Walking Your Way to Heart Health

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What sparks joy for you? By now, we all know that objects can spark joy. But experiences can spark joy as well. What’s an experience that makes you feel glad? For many people, it’s spending time with loved ones. Those loved ones are our partners, friends, and family. Those loved ones are also our furry friends. Spending time with animals, like our pets, is good for people and pets alike. Pets offer a sense of easy companionship, supply a rejuvenating energy, and have been scientifically proven to be a beneficial addition to person’s life!

But not everyone has pets in their lives. That doesn’t mean you can’t still benefit from the many benefits of spending time with animals. It just means you have to be a little creative when it comes to how you get your interaction. You can spend time with the pets of friends and family, volunteer at a shelter, or pursue pet sitting opportunities.  

First and foremost, you’ll be helping out an animal in need. Shelters and rescues do a great service by providing homes to animals in need. But even so, the more friendly faces an animal in a shelter can interact with, the better!  And walking is just as good for people as it is animals: walking can help calm nerves, and improve fitness and attitude. It’s no different for a dog than it is for you! So whether you’re walking with your own dog or strolling with a shelter pup, you’ll be spreading the love this February. Walking with your own dog is a great way to see things in your neighborhood you may have otherwise missed, and it can help connect you to your neighbors.

Aside from the obvious physical benefit, going on a walk with a furry friend can improve emotions, too. The CDC explains how “studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners.” This means time with animals is time well-spent! Bringing a furry friend with you on your next walk is heart healthy in more ways than one.

https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html

14 Reasons to Love your Feet

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1…Feet are the foundation of almost everything we do: from the time we roll out of bed in the morning to when we put our feet up for the day, they’re thanklessly working for us!

2…Your feet are complicated. Did you know that each foot has four arches? It’s common to think of the arch at the bottom of your foot, but your feet are so much more complex than that! Your feet work with the rest of your body to coordinate movement and allow you to live the life you love.

3…Feet are the original mode of transportation. Before we domesticated horses or invented bicycles, people relied on their feet for transportation. Now, we use them to press the gas in our cars. How far they’ve taken us!

4…The feet are at the foundation of our ability to move. They’re also at the foundation of our ability to measure! A ‘foot’ is based off the length of the average man’s foot, and we depend on this standard measurement tool for everything from crafting to carpentry.

5…Your feet and their arches are the shock absorbers for your entire body…for your entire life! Think of how much weight they bear throughout the course of just a day! How could you not appreciate these important appendages?

6…Can you believe all they do while only taking up about 2% of our body’s mass?

7…Your feet are at the root of your ability to balance. Proper balance allows you to go about your daily activities without being injured. With good balance, you can move confidently through your day, whether you are going for a walk or playing with your dog.

8…You can express joy with them! Sure, you can dance with your arms and upper body, too. But it’s not really a party until your feet get involved! From the twist to the two-step, footwork makes everything a little more fancy.

9…Your feet connect you to your family. You know how you can have your mom’s nose or your dad’s eyes? Well, you can also have their feet! Parents pass along the traits in their feet to their children. Your mom’s high arches and your dad’s sweaty feet can be indicators of how your own feet may develop over time. It’s good to be aware of this because it can keep your feet healthy by helping you predict–and prevent–any potential foot problems. For example, if the folks in your family have plantar fasciitis, it may be beneficial for you to wear arch supports to help prevent the possibility of you also getting plantar fasciitis.

10…Your feet reflect your body. Reflexologists believe the foot can help heal the entire body. They map the body’s many parts onto the various parts of the foot and use massage to address concerns in an individual’s body by working on the feet.

11…Your feet are another way to tell the world who you are. Do you like to dress up? Would you wear sneakers or sandals all day if you could? Do you paint your toenails or keep them bare? Your feet are vehicles of self expression, and they deserve to be treated with love. But, if you’re a sandals 24/7 person, or enjoy wearing heels, you don’t have to compromise your style for comfort. Good Feet arch supports work with almost every type of shoe (even flip flops!), so you can express yourself in comfort.

12…Your feet are the body part that’s farthest from the brain. But by doing things like jogging, hiking, and walking with them, you can improve your brain health, too. Exercise is important to comprehensive health, and feet are important to exercise.

13…The feet are surprisingly agile–and can help the body become agile, too! Everything in the body is connected, and by stretching and loosening the feet, you can stretch and loosen the body. Try making circles in the air with your feet to help stretch the leg overall.

14…Your feet help you keep it real. If you are doing something like wearing shoes that are too small or not supportive, or if you’re standing on hard surfaces all day, your feet will tell you. They’ll start to hurt! Pay attention to what they’re saying. As you know, it’s the only pair of feet you’ll ever have. Arch supports and supportive footwear will help keep your feet in good condition, and can help address areas of concern that may already exist. You know when your feet feel good because you feel good!  

