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Archive for October, 2010

Last summer, I interviewed Angi Farrugia for Lake Mary Life Magazine. Angi dedicates much of her time to walking, running, and hiking for local charities. Although she endured her own health issues in 2005 and then again last season, Angi continues on her exciting journey. She participates in the Dublin Adidas Marathon in just a few days. “The energy around me during an event helps keep me motivated,” says Angi. You can visit her website for updates and news. I asked Angi for her top tips on training for a 5K. “I love being able to help out Newbies,” Angi says. Eager as always to share advice and helpful hints, Angi offers essential tips in training for beginners, helping you prepare for your first 5K adventure.

A PHYSICAL: Get with your doctor and make sure everything is ok. If you’re on any kind of medication or have been inactive for a while, your doctor may come up with a specialized plan for helping you meet your goals. You can also go over any diet concerns.

SHOES:  Shoes should be fitted for your feet. Fleet Feet, Track Shack, running stores are the best for this. Big retail stores don’t train employees with enough information to get you into a good shoe, and this can cause injury for your feet, knees, and shin. Leaving shoes in the car isn’t good either. For marathon seasons, I have 2 pairs, one for short distance trainings and the other for the long. Your feet WILL SWELL when you’re finished running/walking and it’s important to get into a pair of sandals as quickly as you can: Instant relief from throbbing sore feet.

NUTRITION: Carbs are good for storing energy. I use power gels, because my diet has minimal carbs in it, if any. Power gels come in a variety of flavors and are great for carb loading while training. I’m still keeping my carb intake down, because I only consume the power gels during training. Running and cycling stores have different kinds of nutrition available. Don’t wait until race day to try out a new product; this may not agree with your stomach. Use your time before the event to figure out what works best for you. Do NOT change ANYTHING on race day.

HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE!: Stay hydrated ALL the time . . . even when you are not training. I start off my trainings with water, and then as I start to sweat, use Gatorade/Powerade to replenish lost nutrients.

WALK vs. RUN: Don’t expect to be able to run a mile your first time out. Use a ratio method: 1 minute walk, then a 1 minute run . . . 4 minute walk, then 2 minute run.  Whatever works for you. There are stopwatches that will beep every interval or use a simple stopwatch and switch off when you need to.

RUNNING (WALKING) BUDDY?:  Someone training with you is one of the biggest motivators. You don’t want to let each other down by not showing up for a scheduled run/walk. And the company is not only good for safety reasons but helps pass the time and miles away.

STRENGTH TRAINING: You should not train every day. This can lead to injury. Alternate days with strength training as this will help strengthen all the muscles you use when you’re running/walking.

DON’T SKIP TRAINING:  TRY not to skip training. If the weather is bad, most gyms have daily rates to use their treadmills. You may even be able to find an inexpensive treadmill at a yard sale or in your local paper. Maybe a neighbor or coworker would be willing to loan you their treadmill during your training. If you must skip training, alternate with your strength training and get back on schedule as soon as you can.

APPAREL:  Dri-FIT clothing is the best material for running/walking. It helps to wick sweat away and keep you dry and comfortable. Finding a pair of shorts that work best for you can be challenging. Sometimes those cute little skirt shorts can cause chafing and, although fashionable, can cause major discomfort. BODYGLIDE is a good roll on product to keep clothes from rubbing skin raw in certain areas.

PEDICURES: Pedicures are NOT advisable while training. The tougher your feet are, the less prone to blistering. Keep nails short. If nails are kept long, they can break off or be pulled off.

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Have questions regarding your Happy Feet® insoles? We’ve got answers. We want to ensure that you get the most value out of your insoles. From care instructions to proper wear, we’ve addressed your questions and provided easy, simple ways for you to care for and enjoy the benefits of Happy Feet. 

How do I insert the insoles?

Remove all foreign material, grit, and sand from shoes, before inserting Happy Feet®. Work Happy Feet® into each shoe, until they lie flat and snug. For perfect fit, occasional trimming may be required. Trim toe area only.

