Monday, May 31, 2010

FFF Diva Article Research: "Solving Foot Pain From Treadmill Running"

Solving Foot Pain From Treadmill Running

By Gale Bernhardt

Q: To make a long story short, I have been running on and off all my life. Triathlon is a relatively new sport and I love it.

Recently, I have had a problem with my toes going numb in my shoes. I went and replaced my shoes because we found out that after the last baby, my feet were bigger and flatter.

However, I still have a problem with my toes hurting, curling up and getting stiff. I think it is a tension thing. It also seems to only happen when I am on the treadmill and after mile four. What are your thoughts?

A: When you mention foot pain and tension, the first thing that comes to mind is snow skiing when conditions are icy. Often, when athletes ski in icy conditions, they find that their entire body gets tense, most of all their feet. They usually find that they are trying to hold on to the slope by gripping the bottom of their ski boots with their toes.

Once they feel their toes and feet beginning to ache, they can usually reduce the aching sensation by focusing on good form and doing a relaxation-check. This check is a mental check list with a physical link. Mentally go from head to toe and very consciously remove the tension from each body part, beginning at the forehead, then face, neck, shoulders, upper back and then on down through the feet.

If you believe your problem is tension related, you might try the conscious relaxation technique when you notice the pain in your feet coming on.

I'm not sure how long it has been since you had your child. I am assuming you gave yourself ample time to rebuild fitness and the core muscle strength to run at your current training volume and intensity. If not, you may need to back off on running volume and/or speed.
Foot Pain From Treadmill Running

You don't mention what is going on with the treadmill speed and incline during these workouts. If the treadmill speed, and your feet, seem fine at the start of the workout, but then it gets pretty challenging (either because you increase the speed or the speed you began with is not sustainable after four miles) you might try slowing the treadmill down.

You can use a combination of treadmill speed and heart rate to see if you are overextending yourself for any given treadmill speed. If you do not use a heart rate monitor in training, notice the level of your breathing as the workout progresses. In either case, if you find your heart rate and breathing begin at a comfortable rate and then steadily increase to high and labored about the time your feet start to cramp, I suggest slowing the treadmill down.

Some people have more foot problems when running uphill and others have problems when the course is dead flat for miles on end. Try to notice if your foot pain is influenced by keeping the treadmill incline flat, uphill or by varying it as if you were running a rolling course.

Also, you don't mention if you are having foot pain in any situation besides running. It might be the shoes you wear during the day (when not running) that are contributing to your problem. I assume you replaced all of your non-running shoes as well.

If these suggestions do not help eliminate your problem; consider visiting a podiatrist that sees active athletes, including runners and triathletes. After having your baby, your foot anatomy may require a different shoe than you are currently using, or perhaps orthotics.

Gale Bernhardt was the 2003 USA Triathlon Pan American Games and 2004 USA Triathlon Olympic coach for both the men's and women's teams. Her first Olympic experience was as a personal cycling coach at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Thousands of athletes have had successful training and racing experiences using Gale's pre-built, easy-to-follow training plans. For more information, click here. Let Gale and Active Trainer help you succeed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

FFF Diva Article Research: "How to Avoid Common Diet Traps"

"How to Avoid Common Diet Traps"

By David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding
Women's Health

Walk into any big grocery store and you're in for a sensory onslaught: a blinding array of packaged edibles, each one designed to send you into a food coma before you ingest a single calorie. Emblazoned on nearly every box, bag, and bottle is a multitude of nutritional claims, essentially screaming, "Buy me! Buy me!"

Thing is, those claims? They're not exactly what they seem. They're a marketing ploy, pure and simple. For instance, you might notice a label on a package of cookies that proclaims "fat-free!" But what you don't see (at least not until you examine the tiny print on the Nutrition Facts panel) is that those cookies are loaded with sugar and additives.

In Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide, we reveal the packaging tricks and messaging gimmicks that make you think you're buying the best foods for your health but instead lure you into spending your hard-earned cash on junk. Learn how to decode the labels, and the next time you head to the supermarket you'll be able to sort out the bad from the good — and save yourself a bundle in the process.

Numbers Can Be Deceiving

On the front of a box of reduced-fat Keebler Club Crackers — in big yellow letters, no less — you'll find the following claim: "33 percent Less Fat Than Original Club Crackers." The math is accurate: The original product does contain three grams of fat per serving, while the reduced-fat version has two grams. It is a 33 percent difference — but we're only talking about one gram of fat here! And what you won't see advertised on the box is that this version has 33 percent more carbs. To add flavor, they replace that one gram of fat with three grams of refined flour and sugar — hardly a healthy trade-off.

