise that used to feel easy, now feels out of reach. But trying to do too much too soon can be overwhelming, and can make you feel defeated.  Your best bet is to ease into a new routine by doing a little less than you know you can.  Later you can gradually increase the intensity, frequency and duration of your workouts.  

Restarting exercise without injury takes a good strategy. Start with low-intensity workouts for the first week or two, and then work up from there.  If you were running, start with a walk.  If you were doing strength training, start with lighter weights or no weights at all.  Another option is to lower your reps or do fewer sets.  Planks, lunges, pushups, bridges and squats are a solid foundation to build upon.  They will improve your strength and fitness, while making it less likely that you get hurt.  

Heavy lifting, jump squats, burpees and box jumps are best saved for later in your fitness journey.  The first step is to be patient and just start moving more!  If you pace yourself, you are much more likely to succeed.  Your body responds to consistent exercise which will not be possible if you end up getting hurt.

If you want to work out again without getting hurt, start your workouts with dynamic stretches to warm up your body.  End them with static stretches and a cool down.  Tight backs and hamstrings are common.  Even more so if you’ve been doing more channel surfing then surfing lately. The warm up will loosen up your muscles and joints, and get your heart rate up. 

A good cool down will get your heart rate back down slowly.  It will also improve your flexibility, and leave you less tight and sore.  You are much less likely to get injured if you include a warmup and a cool down in your workouts.  Your exercises will also seem more do-able and enjoyable.

To start working out again without getting hurt, focus on your form.  Sacrificing your form for heavier weight, more reps or faster sets will only lead to injury. It is often the reason people get hurt when they are starting or restarting an exercise regimen.  A good personal trainer can ensure your form is spot-on from the get-go.  Quality over quantity will get you to your end game.  

Focus on doing the exercises right, breathing and controlling each movement.  Know the difference between muscle discomfort and pain.  Stop immediately if something doesn’t feel right.  Listening to your body could be the difference between getting fit and getting injured.

The months we have spent in forced confinement due to the Pandemic have been hard on most of us.  If you have been unable to maintain a proper workout routine, you’re not alone.  Now that we are approaching a new normal, we can resume a healthy lifestyle with a few easy steps.

Enlisting the help of a Personal Trainer is the surest way to succeed.  Pacing yourself, warming up, cooling down and focusing on proper form will get you to where you want to go.  You can start your exercise program without injury. We are here for you with excellent instruction, motivation and accountability.  We hope to see you soon and wish you the best of luck!

____________________________________________________________________________

Endnotes: scientificamerican.com; health.harvard.edu;  webmd.com;  self.com;  getthegloss.com;  stylecaster.com;  flippingfifty.com

 

Get in Shape for Summer of 2020

Let’s get in shape for the summer of 2020.  After everything we’ve gone through this Spring, we deserve a fantastic summer.  Let’s make it happen! 

Here’s our game plan to get in shape for the summer of 2020:

GET PLENTY OF SLEEP

  • Establish a soothing bedtime ritual and shoot for seven to nine hours per night.

EAT WITHIN A 10 HOUR WINDOW, AND FAST FOR 14

  • Periods of fasting allow your digestive system to rest, and speed up your metabolism.

TRY A NEW WORKOUT 

  • Cross-training lowers your risk of injury and boredom, and challenges your body more.  It’s a great way to get in shape for summer of 2020.

INSTILL A CHALLENGE MINDSET IN YOURSELF

  • It’s not drudgery or a chore, it’s a challenge, and you say “bring it on!”

NEVER GIVE UP

  • If you slip up, just get yourself right back up to speed, and remember why you started.

SHARE YOUR GOALS AND ACCOMPLISH-MENTS 

  • Let your friends and family know about your goals and successes so they can support you.

HIIT

  • High Intensity Interval Training will speed up your fitness gains so you can get in shape for Summer of 2020.

AVOID SUGAR & REFINED CARBS

  • Foods like donuts, bagels, pizza, chips and ice cream are not your friends, limit them.

PLAN A WORKOUT “HAPPY HOUR” WITH FRIENDS

  • Instead of drinking or eating out, try a Golden Home Fitness Group Training or Fitness class together.

