The Ultra Marathoner’s Guide To Better Foot Health

It was once believed that a marathon was the limit of human endurance. After all, it requires more than 50,000 individual steps, and each of these steps requires your foot to absorb much more than your body weight. But, as an ultramarathoner, you know that your body is capable of going long beyond the marathon.

Here’s a quick guide to help you keep your feet healthy before, during, and after an ultramarathon.

Before

The average ultramarathoner runs hundreds of miles in preparation for race day. These miles are designed to train your body both inside and out. In particular, your feet can be strengthened or weakened a great deal during training.

  • The Right Shoe: When training for an ultramarathon, it’s critical that you choose proper footwear. The type of shoe that works for you should compliment your body type, running gait, and foot strike. The best way to find the right shoe that works for you is to consult a podiatrist and a running specialty shoe expert. Both types of specialist can assess your specific needs to help you find footwear that works for you.

  • The Right Fit: Even after you find the right shoe, it’s equally important to choose the right fit. Because running long distances can cause your feet to swell, you’ll want to choose a fit that’s slightly bigger (wider and longer) than you typically wear. Most ultramarathoners benefit from wearing a shoe that’s a width bigger and size longer than they would typically wear.

  • The Right Socks: Choosing the right sock is matter of comfort and functionality. Ultramarathoners simply run longer than most runners. As such, you’ll want socks that offer enough cushioning and absorption. The only way to really figure this out is through trial and error. You will want to buy five to ten different styles of running socks, train in them, and see which sock works best for you. A good fitting sock should leave your feet consistently blister-free.

During

Whether you’re running a 50k or a 50 miler, you will depend on your feet to get you through the race. The best approach to foot health during the race is to be proactive and prepared.

  • Fresh Clips: Every ultramarathoner should invest in a good pair of nail clippers

  • Fresh Socks: Ultramarathons tend to be sweaty, dirty, and wet. To prevent chafing, blistering, and other foot discomfort, you’ll need to freshen up your socks periodically. Generally speaking, every two hours you should attempt to swap out your socks. Switching your socks will give your feet more cushioning and better absorption, and prevent grit from irritating your feet during the race.

  • Fresh Lacing: Another easy way to ensure that your feet feel good during your race is to periodically tighten and adjust your shoe lacing. When you stop to swap out your socks, use the opportunity to make sure that your laces are tight, but not too tight. For most runners, this might mean loosening the bottom laces to compensate for foot swelling in the latter stages of the race.

After

You finished your ultramarathon. Congratulations are in order. However, it’s not time to prop your feet on the coffee table and rest just yet.

  • Salty Ice Bath: To make sure that your feet recover completely from your big race, you’ll want to manage inflammation. One of the easiest ways help your feet recover from your race is to give them a salty ice bath. The ice will reduce inflammation, while the salt can repair the inevitable derma-abrasions your feet will suffer during an ultramarathon. You’ll need a bucket or container deep enough and big enough to fit your feet up to your ankle. The solution you’ll need for your salty ice bath should be one-third ice, one-third cold water, and one-third epsom salt. You’ll want enough of each ingredient to cover your feet and ankles. You should soak your feet three to four times for fifteen minutes in the twenty-four hours after your race.

Ultramarathons require you to push your body to limits few can imagine. You’ll need your feet to carry you every step of the way. For the best results, make sure you work with an experienced podiatrist to keep your feet in the best shape possible. Visit http://www.westmorelandfootdoctor.com for more information. 

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7 Tips For Dealing With Menopause Symptoms

Menopause is a natural part of life for women, especially those in their late forties and early fifties, with 51 being the average age of menopause onset for women in the US. Despite the inevitability of menopause for women, this can still be a confusing and difficult time. In order to best cope with the transitional period of menopause, it’s a good idea to have a handle on what symptoms you can expect and plan a line of defense for dealing with them. Here are seven ways to handle menopause symptoms with ease:

Take Charge of Your Sleep Patterns

Many menopausal women report difficulty falling and staying asleep, usually as a result of hot flashes, which are sudden feelings of being overheated and sweaty that seem to come out of nowhere and often occur in the middle of the night.

Keeping your room cooler than usual and sleeping with a fan on, as well as wearing minimal clothing and sticking to lighter bedding, can help minimize the effect of hot flashes on your sleep. In addition, getting exercise and avoiding caffeine during the day can help you to get much better sleep during menopause.

Get Plenty of Exercise

Getting plenty of physical exercise every week won’t make menopause go away, but it can make the symptoms more bearable. Exercise is a natural mood-booster, which can help counteract the mood swings and irritability many women experience during menopause. Menopause can also cause weight gain in some women, and upping your weekly exercise is a great way to help prevent that from happening.

Try Hormone Replacement Therapy

If you’re worried about menopause symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy at a clinic like Genemedics Health Institute. Hormone replacement therapy helps counteract the negative effects of menopause by replacing the hormones your body no longer makes on its own. Hormone replacement therapy comes in a variety of forms, including creams and pills.

Try Acupuncture

Some women find that alternative treatments, particularly acupuncture, can help ease symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and mood swings. While there has not yet been much scientific evidence on behalf of acupuncture helping menopausal women, it may be worth a try, as acupuncture does not generally require a large time commitment or involve any serious side effects.

Get Plenty of Calcium

Getting plenty of calcium is very important during menopause because menopause often leads to more fragile, less dense bones and an increased risk of osteoporosis. Getting a lot of calcium is the best way to counteract this side effect of menopause. Calcium supplements are an easy fix, but for a more natural solution, try to incorporate as many of these calcium-rich foods into your diet as possible.

Deal with Dryness Issue

Decreased estrogen levels during menopause cause many women to experience vaginal dryness. This can be very uncomfortable, especially during sexual intercourse. Luckily, it is not necessary to live with this side effect, as many lubricating products exist for this problem. If you’re not sure which vaginal lubricant is best for you, it’s always a good idea to bring this concern up with your doctor.

Seek Counseling if Needed

Sometimes menopause involves emotional side effects as well as physical ones. Transitioning to a new phase in life and knowing you are no longer able to have biological children can be difficult psychologically. In addition, the physical side effects can wreak havoc on your mood.

If you feel overwhelmed by your experience with menopause, it’s a good idea to speak to a professional therapist. Other options include writing in a journal and confiding in a friend who has been through the same thing.

By following these tips, you will be able to navigate menopause with less stress and less severe side effects.

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