Eat this Buy whole-wheat crackers that pack at least three grams of filling fiber per serving. They'll leave you less likely to start noshing later.

"Healthy" Logos Are Bought, Not Just Earned

Many instant oatmeals wear the American Heart Association seal like a badge of honor, yet they have more sugar than a serving of Froot Loops. If you read the fine print below the logo, you'll see that it simply meets the AHA's "food criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol." In other words, it could contain a pound of sugar and still qualify. How is this? Companies pay for a product to bear the AHA sign. Which explains why the AHA check mark might appear on one product but not on another, even when both meet the guidelines.

Click here for Women's Health top 125 best foods in your supermarket.Eat this Choose unsweetened oatmeal and other cereals to prevent a sugar high (and a calorie binge), and then sweeten them yourself with just a touch of honey, almond milk, or cinnamon.

"Good Source" Claims Are Questionable

Don't be fooled by labels touting foods as "good" sources of vitamins and minerals: A serving needs just 10 percent of the recommended daily value of a specific nutrient to be considered a "good source." Take Nabisco Honey Teddy Grahams, a "Good Source of Calcium." You'd have to eat 10 servings — that's the entire box and then some — to get the amount you need for the day. If you're plowing through boxes of cookies to get your daily requirement, a lack of calcium is going to be the least of your health problems.

Eat this To get any of your nutrients, stick with nature's multivitamins: fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean meats. Whereas with fortified cookies your calcium comes with only sugar, when you eat the bone-builder in low-fat milk and cheese you also get a healthy dose of fat-burning, muscle-making protein.

Health Benefits May Be Exaggerated

If you drink bottled green tea, you probably think it's teeming with antioxidants. But some brands may not be as packed with free-radical killers as manufacturers would like you to believe. An independent food laboratory analyzed 14 different bottled green teas for their levels of catechins, the antioxidants in tea that are thought to fight disease. The finding: Catechin content varied widely among brands. Honest Tea Organic Honey Green Tea topped the charts with an impressive 215 milligrams, but some products barely registered on the antioxidant scale. Ito En Tea's Tea Lemongrass Green had just 28 milligrams, and Republic of Tea Pomegranate Green Tea had a meager nine.

Eat this You know you're safe with Honest Tea, but you can also boost your catechin levels by brewing your own and letting it steep for at least five minutes.
"Lean" Meats Are Usually Full of Sodium

When you remove fat, you lose juiciness. To prevent virtuous cuts of meat from tasting like shoe leather, some manufacturers enhance their poultry, pork, and beef products with a solution of water, salt, and nutrients that impart flavor. This practice can dramatically boost the meat's sodium level. For example, a four-ounce serving of regular turkey tenderloin contains a mere 55 milligrams of sodium, while the same amount of a low-fat enhanced version packs 840 milligrams. You're swapping one evil (fat) for another — belly-bloating and blood pressure-hiking sodium.

Eat this Stick with regular turkey and other naturally lean meats; just watch portion size. All you need is one or two paper-thin slices to satisfy your taste buds. And if it says "enhanced," walk on by.

Adapted from Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide by David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding (Rodale, 2009)

For more tips on choosing the best foods in your grocery store, pick up a copy anywhere books are sold or at

Thursday, May 20, 2010

FFF Diva Fun Moment: Humorous Email from Operation Boot Camp

A fun story that makes me laugh about personal training! I feel the pain! Below is a story/email from my fellow boot camp leaders. Enjoy!


As requested this morning, here is the funny story that was sent to the "newbies". It's long, but worth the read. This week has been great at camp- I know I've been getting my butt kicked by the workouts and I hope you all have as well. Please remember your yoga mats for tomorrow! Next week remember that we will be taking Wednesday the 26th off.

Dear Diary...

For my fortieth birthday this year, my wife (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me.

Although I am still in great shape since playing on my college football team 25 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.

Called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Caroline, who identified herself as a 26-year old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swimwear. My wife seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started!

The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.............


Started my day at 6:00am. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Caroline waiting for me.

She is something of a Greek goddess - with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile.

Woo Hoo!

Caroline gave me a tour and showed me the machines... She took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. She was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attributed it to standing next to her in her Lycra aerobic outfit. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in, which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today.

Very inspiring. Caroline was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around.

This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!


I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door.

Caroline made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air-then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Caroline's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile.

I feel GREAT!!

It's a whole new life for me.


The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying on the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals.

Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.

Caroline was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying.

My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Caroline put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators?

Caroline told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other crap too.


