Blog Archives

Poorly Fitting Shoes Can Lead to Very Painful Feet

Numerous foot problems, counting hammertoes, blisters, bunions, corns and calluses, heel spurs, claw and mallet toes, ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, and athlete’s foot, can advance due to negligence, ill-fitting shoes, and simple wear and tear.

Age and weight may add to your discomfort, but in many cases, poorly fitting shoes can be the perpetrator. Your health care provider can corroborate what’s instigating the pain-bunions, hammertoes, calluses or corns, fallen arches—if you don’t already know.

Poorly fitting shoes are painful and can promote foot problems.

Poorly Fitting Shoes Promote Foot Problems

The foot is a complicated structure of 26 bones and 33 joints, layered with an interweaving web of more than 120 muscles, ligaments, and nerves. It assists the following purposes: supports weight, acts as a shock absorber, serves as a lever to push the leg forward, and assists preserve balance by correcting the body to jagged surfaces.

Poorly fitting shoes are a recurrent source of foot pain. High-heeled shoes converge pressure on the toes and can worsen, if not cause, problems with the toes.

If your job or way of life requires a lot of standing, invest in some good shoes. Lack of support denotes that the force from your foot hitting the ground gets engrossed in your feet, knees, hips, and back.

For some people, an over-the-counter orthotic insert can aid to align the feet. Having something that helps maintain your foot in a more neutral position, like an arch support, can keep the muscle exhaustion from showing up in the feet and elsewhere. These are the shoe mistakes that can activate aches and pains.

Shoe and Sole Mistakes That Are Killing Your Feet

Shoe and Sole Mistakes That Are Killing Your Feet

Forefoot abnormalities due to ill-fitting shoes are predominant, especially among women. Ill fitted footwear is the cause of up to 75% of all foot surgeries, while forefoot pressure from high heels typically leads to pain, bunions, hammer toes and neuromas. To lessen the incidence of foot problems, patients must learn to measure their own feet and to buy footwear consistent with their fit and not their size. When purchasing shoes with high heels, a style with a rounded and roomier toe box must be selected. Foot problems can also be stopped by decreasing the time spent sporting high heels.

  • Wear comfortable, correctly fitting shoes. Look for ones with decent arch support and cushioning.
  • Wear shoes with acceptable room around the ball of your foot and toes and avoid narrow-toed shoes and high heels.
  • Lose weight if you need to.
  • Wear running shoes designed for comfort and support as much as conceivable, and change them when they wear out.
  • Keep your feet dry to circumvent friction. This may help avert corns and calluses.
  • Learn exercises to reinforce your feet and avoid pain. This can help flat feet and other foot problems.

Select and wear the right shoe for particular activities (such as running shoes for running). All together, the best shoes are well cushioned and have a leather upper, stiff heel counter, and stretchy area at the ball of the foot. The heel area should be sturdy and supportive, but not too stiff, and the front of the shoe should be flexible. New shoes should feel relaxed right away, without a breaking-in period. Alternate shoes. Don’t wear the same pair of shoes every day.

Dangers of Ill Fitting Shoes

Dangers of Ill Fitting Shoes

To ease general distress, apply ice to diminish pain and swelling. Also, raise or soak your painful foot or feet. Wear foot pads in zones of friction or pressure to prevent rubbing and irritation. When standing in one place for a while, sporadically flex your feet to rest them.

Wear shoes with arch support. Some podiatrists reason that it plays a crucial role in amending the configuration of some people’s feet, and some think its only rationale is augmented comfort. One thing to be sure of is that it can’t hurt, specifically if you do have an exclusively high arch or an principally flat foot. If you’re feeling any steady discomfort in your foot, talk to a podiatrist about getting over-the-counter or custom insoles for your shoes. At the least, they’ll make your everyday life and all the walking that comes with it marginally more comfortable. Don’t miss these signs of disease your feet can reveal.

Posted in Health and Fitness

Breakfast of Champions: Dark Cocoa Almond Oats Topped with Espresso Yogurt

Breakfast of Champions: Dark Cocoa Almond Oats Topped with Espresso Yogurt

A key contributor to obesity in the United States is the rise in unwholesome eating habits, with particular prominence on skipping breakfast, which has been associated with overeating, weight gain, and obesity. It is presently indeterminate as to whether the daily consumption of breakfast could bring about better appetite control and energy intake regulation in adults.

