Archive for category Practical Heath Tips

How To Create A Goal That You’ll Stick To

We’ve all done it, started your week, month or year off with good intentions. But sadly, around 80% of us lose focus and fall back into old habits. So how can you stay focused? And what’s more, how can you make your goals easy, fun and achievable?

 

Well it’s SIMPLE:

 

S – SET GOALS: Any goal that you set should be realistic, small and timed. If you want to exercise more, plan to go for a walk at lunch 3 x a week for the next three weeks, or go to the gym straight from work 2 x a week. If it’s concrete, it will become a habit and then a part of your life.

 

I – INTERESTING: Make your goal fun. Include your friends and family, share your goal with others so that it doesn’t become a chore. A goal should never feel like work. So, if your heading out for a run, take a friend or even your pet. Exercise won’t last if you don’t enjoy it

 

M – MEASURE: In life, we all love a good tick list. Your goal shouldn’t be any different. Make yourself accountable and use markers to check progress and inspire you to continue. But DON’T make them unachievable. Rome wasn’t built in a day and the mountain to success will have up and downs

 

P – PATIENCE: Just as mentioned above, you will have ups and downs. You will miss a day or a week. Life is unexpected but you mustn’t beat yourself up. By tracking your progress whether it is with a food app or a health app, you can inspire yourself to keep going 

 

L – LISTEN: Whether it is a diet, exercise, work or a social goal, your body and mind is the best and worst motivator. You won’t achieve your goals if you don’t reflect and take time to be with your thoughts. It will help you analyse what has gone well and what hasn’t and then guide you back on the right path. Often life is too ‘busy’ that we stop because we don’t have time. There is always time, you just have to make the conscious effort to decide

 

E – EXPRESS: This one is often missed. But the more you do, talk and involve yourself in your goal, the more habitual it will become. If you have a career goal, talk about it with your loved ones and the more you do, the more you motivate yourself towards it. Plus, you might get good tips and tricks from your friends or they may even join in; teamwork makes a dreamwork after-all.

 

 If you’d like any support with creating and implementing your goals, please call us on 01380 730473. We’d love to help you kick start your journey in the best way possible!

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Keep Your Goals Smart This Year

It can sometimes feel overwhelming when setting out to achieve a new goal. Two common questions that we hear at Hatts are ‘Where do I start?’ and ‘How do I make sure I succeed?’ I’m Danny, one of the Senior Pilates instructors at Hatts and I’m here to guide you with how to do just that:

 

Where do I start?

Start with a goal. It’s really important to know firstly what change you want to make but also why you want to make that change. Knowing and understanding the WHY is the most powerful way to get started. For example, you have decided you want to get fitter this year. Ask yourself why? What difference will this make to your life or other people’s life. Just like the goal, the why will be different for everyone, yet everyone should have one.

 

How do I make sure I succeed?

Make you goals SMART. SMART is a frequently used acronym in the corporate world but it works equally well in the world of health and fitness. It is a tool to help you build a plan around your goal to help keep you on track. It stands for:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Time

 

Let’s explore this in more detail:

Specific – Identify exactly what your goal is and make it as specific as possible. For example, the above example ‘I want to be fitter’ is a relatively vague goal which often makes it harder to stay motivated. Have a think about what you want be able to do that your current level of fitness is preventing you from doing. That then, is your goal.

 

Measurable  This is strongly linked to being specific. It’s important that you’re able to measure your progress and achievements. This could be a distance you want to be able to walk or run for example. A great way to start is by measuring and understanding where you are now so that you can look back and see your progression as you work towards your goal.

 

Achievable – Ask yourself ‘Is my goal realistic?’. If a goal is unachievable then your motivation is likely to wane quickly. If you’re injured and have no prior running experience, then the London marathon 2020 might be an unrealistic goal to set at this time. As above, it’s important that you understand your starting point. It is hard to be objective with this, so using data, or seeking a professional opinion is often a great way to start. Achieving goals is very satisfying and motivational, so I often recommend breaking the end goal into smaller sub goals you can tick off along the way. Or alternatively, you can re-assess yourself periodically through the year to track your progress.

