Top tips for beautiful summer feet

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Now that warmer weather is upon us, hopefully most of us will be keen to take more exercise.

But before you dig out those festering trainers from the bottom of the wardrobe, The UK’s Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists highlights the importance of wearing the right sports shoe and of taking care of your feet as part of your fitness plan, warning that you could risk doing more harm than good if you donÂ’t.

Lorraine Jones, podiatrist from The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, said: “Exercise is essential for good health, but sport can put a lot of pressure on your knees, hips, back and neck, so getting the right shoe for the right sport can help minimise injury and keep you comfortably on track to reach your set goal.

When we run, our body weight is multiplied three times or more, with your feet and lower limbs bearing the brunt of this stress each and every time they hit the ground. An average sized-man can process approximately 112 tons of weight through each limb for every mile run.

Sports lovers and those getting fit for the first time need to give their footwear and the health of their feet the same consideration as any other part of their body when preparing for the off.”

So whether walking, dancing or pounding the pavements is the choice of exercise for 2010, The Society of Chiropodist and Podiatrists offers the following advice to help keep feet fighting fit.

Follow the 1cm rule – when shopping for the perfect sports shoes ensure you can wiggle your toes a little – leave 1cm of room from the top of your longest toe at the end of your shoe. Try on both shoes and walk around the shop to make sure they donÂ’t pinch or rub.

Warm up and stretch – before starting any form of exercise, stretch and warm up your entire body and then stretch and warm down at the end of every session…

Get the right socks

Always wear socks to reduce the risk of fungal infection and blisters. The best running socks are ones that are made from synthetic materials which are designed to wick sweat away from the skin, (such as CoolMaxĂ’) as they donÂ’t absorb moisture like 100% cotton socks, and keep the feet drier.
Choose the correct shoes for the sport.

If running is the choice for 2010, buy a running shoe which has adequate cushioning in the midsole and a flared heel for stability. However, if itÂ’s a racquet sport such as squash or tennis, buy shoes designed for racquet sports that give better stability when moving and stopping suddenly around the court -a running shoe wouldnÂ’t be suitable due to lack of lateral support.

How to avoid blisters

· How to avoid blisters – Blisters are painful, fluid filled lesions caused by friction from ill-fitting shoes, excessive moisture, or wrinkled socks against the skin. To prevent them, keep your feet dry, always wear socks as a cushion between your feet and your shoes and always wear properly fitting shoes. If a blister does occur, never pop it.

· Seek expert advice if necessary – if you have ongoing foot pain that doesn’t go away, get it checked out.

Tips for buying the right trainers from The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

§ Buy shoes designed for the activity you want to do. Running shoes are very flexible, allowing the foot to bend and flex through each step, they have increased shock absorption for when the heel strikes the ground and are designed for forward motion. Sports such as tennis, basketball and aerobics involve sideways stepping, and require shoes that provide greater sideways support.

§ A common mistake is to buy trainers that are too small. Shoe manufacturers produce trainers designed for people with low arches and high arches. It’s vital that sales staff recognise this and provide the right shoe for the type of foot. Buy trainers from a specialist sports shoe shop where the staff are trained in fitting.

§ The most important thing is that your sports shoes are appropriate for your body and your workout. Choose a reputable manufacturer, not a high street shop with own brand trainers.

§ If you’re training every day, ideally have two pairs of trainers and alternate them to allow them to dry out over 24 hours.

§ For more information on choosing a sports shoe, or to find your local registered podiatrist, visit The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrist’s website www.feetforlife.org

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New surgical techniques minimise trauma scarring, explains Beverly Hills surgeon Raj Chopra

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BEVERLY HILLS COSMETIC SURGEON Raj Chopra (pictured right) explains how the latest stitching technique can literally save your face following injury….

Cosmetic surgery is not just for the vain. Many of the techniques learned by surgeons are also used to repair serious injuries caused by car crashes and other accidents that would otherwise leave victims horribly disfigured. In Hollywood Raj Chopra is renowned for his expertise in facial surgery techniques and since stars earn their living from their looks he is the man they call to the Accident & Emergency.

Scars are generally considered unattractive and whilst it is possible to camouflage them with makeup plastic surgeons have become adept at hiding them following cosmetic surgery.

The scalp, for example, is used to hide brow lift incisions and intranasal incisions are used for rhinoplasty. To hide facelift incisions, most incisions are in or around the ear and hairline. For eyelid lifts (blepharoplasty), incisions are hidden in natural creases on the lid or near the eyelashes, or even inside the eyelids. If none of these options are available, the scar or incision should be aligned parallel with relaxed skin tension lines, which for example, run horizontally on the forehead.

So what can be done with a scar that has resulted from an injury? Not all scars need scar revision, especially those hidden in areas not easily visible (scalp, natural creases, etc.) However, for unpleasant scars including there are several surgical remedies.