For a speedy, make-ahead breakfast that’ll endure you through the work week, combine the following in a Tupperware or another covered container. Place this container in the fridge, and in the morning, you’ll have a creamy, no-cook oatmeal breakfast.

  • 2.5 cups of rolled oats
  • 2.5 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1.25 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 0.25 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of sea salt

For a topping, mix the following in another container till no lumps remain:

  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt,
  • 1 shot or about 2 ounces of espresso
  • 1 tablespoons of maple syrup

If you’d like a booster, add blueberries. They add vitamin C and other antioxidants to whatsoever you’re intending to eat.

This recipe brings out the richness of the dark cocoa by the espresso yogurt. In addition, the fiber and healthy fats will keep you filled and dynamic all morning.

Posted in Health and Fitness

Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer

Oliver Sacks was a renowned British-American neurologist

Oliver Sacks was a renowned British-American neurologist. He served as a professor of neurology at NYU’s School of Medicine.

In an 1995 interview with Charlie Rose, he said that the brain was the “most incredible thing in the universe.” Sacks became popular as an author of best-selling case studies about his patients’ disorders. His his books adapted for film and stage, most prominently as the movie Awakenings (1990) starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams.

In February 2015, he wrote an essay in the New York Times about learning he has terminal cancer.

Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts. This does not mean I am finished with life.

On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.

This will involve audacity, clarity and plain speaking; trying to straighten my accounts with the world. But there will be time, too, for some fun (and even some silliness, as well).

I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.

I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate—the genetic and neural fate—of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.

Oliver Sacks died on 30 August 2015 at age 82.

Posted in Health and Fitness Philosophy and Wisdom

Consider Nurturing Yourself

Consider Nurturing Yourself

Here’s a typical day for Eve: After five hours sleep, she rises, gets her two busy preteens off to school, feeds the new puppy, and drives two hours to her job as an attorney. Once she arrives at home, she helps her kids with homework, then catches up on her own legal work till after midnight. FYI, she’s a single mom, too.

“I’m so stressed, I feel I’m about to have a heart attack,” Eve told me recently. “Actually, that might not be so bad. At least I’d finally get some rest.”

Eve was kidding, of course. But her words struck a chord, perhaps because the story is so familiar. Women tend to focus on others first. But for many of us, the nurturing switch is stuck in the ‘on’ position until a jolt (like getting sick) forces us to attend to our own needs.

We talked about how she might devote some attention to herself-not just to her kids and to her work. “Can you think of ways you could nurture yourself?” I asked.

'Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation' by Parker J. Palmer (ISBN 0787947350) “Get more sleep, hire a babysitter for a few hours so I could put my feet up, have a girls’ night out with friends,” she said. But would she do it? “I’d feel guilty about neglecting my kids,” Eve admitted.

What we women must learn is to give ourselves TLC, too, while we nurture others. This means accepting, as Parker J. Palmer puts it in his book “Let Your Life Speak”: “Self-care is never a selfish act …. Any time we can listen to our true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.”

Eve is learning. She still spends evenings with her children, but she has a babysitter for Saturday mornings. And Palmer’s quote reminds her that when she nourishes herself, she generates energy to care for those she cherishes.

Posted in Health and Fitness

Carlos Slim Thinks We Should Work Less

The constant struggle to lead a balanced life is getting harder. As long as clocks have ticked, professionals have complained about overwork and lack of time. The way we live when we are not working affects what we accomplish when we are.

Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire recently called for a “radical overhaul in the way we work” at a business conference in Paraguay. Rather than the usual five-day workweek, he appealed that it we better put in three 11-hour days a week.

'The World's Richest Man: Carlos Slim In His Own Words ' by Tanni Haas (ISBN 1932841849) Carlos Slim expressed that having four days off a week would leave us invigorated and enthusiastic when we return for our three, albeit long, days of work and toil. Furthermore, that kind of schedule would help us to work until we are 70 or 75.

Slim also expressed his belief that this far-reaching change to work-life would provide younger workers more opportunity to enter the workforce and be a positive influence for the economy and financial markets. Overall, Slim believed that such a move would generate a healthier and more productive labor force, while tackling financial challenges linked to longevity.

