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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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