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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 November 11, 2019

        How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

        How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

        Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

        To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

        Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

        1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

        Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

        Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

        To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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        2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

        Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

        If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

        Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

        3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

        Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

        Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

        4. Feed Your Brain

        Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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        This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

        Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

        Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

        5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

        According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

        Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

        Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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        6. Write it Down

        If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

        It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

        You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

        7. Listen to Music

        Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

        8. Visual Concepts

        In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

        Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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        Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

        9. Teach Someone Else

        Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

        Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

        10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

        Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

        So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

        Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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