Your feet are as unique as you are. They have their own individual foot prints, different from from anyone else in the world. They carry you and your experiences, and enable you to climb to whatever height you dream of. Appreciate your feet today and every day!

 

Focus on the Feet and Inspire Health from Head to Toe

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For anyone who has gotten a blister or stubbed a toe, it’s painfully obvious: when your feet aren’t functioning, it’s hard for you to function! Feet are nature’s mode of transportation, and taking care of them is essential. It’s like taking care of your car. Getting new tires may not be the most glamorous activity, but it’s incredibly important for safe driving. Unlike with your car’s tires, though, you can’t just get new feet! Proper foot health starts in childhood, but it’s never too late to improve.

These tips from Personal Trainer Caroline Cregger of Boom Fitness are some creative, easy ways to encourage health–from head to toe! As Caroline explains, the muscles in the body are all connected. This means that if you happen to hurt the arch of your foot, the muscles in the feet can pull on the calf muscles, which can pull on the hamstrings, which can pull on the back. Though there are many individual muscles in the body, they all influence each other. This is actually a good thing! It means that by focusing on just a small part of your body–your feet–you can affect the rest of it for the better! Here’s how:

  • Roll your feet with a ball to loosen muscles in the foot and leg. Caroline recommends a lacrosse ball, but tennis balls work as well. “By stretching your feet you stretch your body,” she says. Consider bringing a ball to work to keep under your desk for a mini midday stretch session.

 

  • As well as keeping a tennis ball under your desk at work, it can also be a treat for your toes to designate a pair of shoes as work shoes to keep under your desk, especially if you are regularly wear high heels. Make your next walk to the printer a little more comfortable!

 

  • Invest where it counts. Proper foot health is dependent on proper shoes. When it comes to tackling a new year’s fitness goal, a pair of well fitting sneakers is a great place to start. “The thing you need to invest in are shoes when it comes to any type of training,” Caroline says. Investing in arch supports can also help. Good Feet’s Total Body Wellness system is designed to put the feet in their ideal position and encourage proper body alignment. Which means you can focus on training–and not your feet.

 

  • For a spa-like treat, let your feet rest on a hot water bottle while you’re watching TV or reading. The warming sensation helps circulation, loosens the muscles, and aids relaxation.

 

  • Many people invest in massages for their bodies and think nothing of their feet. But a foot massage or reflexology session can be just as therapeutic as a massage. By working on the feet in-depth, the practitioner is able to also address the body. Your feet have many nerve endings, and stimulating them aids relaxation.

 

  • Practice picking things up with your feet. The ability to grip the ground is good for your arches because it strengthens them. Picking up a small bouncy ball or marble can be a fun and challenging task, and your feet will be rewarded! Good Feet’s Strengthener arch supports also work to rejuvenate the feet. They’re designed to exercise and strengthen your feet and are a great way to work on strengthening the feet when you’re on the go and don’t have time to do another exercise.

 

  • Stretch your body! As we know, everything in the body is connected, so by stretching both your upper and lower body, you’re helping your whole body succeed.

As we know here at The Good Feet Store, foot health is body health. By taking care of your feet, you empower yourself to live a life full of exciting experiences. The new year can bring out our desire to experience more and live life to the fullest, and by focusing on something achievable–like foot health, you can enjoy the path to the life you love.  

 

Power to Powerlifters!

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Jennifer Weed Thompson started out as a runner, but she didn’t stop there. She’s competed in The World Games for powerlifting and has a world record bench press: 320 lbs.

Good Feet employees can relate to just how amazing that number is! Fitter Laine is passionate about powerlifting and took some time to share her knowledge of powerlifting and talk about how her passion and her profession combine.

Powerlifting is similar to weightlifting and olympic lifting, but it is its own unique sport. It includes just three different lifts: squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. World Games competitor Jennifer Thompson excels at the bench press. Laine is familiar with all the lifts and enjoys the deadlift.

If you’ve dabbled in lifting yourself, you may be familiar with the common practice of removing one’s shoes before doing a deadlift. The idea behind it is that by removing your shoes you also remove a little extra height, and thus have less distance to lift.

But, as Laine points out, that’s a lot of pressure to put on your feet, especially when they are bare and don’t have any support. That’s why Laine lifts with her arch supports. She says, “it’s much more important to support the feet properly than it is to lose, at most, an inch or so of distance you have to lift.”

Laine is driven by the way lifting helps her feel. The gym is where she goes to get her me time, and she likes to share her lifting experience with her clients, some of who powerlift as well. She says, “it’s rewarding to help people get back to a healthy lifestyle.”

Whether you want to lift 32 pounds or 320 pounds, consider Good Feet to help you be your best this year!