Caroline was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late, it took me that long to tie my shoes.

Caroline took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the men's room. She sent Lars to find me, then, as punishment, put me on the rowing machine - which I sank.


I hate Caroline more that any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic little cheerleader. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it.

Caroline wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the *&%#(#&**!!@*@ barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.

The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?


Caroline left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.


I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my wife will choose a gift for me that is fun ----------like a root canal or a vasectomy.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

FFF Diva Reflection: Seeing The Positive Side

From my friends at

“See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” -Dalai Lama

We all have within us the potential to not only be happy, but to give that gift to others. Don’t underestimate the power of your efforts. They do make a difference.

When you smile, you remind other people to see the good in life. When you look for the best in people, you remind them to cut themselves some slack. When you stay strong in difficult circumstances, you remind others it can be done.

Just like a butterfly’s wings can create changes in the atmosphere that alter the path of a tornado, your smile can change the world in ways you can’t even comprehend. Make an effort today. You’re more powerful than you realize.


During these last two weeks my emotions have been up and down. So many things are happening all at once: Operation Boot Camp every morning, my sister moving to Texas, me moving from one job to another career path that I haven't found yet, training for my second marathon, and saying goodbye. It wasn't until the last couple of days that I remembered that things happen for a reason and that I don't need to be in this Negative Nancy slump. If I have a Debbie Downer disposition than that attitude will spread and infect others. No way dude. It's time to refocus and share the positivity. Times do get tough (trust me), but if you still maintain a slumpy attitude it doesn't help any better.

For better or for worst, there is someone always watching and maybe your extra effort to stay positive might help to brighten someone else's day--whether you know it or not!

FFF Diva Mo

Thursday, May 13, 2010

FFF Diva Advice: "25 Changes to Make the Day More Exciting"

25 Little Changes to Make the Day More Exciting
by Lori Deschene

“All appears to change when we change.” -Henri-Frédéric Amiel

I admit it—I’m a change addict. I love new cities, apartments, jobs and friends. This can be both a strength and a weakness.
On the one hand, I never shy away from a new experience or opportunity. On the other hand, it takes a strong effort for me to stick with anything once the novelty wears off.
So today I started thinking about all the ways I can make a day exciting without changing any of the big things that need to stay constant if I’m to make progress on my larger goals. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

1. Start the day with a blank piece of paper and the question, “What if today were my last?” Write down what you’d do differently and then try to do at least 5 of those things.
2. Wear something much bolder than you usually do. This gives people the opportunity to see you in a new light, which means they may interact with you differently.
3. Take a different path when you walk to work. Maybe you’ll pass a restaurant you’d like to try sometime, or a gym that’s offering free classes.
4. If you drive, park your car a mile away and take the bus the rest of the way. I did this one time and met a man on the bus who I dated for a month. Well worth the detour!
5. If you take public transportation for your commute, make the time meditative or educational. Practice deep breathing, listen to soothing music, or download an audio book for the ride.
6. Bring your camera and take pictures of things that catch your eye throughout the day. You’ll notice a lot more than you usually do—and new people will likely talk to you to figure out what you’re doing.
7. Change your workspace. Bring new pictures and candles, or move your desk if you’re able. Rearranging furniture always makes my space more exciting.
8. Start collecting something you often see throughout the day. It will make the whole day more interesting if you have your eyes peeled for rare coins, specific pens, and odd food labels.
9. Make it a goal to talk to five people you don’t know. And I mean real conversations. Ask them what they do on the weekends, what their favorite memory is, and whether or not they like spam. (OK, the last one is less interesting—but I think it says a lot about you if you eat unidentifiable lunch meat.)
10. Commit to complementing everyone you encounter on something. Sometimes it will be easy; sometimes it will be challenging. Every time it will brighten someone’s day and fill you with joy.
11. Take a class during your lunch break. Head to the gym, learn to do pottery, start guitar lessons. You can always eat a sandwich at your desk later.
12. Eat lunch at a different time than usual. You never know what you’re missing in the office when you head out at the same time every day.
13. Make lunch and bring enough for two people—then offer some to someone in your office.
14. Give yourself a challenge. Maybe it’s to find a lower car insurance rate or talk to someone you secretly admire. I get a big kick out of little victories like these.
15. Read about a topic that’s completely new and interesting to you and then start a conversation about it. It’s always fun to share a new passion, especially if the other person gets excited, too.
16. Learn 10 new words from a thesaurus, and then use them all twice during the day. Maybe I’m just a dork but I get excited about stretching my vocabulary!
17. Practice mindfulness during a boring activity. In Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s book The Miracle of Mindfulness he explains how he stays fully present when washing the dishes—and enjoys it. Anything can be interesting if you get curious about how it works.
18. Count risks. See how many (smart) risks you can take throughout the day—like accepting a difficult assignment or committing to something you’ve never done before.
19. Say yes to everything. In the movie Yes Man, Jim Carrey said yes to absolutely everything—even an intimate moment with someone’s grandma. I’m not suggesting you go to that extreme, but you’ll likely have an exciting day if you say yes to most things you’re asked.
20. Commit random acts of kindness. You’ll get a warm fuzzy feeling and you’ll create some good karma for yourself. You never know when that kindness will come back to you and open up your world.
21. Bet on things. Once on The Office everyone bet on stupid things—like how long it would take Kelly to explain Netflix to Ryan, or whether Creed would notice they replaced his apple with a potato. If you’re pulling an all-nighter this could be a fun way to hold onto your sanity.
22. Set up a profile on a dating site (if you’re single). I was on for a while—don’t laugh—and I have to admit I kind of watched my email like a kid counting down ‘til Christmas.
23. Ask someone to come out to play. Kids are always willing to jump around, get messy, and give get their blood pumping. You still have legs and endorphins—tap into that. Play basketball after work, go bike riding, or spend some time on the swings.
24. Learn something new during all your routine activities. When you buy coffee, ask the barista how long the shop has been there. When you make copies, pay attention to how the machine works.
25. Swap apartments with a friend for a night. Assuming you trust each other, why not? A change of scenery can work wonders; and it’s always fun to see how someone else lives.

