Healthy Footnotes

  • 15
    May 2017

    What To Wear & Do for Memorial Day Weekend | Vionic Shoes

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    Summer days are near, and there’s no warmer welcome to the season than with Memorial Day weekend. From neighborhood parades to family vacation fun, there’s no limit on activities to help celebrate the holiday. But with so many options, how do you choose what to do? Now you don't have to. We're sharing our top recommendations for some memorable Memorial Day activities and outfits to match.

    Move to the Music

    Head to the outdoor amphitheater and enjoy an outdoor concert. To keep cool in the hot weather and crowd, wear something light, like a breathable dress. Pair it with our Tide Sport Sandal so you can stand up in comfort long after the encore.

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    Beach Day Getaway

    Feel the sand on those toes. Splash on the shore or lounge in the sun with some relaxed jeans and a loose cover-up. Our Jura Slide Sandal makes a quick dip in the ocean easy and breezy. Don't forget the sunscreen!

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    Backyard Bash

    Host a chic outdoor dinner party for you and your closest friends. Replace your go-to party shoe with a wedge to avoid sinking heels into the grass. Pair a lovely summer dress with a pop of color with our Kalie Wedge Sandal in pink.

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    Picnic in the Park

    Take advantage of a beautiful day and enjoy a picnic in the park. Sport athleisure gear with yoga pants and a vibrant colored yoga top for comfort that's still stylish. Our Sierra Active Sneaker will keep your feet happy and supported.

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    There you have it! Now you're ready to celebrate. Need to bring a dish to share? Try these Memorial Day-ready recipes from Dr. Weil's cookbook, Fast Food, Good Food.

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  • 15
    May 2017

    5 Reasons to Make Time for Walking | Vionic Shoes

     

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    What if you were told there’s one thing you can do that will benefit your entire being – mind, body and soul? From brain and mental health to physical health, sleep and so much more, this one thing has proven to be beneficial. Not only that, but it’s also free, easy to do and safe. Pretty exciting, right? Well, what is it? It’s walking! Integrative medicine expert and Vionic Innovation Lab member Dr. Andrew Weil expounds on the merits of walking and why you should make time for it in your daily life.

    • Boost your brain health. As we get older, we’re often reminded of the need to keep our physical health top-of-mind. But our brain health requires just as much upkeep. A recent study from the University of Kansas reveals that even small doses of exercise can help improve our brain health and thinking skills. Dr. Weil suggests that seniors walk at a brisk pace for 45 minutes a day to reap cognitive benefits and keep the mind sharp as we age.
    • Melt away stress. Physical exercise has long been known to be a reliable stress-reliever. Dr. Weil cites a 2015 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science of Sports revealing that a 30-minute walk over lunchtime can boost your mood, offering a quick fix for stress. To kick it up a notch, try breath-walking, a form of active meditation developed by Dr. Jim Nicolai, Dr. Weil’s colleague, that combines walking and meditation to further stave off anxiety by keeping you mindful in the moment. Learn more about this practice and get video instruction from Dr. Nicolai.
    • Lower your blood pressure. While high blood pressure and hypertension have a largely hereditary component, a 2012 study in Hypertension showed that, regardless of family history of high blood pressure, one can lower the risk of developing hypertension by staying in shape. Dr. Weil recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day as one of the most effective natural remedies for high blood pressure.
    • Sleep more soundly. We all know how important sleep is to our overall health. It’s when your body repairs itself from the stresses of the day. A 2013 study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that more than 75% of the study participants who said they exercised regularly reported that their sleep quality was very good or fairly good. However, if the only time of day you have available for exercising is in the evening and you find that it interferes with your sleep, do not worry! Read these tips from Dr. Weil and Dr. Dan Bornstein of the Department of Health, Exercise, and Sport Science at The Citadel for how you can wind down after an evening workout to help you fall asleep more easily.
    • Improve your fitness. If improving your fitness is your end-game, walking is a great option for that, too. While it may take longer to see results than running or a more intense workout, it can still improve your cardiovascular health. Dr. Weil advises, “The main problem with walking as a principal aerobic activity is that you can easily fail to do it strenuously enough to get the conditioning benefits of exercise. You should be able to walk about three miles in forty-five minutes.”