 

Relevant – You’re probably wondering what I mean by relevant? In this case, I’d encourage you to set a goal that really means something to you or others around you. Make it impactful. Very few people are motivated to do something just because someone told them to. When setting your original goal, keep delving into why you want this or what impact it will have on you or your friends and family, then tell them. It will help keep you accountable and they can even help you along the way.

 

Time  I always advise putting a time scale on your goal so that you have something to work towards. Not only is this a big factor in staying motivated, it also enables you to work backwards and plan your sub-goals or re-assessments to make sure you’re on target. This is a great time to reflect and look back at where you started and the progress you have made. You can also use this as a launchpad for your next goal.

 

Struggling to make your goal SMART? We’re here to help. To speak with myself or another member of our team, please call us on 01380 730473.

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Recommended Shoe Brands By Our Podiatrists​

As Podiatrists, there are certain footwear brands that we recommend that will give you both the style and support your feet need. On average, we walk 5 times around the earth in our lifetime so it’s important that you have the right footwear to support and look after your feet. Here are some of our recommended brands:

 

RUNNING/CASUAL TRAINER

Recommended brands: Asics, Brooks, New Balance, Vionic, Adidas, Nike

SHOES FOR BUNIONS

Recommended brands: Sole Bliss, Wolky, Sandpiper

SUMMER FOOTWEAR

Recommended brands: Fitflops, custom made Flopthotics from the Hatt Clinic, Vionic

SMART OR FORMAL FOOTWEAR

Recommended brands: Hotter, Vionic, Ecco, Clark’s, Shoon, JD Williams, sole Bliss

WALKING BOOTS

Recommended brands: North Face, Merrell, Salomon, Berghaus

For more advice on footwear, please get in touch with our Gait Analysis team on 01380 730473

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How To Find The Perfect Fitting Shoes To Support Your Feet

If you are invested in looking after your feet properly then these top tips for picking out the perfect pair of shoes will be just what you’re looking for.

Finding a pair of shoes that fit perfectly and have the right amount of support isn’t always easy, so here are a few ways to ensure that you walk away with the right pair of shoes:

  • Wear the same type of socks to the shop that you intend to wear with the shoes.
  • Shop for shoes later in the day (this is when your feet are at their largest).
  • Get both feet measured each time you buy shoes. Some shoe shops offer this as part of their service so be sure to ask.
  • If one foot is larger than the other, try on a pair that fits your larger foot.
  • You should be able to wiggle your toes and have at least half an inch between your longest toe (which may not be your big toe) and the end of the shoe.
  • The width of the shoe should be snug but not tight. You shouldn’t see any bulging of the shoe material.
  • Walk in the shoes before buying them. They should feel comfortable right away. Make sure your heel fits snug in each shoe and doesn’t slip out as you walk.
  • Feel the inside of the shoes for any tags or seams that might cause irritation.

Hopefully this guidance will help you feel more confident when purchasing your next pair of shoes. If you would like any further advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch as our Biomechanical Podiatry team are here to help.

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What To Look For When Choosing Supportive Footwear

Choosing appropriate footwear is really important because the type of shoe that you wear, will have a direct impact on your foot health. The style and fit of your shoes are factors that need to be considered to prevent a wide range of foot conditions such as callus, corns, bunions and general foot pain. So, here is what you should be looking out for when purchasing your next pair of shoes:

 

Material
For the material of the shoe, we recommend that you avoid plastics or synthetics as they allow little ventilation – this leads to sweaty feet and increases the risk of fungal and bacterial infections. Instead, we advise you look for leather or mesh shoes as these are natural and breathable materials.

 

Insole
Look out for supportive, cushioned insoles that ideally wick away moisture. Removable insoles can be washed on a regular basis to reduce the risk of fungal and bacterial infections.

 

Midsole

The midsole in a shoe should be moderately thick and firm for shock absorption. The shoe should only bend where your foot bends (at the joint of the big toe) and not throughout.

 

Outsole
Grooves and treads in the outsole give your shoe grip. The fewer the grooves and threads, the more likely you are to slip when wearing the shoes.

 

Toe box
We recommend a shoe with a wider, rounded toe box to give your toes enough room to move around. Your shoes should conform to the shape of your foot, not the other way around.

