If you’ve ever experienced foot, back or knee pain, then you know how debilitating it can be and how comforting a good pair of shoes can feel.
Still relishing in my “invincible youth,” I often neglect the need to take better care of my feet which translates to inadequate footwear – think $2 Old Navy flip flops. However, the older I get the more I realize that what I put on my feet directly affects my arches, joints, posture, and ultimately my ability to remain active over the course of my life. So when we recently received an offer to test out some Vionic Sandals from Orthaheel, I jumped at the chance.
Ironically enough, the week before my sandals arrived I started getting a sharp pain in my left heel that was sidelining me from my morning jogs. When the Vionic sandals arrived, it was like a big, comforting hug for my well-worn feet.
As we shared in a story earlier this year, Orthaheel is a collaberative project of Dr. Andrew Weil and Australian podiatrist Phillip Vasyli. Together, the pair saw a need for a fashionable shoe line that provided support for those experiencing foot, back or knee pain. The shoes are not only designed to correct alignment and posture problems, but also help prevent future pain and injuries from occurring. (more…)
Instant gratification is attractive when it comes to fitness and weight loss. It is no surprise the diet and exercise equipment companies that flaunt quick results are the most successful at grabbing the attention and dollars of millions of consumers. There are people who don’t want to work very hard at getting fit or losing weight, and as a result they buy in to the latest pill or product that is going to make it easy, only to be let down and dissatisfied later.
However, I am a firm believer that with some things, a little bit can go a long way. In yoga for example, some benefits are felt instantly, and with little effort. While yoga is not necessarily the most efficient way to burn calories or increase cardiovascular stamina, it does indirectly improve overall health and wellbeing, and it doesn’t take much to notice results.
For those of you who are in need of some immediate benefits, you might be interested in learning about the following side effects you will notice instantly from practicing a little yoga. (more…)
From the day after Thanksgiving up until the very last minute on Christmas Eve day, we find ourselves frantically racing around in our cars and walking for miles in the shopping mall. This tight schedule of spending, wrapping, stacking, and mailing off gifts in a busy post office where the line doesn’t seem to move at all can wreak havoc on our lower back, legs and feet if we are not careful. The following yoga poses will offer a reprieve from the stress our bodies endure while we are trying so hurriedly to be prepared for the big day.
Standing Forward Bend
It doesn’t matter if you are in your work clothes or donning your favorite shopping sweater; practice forward bending every chance you can get. Standing for hours while perusing the isles of robes, slippers and neck ties can tire out the muscles of your low back in a heartbeat. Take the stress off of it by doing a simple forward bend with both knees slightly bent and your feet hip width apart. When you are ready to come out of the pose, roll up slowly vertebra by vertebra and then roll your shoulders back and down upon standing.
There’s nothing like all-consuming back pain to make you want to become one with the couch. If you’ve been there, you know what we mean. If not, consider yourself lucky: It’s pretty easy to push your back’s intricately entwined bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments out of their comfort zone. “We see a lot of women in their 20s and 30s coming in with back pain because they’ve returned to a sport out of condition or suddenly upped their exercise intensity,” says Daveed Frazier, MD, an assistant clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. “Our bodies just aren’t designed to absorb the abuse we give them.”
When pain strikes, your initial response might be to rest. “But even just a few days of lying idle can lead to deconditioning and further harm,” says Roger Chou, MD, director of clinical guidelines development for the American Pain Society (APS). “Staying active helps keep the muscles and tendons loose and strong.” In fact, the thinking about back pain has shifted so much that the APS and the American College of Physicians recently released new treatment guidelines. Read on for the latest in pain prevention.
Planning on standing at the kitchen counter for hours preparing the Thanksgiving meal? Or perhaps you will be sitting in front of the television for hours while someone else prepares the Thanksgiving meal. Either way, your back is going to take a beating. The following gentle yoga inspired poses and stretches will help smooth out the kinks and restore your spine for a second helping of holiday fun.
Kitchen Counter Stretch
Place both hands on the edge of your kitchen counter. Take one big step back and fold forward from your hips, keeping both arms straight. Reach your hips back as you lower your chest in between your arms. Take five deep breaths and then stand up. Repeat as often as needed between mashing up the potatoes and stirring the turkey gravy.