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    Now that you know why walking is so great, make sure you have the right shoes. Vionic walking shoes with arch support provide the perfect level of support to keep you moving in comfort.

     Source: Dr. Andrew Weil, drweil.com

     About Andrew Weil, M.D.

    Dr Weil Headshot

    Andrew Weil, M.D., is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit.

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  • 12
    May 2017

    7 Remedies for Swollen Feet During Pregnancy | Vionic Shoes

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    Pregnancy can bring on many different changes to your body and brain. From pickle and ice cream cravings to morning sickness, everyone has a unique experience. But one common occurrence for pregnant women is swollen feet and ankles or “edema.” This can be an uncomfortable experience and can interfere with life's daily activities. Learn about some natural remedies to help reduce swollen feet while pregnant.

    • Epsom bath water soak. Draw a warm bath for a relaxing end to your day.
    • Elevation. Sit back in a comfortable chair and prop up your feet.
    • Wear comfortable shoes. Shoes with good arch support or orthotic inserts will help you step through the day.
    • Perform yoga or light exercise. Get your blood pumping and increase your circulation.
    • Drink more water. This will help you stay hydrated and reduce your sodium intake.
    • Compression. Adding compression can help remove excess fluids that cause swelling. Try wearing compression socks.
    • Ice your feet. According to podiatrist Dr. Jackie Sutera, a cold application can reduce swelling.

    Since swelling means less wiggle room, it may be time to buy a different size shoe. Read our tips for finding the perfect fit.

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  • 12
    May 2017

    9 Tips for Traveling with Kids | Vionic Shoes

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    Is your dream vacation frolicking on the beach? Or maybe it’s sightseeing through an unfamiliar city. Whatever form of getaway you prefer, planning ahead is always strongly encouraged. But traveling with children presents its own set of challenges, and it requires a different strategy than most trips. To help make your next family vacation stay smooth sailing, we’re sharing our tips for traveling with children.

    Before you leave for the airport…

    • Create a schedule. This will help keep you organized and stay on track for your trip.
    • Pack snacks. Save yourself from waiting in the airport food court lines and bring the kids’ favorite treats.
    • Download kid-friendly apps on your mobile device. The little ones won’t mind the downtime of waiting to board the flight if they are keeping their eyes, ears and hands busy.

    At the airport....

    • Travel in comfortable shoes. From security lines to finding your gate, traveling in the airport means plenty of time on your feet. Try wearing shoes with arch support to help you move in comfort (and keep up with the kids!)
    • Keep all medications within reach. In case of an emergency, having all medications in a secure, close place such as a carry-on can be vital when time is of the essence.
    • Take advantage of family boarding. Boarding early means fewer crowds and more time to get the kids and yourself situated on the plane comfortably.

    On the trip…

    • Bring sunscreen and bug spray. Pack a few travel-sized, easy to-go containers so that they can be disposed of once the vacation is over.
    • Have a backup plan. Sometimes we forget to check if that restaurant is open on Sundays, or the weather decides to have a mood swing. Make sure to have alternative activities to keep the fun going.
    • Enjoy all of the memories in the making. Despite the craziness, these memories will last a lifetime. Soak up every precious moment!

    Now that you've planned your trip, it's time to pack! Check out the best shoes to pack for your vacation.

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  • 28
    Apr 2017

    Spark Your Life Series: Jill Haney | Vionic Shoes

    Strong, accomplished women can have a powerful influence and serve as an inspiration to others. That's why we’ve partnered with SparkPeople to create the Spark Your Life Series, a monthly showcase of strong female leaders whose stories can help you achieve your life, health and fitness goals.

    This month's installment features Jill Haney, a business founder with 30 years experience in personal shopping, customer service and business consulting. Read why Jill teaches the importance of professional presence and its benefits in the workplace.