Americans are the first to be censured for obsessive work habits and their fanatic sense of work-life. Many American professionals would love to consider the idea of working just five 11-hour days, let alone three, instead of the weekly 60, 70, or more hours that many workaholics put in. But then again, Parkinson’s Law famously states that work expands to fill the time allotted. So Carlos Slim might be right.

Recommended Reading: ‘The World’s Richest Man: Carlos Slim In His Own Words ‘ by Tanni Haas has an intensely rich, succinct compilation of insights as enunciated by one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs.

Posted in Health and Fitness Philosophy and Wisdom

The Placebo Effect

Placebo Effect

A placebo is a pharmacologically inert compound administered blind to a control group as a way of testing an active substance as a treatment for an illness. Allegedly, the patient’s belief in the effectiveness of a drug or treatment often brings about a cure or improvement in itself.

The ‘placebo effect’ occurs when people perceive that treatment makes them feel better, even if the treatment is fake. The placebo effect is the amelioration of symptoms not attributable to medication. Thus placebos represent a rather mind magic trick that can be used to boost immunity and alleviate pain even if doctors know the ailment is really in the heads of the patients.

When doctors know that placebos might help their patients, can passing off dummy drugs as medication be unethical or a breach of the patient’s trust in the doctor?


Posted in Mental Models and Psychology

Nuts Make Better Snacks and Promote Better Health

Nuts Make Better Snacks and Promote Better Health

Studies have determined that regular consumption of nuts might lead to a reduced risk of major chronic diseases, including heart and blood vessel disorders and Type 2 diabetes. These studies found that more often nuts were consumed, the less likely participants were to die of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease. Their death rate from any cause was lower during the years they were followed.

No, Nuts Are Not Fattening

Nuts Are Not Fattening Nuts are nutrient-rich sources of unsaturated fat and many nonfat constituents, viz., protein, fiber, plant sterols, small quantities copper and magnesium and other minerals. Nuts contain a reduced amount of cholesterol-increasing saturated fat than olive oil.

Studies have found that frequent nut consumers gained less weight than those who never ate nuts. Reasons:

  1. The fat, fiber, and protein in nuts suppress hunger between meals. Therefore, nut eaters may be less likely to snack.
  2. Your body may treat calories from nuts differently from those in other high-carbohydrate foods.
  3. Nut eaters are likely to be conscious of their health. Consequently, they might pursue a healthier lifestyle to burn more calories through exercise.

The Abundance of Nutrients in Nuts

Abundance of Nutrients in Nuts Botany teaches us that nuts contain provisions of biologically operational nutrients that could protect and promote health. Popular edible nuts are seeds contained in fruits and have the potential to germinate into a new plant. Nuts contain nutrients that support germination and initial growth. More specifically,

  • Some nuts, Walnuts for example, are particularly plentiful sources of alpha-linolenic acid, some of which is converted to heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Most nuts, and specially almonds, are good sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant.
  • Most nuts contain folic acid, selenium, magnesium, and several phytochemicals—these have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or anticancer properties.
  • Peanuts and pistachios are rich in resveratrol, which is being investigated for possible anti-aging effects.
  • The dietary fiber in nuts could reduce cholesterol and improve blood sugar and weight control.
  • Pistachios are rich in arginine, which gives rise to nitric oxide, a substance that improves blood flow and can help counter erectile dysfunction.

How to Consume Nuts

  • Use peanut butter as the protein source in a sandwich, and replacing a cookie snack with a one-ounce serving of mixed nuts.
  • Add nuts to hot or cold cereals, salads, stir-fries, and desserts.
  • Dole out nuts wrapped up in a wholegrain tortilla or multi-grain flat bread for a protein- and fiber-rich snack.

If you are worried about the fat content in nuts, read this. Nuts are a nourishing way to fill you up, but they can be high in calories. You do not need to keep away from them totally; just regulate your eating. The fat that nuts contain is mostly healthy unsaturated fats, and most nuts contain beneficial plant sterols, fiber, protein, vitamin E and L-arginine. Since nuts are so easy to snack on, and even though they contain the “good fat,” keep your nut-eating to a handful at the most.

Add nuts to your diet for the sake of your health and longevity.

Posted in Health and Fitness

Three Proven Ways Working Women can Improve their Multitasking Skills and Fell Less Stressful

Working Women can Improve their Multitasking Skills

A recent survey of dual-income families by Prof. Barbara Schneider of Michigan State University and published in the American Sociological Review estimated that working mothers tend to spend 48.3 hours per week handling multiple tasks at once while working men spend just 38.9 hours per week multi-tasking. Working women spend nine more hours multitasking weekly than do working men.

