Are Flip-Flops Bad For Your Feet?

There’s no denying it.  There’s no sandal that signals summer quite like the flip-flop!  But are these no-fuss flats as harmless as they seem?  Research shows that despite their easy-going appeal, wearing flip-flops for an extensive period of time can cause a wide variety of physical ailments, ranging from plantar fasciitis and muscle soreness to lower back discomfort.  Doesn’t quite “foot the bill,” huh?

We are constantly bombarded with the recommendation of taking “10,000 steps a day.”  So how close do we really get?  Studies found that the average American adult only makes it a little more than halfway.  So if you walk between 5,000 and 7,000 steps per day, you are an average American!  Think it doesn’t matter what you wear on your feet?  A 2012 survey found that 78% of American adults over the age of 21 report having had some sort of foot pain or issue at some point in their lives, and over half of them reported having such issues at the time of the survey.  And while no shoe can claim to be perfect across the board, flip-flops may very well be the riskiest choice of them all (except maybe for stiletto heels or Elton John’s platform shoes!). read more


What You Really Need To Know About Multivitamins

It sure does seem that there’s a pill for almost every type of disease imaginable nowadays.  And especially when it comes to vitamins, Americans are a supplement-happy group!  We spend close to $14 billion a year on vitamins and supplements.  And nearly 40% of adults in the U.S. regularly take multivitamins.  But the real question is are regular multivitamin users actually benefiting from them?  The research might suggest otherwise.

The question of “should I or shouldn’t I take a multivitamin” started gaining traction back in the ’70’s when Nobel Prize-winning scientist Linus Pauling wrote Vitamin C and the Common Cold.  Pauling recommended taking 3,000 mg of vitamin C every day to ward off colds and prevent degenerative and sometimes incurable diseases.  This was in shocking contrast to the 60mg recommended daily allowance (RDA) at the time.  And wow, did people listen!Sales of vitamin C quadrupled, and an estimated 50 million individuals in the U.S. were supplementing with vitamin C by the mid 1970s.  A number of studies subsequently followed to discredit Pauling’s claims, but they certainly did little to discourage vitamin marketers from taking advantage of the hype. read more


Do Mobile Devices Really Help To Increase Our Physical Activity?

Using your mobile devices can help to make fitness fun and interesting, but can they also alter your behavior by increasing your physical activity?  According to a research study in the Journal Of Medical Internet Research, the answer is “yes.”  We all hear people blaming technology for making us lazy, arguing that we spend way more time on our phones, tablets, or computers than we do being physically active.  However, mobile health and fitness technology are helping to change that opinion with the introduction and growth of the app market and online communities.  Since we now have portable tools at our disposal 24/7 that can help us track our health and fitness information, we should start to see mobile devices as an opportunity to improve our health rather than as a burden to our health. read more


Can The Key To Stress Relief Be As Simple As 2 Letters?

STRESS!  For most of us it’s unavoidable.  At work, at home…it can really take a toll on your health if not kept in check.  But is there a very simple way to keep a lot of that stress at bay?  So simple it is only comprised of two letters…NO!  Learning to say “NO” and not feel guilty is something that may take a little work to achieve (notice I said that it was “so simple”…I did not say “so easy!”).

Do you ever get the feeling that everyone you know wants something from you…and sometimes it feels like it’s all at once?  Of course you know the feeling…and the feelings it can lead to…stress!  You want to reduce your stress level, but you don’t want to upset anyone either.  This is what makes handling requests crucial for your mental well-being.  Handling requests is a lot like managing tasks–you must identify the things you don’t need to do and learn how to say “NO!”  Yes, it can feel extremely uncomfortable at first.  It might even cause some friction between you and certain individuals, but it sets clear boundaries and people will soon learn to respect you and your time.  So the sooner you get comfortable saying “NO” the sooner you will find an improvement in your time management and your interpersonal relationships, which is guaranteed to lead to a reduction in stress! read more


The Top 11 Tips On How To Pick The Perfect Mattress

How important is a good night’s sleep?  So much so that in a recent survey, 6 out of 10 Americans chose sleep over sex.  Not surprisingly, 9 out of 10 respondents cited their mattress as an important factor in getting that coveted good night’s rest.  Americans love their beds so much that they are willing to spend thousands of dollars for a single mattress.  But is an expensive mattress a superior choice?  Does more money justify the purchase?  Let’s take a closer look to see what considerations you should make to choose the right mattress for you. read more


14 Low-Impact Workouts That Are More Effective Than You Think

In my last blog post I went over the differences between high-impact and low-impact exercises.  I provided some obvious examples of both types of exercises.  For low-impact I cited such things as swimming, yoga, and the elliptical machine.  But how about some more obvious and quite a few not-so-obvious examples…

1.  Walking–So let’s start out with our most obvious example first!  Walking is a stress-free way to get moving.  If taking a leisurely stroll is not challenging enough, there are a number of ways to increase intensity–simply walk up and down hills!  If hills are not to your liking, try walking with dumbbells in your hands or ankle weights around your lower legs to really get that heart rate elevated. read more


High Impact Vs Low Impact Exercise–What’s The Difference?

We all know that eating the wrong kinds of food can be unhealthy, but what about the wrong kind of exercise?  While there is no “gold standard” for determining if an exercise is high-impact or low-impact, knowing the difference between the two can make a tremendous difference in using them correctly to strengthen your body.

Mention the words high impact and it immediately brings to mind a head-on car crash–or, in the event of the body, football players colliding head-on.  But high-impact exercise also encompasses athletic events that have much less person-to-person contact, such as the jolting and jarring motions involved in running.  Every time your foot hits the ground when you run you’re putting 2.5x your body weight through your lower extremities.  While there are some research studies out there that suggest that the right amount of high-impact exercise can increase bone density (since we know that bones respond to a certain amount of stress in order to get stronger), other studies have indicated that too much impact can place excessive strain on the body and may even wear down bones, muscles, and joints over time, potentially leading to severe degenerative changes down the road. read more


The Benefits Of Owning A Pet For Instant Stress Relief

When thinking of ways to reduce stress in life, usually techniques like meditation, yoga, and journaling come to mind.  These are great techniques, to be sure.  But getting a new best friend can also have many stress relieving and health benefits.  While human friends provide great social support and come with some fabulous benefits, let’s look at the benefits of furry friends–dogs and cats.  Research shows that, unless you’re someone who really dislikes animals or is absolutely too busy to care for one properly, pets can provide excellent social support, stress relief and other health benefits—perhaps more than people! The following are some health benefits of pets: read more