Healthy Living: Tips for Leading a Healthier Life
If I only had a dollar for every time I was told to exercise more often, drink more water, get more sleep,
eat healthier and have more me time... I’d be Oprah! While a healthy and active lifestyle is a goal many share,
the busier and older we get, the harder it becomes. As parents, carers, workers and business
owners we’re constantly on the move. Whether it’s taking care of family, daily tasks or keeping up a social life,
we’re on our feet for longer and we’re feeling more aches and pains because of it.
So, how can we live healthier and become the best version of ourselves when we have all these responsibilities and time pressures? Is the answer really counting calories and power napping! Or is there an easier way? The good news is, there is an easier way. In this article we’ll share insights and practical tips from our 120 years of experience designing innovative health products to help you move comfortably and pain free. Let’s get you moving and loving every step.
How to make staying active effortless
The secret to an active lifestyle is building it into your daily routine and being mindful of your goal. But how do you find easy ways to move more often, I hear you ask? Here’s our 5 step guide to active living, made easy:
- Step 1: Write down the activities you enjoy and do often
Seeing these activities on paper will motivate you so give yourself ample time to do this e.g. lunchtime walks, dog walking, walk to the coffee shop, shopping with friends, playing with kids.
- Step 2: Breakdown each activity to find the best bits
By extending or tweaking the good bits you’ll be moving for longer without even noticing it e.g. if playing with kids, find games that you can play longer and get better at, like hide and seek.
- Step 3: Find a goal and be mindful of it
A personal reason, realistic expectations and positive attitude will help you stay on track. e.g. allocate 5 minutes to remind yourself of your goal.
- Step 4: Get motivated and act
Finding triggers and acting on them quickly (i.e. the 5 second rule) is the secret to getting motivated and acting e.g. set recurring calendar reminders and invite friends or co-workers to go walking on days
- Step 5: Make sure you’re setup to succeed
Being comfortable is essential to staying active for longer so make sure you’re prepared and organised e.g. allocate time for activities, wear the right shoes, and stay positive and motivated.
How to choose the right shoe for your feet
When looking for the right shoes to keep you moving at your best, it’s important to take into account your age, health and lifestyle goals. Choose shoes that fit well, have a low, broad and supportive heel, a flexible sole with good arch support, and firmly strap-in the foot. Avoid poor fitting, short or narrow shoes which can lead to many common foot conditions and injuries.
|Activity||Shoe type||Important things to consider|
|Walking||Active, Trainers, Runners||Foot conditions, injury management or prevention|
||Casual, Sandals, Scuffs, Slides||Comfort, corrective alignment and posture|
|Work||Work, Boots, Wedges, Heels||Comfort, light-weight, cushioning and padding|
|Leisure||Thongs, Slippers,||Convenience, comfort, relief, recovery|
Supportive shoes help by providing natural therapeutic relief for your feet, legs and back. If you’re not sure which shoes might be best for your specific needs, seek advice from a trained medical practitioner. Alternatively, for more information about Scholl’s range of healthy footwear, check out our FAQs. We all know regular exercise helps us feel great and adds years to our lives but did you know that walking just 30min a day can reduce the risk of depression by up to 26%. Let’s take a look at how healthier footwear that gets you moving also improves your wellbeing.
The benefits of Memory Cushion Technology
Memory Cushion is an excellent choice if you stand for prolonged periods of time. With every step you take, the impact of
your foot hitting the ground sends a shock through it as well as your leg. Because of its repetitive nature, this constant
direct shock absorbed by your feet and legs can lead to pain and injury. So it’s really important to wear shoes that will
help take some of that shock off your body, protecting your joints and ligaments in the process.
Memory cushion does exactly that, taking your comfort to the next level by:
- Helping absorb heel shock, effectively reducing stress on your feet
- Evenly distributes pressure, which can help alleviate pain
- Minimizing foot and leg fatigue
- Improving stability and even distribution of balance
- Preventing blisters caused by rubbing
- Reducing risk of injury (such as plantar fasciitis)
- Increasing comfort
There’s no adjustment time either, Memory Cushion will feel comfy from the very first wear!
Health and well-being starts with healthy feet
Australia is one of the happiest countries in the world, the 11th happiest in fact. But while we’re happy and generally
healthy, are we really taking care of our bodies and our well-being?
As we age our bodies and priorities change, our focus shifts to providing for our families, increasing our stress levels. As a result we forget about our own wellbeing. Symptoms associated with stress manifest and we end up getting headaches or other physical pains. Luckily, one of the easiest ways to lower our stress levels is to reduce pain associated with poor biomechanics. Stress causes muscle fatigue which can lower our pain threshold, often exposing poor biomechanical function in areas like the feet, legs and lower back. Improved biomechanics makes moving easier, promoting brain activity and the release of endorphins (those hormones that make us feel confident, calm and in-control). A foot massage is a good way to start but for long term relief find the best supportive shoes.