A majority of the women surveyed expressed negative emotions about multitasking at home, at work, and in social settings. Prof. Schneider remarks, “When you look at men and women in similar kinds of work situations they look very similar. But when they come home it is very clear that women are shouldering much more of the responsibilities of housework and childcare.”

Women Describe Themselves as Increasingly Unhappy

The top five reasons so many women are dissatisfied and unfulfilled at work are,

  1. Women report that they find it difficult to balance work and family
  2. Women report that they find it difficult to overcome persistent financial distress
  3. Women report that they find it difficult to use skills and talents that aren’t ‘instinctive’ to them
  4. Women report that they feel overworked, undervalued, and disrespected
  5. Women report that they feel they work out of some obligation and therefore experience little joy or positive meaning in their work

Women—especially working women—tend to be more proficient at assuming different roles for different people and multitasking than men, but suffer more stress at levels that far exceed the stress levels of men.

Working Women Achieve a Sense of Work-Life Balance

How Women can Achieve a Sense of Work-Life Balance

Here are three proven techniques to improve your multitasking skills and achieve a sense of work-life balance.

  1. Conquer Insecurity and Build Self-confidence: Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington calls the voice inside your head that says you can’t do something as the ‘obnoxious roommate.’ Arianna’s suggestion: “Often it’s the fear of failing that stops women from pursuing their dreams—Perseverance is the difference between success and failure. Failure is not the opposite of success but a stepping stone”. Don’t back off from your personal or professional aspirations ideas because of insecurities. Often the best way to conquer self-doubt and get started is to be realistic about what you can achieve and translate your aspirations into achievable goals.
  2. Prioritize and Set Boundaries: Pulitzer Prize winner Anna Quindlen once observed, “If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.” Working mothers aren’t the best when it comes to protecting themselves and setting boundaries on their time. There is always more work to do and they are unwilling to not do it. This type of instinct and devotion can quickly lead to burnout. So, set boundaries: stop being so engrossed in your work that you overlook other responsibilities. Set time aside for family and friends. Taking care of yourself, nurturing your needs, being with friends and family, and doing things that renew and refresh you can make you more productive in the end. Build downtime into your schedule.
  3. Focus, Eliminate Distractions, and Stop Multitasking: Multitasking and switching tasks can be very stressful. Try single tasking. Create short deadlines and curtail your commitments. Short deadlines can keep things moving. Moreover, a tight deadline will actually reduce your stress. Giving yourself less time to do things could make you more productive and relaxed. Let go of activities that sap your time or energy.

Manage each of your roles based on your particular levels of motivation, energy, resources, and expectations. Also, bear in mind that a little relaxation goes a long way.

Posted in Education and Career Health and Fitness

Are you Fat or Fit?

Measuring How Fat You Are

Obesity epidemic

Obesity is a possible indicator of other more serious health conditions. According to a study by the World Health Organization, worldwide obesity rates almost doubled from 1980 to 2008. The study concluded that that the obesity epidemic is a much more significant and an increasingly complex problem than the other health conditions that have been associated with poor health in the past. Long-term obesity among the middle-aged leads to increased heart risk. The prevention and/or control of obesity on top of weight reduction should be a dominant fitness objective for people with an otherwise favorable risk profile for heart disease and coronary diseases.

Two of the most generally accepted, easy-to-calculate measures of obesity are Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR.)

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Calculate your BMI by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in meters.) In English units, divide your weight (in pounds) by the square of your height (in inches) and multiply the result by 703. Or, use an online BMI calculator.

  • For men, the desirable BMI is 22 to 24. A BMI above 28.5 suggests that a person is overweight; a BMI above 33 signifies obesity.
  • For women, the desirable BMI is 21 to 23. A BMI above 27.5 suggests that a person is overweight; a BMI above 31.5 signifies obesity.

BMI is easy to calculate, and in most people, it correlates reasonably well with overall body fat. It’s also a good measure of health risk: as a rule, when BMIs go up, so do deaths, particularly from cardiovascular disease.

