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8 Races To Run This Summer In The Greater Toronto Area

Summer is the hottest time of year on the Toronto running scene – in every sense.

With a race just about every weekend, there are as many options as one could hope for within the city itself, as well in surrounding areas of the GTA and beyond. You can escape the inner core of Toronto by racing in the suburbs or on the trails, or you can race downtown and experience what it’s like to run on deserted streets that are typically packed with vehicles.

June 21, the first day of summer, is quickly approaching. If you’re still in the planning stage of figuring out your summer schedule, this list of eight reputable and well-organized races is a good start.

Below are our picks, in chronological order, of events within the GTA.

June 22 – Pride and Remembrance Run

One of Toronto’s most beloved road races is the Pride and Remembrance Run, a 5K which takes place during Pride Month and a day before the Pride Parade. The race begins at Church and Wellesley and heads east for two loops of Queen’s Park before returning to where you started. The race, now sponsored by local retailer BlackToe Running, is offering medals to all participants this year and even has its own beer called fab! lite.

July 1 – GGS Law Canada Day 5K

What better way to kick off Canada Day than with a road race. From the same organizers as the Chilly Half-Marathon comes a Canada Day celebration with a flat and fast out-and-back 5K in Burlington, Ont. The race is a short drive from downtown Toronto and runs along Lake Ontario during one of the nicest times of the year.

July 20 – MEC (Trail) Race Four

MEC offers the most affordable races of anyone in Canada and the race series comes with no frills. At just $20, the MEC Race Four (Trail) is a great introduction to off-road running in a low-key but well-organized environment. Kortright Conversation Centre provides an escape from city life just north of Toronto and the race includes a 7K and 12K on non-technical terrain.

July 28 – Beaches Jazz Run

Hosted by the Toronto Beaches Runners Club, the Beaches Jazz Run is another grassroots event that’s popular among the running community. Entry fees are on the pricier side ($55-$79 for the 5K and half-marathon) but the event is well run, there are multiple race kit pick-up locations – a must in Toronto traffic – and the course on the Martin Goodman Trail and on the Leslie Spit can’t be beaten.

August 24 – Toronto Women’s 10K/5K

The Toronto Women’s Run Series is the most popular women’s race circuit in the province, if not the country. The supportive and friendly environment is great for first timers and the event is held in the peaceful setting of Sunnybrook Park, relief from many of the city’s road races which are held on major roads. The 5K/10K on Aug. 24 is the second of three events the series hosts throughout the summer and fall.

September 8 – Longboat Toronto Island Run

Secluded on Toronto Island, just a minutes boat ride from the downtown core, the Longboat Island Run is a local favourite and often times a tune-up race for many runners pursuing a fall marathon. One of the best parts of the experience is riding the ferry to and from the island along with the hundreds of other runners. The course is extremely flat and a post-race BBQ is offered for all participants.

September 8 – B&O Yorkville Run

The B&O Yorkville Run, a truly premium running event, doubles as the national 5K road championships which attract the top runners to Toronto from across the country. Registration costs $125 + HST plus a $100 minimum fundraising donation for charity which is recovered from the extravagant race kit every participant receives: a duffle bag with a technical shirt, Barry’s Bootcamp class pass, a spa gift card for the St. Regis, and much more.

September 21 – Oasis ZooRun

Hosted by Canada Running Series, the top running circuit in the country, the Oasis ZooRun features a challenging but unique course through the Toronto Zoo. Run past exotic wildlife and take on the undulating hills during the 5K and 10K on the final summer weekend of 2019.

Gearing up for a summer race? Visit Toronto’s Feet First Clinic for the latest footwear and much more.

3 Simple Ways to Get Relief from Your Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is the ligament that connects the heel of the foot with the toes. When your ligament is inflamed, you can experience frequent pain in the heel or arch of the foot. The pain is often stronger first thing in the morning, or when you’ve been walking or standing at length. The common condition is called plantar fasciitis.

If you’re struggling with the near-constant discomfort from plantar fasciitis, read these simple tips to get relief and rectify the problem:

1. Stretches

Stretches can do two major things to alleviate irritation and discomfort: they will loosen the tightness of the ligament, and they will strengthen the limbs over time. By incorporating plantar fasciitis stretches into a daily exercise regimen or night-time routine, you can achieve positive long-term results. 