By focusing on your foot health and the things that really matter in life - like spending time with family, ticking jobs off the to do list, and catching up with friends - you’ll feel more satisfied and energised. Here's seven easy ways to improve your well-being:
- 1. Do 5 minutes of controlled breathing daily to heal your body
- 2. Do 10 minutes of foot exercises regularly to strengthen your feet
- 3. Do 15 minutes of quality me time doing anything you want
- 4. Talk about what’s stressing you and asking for help
- 5. Challenge yourself to learn something new (like yoga)
- 6. Join a social group, like the Heart Foundation Walking Group
- 7. Join a yoga class
Yoga is the perfect balance of breathing and movement and there are classes and styles to suit older and younger adults. It’s also proven to relieve stress and anxiety, reduce inflammation and chronic pain, improve sleep and eating habits, and boost overall mood. What’s not to love.
Nutrition, movement and your feet
They say ‘you are what you eat’ but what does this mean when it comes to our bodies ability to move?
If we think about what our bodies need to be healthy and functional, the food you eat should reflect how you want your body to move. For those dealing with chronic pain and inflammation, which often leads to other common foot conditions, eating a whole and natural diet like the mediterranian diet should be your goal. It includes many anti-inflammatory foods that have been proven to strengthen bones, help maintain healthy weight, decrease heart disease and improve life expectancy. To reduce joint pain eat a diet rich in fish oil, cruciferous vegetables i.e. broccoli, kale, bok choy, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, radish), and spices like ginger and tumeric. Depending on your unique needs it’s important to find an eating plan that works best for you.
Jumping from one diet to the next is unsustainable and can be challenging when it comes to our families. Find what works for you and you’ll soon be feeling and moving better than ever.
Here are 5 simple ways you can start eating healthy without sacrificing the family’s meal time:
- Balance what’s on your plate, 50% grains and protein + 50% veggies is ideal
- Eat lots of nutrient dense foods (you probably eat a lot of these already)
- Be conscious of stress, comfort eating and overeating
- Aim to eat about 2000 calories per day (for the diehards)
- Limit your sugar and saturated fat intake
What you eat may be restricting your bodies ability to move so have a think about your diet and any foot pain
that may be contributing to how you move.
- Dr. Fred Tabung, Department of Nutrition at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
How common is footpain?
Nearly half of all Australian’s wake up every week with some form of heel, arch or foot pain, according to a 2017
podiatry study into healthy feet.
Most don’t recognise this pain as shoe related but it affects people of all ages. Addressing these niggling issues or injuries however is important as ignoring them can lead to many short and long term problems, including illness and disease. Feeling healthier and happier starts with prioritising your foot health, before getting those steps done. So when you’re next shopping for footwear to keep you at your best,it is paramount to buy shoes that:
- Fit well and are built for purpose (i.e. the activity or condition)
- Support the heel, arch and toes
- Support correct biomechanical function
Orthotic Friendly Shoes vs The Average Shoe
So how important is footwear for keeping those toes twinkling?
Our feet are an amazingly complicated work of art. Each of our feet consist of 26 bones, 33 joints, over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, and lots of nerves, blood vessels and skin. All operating in perfect unison to keep us balanced and moving efficiently. With the average adult walking between 8000-10,000 steps every day, it’s easy to see how poor choice in footwear can add up to a lot of pain. It’s important to consider the following structural component when selecting shoes to help ensure correct foot and biomechanical functioning:
- Insoles are the foundation of a shoe - provide stability (depending on firmness)
- Midsoles are the middle section of insoles - provide comfort and shock absorption
- Outsoles are the part that touches the ground - provide traction and durability
- Toe boxes are the area toes fit into - provide room to bend and flex properly
- Vamps are the upper of the shoe - provide a comfortable fit and reduced heel slippage
The Average Shoe
The average shoe typically features a soft flat insole, which leads to inadequate support and poor foot function. The shallow footbed in most shoes also makes inserting orthotics difficult and is not recommended. Like a building’s foundations, your feet are your body’s natural foundations, providing structural integrity and ensuring correct functioning.
Orthotic Friendly Shoes
Orthotic friendly shoes are designed to provide the foundations for optimal foot function. They feature fitted orthotic
insoles to supportive natural foot motion, a deeper heel cup for improved stability, a midsole for better shock
absorption, and high grade materials for improved comfort and durability. Beyond stopping foot and joint pains, orthotic
friendly shoes help improve the bodies natural alignment leading to better mobility, health and wellbeing.
Put a spring back in your step, shop our new arrivals and experience Scholl’s Orthaheel technology for yourself.
Common foot conditions, causes and treatments
Your feet are the first part of your body to experience the impact of walking, standing and running. The impact of these forces are distributed across your feet, placing stress and strain on other parts of your body. Some of the common conditions and structural effects of this include:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Joint Pain
- Heel Pain
- Hammer Toe
- Claw Toe
- Flat Feet
- Lower back pain
- Poor Posture
How to improve alignment and reduce pain
Our bodies natural alignment evolved over millions of years, walking and running on natural terrain like sand and soil. For most of us however cement sidewalks and shopping centres floors are by far the most common surfaces that our feet experience. These unnaturally hard and flat surfaces may exacerbate existing issues and can also cause our feet to flatten over time. Up to 70% of the population typically over-pronate. This occurs as a result of fallen arches which cause the foot to twist outward, rolling our feet, knees and hips inwards. As our bodies try to compensate this leads to us popping everything out of alignment, adding pressure on all of our joints.
