Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pop Quiz: Which Food Boosts Your Bones?

Question: Which food boosts your bones?

A) Nuts
B) Milk
C) Onions
D)Whole Wheat Bread

Answer: ALL OF THEM!

Foods such as milk that contain calcium and vitamin D aren’t the only ones that strengthen your skeleton. New research shows that two other compounds, inulin (found in onions and wheat, as well as in asparagus, artichokes, and bananas) and phytate (in nuts and whole grains), are also key. Inulin boosts calcium absorption, and phytate prevents bone mineral destruction. Spanish researchers found that people who ate phytate less than 3 times a week had the lowest bone mineral densities, a risk factor for osteoporosis.

Bottom line: A diverse diet with lots of veggies and whole grains is crucial for healthy bones too.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Feet Get Older Too

I stumbled upon this really great article about foot pain and aging. I thought I would share it with you.
To read the full article, click here.

I NEVER THOUGHT about my feet until they started to hurt. And since then, they haven't let me forget them.

Among the physical changes associated with aging, such as wrinkly skin, sagging chins, graying hair and body fat that seems to drift south no matter what we do, nuances in the foot department get short shrift.

Feet are just, well, feet. We don't see them when we look in the mirror. And unless we're wearing sandals, hardly anybody else sees them either.

But on one of those important milestone birthdays, my feet decided to let me know they wanted some respect.

Without warning, while on a beautiful walk during a celebratory trip, those two stalwart, reliable drudges of transportation began to radiate something new: pain. Decades of carrying me over hard pavement, dirt trails or burning sand, of being encased in nonbreathable nylons or strangled in high-heeled or narrow designs had taken a toll.

"Hey," was the message. "Pay attention."

After years of ignoring their contributions, the least I can do now is be kind to my feet. I hope to be working with them for a long while.


Tips for aging feet:
Besides bunions and hammertoes, other common problems for aging feet are: fungus infections, prevented by keeping the feet clean and dry; bone spurs, or calcium deposits worsened by standing on the feet for long periods; dry skin, helped by daily application of lotion to the feet; corns, calluses and ingrown toenails.

Tips on buying shoes:
When you buy shoes, follow these tips from the National Association on Aging. Have feet measured; buy shoes at the end of the day, when feet are largest; fit your shoe to your larger foot; make sure there is enough space — up to half an inch — for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up; make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe; don't buy shoes that feel too tight and expect them to stretch to fit; make sure the heel fits comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slipping — shoes should not ride up and down on your heel when you walk.

Z-CoiL shoes are solidly constructed, conform to your feet and have cushioned soles that absorb the shock of hard surfaces.

Try a lace-up style, such as the Freedom or High Desert Hiker. A shoe that ties can be adjusted for better comfort and support.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Do You Spend Long Hours Working on Your Feet?

How Are Feet Affected?
The foot has dozens of bones, joints, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, tendons and layers of fascia (connective tissue). When the body tissues are sufficiently stressed, they become swollen and/or inflamed. Chronic inflammation may create scar tissue and changes to bony structures. The "it is" behind the words such as "Achilles tendonitis" means "inflammation of the Achilles tendon".
The bones of the foot form arches that are supported by ligaments and muscles. These arches contribute to the strength, stability, mobility, and resilience of the foot. During standing, walking, running or jumping, the arches serve as shock absorbers, spreading energy before it is transferred higher up the leg.

If the arches are lost (for example through conditions of flat foot, overpronation, or simple overuse), the shock-absorbing quality of the arches disappears. This affects the feet, knees, hips and spine. Losing the arch in your feet also changes the position of the knee and hip, which makes them more vulnerable to injury from working on your feet.

Besides the stress of prolonged standing and walking on the foot, the architecture of the foot can also increase the symptoms from pre-existing conditions:

  • Plantar fasciitis refers to the inflammation of the fascia under the heel. Flat or tilted feet (from heel pronation) and bony spurs in the base of the ankle may make the condition worse.

  • Achilles tendonitis results from overstretching of the Achilles tendon.

