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Are You a Runner with Flat Feet? Here is a Step-by-Step Tutorial for Strengthening Your Flat Feet

Are You a Runner with Flat Feet? Here is a Step-by-Step Tutorial for Strengthening Your Flat Feet

Are you a runner who has flat feet? If so, then it might be a problem when it comes to running. While many flat footers out there are able to run many miles without much sweat, having flat feet definitely increases your chance of developing feet and joint problems later down the line, especially if you continue to run on them.

However, there are ways to strengthen your feet to counterbalance the negative effects from flat-footedness. In this article, we’ll show you how to strengthen flat feet, so that the next time you decide to go on a run, you won’t have to worry about developing foot problems.

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    Things you will need for this step-by-step tutorial:

    You will be surprised to find out that you won’t actually need a lot of items for flat feet strengthening exercises. Even better, all of these items can be easily found in your home, so that you won’t have to spend tons of money on fancy equipment. Here are the items you will need:

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    • A towel: From a dishrag to a bath towel, any sort of cloth towel will do for exercises such as toe scrunching. Just make sure that you would be willing to place your feet on top of it!

    • A can: Instead of throwing away that soft drink can right after you finish it, consider using it for your next flat-feet strengthening exercise. You can also find similar items such as bottles or plastic cups. As long as it’s an object that your feet can grip on to, then it will work perfectly.

    • Stairs: If you live in a house with stairs, then you can use these for your toe-arch exercises. However, if you don’t have stairs to use, there’s no reason to worry: you can also use the sidewalk curb outside or make your own elevated surface with a pile of thick books to stand up on.

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    Step-by-step tutorial for strengthening flat feet

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      With these three items, you can do a variety of different flat-feet strengthening exercises to build your arches. Here are some of them:

      1. Toe scrunches:

      This is a no-brainer, as it only involves using a towel and your toes to crumple it up. This particular exercise will flex and work out the small muscles inside your feet, thereby making them stronger and more flexible in the arch.

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      Begin by spreading out the towel on the floor, then placing your feet directly on top of it. Make sure that your feet are completely flat over the towel. Using only your toes, slowly move them inwards toward the ball of your foot, in the meantime moving the fabric toward you as well. The towel will start wrinkling while it happens. Return to resting position afterwards, then repeat until you feel a workout in the muscles.

      2. Can-rolling exercise:

      As its name suggests, this strengthening exercise relies on a can (or a cylinder object) to produce good results for your flat arches. In a way, this workout is more of a massage than anything, for it pushes out any tension at the bottom of your feet while also stretching out and preventing soreness from happening.

      Similar to the towel scrunches, start by placing the can on its side on the floor before placing one of your feet on it, the arch directly on top of the object itself. Roll the can towards and away from you, making sure to add some downward pressure to relieve any tightness in your foot. Repeat with the other foot until both of your feet are relaxed.

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        3. Stair Raises:

        Not only do stair raises improve arch strength, but they also work out the calves. They also help improve balance, for your feet will be slightly elevated above the ground, thereby training your body to remain stable.

        First, start by placing the balls of your feet on the stairs, letting your arches and heels dangle off of the edge. In a slow and controlled fashion, raise your arches and heels as if you’re trying to stand on your tiptoes, before lowering them back down to starting position. Repeat the process until you feel a workout in your arches and calves.

        Conclusion 

        Altogether, having flat feet doesn’t mean the end of your running career. By taking steps to strengthen and increase flexibility in your arches, you can prevent injuries and other problems from happening while running in the future. Have a good workout!

        Featured photo credit: Jessica Natalie/http://causeiloverunning.com/ via causeiloverunning.com

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        Jessica Natalie

        Teacher, Runner

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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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