Which side is up?

Happy Feet® insoles are reversible. You may wear them whichever way feels most comfortable to you.

Do you carry children’s sizes?

We do not currently manufacture children’s size Happy Feet® insoles.

What is thong cut?

Thong cut is to wear with sandals.

Can Happy Feet® be worn with my orthotics?

Yes, you can wear your orthotics and Happy Feet® together. If you are unsure, please check with the physician who prescribed the orthotics to you.

Do I leave my shoe insole in or take it out when wearing Happy Feet®?

Leave the insoles your shoes came with. If your shoe is too tight with both the Happy Feet® and shoe insole, you can try removing the shoe insole.

Can I trim the sides?

No, this will cause the insoles to leak.

How do I clean my insoles?

Care Instructions: Hand or machine wash with soap and water. For maximum durability, keep Happy Feet® clean. Wash weekly and air dry only. Happy Feet® are not micro­wavable.

What’s the best way to become used to my new insoles?

Happy Feet® Massaging Insoles are designed for everyday use, with particular benefit for those who spend hours on their feet. We recommend you grow accustomed to your Happy Feet® insoles over a 2-week period. Starting at two hours per day, gradually extend to full-time use to help feet adjust to increased blood circulation (at first your feet may feel warm). Happy Feet® feel different. You might experience a “weird” sensation the first time you wear them. No surprise, since Happy Feet® are not ordinary insoles. After a few days, the “weird” feeling will be replaced by therapeutic comfort.

If we didn’t answer your question, let us know, and we’ll be sure to add it to our FAQ Page. Visit our website at www.happyfeet.net for more information.

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At the end of a long workday, it’s hard not to recognize the pressure we’ve put on our feet. You take off your shoes and discover red, swollen feet and toes. Kicking off your shoes isn’t reward enough for those tired and overworked tootsies. Try these 5 special feet treats, and we guarantee you’ll be walking on sunshine in no time.

1. Soak your feet in a warm bath of scented Epsom salts. A remedy for what ails you, Epsom Salts have long been revered as the do-it-yourself at-home treatment for aches and pains. I enjoy Dr. Teal’s. The salts will take away the sting and soothe your feet, while the scent: Lavender, Eucalyptus, Spearmint, Chamomile, relaxes your inner spirit.

2. Massage your feet. There are several different options for foot massage. First, you can give yourself a massage at home. Use a lotion that offers extra care for dry skin; I recommend Aveeno, because it’s gentle and effective. Put on socks afterwards for extra moisturizing benefits. It may make sense for you to buy a footbath, found at Target, Walmart or the always entertaining Brookstone. You should be able to locate a decent machine for less than $100. If you’ve really abused your feet, go the extra mile and visit a local spa. You can find 30 minute massages, like a Reflexology massage, for as low as $40 to $50 per hour.

3. Stretch. That’s right, a few simple stretches can put the pep right back in your step. Many physicians tout stretching as one of the most effective “treatments” for foot pain, including Plantar Fasciitis. You can use moves from your doctor, videos, books, or a personal trainer. I suggest employing some of the stretches from Yoga, which you can find online, via videos, or at your local yoga studio. While stretching, listen to soft music to relax your mind and body as you work out the kinks. Try and stretch several times a week to see immediate benefits.

4. Give yourself a foot checkup. Inspect your feet routinely so that you are aware of any changes in your feet. Simple, yet important.

5. Grooming matters. Trim (and file) your toenails, push down the cuticles, and moisturize the toenails and cuticles. Of course men and women can view the final step as optional: use a conditioning clear polish to paint your toenails for the finishing touch.

Do you treat your feet? If you have a special “treatment” that you use to offer comfort and relief to our feet, we’d love to hear about it. Feel free to share your stories. Who knows, you may offer the perfect solution, encouraging others to follow in your footsteps.

The American Diabetes Association offers great resources for further foot care.

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