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    Ready to be an inspiration at work? Check out Jill's tips for achieving a positive workplace image and which habits can lead to success.

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  • 4
    Apr 2017

    The Ultimate Guide to High Heel Health with Dr. Jackie Sutera | Vionic Shoes

    High heels are a fixed pillar in fashion. Whether worn for work, a special event or to just feel a few inches taller, women have been wearing high heels for centuries. But despite this shoe style's overwhelming popularity, many women are still uninformed about high heel health. My patients often ask me if high heels can cause damage, and the answer is, yes. High heels can have lasting effects on your feet, ankles, legs and spine. However, there are easy-to-remember tips that can help relieve pain and lessen potential future damage. Here are my top recommendations for achieving and maintaining the best high heel health.

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    Before wearing high heels, it's important to remember to: 

    • Look for high heels that have a chunkier heel, wedge or platform.  These styles are more stable than their stiletto counterparts, because you can distribute body weight across a greater surface area.
    • Not exceed a 2 inch height with your high heels, as recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association. Damage occurs with increased heel heights due to weight shifting forward to the ball of the foot. 
    • Avoid wearing the same heel heights, same pair of shoes or types of shoes every day, all day.

     

    While wearing high heels, it's important to remember to:

    • Rotate your ankles while sitting. This can give your ankles a nice stretch. 
    • Sit as much as possible. When you're wearing high heels, your limbs are working hard. Sitting will give your feet and legs some much-needed rest. 
    • Take a break. Go to a private area, slide your heels off and flex your toes for a few minutes.
    • Bring alternative shoes for the end of the day or the event you're attending. This can help prevent added pain and relieve pressure. 
    • Not exceed 3-4 hours of high heel wear and to not exceed that for longer periods of standing and walking. 

     

    After wearing high heels, it's important to remember to:

    • Do calf stretches. Beneficial for your health, these stretches can also help reduce knee pain.
    • Take Epsom salt foot baths. Not only is this good for your feet, but it will feel great too.
    • Massage the arch, ball of foot and calves. High heels put an immense amount of pressure on the balls of your feet and require the work of your arches and calves.
    • Ice your feet and legs. A cold application can reduce swelling. 
    • Wear commuter shoes to and from work/events, and remember to alternate shoes the next day. 

    Looking for a heel that doesn't hurt? Vionic offers a variety of shoe styles so you don't have to sacrifice style for comfort.

    The Solana Heeled Sandal is a modest block heel that lends stability as well as style for a classic look.

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    The Carmel Heeled Sandal offers a three-buckle strap silhouette with a deep heel cup and enhanced forefoot contour for innovative comfort and design. 

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    Interested in learning more about high heel health? Read about Vionic's elevated support technology including enhanced cushioning and overall stability.

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  • 4
    Apr 2017

    Foot Strengthening Exercises with Juliet Kaska | Vionic Shoes

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    As a fitness trainer, I see a common misconception among clients in that many believe foot exercises are only necessary for those recovering from foot injuries or chronic pain. However, that is hardly the case! Serving as the foundation of your body, your feet provide support and are the reason you can walk, run and achieve motion in general. We tend to focus our workouts on strengthening our muscles, and the muscles in your feet and toes should not be excluded. Great for everyone of all fitness levels, here are a few of my exercise recommendations to help maintain healthy, happy feet.

    Ankle Circles

    If you are looking to increase flexibility and mobility, ankle circles are a great exercise to practice. When I do mine, I prefer lying down so I have a better view of my ankles’ range of motion, and I can better stabilize my lower leg while making the circles.

    1. Lie down on your back with your right knee bent and your right foot flat on the floor. (Place a pillow under your head if needed.)

    2. Hold your left leg with both your hands, as close to your ankle as possible.

    3. Holding the left leg steady, begin to make big, slow circles at the ankle joint. Imagine drawing the biggest circle you can with your big toe.

    4. Repeat 4-8 times in each direction on each side.

    5. Trainer’s Note: After you do the first ankle, get up and walk around for a few seconds. Take notice of how the feet feel different.