EAT HEALTHY FATS & MODERATE PROTEIN FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND GOOD HEALTH

  • Foods like salmon, spinach, avocado, eggs, almond butter, olive oil and nuts are great choices.  Options are limitless, find your faves.

FIBER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

  • Fiber helps keep you feeling full, is good for digestive health, and has many added health benefits.

ORIENT YOUR LIFE AROUND YOUR GOALS

  • Keep healthy foods on hand and, if you’re really serious, consult a Golden Home Fitness Personal Trainer to ensure you get in shape for summer of 2020.

REWARD YOURSELF WITH NON-EDIBLE TREATS

  • Purchase a new bodycon outfit, get a massage, go to a concert or watch your favorite movie.

STAY POSITIVE

  • Love yourself throughout the journey and learn to enjoy the process of getting in shape.

UP YOUR WATER INTAKE

  • It reduces appetite, gets rid of waste, prevents water retention and boosts your metabolism!

MAKE A GREAT WORKOUT PLAYLIST

  • Music will motivate you and make you work harder, especially if it’s upbeat and positive.

MANAGE YOUR STRESS

  • Taking recovery days, and practicing meditation or yoga are good ways to manage your stress.

ENGAGE YOUR CORE

  • Target your abs with planks, sit-ups and bicycles, keeping your abs in as you do the exercises.

REMEMBER HOW GOOD IT FEELS TO BE IN GREAT SHAPE!

  • Every day you are one step closer to your goal, and your chances of getting in shape for summer of 2020 are skyrocketing!


Endnotes:

NPR.ORG;  Shape.com;  lifehack.org;  huffingtonpost.com.olden 

 

Finding Your Sense of Calm in an Uncertain World

You can Find a Sense of Calm and Control by Establishing a Solid Routine

Wouldn’t it be nice to find a sense of calm during this stressful time?  If you find yourself too anxious, apprehensive or disoriented to know what day of the week it is, you are not alone.  The Coronavirus came without warning and threw us into a stressful and unpredictable time like no other.  Nearly half of Americans admit that the Pandemic has had a major negative impact on their mental health. The staggering ever-rising statistics of Coronavirus infections and deaths are overwhelming.  The CDC reports that a large majority of us are worried about our health and finances, are unable to obtain necessary supplies, have a hard time concentrating and sleeping, have changed our eating habits and have increased alcohol, tobacco or drug use.  While there is a lot of uncertainty in today’s world, there are ways we can regain a sense of calm and control.  One of those ways is by establishing a solid routine.

What if that solid routine could make us worry less, while at the same time giving us less to worry about? A daily dose of exercise can do just that.  There are few better ways to manage your stress than by working out.  According to Dr. Randall Stafford of Stanford University, “it is critical to be physically active” in order to maintain optimal health during this Pandemic.  Exercise is good for our overall health, immune system and mental health.  Physical activity reduces blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.  It improves bone and muscle strength, balance and flexibility.  It also improves our immune function, and aids in weight management.  Inactivity and obesity, on the other hand, are risk factors for Covid-19 as well as most other diseases.

Exercise is a Great De-Stresser

The abruptness and urgency of the Coronavirus crisis has highlighted the importance of our health more than ever.  A sound body and mind will always increase our odds of surviving life’s many challenges.  We can find a sense of calm and control through regular exercise.  The easiest way to build a solid routine based on physical fitness is through Virtual Personal Training from the comfort and safety of your own home. 

With the best health and fitness experts, Golden Home Fitness can design a schedule conveniently tailored around your availability and preference.  Best of all, your workouts will be done in the safety, comfort and convenience of your own home via smartphone, computer or tablet.  The advantage of this opportunity cannot be overstated.  You will save invaluable time and frustration by not having to commute to a gym, be more at ease and focused without by-standers, and you will maximize output by choosing your most energetic portion of the day.  

Golden Home Fitness Personal Training makes sense not only during quarantine, but always.  If you are serious about your health and fitness, it is definitely the way to go.  You can manage your stress now and always by working out with us.  In addition, you can enlist your whole family for hikes, walks, runs, bike rides, or dance-athons.  If time or motivation is an issue, try fitting a few 15 minute bouts of jump roping, stair climbing, bodyweight strength training or core work into your day.  Alternatively, you could challenge yourself to do 10 squats every hour, or 15 sit ups after each zoom call.   Squeezing in a few sets of crunches, push ups or planks into commercial breaks will give you a much-needed physical and mental boost.  Every little bit counts and, trust me, you will never regret any effort you put into a better body and mind.