To deal with the ligament directly, take off your shoes and socks so that you’re barefoot. Sit down on a chair, loop a tea towel under the arch of one of your feet. Push outward with the foot while pulling back with the towel for gentle resistance. Do this several times with each foot. 

You should also stretch out your hip flexors because they can contribute to this painful condition. Strained hips create a domino effect on the limbs, changing your gait, tightening your calf muscles and overworking the plantar fascia. Many yoga routines incorporate stretches that work out the hip flexors like the pigeon pose or the bound angle pose.

Sitting too much will tighten hip flexors. Try to break this cycle by getting up from your desk or couch more often. 

2. Massage

One of the best treatments for painful plantar fasciitis is massaging the arch of the foot — this can be achieved with the help of a professional masseuse or completed on your own. If you’re doing it yourself, you can use your hands to loosen the tight ligament, or you can use a tennis ball. For the tennis ball, place it under the arch of your foot and roll it around your sole. Repeat the step with the other foot.

3. Change Your Footwear

One of the most common plantar fasciitis causes is over-pronation or flat feet — this means that the weight doesn’t distribute properly across the foot. The biomechanical issue puts more stress on the plantar fascia, leading to inflammation and discomfort.

That’s why orthotic shoes and custom orthotic inserts are excellent non-surgical methods for plantar fasciitis treatment. These will counter-balance the vulnerabilities caused by overpronation, giving your heel and arch the additional support they need for everyday activities.

You can click here to see your orthopaedic footwear options from a variety of trusted brands like Sorel, Birkenstock and Mephisto. We have shoes for every possible occasion. We have stylish dress shoes for the office, sneakers for the gym, sandals for the beach, slippers for the house and more.  

For immediate relief from a bad flare up, give your feet a break. If it’s happening in the middle of a jog, walk or workout session, understand that you are putting your feet under duress. Stop doing the activity and give your feet time to rest. When the pain and discomfort are hard to ignore, press a bag of ice or chilled gel pack onto the area. An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory can also reduce symptoms in a short amount of time.

Good Tips for Foot and Leg Care When you Have Diabetes

People living with diabetes need to make foot care a priority. As someone who has been diagnosed with the medical condition, you will be at a greater risk of developing foot injuries and infections. Diabetes makes it harder to heal from foot infections and to feel them forming, due to symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

Neglecting proper foot care can lead to severe infections that require intensive medical intervention. At worst, you could require amputation as a health and safety measure.

Check Your Feet Every Day

One of the essentials of diabetic foot care that you should practice is a daily inspection of your feet. If you can’t easily reach your feet and see the bottoms, either use a mirror to help you see different angles or have someone you trust to do it for you. What you’re trying to do is look for any vulnerabilities that could turn into medical problems in the near future:

For example, an ingrown toenail can lead to a nail infection that doesn’t heal, putting your health at risk. If you spot an ingrown, make an appointment for an ingrown toenail removal with a chiropodist at Feet First Clinic. When you have diabetes, doing an at-home removal could be a big mistake.

Click here to learn about common foot conditions that you should look out for during your routine inspections. By catching them ahead of time, you can guarantee that the professionals solve the problems quickly and keep your feet in good shape.

Exercise

According to Harvard Medical School, exercise is good for diabetes because it can regulate your blood sugar and improve your body’s reaction to insulin. Routine exercise will contribute to other health benefits that could minimize symptoms. It will lower harmful cholesterol, raise healthy cholesterol, strengthen muscle and reduce anxiety.

Slowly incorporate physical activities into your daily routine. Jumping into an intense workout could be overwhelming. You should take several safety precautions before grabbing your gym shoes:

  • Test your blood sugar before a workout. If it’s too high, don’t exercise. If it’s too low, have a small snack and wait for it to reach a stable level.
  • Pack small snacks in your bag, just in case.
  • Let the gym staff know you have diabetes.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet.

Wear Compression Socks

compression stockings demo2

Poor blood circulation can lead to problems with the legs, as well as with your feet. One condition that you need to be aware of is varicose veins — these are veins with ineffective valves that become swollen and protrude from the body. They can often be uncomfortable or painful to deal with.