Pronation, Under-pronation and Overpronation
Correct pronation refers to your foot’s natural motion when in alignment. This process starts when the middle of the
heel strikes the ground first, with your arch flexing to manage weight transference from your heels to the ball of
your foot.Our two biggest toes then push us off the ground to provide forward momentum as the rest of your toes
assist you to balance.
Under-pronation or Supination occurs when the arch of your foot is overly stiff and causes the foot and ankle to roll outward. The process starts with the outside of the heel striking the ground, with the outer-edge of the foot and our-toes bearing most of the impact and strain. The stiff arch and motion causes the sole of the foot to face inward as a result. This condition can lead to plantar fasciitis, shin splints, ankle strains and sprains including complete ruptures. To improve alignment caused by supination, buy well-cushioned shoes and try to stretch your calf and achilles muscles regularly.
Over-pronation occurs when your foot and ankle rolls inward as a result of your foot flattening when making contact with ground. The process starts with the inside of the heel making contact with the ground first. The sole of the foot faces outward and the bigger toes are forced to work harder as a result. This condition can lead to toe strain, bunions, heel spurs, shin splints, plantar fasciitis. To improve alignment caused by overpronation the right shoe choice is important. Supportive shoes for walking are essential but regular stretching of the toes, massaging the arch and heel can help encourage proper function.
Depending on your gait and foot’s motion you may be able to identify and fix your bodies alignment by simply wearing the right shoes. You can identify if you over or under pronate by checking out a pair of old walking or running heel shoes i.e. if the inside of the heel is worn down you maybe over-pronating and benefit from a healthier shoes choice.
If you’re experiencing pain or similar symptoms it’s likely your lifestyle is suffering. Locate a Scholl Footwear stockist near you to find the right shoe for you.
What is an Orthotic insert?
An orthotic insert is a removable inner sole for your shoe designed to place the foot in a neutral position and support the arch, encouraging natural foot, legs and gait motion. Inserts are normally constructed of durable, light-weight, shock absorbing materials to support correct functioning and provide comfort and pain relief for various ailments and conditions.
What is an Orthopedic shoe?
Orthopedic shoes support the complete structure and mechanics of the foot, ankle and leg, helping to realign your body, improving your posture and overall mobility. Deeper supportive heels, flex points and uppers, ease pain, prevent and alleviate other symptoms and issues.
Scholl’s range of Orthotic footwear & Orthopedic shoes
Scholl’s range of fashionable orthopedic shoes for men and women feature Orthaheel technology. These ergonomically
contoured footbeds provide optimal arch support, heel stability and cushioning of forefoot to help create the perfect
conditions for corrective realignment. With impact zones for your heels and a flex zone for the ball of the foot, Scholl
shoes reduce pressure on toes allowing you to move more freely.
Our full range of affordable orthopedic shoes incorporate high grade materials, from leather and PU (polyurethane) uppers, to EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) insoles and midsoles, and durable rubber outsoles. The convenience of our various styles featuring built-in and removable insoles also helps make choosing the right shoe easier than ever.Our Sandals and Thongs feature Scholl Orthaheel technology built directly into the sole while our closed-in styles are created with a removable orthotic, allowing additional depth to fit a custom orthotic – an important tip to remember when buying shoes as the average shoe wouldn’t be deep enough to support you in an orthotic. To get a little technical, our tri-plantar motion control also helps you achieve neutral alignment across all three planes of your body’s natural range of motion.
Scholl Orthaheel technology is available across our range of Casual, Active and Work shoes, Boots, Scuffs and Slippers, and is built directly into the soles of our famously comfortable orthotic Sandals and Thongs. Scholl’s advanced production methods improve durability and flexibility, resulting in a more comfortable fit and footbed, helping put the spring back in your step.
Orthotic shoes and custom orthotics
Choosing appropriate shoes when you have custom orthotics is tough, most brands do not allow for the extra thickness to
insert an orthotic in the shoe. Many find themselves slipping out of the heal and not getting the desired relief as a
result. Specialist orthopedic footwear and athletic shoe stores may be able to assist in identifying common symptoms that
may require or benefit from orthotics. Visiting stores in the afternoon when your feet are more likely to be a little
swollen can help make sure you get the best fit and corrective outcome.
If you haven’t worn orthotics before, they may feel a little foreign as your foot is not used to the arch support but as you walk in them, this will adjust and they become more comfortable. The more you wear them, the more benefit you will get. Look for shoes that have great adjustability, straps on sandals, heel depth in thongs, a good quality, firm but padded heal counter – as this plays a vital role in providing shape and structure to the shoe and supporting your alignment. Ultimately, the better your foot is held in the shoe the greater the corrective benefit.