I once read that intelligent people are never bored because they’re always curious. You’re smart—start exploring! If you keep your mind engaged and fresh during your downtime, you’ll have far more passion and focus when it’s time to get productive. And equally important, you’ll enjoy more of the minutes that would otherwise just pass by.
Before you go! If you didn’t already see it, check out my guest post on Zen Habits, Letting Go of Attachment, from A to Zen. Thank you to Leo for posting it, and thank you to all of you for supporting Tiny Buddha!

Read more about me in the About or FAQ pages. You can also visit me on or on Twitter @lori_deschene.

Monday, May 10, 2010

FFF Diva Advice: "10 Tips to Let Go of the Past So It Won’t Anchor You Down"

10 Tips to Let Go of the Past So It Won’t Anchor You Down

Posted: 10 May 2010 12:30 AM PDT

by Maelina Frattaroli

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road…unless you fail to make the turn.” ~Unknown

Let’s face it: we all dwell on the past from time to time. That’s okay—we’re human beings with emotions. As we live life and experience it to its fullest, it’s only natural that we sometimes cling onto what once was.

But, when our desire to cling to the past affects our future, we begin a potentially unhealthy and seemingly endless battle with anchors that can hold us down and sink us.

For the past six years, I’ve dreaded spring. While many would embrace the rain, the newborn green, and the post-winter renaissance, I’d plead with the powers that be to skip past March and April.

For me, spring is a brutal reminder of a series of unfortunate events. I experienced two subsequent losses that made me think I had to be miserable.

I carried this burden with me, letting it anchor me down, which made certain locations, dates, and possibilities “off limits.” I dreaded every arrival of spring, afraid that my emotions would spin out of control because of these anchors.

Sometimes they did, but it took be a while to realize it was because I let them.

Whether you’ve experienced a breakup, a tragic death, or a streak of bad luck, certain people, places, and things probably anchor you to the past. These tips may help you leProxy-Connection: keep-alive
Cache-Control: max-age=0

go and move forward:

1. Anchor your Ship

Allow yourself time to cling to the anchors that bind you. Though it may seem like a strange piece of advice, this is the first step in the process of moving on. Perhaps set a half hour every night to “dwell,” then challenge yourself not to dwell before or after then.

2. Think it Through

When you begin to dwell on the past more than you feel is healthy, ask yourself a series of open-ended questions: Why does this memory matter to me? Does it serve me to restrict certain opportunities because they remind me of this memory?

What’s the worst that can happen if I’m faced with a brutal reminder of this memory? What can I do to live with this memory, accept it, and move forward? And of course, eliminate could/should/would from your vocabulary.

3. Stop Rehashing

In Lori’s and my recent post about giving advice that helps, we mentioned that people love to rehash their problem in hopes of gaining new insight or hearing what we want to hear. I can assure you, this won’t work.

In fact, you may feel even more compelled to dwell on the past. If you stop telling your story, you’ll realize more and more each day that you’re the one in control. You have the power to un-anchor yourself.