Body fat distribution

Waist-to-Hip Ratio (WHR)

Waist-to-Hip Ratio, a key measure of fat distribution, is used as a measure of obesity. The circumference of your waist is an easy way to find out whether you have an increased amount of fat around your belly and whether you are at an increased risk of health problems. Further, people who are of normal weight but have fat concentrated in their bellies have a higher death risk than those who are obese. Obesity could cause health problems, even if the risk of heart disease is low, as determined by other health factors. Long associated with heart disease, obesity might lead to the progression of coronary artery calcification.

Calculate your waist-to-hip ratio by measuring your waist at the navel and your hips at the greatest circumference around the buttocks. Then divide the waist size by your hip size.

Ideally, a waist-to-hip ratio greater than 1.0 for men and 0.8 for women indicates an increased cardiac risk. Ideally, the circumference of a man’s waist should not exceed that of his hips; a woman’s waist should measure no more than 80% of her hips.

Posted in Health and Fitness

Beauty Tips for the Frequent Traveler

Beauty Tips for the Frequent Traveler

The definitive guide to staying beautiful while travelling by car, airplane, or train.

  • Hello Aloe. Using aloe vera juice regularly is another way of keeping your skin moisturized. It contains a vast range of vitamins and minerals. It is also a close match to our skin pH balance so it is essentially very effective. Aloe vera also contains antioxidants, which fight against free radicals to help rejuvenate the skin.
  • Color Burst. To avoid a completely dull look, add a flush of color to the cheeks by using a fresh peach or pink toned blusher.
  • Taming Of The Strand. Carry a travel-size bottle of leave-in conditioner and apply a small amount just before your flight lands. This will keep unruly strands in place.
  • Dry Run. Dry shampoos are a God-send but ensure you use a good brand. Some dry shampoos can leave flakes on your hair and scalp.
  • Get Some Rest. Catch enough sleep as resting your eyes will prevent any bleariness and unsightly dark circles on arrival.
  • The Eyes Have It. Keep the eyes neutral with a thin line of kohl on the waterline and waterproof mascara on the eyelashes. Make sure to remove eye make-up before you go to sleep.
  • Sit Up. Try not to lower your seat all the way back as this may cause fluid retention in the eyes which leads to eye bags and puffiness.
  • Oil It Up. To relax and get a good sleep while travelling a few drops of essential oil can make a big difference. Dilute the oil with carrier oils and use it to massage your cheekbones, temples and either side of the nose.
  • Walk In the Air. Once the seat-belt sign is off talk a stroll down the length of the flight a couple of times to get the blood circulation in your body up and running. This short burst of exercise will help refresh your skin and give your limbs a quick work out.
  • Beauty for the Female Traveler Shield Your Skin. The most important thing to do while travelling is to protect your skin from the dry air inside the airplane cabin. Rose water spray helps to refresh, hydrate, and tone skin Apply night cream before sleeping to avoid dryness and always keep a lip balm at hand.
  • What Matte-ers. Choose matte lipsticks over glossy ones. Use a mid-toned color to avoid frequent touch-ups.
  • It’s A Wrap. Leaning against a seat for too long will cause your hair to go flat. The best way to avoid this is to tie your hair up in a bun. Otherwise, hide flat or disheveled hair underneath a stylish scarf.
  • Be Prepared. Even before you board the flight apply a potent moisturizer the night before you travel. If possible you should book yourself a facial at a spa, if you know you’re going to be travelling in the next few days. This will keep your skin hydrated.
  • Blot The Spot. To prevent oily skin from getting worse when you travel, make sure you carry a supply of blotting papers. Wipe the T-zone on your face as often as necessary. This not only removes excess oil but also keeps your moisturizer intact.
  • Ace Of Base. It is always advisable to keep your make-up base as light as possible when you travel. Don’t pile your skin with products. Use a light foundation set with a powder.
  • The Essentials. In order to keep your make-up on for longer, cleanse, tone and moisturize the face and then use an under make-up base. This also prevents make-up from clogging pores.
  • Pack Right. This is the first step to avoiding any travel hassles. Transfer your shampoo, conditioner, body lotions and other toiletries into small travel-sized empty bottles. Fill the travel bottles up to two-thirds so that the pressure from the flight does not expand and cause the contents to spill.
  • Touch Up Trick. To refresh make-up while travelling, never reapply more foundation or blush. Instead, use a mist of mineral water and add a dab of moisturizer.
Posted in Health and Fitness Travels and Journeys