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3 sets of feet in the sand next to a blue stripy bag

Look After Your Feet

Feet are a super-important body part. We need them to get around, and when they hurt it affects us greatly and can make us thoroughly miserable. Since StretchSPOT opened, many people have come to us because their feet hurt. Some don’t know why they are in pain but they want a solution.

WHY DO FEET HURT?
• You work standing up all day.
• Your shoes do not fit you well and may be too tight or too big.
• You play sports and you don’t stretch.
• You never considered stretching your toes.
• You have Plantar Fasciitis characterized by pain and often lumps in the bottom of the foot.
• You have Achilles Tendinitis which is characterized by pain felt in the heel and calf and is caused by inflammation of the Achilles tendon which attaches your calf muscles to your heel bone.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP SORE FEET?
If you work on your feet all day, when you can, take a load off! If you think your shoes are the problem make sure they fit you well and that, if you have wide feet, you get a shoe with a wider fitting. Be sure to replace your shoes on a regular basis to ensure you have the right support. Look at getting to know your feet better. Start with stretching your toes (see below). If you think you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles Tendinitis, seek out a treatment. StretchSPOT can help you alleviate and treat both of these conditions.
Click here to learn more about Plantar Fasciitis.
Click here to learn more about Achilles Tendinitis.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET?
• Proper foot care helps avoid foot problems such as hammer toes and bunions, hooks, or curled feet.
• Taking care of feet can help retain space in between your toes which helps avoid athlete’s foot or other fungal infections.
• Foot care helps with maintaining a full range of motion of your toes independently. This can help prevent problems with your feet like Plantar Fasciitis.

STRETCHES FOR FEET
We got these cool stretches from an article we read called Why You Need Toe Stretches on healthline.com
• Take your toes in your hands and bend them all downward, to stretch the top of your foot.
• Take your toes in your hands and bend them all upward, enough to feel a nice stretch in the bottom of your foot, not just the toes.
• Pull each toe apart from the next.
• Pull the little and big toes away from each other at once, restoring healthy width to the front of the foot.
• Pull any toes that are bent up until they are back downward. Pull bent down areas gently straight and pull curled toes straight out to restore straight length.
So, there you have it folks. Take care of your feet and they will serve you well!

5 Ways to Improve Your Time as a Runner

The new year is in full swing and you may have set a running goal for 2019, but you’re not too sure how to get better as a runner to meet that goal. You’ve come to the right place. Lace up those shoes, get your running gear on, and improve your time by following these five simple guidelines listed below.

1. Be Consistent
It takes 21 days to create a habit, so stick to your training program to get the habit formed and the improvements started. Running can be a struggle sometimes, especially in the cold months, but you have to push through those days and be consistent in your training and always think of your end goal.

2. Include a Long Run
One of the cornerstones to any running program is the Long Run. Usually this is set to be completed on the weekend and done once a week, but this could vary depending on the program or runner. Let’s say your long run is 90 minutes, this type of time on your feet will give you so many benefits which can make you a better runner. As an aerobic activity, you’re training the heart which makes it more efficient and stronger. The consistent effort improves your muscular endurance by increasing capillary size which, in turn, sends more oxygen to the working muscles. At the same time that your muscular and circulatory system is becoming more efficient, your breathing capacity improves. The long run, when done correctly, results in a positive impact on your body, creates a more efficient runner and, you guessed it, equals faster times.

3. Run with Other People
Make your running social! Find a training partner or group to boost your running gains. Long runs become a time to chat as you’re going at a slower pace and workouts become fun because you’re leaning on each other to get through it. Accountability in your training will help you to push a little bit harder when you might otherwise want to back off. Another positive in training with a partner is they might also help you slow down on your recovery days which will leave you more energy for the harder days in your program.

4. Have a Goal or purpose
Having a purpose behind all of this training will help fuel your running and racing performance. Have a measurable goal, for example to finish a half marathon or run a certain time in a 10K or set up a more inspirational goal such as raising money for a charity or bringing awareness to an important cause. Whatever your goal or purpose make sure you remind yourself of it often as it will add fuel to your running!

5. Be Spontaneous
Sometimes we get into a habit of doing the same thing week in and week out. It’s time to be spontaneous. Change it up. Hit some hills, run on the sand, swim instead of run, just throw your training routine a little curveball. Be creative and keep it interesting! Happy running