4. Toss ’em in a Box

This is a crafty way of letting go of the anchor. Find any old shoebox and stuff it with memories you may have of whatever’s holding you down. For me, it was a few letters, a deck of cards, a toy soldier, and a necklace.

Shut the box and hide it until you’re ready to revisit it again with a different mindset. The key is to not allow yourself to hide it forever, but to get yourself to a place where you can achieve acceptance.

5. Put it into Words

You don’t have to be an eloquent writer to get your feelings out in a letter. Take a pen and jot (or even doodle) down everything you’ve ever wanted to say to your anchor-person (or if it’s situational, personify the memory).

Paper is tougher than you think, so don’t hold anything back. Now comes the hardest part: dispose of your letter. Bury it, shred it, or even burn it. I thought this was clichéd advice until I actually tried it. It felt wonderful.

6. Realize Who Matters

Take Dr. Seuss’s words to heart: “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Take this as an opportunity to discover who is really touching your life now.

Who’s truly there for you? How can you enjoy your shared connection with a person to your life now? Try your hardest to forget about who once was there for you.

7. Reciprocate the Effort

Subsequently, be there for those who are there for you. This is a great step in building new and meaningful relationships to help focus on the present. Perhaps they’re anchored down, too. You can help each other. This is why reciprocated relationships are the only ones that truly work.

8. Find your Thing

Your anchor does not own you. It cannot dictate your actions, make you feel inferior, or restrict you from living the life you want without your consent.

You are your own person, every anatomical and emotional part of you. Find something unique, make it your own, and rise up. For me, rediscovering my rollerblading hobby and contributing to Tiny Buddha have helped.

9. Disconnect (or Reconnect)

I use these terms interchangeably. By disconnecting from an anchor, you’re reconnecting with yourself.

Open up that anchor box you’ve kept hidden. Look at its contents with an accepting, not pessimistic or self-defeating attitude. Walk the streets you once walked and maybe you’ll notice a newly painted house or get the chance to pet a puppy along the way.

10. Make New Memories

Keep yourself busy with physical activity, join a club and meet like-minded people, meet someone who has no clue what you do for a living and why you do it, and just live as much as you can.

Every day, you have the opportunity to make new memories happen. This is a gift we often take for granted.

Remember, anchors don’t have to hold you down. If you choose to let go, they can become slight road-bends in the endless highway of life.

About the Author: Maelina resides on the NY/CT line. She believes that most of life’s complexities can be cured through the written word; listening to Neil Diamond; and garlic-infused dishes. For more info send it to email @

Thursday, May 6, 2010

FFF Diva Advice: "See Mommy Run...With ME!" just in time for Mother's Day!

See Mommy Run...With ME!

By Farel B. Hruska


As moms, we continually make choices to model healthy behavior for our children that usually take the form of "living by example".

Being a healthy role model can include a plethora of choices we make for ourselves; eating nutritious foods, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and getting regular exercise. But, is there more we can do to empower our children and get them excited about living a healthy lifestyle? There is, make fitness a team effort!

Partner Up
Beyond our individual choices are the choices we make as a family. One great opportunity to share fitness with your children is to directly involve them in an event. There are some great child appropriate races all over the country where parents can run alongside their children. The distances tend to range from half a mile to a 5K; pick the distance based on your child's abilities and age.

Train Together
Training together can be as fun as completing the actual race. Sit down with a calendar to schedule your runs with your child and make "dates" to run together. Look at the distance you will need to complete and the number of runs you both will need to do in order to practice before the main event.

Involve your child in picking the race, ask them where they would like to do their training runs and ask for ideas on ways to stay healthy and strong on the off-days--when you don't have a run planned. This may seem very simple--and it is--however the meaning it has for your child is enormous.

Here are some of the feelings or thoughts your child can take awaProxy-Connection: keep-alive
Cache-Control: max-age=0

from this experience with mom:

* Running is fun
* Exercise is important
* I can accomplish a goal
* I am strong
* My mom is strong
* My mom wants to be strong with me
* My mom wants to be with me!

Take the time to set goals with your children, do the work to ready yourselves for that goal and then complete it by their side. You will not only be a role model by example, you have now included and empowered your child, as well!

Farel Hruska has over 16 years experience as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She is the National Fitness Director for Stroller Strides, holding Stroller Strides certifications throughout the country and supporting hundreds of instructors nationwide. Hruska is a national educator and presenter in pre/postnatal fitness education, as well as a CEC provider for the American Council on Exercise and Aerobics (ACE) and the Fitness Association of America (AFAA).
Related Posts with Thumbnails