  • Bunions at the side of the big toe may arise because of heel pronation and may be aggravated by narrow shoe boxes (the area in front of the shoe) and prolonged standing/walking.

  • Corns on top of the toes may be aggravated by scraping against the inside of your shoe.

What Are Possible Health Symptoms From Working On Your Feet?
The most common symptom from working on your feet, and usually the first to occur, is discomfort and fatigue in the legs.

The closer the body part is to the ground, the more likely it will be affected by prolonged standing (i.e. the feet are most often affected, followed by the shins and calves, followed by the knees, thighs, hips and low back). However, symptoms from working on your feet may reach to the top of your body. In some studies neck symptoms have been related to prolonged standing work!

Beyond simple fatigue and discomfort, more serious health effects can result from working on your feet. In lab experiments people could not distinguish fatigue in their legs from whole-body fatigue. Therefore, that whole-body fatigue feeling could be related to working on your feet.
Some of these are:

  • Low Back Pain (Drewczynski, Hansen, et al., Redfern & Chaffin)

  • Painful feet and other foot problems (Drewczynski, Hansen, et al., Redfern & Chaffin)

  • Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs (Cailliet)

  • Orthopedic changes in the feet (e.g. flat feet) (Redfern & Chaffin)

  • Restricted blood flow (from standing only) (Hansen, et al.)

  • Swelling in the feet and legs (Drewczynski, Hansen, et al.)

  • Varicose veins (Drewczynski)

  • Increased chance of arthritis in the knees and hips (Croft, et al.)

Initial symptoms can start within minutes into a standing task. Health effects have been shown to accumulate within days (no studies have assessed longer time periods).

Click Here to read the full article

Saturday, September 12, 2009

4 Ways to Avoid Catching the Flu

Whether or not you get a flu shot, try these tricks to lower your chances of getting grounded by the flu, as well as to prevent colds and other infections.

Wash, over and over
Your hands need attention. Use plain old soap and water, and make sure to rub vigorously for 15 to 20 seconds. I have a friend who sings the "Happy Birthday" song in his head to make sure he is washing his hands long enough.

Avoid crowds
The flu virus thrives on socializing. Do more shopping online than at the mall, and try to cover your face if someone sneezes near you.

Keep hydrated
Membranes in your nose and throat trap viruses and move them back out in the form of mucus. Drink lots of fluids and gargle to keep your membranes in fighting shape, says Neil Schachter, MD, author of The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu. But avoid humidifiers; they can spread germs.

Do vitamins
Vitamin C may not fight off colds, but several experts still recommend it for keeping you healthy during flu season. Vitamin D and selenium may guard against the flu, too. Foods like orange juice or yogurt are usually fortified with vitamin D. And OJ has plenty of C. Brazil nuts and beef have loads of selenium.
Courtesy of

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fashion Goes Beyond Comfort with the New Bella from Z-CoiL

Now pain relief not only feels good—it looks good, too!

The Bella, a new women’s shoe from the pain relief footwear industry leader, Z-CoiL, is now appearing in Z-CoiL shoe stores around the country. This trendy shoe not only improves poise but also maximizes comfort. Supplies are not expected to last, however, as the Bella was produced as a limited-edition style, fated to arrive suddenly on the scene and vanish just as quickly.

A fun and flirty shoe in beige with mulberry accents, the Bella combines split cowhide leather and breathable mesh, along with (naturally) Z-CoiL’s unique, shock-absorbing technology. Two adjustable velcro® straps and a padded, anti-bacterial insole add to the comfort and ease of wearing this shoe.
Now women everywhere will be able to stay active on their feet all day long, with far greater comfort and less fatigue. “Beauty is pain” no more! Enjoy comfort and confidence with the new Bella Z-CoiL shoes!

To learn more about Z-CoiL’s remarkable pain-relieving technology, or to view a wide range of styles for both men and women, or locate a Z-CoiL distributor near you, visit the Z-CoiL website at

Customers receive personalized, custom fit and free footwear adjustments for the life of their footwear in order to achieve the greatest comfort possible in their Z-CoiL shoes.