Varicose veins should be concerning for people living with diabetes because they can rupture or turn into varicose ulcers. Instead of dealing with the consequences, you can get compression hosiery to control swelling, improve circulation, and prevent further progression of the condition. The hosiery compresses the limb, reducing the diameter of any distended veins and encouraging blood flow back to the heart.

Come to your local Toronto foot care clinic to get pairs of compression stockings in different styles for casual everyday wear and active wear.

Making these changes may feel like a lot of effort at first, but soon enough, they will be fully incorporated into your routine. Doing your foot inspections, putting on your compression stockings and planning your workouts will become second nature to you. In the first few weeks of committing to these changes, remind yourself that they are vital for your long-term health and well-being.

Shoe terms you should know, explained

Invest in items that separate you from the ground, they say. Your bed, car/bike tires, and, of course, shoes. When it comes to selecting the right shoe, however, there can be a lot of (confusing) jargon associated with footwear, and feet in general as they pertain to shoes, from the type to the actual descriptions of a footwear’s construction and anatomy.

Familiarize yourself with all shoe jargon with this glossary of shoe terms.

15. HOW TO CHOOSE SHOES – INFO G

Running Mechanics

Gait: The way in which you run or walk. There are a number of primary descriptions including being a heel-striker, midfoot-striker or toe-striker, which specifies the first point of contact with the ground upon impact. Because people have varying gaits, there’s no one-size-fits-all shoe. Your pronation (see below for that explanation) is influenced by your gait.

Pronation: The side-to-side rolling movement of your foot when impacting the ground. Naturally, the foot has an inward-rolling motion, meaning you land on the outer part of your foot, and proceed to roll inwards until your foot is flat on the ground, before subsequent take-off.

Overpronation: The tendency to over-inward roll upon impact and through to take-off. You’re likely to see additional wear on the inner edge of your shoe’s cushioning.

Supination: The tendency to under-inward roll – in other words, to outward-roll – upon impact and through to take-off. You’re likely to see additional wear on the outer edge of your shoe’s cushioning.

Arch: Your arch is the curve of your foot that is either normal, high, or low. Often, you can determine whether you have flat feet or not through the use of a foot arch test, which involves wetting​ the bottom of your feet, and stepping on a piece of paper to see the outline of your foot. If you’re unsure, check out your local foot specialist shop like Feet First Clinic. 

 

Shoe Infrastructure

Upper​​: The material that wraps the foot and attaches to the midsole. This is the bulk of the shoe excluding the midsole and keeps your foot in place.

Overlay​​: The overlay is an additional layer of material on top of the upper. Overlays are useful for extra support, varying breathability and sometimes used to add a waterproof element to a shoe, like, for example, Nike’s “shield” running shoes which offer protection against rain and snow.

Eyelets​​: Shoelace holes.

Tongue​​: The tongue is the material that sits on top of your foot and under the sock laces non-slip-on shoes have a tongue.

Sock liner​​: The sock liner is the shoe’s inner material. The material is called a sock liner because it wraps around the foot like a sock. The material is often a few millimetres in thickness and can wear down and suppress over time, moulding to your foot.

Toe box​​: The area at the end of a shoe which houses your toes. The width of the toe box is particularly important for people depending on whether they have narrow or wide feet. Remember, the width of your foot is important too, and not just the length (size).

Drop/offset​​: Most shoes, besides Altra, have a drop greater than zero. The drop of the shoe is the difference in heel height versus toe height. If the shoe has a drop of 8 mm, for example, the heel is 8 mm higher than the height of the toe where the foot sits.

Outsole​​: The outsole, also known as the sole, is the base of the shoe and features treads and grips that are the shoe’s last line of defense between you and the ground.

Midsole​​: The midsole of a shoe is where the cushioning lies. Your foot sits on the midsole, separated by the in-sole (the removable sole inside your shoe), and provides the support you need. Often times, the midsole is made of ​Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA).

 

Shoe type

Stability​​: Mild pronators, or heavier-set runners, should consider stability footwear as the shoe doesn’t have as much support as a motion control shoe, but more than neutral footwear. Stability footwear often features extra support (called a medial post) on the inner side of the shoe side to prevent arch collapse.