    Wave

    The wave technique gives the muscles of the foot a nice, long stretch.

    1. Sit up with your legs out in front of you.

    2. You can do both feet at the same time or one at a time.

    3. There are 4 positions, hold each position for 2-5 seconds:

    #1 Point your foot (like a ballet dancer).

    #2 Flex your toes and keep your foot pointed.

    #3 Flex your foot.

    #4 Point your foot and keep your toes flexed.

    4. Return to #1.

    5. Repeat 3-5 times per foot.

    6. Trainer Tip: If you have tight hamstrings and cannot straighten your legs, or you have a achy lower back, prop yourself up on a block, bolster or short stool.

    Toe Taps

    The toe tap technique focuses on - you guessed it - your toes. This technique strengthens your toes and can prevent potential injury. You can do this exercise either seated or standing.

    1. One at a time, lift each toe and then tap it down.

    2. Start with the big toe and work your way over to the little toe.

    3. Repeat with each toe 1-4 times per foot.

    Toes Up

    To achieve greater flexibility in your toes, the toes up technique is essential. You can do this exercise either seated or standing, and do either both feet at the same time or one foot at a time to isolate the movement.

    1. Keep your heel and ball of your foot down as you lift all the toes up as high as you can and hold for 30 seconds.

    2. Don’t supinate (roll out) or pronate (roll in) the foot; keep an even balance across the heel and ball the ball of the foot.

    3. Repeat 3-5 times holding for 30 seconds each time.

    4. Trainer’s Note: Make sure to focus on the little toe as intently as the big toe.

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    Now that you’re well on your way to strengthening your feet, try my ZenFitness30 Method - a 30-minute workout with active stretches designed to lengthen you like a dancer, develop your core like a Pilates Pro, get your heart pumping like an athlete and calm you like a Yogi. Get your free download with video instruction here: http://www.vionicshoes.com/zenfitness30.html.

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  • 28
    Mar 2017

    Top 5 Foot Problems & How to Treat Them | Vionic Shoes

    Ouch! What a pain in the foot. April is National Foot Health Awareness Month so we’ve teamed up with our in-house expert, Dr. Jacqueline Sutera a surgically trained doctor of podiatric medicine specializing in the prevention and treatment of foot pathology, to learn more about the top 5 foot problems. Here are her recommended remedies to help relieve the pain, swelling and other symptoms that can be experienced.

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    Plantar Fasciitis/ Heel Pain

    Plantar fasciitis is a dull to severe pain in your heel caused by a strain and inflammation of your plantar fascia (foot tissue). This can be caused by excessive pronation or standing/walking on hard surfaces for long periods of time.

    • Stretch the calves - an easy, simple way to do this is by pressing your toes against a wall with the heel pressed to the floor. Flex and hold this stretch for 15-20 seconds (make sure to alternate feet).
    • Massage the arches of your feet - adjust the amount of pressure as you see fit and can do so comfortably.
    • Replace old shoes with women's shoes with arch support or comfortable, thick-soled shoes.
    • Ice the foot and/or take anti-inflammatories - this can help reduce inflammation.
    • Avoid going barefoot.

    Tendonitis

    Tendonitis is the inflammation or irritation of the tendons which can be the result of an injury.

    • Rest, ice, and/or take anti-inflammatories.
    • Use elastic bandages to reduce soreness and elevate the foot when sitting or resting.
    • Avoid going barefoot and wear comfortable, thick-soled shoes.
    • Replace your old shoes with shoes with arch support.

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    Bunion/Hammertoes

    A bunion is a bony bump on the outside base of the big toe, and a hammertoe is the abnormal bend or downward curve of the big toe. Both conditions can be caused by tight, ill-fitting shoes, arthritis or can be present at birth.

    • Wear shoes with a wide and high enough toe box to accommodate the foot comfortably. Open shoes and adjustable strappy sandals can be very comfortable in the warmer weather, such as these orthotic sandals.
    • Pad the toes with bunion booties - this can help relieve pressure.
    • Wear toe caps - this can protect the area from rubbing and friction.
    • Avoid narrow, pointy and high heels.
    • Lightly stretch and massage the toe joint, and ice it at the end of the day.