 

Fastening
Be it buckle, belt, strap, elastic, velcro or laces, some form of fastening will support your foot by holding the shoe in place. ‘Slip on shoes’ are a real culprit for hammer toe deformities as the toes claw desperately trying to keep the shoe from slipping off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information, please contact us on 01380 730473.

 

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An Insight Into Why Your Feet Are So Important

Have you ever thought about the role your feet play in everyday life?

The 26 bones, 33 joints and 250,000 sweat glands are just a tiny percentage of what makes up your foot.

Healthy feet are vital for well-being and it is only when your feet turn problematic that their importance is appreciated. In a lifetime, the average person walks 100,000 miles carrying half of your body weight through every single step.

Your feet are in contact with the ground during walking, sitting, running, and standing and it is no wonder that 3 out of 4 people some kind of foot problem during their life.

Not only do your feet control your direction and movement, they are also extensions of your legs, back and upper body. Therefore, it is no surprise that having painful feet can also take its toll on the rest of your body.

Countless blood vessels and nerve endings link your feet all the way to the heart, brain and spine. Health problems such as circulation and nerve damage can therefore affect the most vulnerable and dependable aspect of your body, in turn affecting your wellbeing.

In essence, your feet provide the essential platform between the ground that we walk on and between your body, enabling you to simply get from A to B.

It is never too early to start looking after your feet and starting good foot health habits and regular checks early on can help you to walk comfortably throughout life. We only get one pair, so look after them well!

For top tips on how to look after your feet, take a look at this article or give us a call on 01380 730473 to speak with a Podiatrist.

 

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Be The Best Version Of You This New Year’s

It seems safe to say that many of us are guilty of not sticking to our New Years Resolutions. In fact, research demonstrates that by the end of the first week in January, 77% of people will have already given up. A common New Years Resolution is to get fitter and healthier but even then, roughly 50% of people who start an exercise program will have given up before reaching the 6-month mark.

 

With getting fitter, healthier, and losing weight being the three most popular resolutions, surely there is some way of achieving and maintaining these goals. Taking action towards achieving a fitness goal can have huge positive benefits on the quality of our lives so we’d be mad not to at least try! One of our Physios, Sam has suggested some key points as to what we can do to make sticking to those goals easier.

 

1. Understand the true benefits of staying active – recommendations by the World Health Organization states that adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. This can seem a lot however broken down that’s only 30 minutes 5 days a week. The research shows the benefits of this are massive, including lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and depression as well as maintaining a healthy weight and fitness level. Now, who wouldn’t want to benefit in this way?

 

2. Exercising with other people helps – one way to help you stay on track with your exercise is to do it with other people. The social benefit of exercising can often be a huge driver and makes it much easier to stick to over a long period of time. Group exercise is often great fun and the instructors and other group members are there to support you. It can be common for people to feel anxious when starting a class with other people but why not take a leap of faith this New Year as you’ll be much more likely to stick to it than if you’re doing it alone.

 

3. It gets easier the longer you stick to it! – the hardest part is sticking to a lifestyle change early on. Reminding ourselves that it’s only going to get easier is a great help. As with anything, the first few times feel like an effort, but soon it becomes part of your weekly routine, such as doing the weekly shop or putting the washing in. The more you persist, the easier it will get to start moving, plus you will undoubtedly feel FANTASTIC!

 

And, you are not alone! We can help and support you along your journey and get you into that routine quicker than you could have imagined. How? With our fantastic exercise classes or 1:1 support with expert clinicians. Whether it be Strength and Conditioning or Pilates, you’ll be looking forward to your exercise class and driven to improve your health and fitness with our support and guidance.

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How to look after your feet in winter

During the winter months, it is common for feet to become dry with hard skin and cracks. Often, the primary cause of this is dehydration of the skin. There are a few simple things that you can do to help keep your feet in top condition this winter:

 

Moisturise
Cream your feet once a day (all over except in between your toes) with a urea-based cream to help restore the moisture in your feet. This will help soften any hard skin making it easier to maintain smooth feeling feet.