Neutral​​: Shoes with neutral cushioning are built uniformly with no additional features to compensate for your gait/running pattern. Cushioning is often softer than motion control and stability footwear and is designed to absorb impact rather than correct running form. Regular pronators and supinators should consider neutral footwear.

Motion control​​: Motion control shoes are pretty self-explanatory; they’re designed to control the side-to-side range of motion of your gait. So, if you overpronate, motion control shoes have systems in place including stiffer heels and additional support on the inner medial side of the shoe to prevent additional inward roll beyond what is normal. Mild- to severe-overpronators should consider motion control shoes.

Orthotics​​: Custom insole inserts based on your feet designed to provide corrective measures to your running gait.

All these terms are good to know when deciding on a pair of shoes. For more in-person assistance, to have your gait analyzed, feet properly measured or to see if custom orthotics are right for you, check out Toronto’s Feet First Clinic on Bloor Street West. You can contact us at 416-769-3338(FEET).

Why Do You Get Shin Splints When You Run?

You’re halfway through your morning run when a nagging pain starts to form in your shins. The more strides you take, the stronger the ache gets. You push yourself a little further, but the feeling gets too distracting to continue. You stop running, catch your breath and decide you’ll have to give up on your workout for the day. It seems like you’re dealing with the common running injury called shin splints.

What Is It?

The medical condition medial tibial stress syndrome refers to frequent tenderness or pain along the shinbone, usually in the middle of exercising. People may also suffer mild swelling in the area. The syndrome is commonly called “shin splints.” 

Why Do You Have It?

It could be that your workout routine is too intense. If you’ve taken a long break from running and push yourself too hard, your legs could be protesting your process. 

The other possible cause of your shin splints could be your gait. Toe-running, heel-running and overpronation can all lead to the painful syndrome. When weight is distributed unevenly across the foot, other muscles work harder to get through the movements.

One of the benefits of using video gait analysis is that a professional can identify problems with your weight displacement while taking forward strides. It’s difficult for someone to notice factors like weight distribution or impact on their own. A chiropodist can carefully review a video of the exercise and make a thorough analysis of abnormalities and difficulties that need to be addressed.

If you’re dealing with shin splints, you should book an appointment today to participate in video gait analysis and to get a better idea of why you’re suffering when you run.

How Do You Fix It?

For immediate relief, runners should stop their workout. They should take a break from exercise, ice their legs for 10 to 20 minutes and take an over-the-counter pain reliever if necessary.

Start by modifying your exercise routine to see if that makes a difference. You can either cut back on the distance, slow down your pace or reduce your workout frequency. Choosing a softer terrain could also make running easier on your legs in comparison to the pavement. Once you establish limits that work better with your physical capabilities, you may find that the pain doesn’t return.

For a long-term solution, practice exercises for shin splints on a daily basis to strengthen the muscles that absorb the ground’s impact. Runner’s World recommends movements like toe curls, toe flexes, heel drops and single-legged bridges.

One of the most effective ways to prevent shin splints is to get the right running shoes — they should have strong arch-support, shock-absorption and overall stability. If you don’t want to get brand new shoes, you can give your arches support with custom orthotics. These will be made to match the shape of your feet and the height of your arches to increase comfort levels and decrease the risk of injury.

Anyone who suffers foot pains after running or working out should also consider getting custom orthotics made for their running shoes. They can manage and correct functional foot abnormalities and thereby the pain that results from conditions like Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis and heel spurs. Not only will the shins be safe from irritation— the rest of your lower body will be, too.

A small level of discomfort is expected when you go for a challenging run, but, you shouldn’t be in pain every time you commit to a workout. A nagging case of shin splints is your body’s way of telling you that something needs to change, whether it’s your routine, your gait or your footwear.

Why Are you in Pain after your Workout?

“No pain, no gain”

-is NOT the best message to follow when you’re hitting the gym. Pushing yourself too far, using the wrong equipment and ignoring your body’s need for recovery can lead to injuries. If you’re not careful, you could give yourself some long-term damage.