    Neuroma

    Neuroma is the growth or thickening of nerve tissue around the toes which can be caused by injury, high heel use and/or running. Symptoms include a burning sensation, numbness or a tingling feeling.

    • Stretch the forefoot by pulling apart the toes and massaging the forefoot, including the space between the metatarsals (the group of 5 long bones in the foot).
    • Ice the area that is experiencing pain.
    • Wear a neuroma pad - this can help spread the bones around the metatarsal area and relieve pain.
    • Avoid thin, flat, high and pointy shoes - instead try orthotic shoes or shoe inserts.

    Ingrown Nails

    Ingrown nails are irregular, curved nails that have grown into the flesh. This condition can be caused by injuring the toe or by wearing socks or footwear that apply too much pressure and/or tightness.

    • Cut your nails straight across and only slightly round out the corners.
    • Avoid tight, pointy shoes - this can worsen discomfort.
    • Place a tiny piece of cotton under the corner of the nail and make sure to change out the cotton daily - this technique will gently lift the nail as it grows.
    • Use bacitracin and band-aids - this can help prevent infection.
    • Soak your feet in Epsom salts for about 20 minutes daily - this can reduce swelling and soften the nail.

    Although it may not always be running through your mind, foot care is a vital part of your overall health. Learn more about National Foot Health Awareness Month and other health tips for your feet on our blog.

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  • 28
    Mar 2017

    Spring Style Series: Girls' Night Out | Vionic Shoes

    The possibilities are endless when planning a fun night with your closest gal pals. But whether you’re enjoying a low-key dinner party or painting the town red, every woman faces the same question: what do I wear? Now, you’ll never have to face this dilemma again. We’ve selected the ideal styles to make the most of your girls' night and to help you step up and out with confidence.

    Carmel Heeled Sandal

    Take your style to new heights with our Carmel Heeled Sandal. Offering advanced comfort features and an enhanced footwear contour, say hello to your new favorite dancing shoes. Give your style a dose of sass by pairing this shoe with an off-the-shoulder dress.

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    Chryssa Open Toe Bootie

    Available in versatile neutral colors, this style is ideal for all-year wear. Take advantage of one of spring’s biggest trends: billowy fabrics. Pair our Chryssa Open Toe Bootie with a flowy top and structured jacket creating a cool, effortless look.

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  • 28
    Mar 2017

    Spring Style Series: Conference Calls to Cocktails | Vionic Shoes

    When the weekend is almost in sight and you’ve been working yourself to the bone, a little unwinding time can go a long way. One of the best remedies can be catching an after-work drink with friends. But with back-to-back meetings and a traffic-jammed commute, the goal of getting home in time to change outfits and make it to happy hour can sometimes feel out of reach.

    What if we told you that there were shoe styles that could eliminate that much too common issue? We’ve selected our best styles to get you from the conference calls to cocktails, with no pit stop necessary.

    Solana Sandal

    If you tend to lean towards a more classic style, the Solana Heeled Sandal is your go-to shoe. It’s simple and sophisticated and can be added to almost any outfit. Pair it with a pair of black skinnies and a button down for a polished look that never goes out of style. When it's time to go meet your friends, try untucking one side of the blouse to add some casual flare.

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    Bria Wedge

    An office-appropriate heel that won’t leave your feet aching at the end of the day? Yes, please! Our Bria Wedge comes in three versatile colors and showcases supple leather and a stacked wedge. Pair it with a midi skirt and fun-colored blazer for a look that says, “I’m fun but I mean business.” Add a statement necklace to give the outfit a little sparkle so you can shine during happy hour.

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    Harlow Bootie

    The Harlow Open Toe Bootie will become your favorite spring shoe both in and out of the office. Incorporate a huge spring trend, banker stripes, into your look with a tailored trouser, and add a solid color blouse to avoid clashing patterns.

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