The technique that might be used is individually based on the size, orientation, and body site involved. However, all techniques have certain fundamental principles in common to ensure a good result. These include meticulous handling of soft tissue, creating a tension free closure, placement of deep sutures to ensure a tension free epidermal closure, and symmetric closure of the skin edges after surgery. In many cosmetic cases, sutures placed under the skin edges are used to avoid the possibility of seeing stitching marks on the skin.

Finally, laser resurfacing can be used to blend the revised scar in with surrounding soft tissues to create not only a more even color match, but also create a smoother surface.

Contact information:
Raj Chopra, M.D.
Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
9400 Brighton Way, Suite # 410
Beverly Hills, CA 90210. USA.
Tel :(310) 858-1787. FAX: (310) 858-3787
E-mail: md@rajchopramd.com
Website: www.rajchopramd.com

Alcohol and exercise don’t mix – UK government warning

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London: Many people enjoy drinking alcohol and then exercise the following day quite comfortably. While this fact sheet outlines the impact that alcohol can have on the bodyÂ’s performance during exercise, it is not designed to persuade people to change their exercising habits. It is intended to help you understand why you may not perform at your best after drinking.

Key facts from the UK Government’s Know Your Own Limits Campaign

Alcohol can affect your sport and exercise performance in two main ways, due to the effect of alcohol or its breakdown products in your body after drinking, or indirectly because of the effects of alcohol on your sleep, diet, level of dehydration etc, which can also affect your performance and efficient recovery from exercise. Below we have collected key facts from a range of authorities on the subject*:

If you have alcohol 24 hours before exercising you are more likely to develop muscle cramps.

Alcohol affects the body’s ability to create energy therefore it slows down reaction times, increases body heat loss and reduces endurance.

After exercising the body needs to be rehydrated. It’s not helpful to drink only alcohol as it will continue to dehydrate the body further.

If you sustain injury while exercising, and you have had alcohol the night before, or drink any alcohol afterwards [while injured], you are likely to increase your recovery time.

People often reach for vitamin B on the morning after night out. But even small amounts of alcohol reduce the bodyÂ’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals that are essential for converting food to energy, and helping repair body tissue after injury.

Alcohol and injuries

If you sustain an injury while alcohol is still in the bloodstream, even from the night before, the recovery time from the injury will increase.

· If you drink alcohol after sustaining a soft tissue injury, it may take longer to repair. This relates to two key factors:

· increased muscle swelling – alcohol dilates and relaxes blood vessels which increases muscle blood flow, hence the swelling

1 alcohol can mask the pain and severity of an injury, encouraging over-use

If you have been injured, avoid alcohol and seek medical treatment. RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) is the best way to reduce swelling and speed recovery.

How alcohol affects you and sport

Speed: alcohol affects you even after you’ve finished drinking. Alcohol affects the central nervous system and slows down the information processing ability of the brain. This in turn slows down your reaction time, hand-eye coordination, accuracy and balance. Even a couple of drinks can affect your performance and perception.

Energy and stamina: the blood sugar that your body needs for energy is produced by your liver when it releases glucose into the blood stream. Alcohol keeps the liver too busy to produce this sugar efficiently. All of this means you have less energy and lower stamina.

No matter how much training and conditioning you’ve put in, a few drinks the night before can really take the edge off your fitness. When it is time to really ‘dig deep’, there might not be anything there.

Cramps: while exercising, your muscles burn up glucose, producing lactic acid as a waste product. Too much lactic acid leads to muscle fatigue and cramps. Alcohol that remains in your system contributes to greater build up of lactic acid. Therefore your risk of ‘cramping up’ increases dramatically.

Dehydration: the ‘dry horrors’ is the term used to describe an extreme symptom of alcohol’s diuretic (increased urination) effect. This extra fluid loss added to what you sweat out, means the risk of dehydration increases.

Performance: when you combine the effects of lactic acid build up, dehydration, and the body converting food to energy less efficiently, your aerobic performance is greatly reduced.

Alcohol and your muscles

Few people realise that consuming alcohol after a workout, practice, or competition can cancel out any physiological gains you might have received from such activities because:

short-term alcohol use can impede muscle growth; long-term alcohol use diminishes ‘protein synthesis’ resulting in a decrease in muscle build-up.

In order to build bigger and stronger muscles, your body needs sleep to repair itself after workouts, and alcohol is widely known to upset sleeping patterns.

* The authoritiesÂ’ information hasnÂ’t been factually verified by Department of Health, but we acknowledge that it represents sensible advice

Alexander Technique

An exercise method designed to re-educate posture and balance. The patient is encouraged to use special movements while carrying out everyday activities such as sitting, lying down, standing, walking lifting. The patient focuses on the way he/she moves so that day-to-day physical activity can be carried out with minimum strain. It treats musculo-skeletal problems, back pain and repetitive strain injury. It can also assist with emotional discorders.

Further information from:

Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
1st Floor
39-51 Highgate Road
London NW5 1RS. UK
Tel: ++ 44 (0)845 230 7828
Fax: ++ 44 (0)207 482 5435