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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 January 11, 2021

        11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

        11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

        Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

        Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

        1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

        Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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        2. Stress Relief

        Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

        3. Improved Sleep

        Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

        4. Appetite Control

        Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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        5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

        When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

        6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

        Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

        7. Mosquito Repellant

        Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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        8. Pain Relief

        While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

        9. The New Anti-Viral

        Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

        10. Improved Cognitive Function

        Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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        11. Money Saving

        With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

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