All posts in Advice

The Peril of Flip Flops

When it’s warmer, many people ditch shoes and boots in favour of lighter options. Flip flops are always a firm favourite, but you may be unaware of the damaging effects that they are having on your feet.

Women especially are guilty of thinking that flip flops are a safer alternative to heels, but experts warn that this is unfortunately not the case, as flip-flops can cause your foot to strain to keep them in place.

Gripping with your toes to keep flip flops on causes tension and pressure through your toes and arches. This can lead to straining of tendons and ligaments and cause conditions such as plantar fasciitis; inflammation of the tendons that stretch from the ball of your foot to your heel.

Research has also shown that flip flop wearers do not bring their toes up as much during the leg’s swing phase, resulting in a larger ankle angle and shorter stride length. This repeated motion can result in problems anywhere from your feet up into your hips.

If you’re a flip flop wearer, you may also experience shin splints – an acute pain in the front of your lower leg. Due to thin soles and a lack of arch support, you may find that you suffer with an excessive rolling in of your foot, otherwise known as over-pronation. This leads to increased pressure on your shins an increased risk of ankle sprains.

The most foot-friendly type of shoe for women would be those with a small heel, preferably one-and-a-half inches high. For men, look for a slightly wedge-shaped sole. This helps to avoid straining your calf, which can occur in shoes that are too flat.

Wearing shoes with more secure straps is also good idea. Flip flops can easily fold under your foot or get caught in the ground, creating a trip hazard. For these reasons, it’s considered dangerous to drive wearing this flimsy style of shoe.


Cramp-free Camping

A few ways to avoid undue pain and cramps while exploring the great British outdoors this summer…

Summer in Britain is one of the most wonderful times of the year. It gives scope to exploring the UK’s bountiful landscapes that otherwise remain untouched during the cold winter months. Many of us will be keen to pull the tent out from the cupboard, brush off the dust and cobwebs and pitch it in a field or at one of the numerous festivals taking place this time of year for a spot of camping.

However, sleeping on a hard surface may cause problems for your back, making it essential to take extra care to ensure your campsite is a comfortable one. Here’s how

Protect your back

It’s very important to protect your back against hard and sometimes damp surfaces while camping to avoid back ache. Sleeping on a good quality camping mat or air mattress will help. If you can, try these out in a shop before buying them.

Sticks and stones

Make sure you remove any large stones or sticks that could dig into your spine while you sleep.

Stay straight

Ensure that you are sleeping in a position where your spine is in a straight line as this helps to avoid neck and back pain. Remember to take a pillow along with you too, as this will ensure that your back and neck stay aligned.

Heavy goods

Make sure that you lift and carry your camping equipment with care. Top tip: make sure you carry your equipment in two bags rather than one to distribute the weight evenly and reduce strain on your back when carrying them.


How To Beat Jet Lag Naturally

Travelling to new places can be interesting and exciting. However, the excitement of holidays can be dulled by jet lag. If you’re travelling for business, overcoming jet lag can be even harder as you often need to arrive at your destination ready to work.

Your body’s 24 hour cycle, or circadian rhythm, relies on many external triggers. These triggers, called zeitgebers, include light, temperature, social interactions, exercise, eating and drinking. Many of these cues are disrupted when travelling to a different time zone. Jet lag occurs when your circadian rhythm is no longer in sync with your external environment.

Using knowledge of zeitgebers, you can use natural methods to support recovery from jet lag to help you enjoy your travels as much as possible.

Use light cues

If you arrive at your destination when it’s night time; while you are travelling, try to stay in the dark to induce a feeling of sleepiness and avoid the blue light from electronic devices. If you arrive in the morning, try to maximise your exposure to natural, bright light.

Get optimal amounts of sleep

Leading up to your travel date, ensure you get some good quality sleep. If you’re already exhausted when you travel, jet lag will be harder to deal with. If you feel like you need to sleep on a long haul flight, do so.

Take advantage of fans and air conditioning

Lower external temperatures lower your body’s core temperature, signalling that it’s time for sleep. So, if you arrive leading up to bedtime, set the temperature of your room to be a little cooler than normal to help you to drift off.

Get active & social

Social interaction stimulates wakefulness. So, if you arrive in the morning, why not get out and explore the locality! Exercising during the day will also help you to feel awake. If you’re on a busy business trip however, this may mean paying a quick trip to the hotel gym before your meetings.

Eat meals at local times

Enjoy the local cuisine, and enjoy it at the times that the locals do. Try altering your normal eating pattern up to three days before travelling to help your body acclimatise. Beware that aeroplane meals are often served at ‘home’ time and this can sabotage your efforts to reset your bodyclock. Focus on meals with protein to stay awake (a protein-based breakfast is great for your health anyway!) and choose meals with carbohydrates to help you fall asleep.Jet-Lag-Travel-e1463847645586-225x130


Don’t Let Back Pain Spoil Your Holiday!

Think of holidays and most people will dream up images of days spent having a good time, perhaps relaxing in the sun or pursuing new interests. But how many people would wish to imagine themselves lying down indoors with back pain?

Unanticipated injury, such as back pain, can spoil a good holiday – don’t let it spoil yours. Aim to reach a good level of fitness before you go away, and when taking part in sports, make sure you know how play them properly.

Whatever physical activities you choose to engage in, bear in mind that a good number of back complaints are offset by failing to warm up properly before exercising.

Different sports have different guidelines as to how you should take care of your back. For example, when swimming it’s important not to try to keep the whole of the head out of the water, as this places considerable strain on the neck and shoulders, which can lead to problems in the lower back

Golf can present its own problems, particularly if the muscles aren’t warmed up before hand in order to cope with the rotation (twisting) of the lower back when swinging the club. Prevent this by practicing stretching and flexibility exercises before playing.


Are you up to our June challenge?

June Focus

Are you drinking enough water?

Increasing your water intake could help you lose weight and boost your energy levels. It is also essential for maintaining health and youthful looking skin.

We can often confuse hunger as a sign of dehydration, so get drinking first!

June challenge

Calculate the volume of water you need to drink using this simple calculation and try and stick to it.

Calculate your body weight in pounds

Divide it by two

This is the number of fluid ounces you require

To convert to ml times it by 28.5

e.g. If you weigh 10 stone = 140 lbs

140/2 = 70 fl oz

70 X 28.5 = 1.995ml so about 2 litres a day… easy..


Try and drink most of your water before midday so you are not going to the loo all night.

For further help and information talk to one of our team