Here are three common exercise-related pains and the solutions that can fix them:

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome:

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is one of the most common running injuries out there — it’s often called “runner’s knee” because of this. Stress from repetitive running on hard terrain irritates the kneecap. It can be painful during the workout or long after you’ve finished.

The Solution:

You could be in pain because you’re pushing yourself too far with your runs. Try to cut back on the distance and stick to easier terrains. Flat and soft surfaces won’t impact your knees as much as pavement.

Another solution that you could try is gait training and rehabilitation. Your running form could be what’s causing your knees so much trouble. You should stop by our homepage to see how we conduct video gait analysis to help people improve their steps.

toronto foot clinic

DOMS

You want to feel the burn while you’re doing a bench press, but you don’t want to deal with that sensation days later. If this scenario is familiar, you are dealing with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) — challenging weightlifting workouts create micro-tears in the muscles, which become inflamed within 24 to 48 hours.

The Solution:

When you’re dealing with DOMS, the main thing you should do is relax. Pushing through the soreness to tackle another heavy workout will make the pain worse and heighten your risk of injury. If you can’t skip a day of exercise, replace some of your high-intensity workout plans with low-intensity exercises like leisurely walks or swimming laps at the pool.

If you don’t want DOMS to come back, you should cut down the difficulty level of your workouts. You can reduce the weight you lift, the reps you make or the amount of time you spend in the gym.

Shin Splints

Another running injury that you might endure is medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) — you will probably know it by its common name “shin splints.” You’ll realize you have the problem when you get a stabbing sensation in your shins as you run. 

The Solution:

When you feel like you have shin splints, don’t keep pursuing the workout. Stop the run, take a rest and put ice packs on your shins for 20 minutes to conquer any swelling.

MTSS is caused by overuse of leg muscles. Controlling footwear or insoles can help prevent overuse of your medial leg muscles. You are probably getting this shooting pain because you are wearing the wrong shoes. You should swap your regular sneakers for a pair of orthopedic running shoes. Additional shock absorption is one of the benefits that custom orthotics provide so that athletes don’t have to worry about injury and discomfort ruining their running progress.

If you’re not sure what orthotics to pick out, come meet the team here at Feet First Clinic to discuss your exercise problems and find options that work for your physical needs. We will do our best to find the best fit for you and your fitness routine.

It’s great that you’re motivated to improve your physical fitness, but it’s important to know when to pull back. When you’re frequently in pain and discomfort, you need to make some changes in your routine, whether it’s with the intensity, the form or the footwear.

Resting Your Feet And Body To Soothe The Nervous System

In the west, in the 21st century, these two statements are pretty well incontestable: folks are increasingly pre-occupied with exercise and our nervous systems are overstimulated. In a separate post this month, we talked about managing pain when you have debilitating foot problems; in this post, however, we’re going to look at ways to treat your feet (and body) well when you are living a highly active lifestyle.

Active people who are on the go – especially ambitious professionals – have a hard time taking a night to themselves to slow down. Between weight training, cross fit, yoga, Pilates and competitive sports, there’s always an opportunity to become stronger, more attractive, more fit. The truth is, however, that when we fail to take a night in once in a while to slow down and let the body heal, the nervous system gets worn out and we aren’t as sharp or balanced as we might be – we’re actually working against ourselves.

Within your weekly exercise routine, there are a number of things you can do to help calm the nervous system – yin yoga, meditation, stretching and massage are all excellent options. Additionally, if you’re interested in faster recovery times and better blood circulation, make an appointment today to discuss the benefits of compression stockings. None of this, however, can replace the benefit of a night in with a hot bath, beeswax candles and your foam roller – just add your favourite ambient playlist and switch your phone to silent.

Not only will this night of recovery help you calm your nerves and settle your mind, but it will also give you a chance do some light stretching and bodywork so that when you head back to the gym, you can hit it full force.

As we’re fond of pointing out here on the blog, the legs and feet are workhorses of the body that are often neglected. Foam rolling the IT band, hamstrings and quadriceps and stretching the hip flexors is extremely common, but the legs don’t end at the knees. Make sure your calves, ankles and feet feel the love too. If you live in the GTA and need advice for stretching and caring for the feet, remember, we are your downtown Toronto podiatrist and can always provide knowledge and assistance.