Healthy Food and Supplements Keep Our Minds Calm and Our Bodies Strong

In addition to working out regularly, eating well is the most important thing we can do to find a sense of calm and in control in a changing world.  According to the health experts at Forks and Knives, we should consume “as many whole plant foods as possible to both optimize nutrient content and minimize toxic burden.”  Promoting good bacteria in our gut by eating clean whole foods aids in disease prevention.  

Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants, fish and walnuts give us Omega 3 Fatty Acids, nuts and greens provide us with healthy nutrients and fiber.   Beets, carrots, apples, potatoes, cabbage and sweet potatoes will all last for months in your fridge.  Canned beans, frozen fruits and vegetables and oatmeal are also excellent pantry staples to turn to for nutritious, affordable foods that won’t expire quickly. Discovering the optimal nutrients to consume for your goals may seem overwhelming, but the Health Coaches at Golden Home Fitness can take all the guesswork out of it by designing the diet of your dreams.

While most of us do our best to ingest all the daily nutrients we need, many of us fall short even when every type of food is readily available.  If you don’t usually take a multivitamin, taking one now makes sense, as we adapt our diets to a changing planet. Golden Home Fitness has an extensive line of disease-fighting Nutraceuticals to maximize your immune response available on their website.  If you find yourself lacking energy, feeling sluggish or if your hair, skin and nails are dry, chances are you are lacking in some important nutrients.  GHF Nutraceuticals can provide the antioxidants and micronutrients you need for optimal health, and can help you manage stress.

Sleep Allows Our Bodies and Minds to Recover

Regular exercise and good nutrition are two critical components of a healthy body and mind not only during this Pandemic, but always.  Another critical component is sleep.  A good night’s sleep boosts our immune system, lowers stress, improves our mood and concentration, and makes it easier to exercise, eat right and get along with our quarantine roommates.  If you want to find your sense of calm, try to establish a soothing nighttime ritual such as reading, meditation or journaling, create a calming environment and schedule at least 7 or 8 hours of quality sleep each night.  You will find your daily tasks more manageable, your patience and humanity more attainable and your outlook much more positive.

In addition to maintaining your health, the CDC, the WHO, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx all recommend the following protocols for Covid-19 prevention:  stay at home (or outdoors but away from people) as much as possible, avoid large crowds, limit errands to essential ones, socially distance at least 6 feet, wear masks and avoid touching your face in public, wash your hands well and often, and disinfect frequently-touched areas of your home with a disinfectant such as a bleach or 70% alcohol solution.  

Our New Normal Can Be Better Than Before

Staying healthy and fit is a life-long challenge.  Doing it well improves your quality of life and gives you a sense of calm and control.  This period of time requires that we all be vigilant and patient.  Covid-19 came without warning, completely transformed our lives and has no known departure date.  Another way to hone in on a sense of balance and normalcy is to start our day by focusing on 3 deep breaths and 3 things we are grateful for. In addition, donating our skills, time or money to those in need during this Pandemic can give us a sense of hope and community in the face of so much adversity. 

None of us expected the Coronavirus Pandemic and none of us know when it will end.  If we are one of the lucky ones in good health, we owe it to ourselves and to our world to make something good come out of this time.  Besides managing our stress, we can learn a new sport, language or skill, complete a long-sought-after project or  bond with our family more than ever.  If we focus on our health and wellness, we can become healthier and stronger than ever before.  On behalf of Golden Home Fitness, may you and your family stay healthy and well, and may the end of this crisis light your path and strengthen your resolve to live the life that you deserve.


Endnotes

CDC.gov;  CNN.com;  Stanford Medicine, scopeblog.Stanford.edu;  nutrition.org;  forksoverknives.com;  2020 Kaiser Family Foundation, kff.org;  Society for Women’s Health Research, swhr.org;  The Washington Post, washingtonpost.com;  travelandleisure.com