 

Filing
Filing your feet 2-3 times a week, preferably when your feet are dry, will reduce the chance of any rough edges forming as well as any callus formation.

 

Keeping your feet warm and dry
During the winter months, it is important to keep your feet warm and dry where possible in order to help circulation to your feet; this will help with your foot health and reduces the risk of other common conditions such as chilblains forming.

 

Doing these few simple things will help keep your feet in good condition. However, if you would like more advice or feel you would benefit from professional help to maintain your feet during the winter, get in touch on 01380 730473 to book a Podiatry appointment or book online.

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5 Ways That Massage Can Benefit You As A Runner

As a runner, it isn’t always easy to know how to maximise your performance and train effectively without the risk of injury. To help, one of our masseurs, Jon, has written this article explaining 5 ways in which Massage can benefit you.

 

1. Improved circulation

Through a variety of techniques, a massage therapist can stimulate your blood flow and increase your circulation, for instance as a pre-race warm-up.

 

2. Improved flexibility and reduced muscle tension

High muscle tension is common in muscles that are used regularly and overworked. Massage with deep techniques can reduce this tension and allow better relaxation, recovery and also improve the flexibility of muscle tissues. Restoring flexibility and keeping your muscles supple allows full movement for running – ensuring full stride length, and as a result, the maximum speed with lower effort!

 

3. Injury prevention

Muscles that get worked hard and aren’t looked after properly can become highly susceptible to injury. If a muscle stops working correctly, then others begin to take over and compensate. Prevention is ALWAYS better than cure, it takes less time, feels better, and allows you to keep going in the meantime. Regular maintenance keeps on top of muscle soreness and adhesions and can often highlight areas of tightness you didn’t even know were there!

 

4. Recovery

If the worst does happen and you have to stop running because of an injury, whether it’s a muscle strain, niggling pain or you just need recovery help after a hard session that’s left you sore then massage can help. Increasing the blood flow with a massage can help the recovery process.

 

5. Mental preparation

Last on the list, but not least, massage treatment is great for preparing psychologically as well as physically. Physical training stress can impact other areas of your life and sometimes it makes a huge difference to your day-to-day functioning, as well as race day preparations to take that time to relax, recover, and breath. A massage can help you feel mentally prepared for a big race as much as your training gets you physically ready. At the very worst it will feel great!

 

If you feel that massage could be beneficial to you, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01380 730473 or book online >

 

“I hope you’ve found this article helpful. As a keen sports player, I understand how frustrating it can be when you’re injured which is why I decided to take up a career in Massage Therapy – helping people get back to doing the things they love.’’ – Jon Cole, Massage Practitioner

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Are you fit for exercise this season?

Whether you are a keen athlete or simply like to maintain a good level of exercise, here are 5 Top Tips to getting the most out of your body this season.

 

1. Keep hydrated

When training, remembering your water bottle should be just as important as remembering your trainers.

Dehydration has a negative effect on your sporting performance and is often caused due to excessive sweating and inadequate fluid intake. Therefore, drinking water at regular intervals is vital.

 

2. Keep yourself fit to exercise

Exercising smart is key to preventing injury. Pushing yourself to your limits has both positive and negative effects. Therefore, is it important to take the following into consideration:

  • When increasing the amount of time you train, do it gradually
  • Always warm-up (for 10-15 mins) before exercising and stretch (for 10–15 mins) afterward

 

3. Eat healthily

It is important that you eat the right amount of calories for your activity levels. The average calorie intake for men should be 2500 and 2000 for women. However, when exercising, your body may need to consume more.

Choosing the right diet during training is also important so try cutting down on saturated fats, sugar, and salt, alongside eating your 5 a day of fruit and veg.

 

4. Treat knocks and niggles sensibly

When training, it is common to get the odd niggle, nevertheless it should be treated correctly from the outset. If you are injured and have immediate swelling or feel unsure about the nature of your injury then please don’t hesitate to contact us. In the meantime, here is some self-treatment advice:

  • Rest
  • Ice and elevate
  • Seek advice if you feel unsure or worried that your injury may get worse

5. Look after yourself with a Massage

Massage has many benefits such as:

  • Faster recovery from injury
  • Relief from muscle tension and tightness
  • Improvement of sporting performance
  • Reduction of stress levels
  • Increased energy levels
  • Leaving you feeling invigorated

Book your massage today by calling 01380 730473 to get you one step closer to being fit for exercise this coming season.

