WellZone

Archive for October 2012

Traditional acts can be great stress busters. Sandy blew an abundance of assorted leaves to our yard this week. We have a sample from each of our neighbor’s trees. Raking this blanket of color into a big giant pile is relaxing and refreshing. Even better, afterwards, take a flying leap into them! Be a kid again – the worries of grown up life will halt for a while.

Halloween will be at our doorsteps tonight. Don’t forget the pumpkin therapy. Carving, slicing, and scooping, oh my!

I love fall season — how about you?

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The evolution of Hurricane Sandy.  My daughter in New York City sent me this shot.  She said the Big Apple is bracing for the storm with an attitude.  Stay safe.

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The U.S. National Park Service offers a heathy experience for America. Historic Hiking Trails ranging from a one mile Bar Harbor Shore Path (very easy) to a seven mile Cadillac South Ridge Trail (strenuous) have a hike for everyone — even horses.

Fall is the season to enjoy the splendor of nature. The north east is a colorful spectrum of burning yellows to crimson reds. Trees, grasses, and wildflowers boasted their autumn assets in the Manassas Battlefield, 2nd BattleTrail in late October.

Many trails may have a small fee or contribution. It’s worth every penny to enjoy the fresh air, see historic sites, and soothe your sore muscles afterwards.

Remember to take a trail map, water, and leave no trace. Unfortunately, horses get a waiver on that last rule so watch your step on trails allowing horses!

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Heels and hemlines are high this Homecoming Dance Season for Seniors.  My daughter, who is 5 foot 9 inches towered to 6 foot when she walked out the door in her shoes.  I cringed when she paraded around in the mini-mini dress, but hey, all the girls were wearing them.  But the shoes — how do they walk in those gigantic heels?  Very carefully.

The American Podiatric Medical Association reports that if you must wear heels choose a chunky heel with no more than two inches for better support to avoid pain or injury.  Apparently, none of these young ladies followed that advice. California Podiatric Medical Association notes that women have four times more foot problems than men.  High heels are the main culprit.

Only one smart young man — surrounded in a line up of amazons — wore comfy shoes.  I guess he will dance the night away in his casual, flat, laced shoes.

Are you a victim of foot fashion?

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I never had a fear of escalators — until recently. I was riding down one at Union Station, DC with a group of people.  Suddenly, a girl fell at the bottom because her shoe was sucked under the tracks.  The fall caused a chain reaction of falls ending up in a big pile up.  I was the next potential victim!  

No one in the mangled mess could get up to hit the emergency stop button in front of the escalator.

I turned and sprinted up the descending escalator with a mob coming down at me.  Talk about a work out!  Thankfully, someone finally hit the emergency stop button.

A few minutes later the crowd emerged from the pile up with cuts, scrapes, and ripped clothes and shoes.  The girl had a mauled shoe and some cuts. One woman, on the bottom of the heap,  had her shirt caught in the track.  The skin on her back was shredded from the constant clawing blades.   

Good Housekeeping reports that shoes, such as Crocs, can cause this type of mishap if the soft plastic is pulled into the tracks.  Loose shoelaces and improper riding while goofing off can also cause injury.  

Small children must be accompanied with a responsible party while riding an escalator.  Be careful and watch you step, especially when entering and exiting.  

Watch out while wearing Crocs on an escalator:

Feet take a beating!  High heels and the pounding on the ground from running can cause feet to look bad and ache. One ailment, a hammer toe, caused me some discomfort a few years ago. It stalled my whole running program.

What is a hammer toe?

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, the hammer toe looks like an upside-down V from the side.  This toe pop up can rub on your footwear, causing discomfort.

Some causes:

1. If your parents have them; you can thank them.

2.  Wearing shoes that are too tight and squeeze the toes.  Watch out ballerinas!

3.  Arthritis and stiffness.

Some symptoms:

1.  Corns or thick skin on the part that pops up.

2.  Redness and swelling.

Home treatment:

1.  Pad around the part that pops up takes some pressure off the toe.

2.  Wear shoes that are loose-fitting with a deep toe box.

3.   Try wearing a shoe insert that can be purchased in a pharmacy foot section.

4.  Apply ice packs to the area several times a day.

These home treatments may help with the pain.  Go see a foot specialist — a podiatrist — if you want the hammer toe repaired.  These docs can prescribe medicines, custom shoe inserts, and perform surgery if absolutely necessary to help get you back into running.

Katie Holmes has been dancing on stage for years.  That could explain her hammer toes.

To solve my problem, I bought shoes that were loose-fitting in the toe box and added inserts.  So far, so good.

Did you ever suffer with a hammer toe?  What happened?


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