Here are some tips for soothing the feet and body:

soothing nervous system

Rolling Out the Calves – Using a lacrosse ball or foam roller to relieve tension in your calves will make your legs feel a thousand times better. When the legs really open up from the feet through the hips, it’s a massive relief.

Stretching the Ankles – Lying on the ground with your legs at a right angle on the bed, flex your feet for ten seconds, then extend them by pointing your toes for ten seconds. Repeat this for ten minutes and you will calm right down. Your feet and ankles are attached to the ganglia nervous system and this movement has a calming effect.

Check the blog regularly to learn about good running technique, how diabetes affects your feet health and why most foot conditions are nothing to stress about. Call today to talk to an expert!

 

4 Great Tips For Your Winter Running Regimen

Here at Feet First Clinic in Toronto, Ontario, we encourage our clients to engage in aerobic and cardiovascular exercise if they’re living pain-free and up for the challenge. During the brief summer here in Toronto, there are plenty of ways to stay active cycling the many bike paths, running on the Lakeshore, playing sports in the parks, etc., etc. Unfortunately, the winter renders many of these resources unavailable and so most people cut back on exercise and get their fit fix at an indoor gym.

There are, however, a growing number of warriors who embrace the cold of winter and hit the jogging paths all year round. There are many physical and mental health benefits attached with running, including the great feeling you get from soaking in the afternoon sun. Many Canadians don’t get enough sunlight in the winter, which can lead to seasonal depression. The combination of vigorous exercise and spending time out of doors goes a long way towards combating this.

If you’re interested in winter running, but you’re concerned that running is too high impact or that you don’t have the right shoes, visit our foot clinic in Toronto and we’ll help you assess the situation soberly. If you have a gait issue, it’s especially important to have it analyzed before you engage in any serious winter running, since jogging with an imbalanced gait can cause intense pain in the knees and back – not a great recipe for a cozy winter.

get wart removal help to run better

Without further ado, here are four great tips for those brave winter runners among us:

Wear Reflective Gear – Even if you begin running while it’s still light out, darkness has a tendency to descend awfully quick in the winter months. Wearing clothes and shoes that are reflective will make you more visible to motorists and cyclists. Furthermore, you’ll be able to enjoy the run more knowing that you are well visible to those around you. It’s perilous enough with all the slippery ice and snow – make sure people can see you.

Warm Up Inside – Sometimes when it’s time to run, people get so excited that they rocket out the door without stretching or warming up. Of course, when you engage your muscles cold you are at a greater risk for injury, and this is doubly true in the wintertime since it takes twice as long to warm up outside. Doing some light exercises, squats, stretches or yoga before you hit the trail is always advisable.

Compression Socks – With the intense cold of winter, blood circulation is inhibited and therefore, compressions socks are a great investment for any dedicated runner. Compression socks will help keep your legs and feet healthy, reduce recovery time and help you up your game generally.

Don’t Overdress – While you’ll certainly want to layer up a bit, don’t overdo it. You’ll warm up quite a bit exerting yourself, and if you sweat too much you may end up with a nasty chill. Dress for slightly warmer weather – you’ll be cold at first, but in the end, it’s more comfortable.

Whether you’re after compression socks, gait analysis or wart removal help, come visit our foot chiropodists today and get the most out of your feet and body!

Low Impact Workouts For Those With Gait Issues

Here at Feet First Clinic, we love improving folks’ foot health so that they can go for long walks and hopefully even jogs, if they’re feeling ambitious. In fact, as we’ve noted before, between the Beaches, the Rosedale and Don Valleys (respectively) and High Park in the west – and that’s just a small sampling – Toronto offers some of the opportunities for exercise and great scenery in all of Canada. When our patients need help with a foot corn or heel spur, we can help treat them so that they can get back on the trail. However, for those with chronic foot problems and back and knee problems resulting from problematic gait issues, relying on low impact methods of exercise can be a good way to stay fit without doing more damage than good.

Over the years, studies have shown that walking can increase your physical and mental health. With the advent of podcasts, you can walk to work and get your workout in while learning all kinds of interesting things and absorbing the daily news! Our Toronto foot care clinic provides clients with custom inserts and recommends shoes that have plenty of toe room and excellent arch support in order to reverse years of bodily pain and imbalance created by flat feet and other serious gait issues.

