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10 Reasons Not To Wear Flip-Flops (And How To Wear Them If You Have To)

10 Reasons Not To Wear Flip-Flops (And How To Wear Them If You Have To)

Flip-Flops – Harmless, Right? For most of us, the humble flip-flop is associated with relaxed vacations and lazy summers. Easy to take on, easy to slip off – what’s not to love? Unfortunately, flip-flops don’t love you back! Read on to find out why you should consider ditching the flip-flops this summer, or at least keep some alternatives to hand (or foot!).

What Flip-Flops Really Do To Your Body

1. They leave you more vulnerable to bunions.

Because you must continually flex your toes in order to keep them on your feet, flip-flops force your foot into an unnatural position that can result in bunions – large, disfiguring bumps on your toe joints. These are both painful and unsightly.

2. They make you more likely to trip up.

Flip-flops tend to have little ‘grip’ to their soles. Furthermore, the soles flap free as you walk and can become trapped on grating and escalators. This can be dangerous as well as annoying!

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3. They are made of toxic materials.

Flip-flops often contain plastics that are harmful to your skin and the environment such as BPA, which may cause cancers.

4. If you have flat feet or fallen arches, flip flops are a terrible idea.

Flip-flops offer no foot support. For those of us with fallen arches, this will only make the condition worse.

5. They reduce your walking speed.

Researchers have demonstrated that flip-flops slow you down. You are literally going to move at a slower pace than those who opt for proper footwear.

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6. They make you more likely to develop a fungal or bacterial infection.

Flip-flops leave your skin exposed to the floor. This increases your risk of contracting various kinds of infection including athlete’s foot and HPV, which causes warts.

7. They increase your risk of heel pain.

Most flip-flops do not provide adequate protection for your heels. This means that when you walk on hard or uneven surfaces, your heels are vulnerable to injury and pressure that can result in chronic pain over time.

8. They can lead to ‘hammertoe.’

The way in which your foot needs to grasp onto the flip-flop can result in ‘hammertoe,’ a condition in which a toe joint contracts and becomes permanently bent. This can cause tremendous pain. Worse, this condition can become worse over time and even result in the need for foot surgery, which can seriously inconvenience your lifestyle.

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9. They can impair your posture.

Too much time in flip-flops can lead to backache and poor posture as your feet are completely unsupported. This has a knock-on effect that can result in back, knee and hip pain. Flip-flops encourage you to take shorter strides, and this can eventually alter your natural walking style.

10. They cause blisters.

Flip-flip toeposts – those plastic parts that go between your first and second toes – can rub your feet and cause painful blisters within a few hours of you putting them on. Blisters can burst, and this can leave you vulnerable to developing infections in the open wounds.

How To Minimise The Damage

1. Choose shoes made of natural fibres.

Non-plastic footwear made of natural fibres such as hemp are more skin-friendly than those made from latex or plastic.

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2. Minimise the time you spend wearing flip-flops.

If you can’t stand to throw your flip-flops out, then at least keep the hours spent wearing them down to a couple per day. Never go for extended walks in unsupportive shoes.

3. Make sure you clean your flip-flops regularly.

Keep the soles and straps clean and use an antibacterial wash on them every few days. This will help minimise the risk of spreading infection to other people.

4. Work on your posture.

Consider taking up yoga, dance or a similar exercise that will help you offset some of the damage done by flip-flops to your posture.

Featured photo credit: Schlumpf98/Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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