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Get fit to hit the slopes

When sat in a deck chair buried in the snow, and sipping on a hot chocolate, we can enjoy watching other skiers seamlessly fly down the mountain. However, despite how easy it may look, a good level of fitness is necessary if you want to enjoy your time on the slopes.

 

Having a good level of strength, stamina, flexibility and balance is key for skiing and without it, you are more likely to get injured.

 

Skiing is a sport in which you have sessions of moderate to high levels of activity for periods ranging from 1-10 minutes, followed by periods of rest. There is a great deal of continuous muscle activity, particularly in the legs, which you may not be accustomed to.

 

If you can find the time to work on an exercise programme before you hit the slopes, then this is something we would highly recommend. Even if this means slightly adapting your regular exercise routine so that it is steered towards working muscles that you use regularly when skiing.

 

We recommend that you begin your pre-skiing programme at least 4-6 weeks before your holiday. The most effective way to do this would be to join our Quick Start S&C programme which is designed specifically to help you achieve your performance goals, so in this case, becoming a fitter and better skiier. To find out more information on our Quick Start S&C programme click here.

 

In the meantime, here are a few regular exercises that you can do in preparation for your holiday that could make all the difference:

 

Warm up and stretching

This is an essential part of any exercise programme. Always aim to spend 10-15 minutes during some static and dynamic stretching. 

 

Leg and upper body strength work
Your legs will need a great deal of strength to maintain your control down the piste. Static wall squats for the quads is a classic exercise but you need to consider hip strength and stability too.

 

Core stability
A stable core helps your body work effectively and maintains your balance and control. Make sure you do core work that is suitable for your level of ability. Pilates can be a great option here, and this too is something we offer as a service. Click here for more information on our Pilates membership.

 

Flexibility
The muscles in your legs need to be flexible enough, especially as they will tighten up after a day on the slopes. Your calf muscles particularly need to flexible to enable good ankle flex in your boots which helps give you good control.

 

Taking the time before your ski holiday to prepare will be more than worth it. If you get fit to hit the slopes, you’ll be able to ski for longer, feel less tired afterwards and enjoy the experience a whole lot more. For more advice on how to prepare for the slopes, give us a call on 01380 730473.


 

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Top Tips for Healthy Feet

From work shoes and trainers to high-heels and bare feet, our feet take us almost 115,000 miles, or five times around the earth in a lifetime, with little or no attention. Take a look at our top tips to help keep your feet in tip-top condition.

 

Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry

Dirt left on the skin can cause irritation and infections. Remember to wash your feet before going to bed and dry them thoroughly – especially between the toes where moisture can breed germs.

 

Use a Urea-based Moisturiser

The single best thing you can do for your feet is to moisturise them daily with a urea-based cream. As the skin on your feet is much thicker than other parts of your body a standard moisturiser just won’t cut it. A urea-based foot cream is perfect for replacing lost moisture.

 

Sand Your Feet

Gently sand your feet using a foot file in slow circular motions. Your feet should always be sanded when dry, as sanding when wet is less effective and can cause jagged edges.

 

Cut Toenails Carefully

Trim your toenails straight across – trimming down the edges can cause in grown toenails.

 

Limit Wearing High heels

If you wear high heels for work, limit the time you spend in your heels. Try wearing comfortable shoes to and from the office, and slip into your heels when in the office.

 

Watch Out for Foot Bugs

Communal areas such as changing rooms for swimming pools and gyms can be breeding grounds for verrucas and Athlete’s Foot. Wear flip-flops to avoid catching these bugs.

 

Check Your Feet Regularly

Don’t ignore your feet. Check your skin and nails regularly for cracks, blisters, verrucas, nail infections and other signs that things may not all be right. If you notice any changes to your feet, or are suffering from foot pain, contact your Podiatrist.

 

If you have any questions on foot health or would like to book in for an appointment, call us on 01380 730473.

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