Despite our enthusiasm for walking and running, we also understand that what’s good for some is not good for all. Therefore, we highly recommend that some of our clients with foot pain, and back and knee pain related to gait issues, try some of the low impact workouts listed below to spare themselves from hindering the recovery process:

Cycling Workout Gym Class

Spin Class:

Spin class is a great way to get fit while listening to awesome music. Typically, your spin instructor will pump you up with a solid hour of dynamic tunes to get you moving on that stationary bike. Being in the spin room with others will help motivate you to push through and get an amazing cardio workout, and you’ll sweat out lots of toxins in the process.

Swimming:

Swimming may actually be the best low impact workout of all, so if you have a predilection for it, dive right in! It’s one of the only popular cardio exercises that also gives you great upper body strength and definition. If you have visible nail issues, you may want to seek toenail fungus treatments in Toronto before you hit the pool, but otherwise, get your crawl on at the local pool and see how great it feels!

Yoga:

While some people think of yoga as mellow, meditative experience, it can also be a great workout that builds strength. Not only will you get a good stretch through your legs and back, you’ll also start to notice where there are imbalances in the body, due to the meditative nature of most yoga styles. If you don’t mind the heat, hot yoga can be a good option, since the heat relaxes the joints and muscles. If any of the poses in your class look like they could aggravate your back or knees, find a resting pose and wait for the next pose, the point of low impact is to avoid injury!

4 Great Ways To Stretch And Strengthen Your Feet

With warm weather in the air here in Toronto, jogging clubs and lone wolf running enthusiasts have taken to the streets, tracks, paths and ravines all over the city to get their fix of vitamin D and endorphins. At Feet First Clinic, we love to see people enjoying our city’s wonderful parks and getting exercise, but it’s hard for us not to feel some concern when so many runners injure themselves every year. The latest statistics indicate that 60-80% of runner’s experience some running related injuries every year – this is simply too high! In our current age of advanced medical learning, we should be able to avoid common injuries from running through a minor program of education concerning movement and foot health. At our Toronto foot clinic in the Bloor West Neighbourhood, we not only provide custom orthotics, compressions socks and the best shoes for your feet, we also offer tips and knowledge that will empower you to take care of your feet and your body, by way of extension.

Because, at times, we can cram our feet into unnaturally tight, formal shoes – such as brogues, high heels and oxfords – we end up with our toes all pushed together and our feet crushed into an unnatural shape. If you have especially wide feet, then the punishment is even worse: the status quo encourages us to subject our feet to cruel and unusual punishment! The solution is to find the right shoes for your feet, whether you need a deep, wide or high toe-box (or some combination of all three), there is certainly something out there for you. So whether you want to swing by the clinic for corn removal or to buy some new shoes, we’re here for you six days a week!

Natural Running Prevents Injury

To return to the topic of running: a very helpful idea that may save you from injury is the concept of natural running. This entails using basic principles of the body to get the most out of your jog, without doing harm to your body. There’s plenty of information out there on the Internet, but here are a few principles to get you started:

Running Economy: Running economy means moving in a more efficient pattern; running faster with less effort minimizes the risk of injury and allows you to enjoy a shorter recovery time. With powerful downward force, you load the spring of your calf with more energy and move faster while exerting less energy. Really feel your body when you’re running and listen to it, over the course of our lives we often end up moving in very unnatural ways, but it’s never too late to correct these habits.

Nature’s Pace: 180 steps a minute is a natural running cadence; at this cadence, 50% of the energy you use is stored and reused. Your foot should strike the ground under the mass of your weight – if it is reaching out in front of you, you are losing the momentum that will load the “spring” in your legs and propel you forward. Running fast or slow can help you meet certain fitness goals, but for the casual runner, a medium pace is the best way to avoid injury.

In addition to helping you prepare for the running season, we also offer many other services, including bunion treatment to reduce their progression. Bunions can be hereditary, but are also caused when the foot is crushed into an unnatural shape by narrow shoes. Let us help you reclaim your feet!