How To Get Strong, Sexy Calves

There’s nothing sexier than a great dress that fits just right, but it’s even sexier when your calf muscles look strong and sculpted too. I’ve compiled some simple activities and exercises you can do to sculpt beautiful, toned calves so you can rock your skirts and dresses with confidence this summer.

Fortunately, there’s not a lot of extra work required to build your calf muscles. Your calf muscle size and shape is largely determined by genetics. However, there is a lot you can do to improve the strength and muscle tone in your calves.

When you’re vertically positioned during exercise, it will maximize the benefits for your calves. Many of the best calf “exercises” are common activities you may already do as part of your every day life, such as running (especially uphill), hiking, climbing stairs and dancing.

Outside of everyday activities, there are also some calf specific exercises you can do to help strengthen your calves.

  • Calf raises: Stand on one leg holding a weight in one hand. Take one to two seconds to lift your heel off the floor as high as possible. Lower the heel back down to the floor more slowly, taking four to six seconds. Repeat until your calf is completely fatigued, and you can no longer complete the full range of movement.This move emphasizes the eccentric or lengthening (lowering) phase of this exercise to induce more muscle growth. Perform this exercise two to three times a week, never on consecutive days.
  • Plié Jumps: You can do plié jumps with your feet together or apart, your toes turned out or straight ahead.  Just keep your knees pointed in the same direction as your toes when you land and push off.  Plié jumps do not require a deep knee bend. They are quick jumps, with a relatively shallow bend at the knee. The focus is on rolling through the foot on both take off and landing.Take off proceeds with the release of the heel, followed by the ball of the foot, and concluding with a final push of the toes off the floor. Landing is just the reverse: toe, ball, heel. If you are doing it properly, you will barely hear yourself land. Once again, do these until you are fatigued. From workout to workout, alter the degree of toe turnout and the width between your feet
  • Ankle Alphabet: While seated on the floor with your knees up, elevate one leg in the air and begin writing out the alphabet with your foot. Alternate between feet, as well as tracing the alphabet in lowercase and uppercase letters. Do this exercise three times on each side.

Incorporating these calf exercises into your exercise routine will help you to create strong, beautifully sculpted calves that you will love!

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Healing Dry, Cracked Heels At Home

Isn’t summer the best? I just love the warm weather, throwing on sandals, heading to the beach and relaxing with friends. However, one of my least favorite parts about sandal season is the dry, cracked heels that often come with frequently wearing sandals or flip-flops. When you look down at your feet and see those white, dry heels full of callouses and cracks, it really decreases the sexy factor of that favorite pair of sexy heels. Luckily, there are some great, easy home remedies you can use to help keep your heels moisturized and smooth this summer.

Cause

So why do our feet get so crusty and dry during the summer? When you are walking barefoot in sandals where your feet is experiencing friction, your foot naturally builds up a thick, callous like layer to protect itself from the friction and the hard surfaces. If you find you are constantly in sandals or barefoot in the summer months, consider switching it up a bit. Try wearing soft, cushioned slippers when you’re in the house, or at least some soft, cushioned socks. Wear sneakers with socks if you plan to go somewhere like an amusement park and do a lot of walking.

Water

Be sure to keep yourself properly hydrated so your skin doesn’t dehydrate. As a rule of thumb, I usually suggest AT LEAST half your body weight in ounces a day, and even more in the summer. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be drinking at least 100 oz. of water every day. If you drink coffee or soda, which are dehydrating, then you need to drink more water to make up for it.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are essential to good skin health. I’m not talking about the kind you find in cheese, chips or burgers. You want to choose HEALTHY fats! Some of my favorites healthy fats that can help improve skin elasticity and moisture are avocado, grass fed butter, grass fed ghee, coconut oil and olive oil. Moisturizing your body from the inside out will help make a difference in avoiding overly dry heels.

Treating Your Heels

So if you already have dry heels, what’s a girl to do? Here is my regimen that I find helpful for getting rid of those nasty white, dry heels when they creep in!

  1. Deep clean/soak your feet: Soaking your feet using the foot soak recipe below. Be sure to clean all the spaces on your feet with a washcloth, including the areas in between your toes.
  2. Exfoliate: Using a bristle brush, exfoliate your feet and ankles. Start at the ankle area and brush in a circular motion to the tips of your toes, working your way around the top and the bottom of the feet. Yo can also use a pumice stone. Be sure not to be aggressive when exfoliating, or you can do more harm than good.
  3. Moisturize: Using a thick, creamy lotion or mask, coat the feet and let the moisturizer sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping off with a warm washcloth. If possible do all of this before bed, then put on soft, cotton socks immediately after applying moisturizer.

Foot Soak Recipe

  • 1 cup of Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts
  • 2 drops lavender oil (Lavendula angustifolia)
  • 2 drops tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 2 drops eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • 2 drops camomile oil (Matricaria recutita)
  • Mix oils and store in a dark glass jar

To create the soak: pour boiling water into a large bowl, and let it cool down to a comfortable temperature. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the cleansing foot soak mixture, and soak feet for up to 15 minutes.

As with any condition, prevention is always easier than treatment, so be sure to regularly care for your feet to avoid any extreme issues that come from neglect over time.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

How To Wear Heels Pain-Free

As most of us women know, sometimes flats just won’t cut it. When you want to look and feel sexy, heels are where it’s at. So what’s a girl to do when torn between feeling comfortable and torturing herself in a sexy pair of heels? There are a few tricks you can apply to help keep your feet feeling happy.

  1. Thicker heels are better. You can still be sexy without a stiletto. Of course there will be times when an outfit just requires a thinner heel, but for everyday use, try to go with a bit more support. The thicker the heel of the shoe, the more support it will offer your body and the less wobbling you will do.
  2. Take your shoes off intermittently throughout the day to give your feet a break. If you have some down time under your desk, kick your shoes off and let your feet stretch out and get some air. Keeping your feet crammed into heels all day is usually a recipe for achey feet. Flex your toes up and down and rotate side to side to stretch the calves, arches and achilles tendons.
  3. Thicker platforms under the ball of your foot are better. They give you more cushioning under your feet so you have less pressure on your metatarsals. Look for shoes that have a rubber or PU base because they will offer more cushion than some of the harder materials like wood or plastic.
  4. Shoes with more coverage on the foot offer more support. The strappier the shoe, the more discomfort you will feel. In the cooler months, opt for boots that will hug and support the foot. In warmer months, opt for platforms, wedges and sandals with thicker straps (preferably also with an ankle strap for added support). To find comfortable shoes that look and feel amazing on your feet, check out: http://aetrex.com/women/heels-wedges
  5. Use an orthotic or foot pad to add cushioning and support to your shoe. Aetrex’s Lynco Women’s Fashion Orthotics help provide much needed comfort and support for your favorite fashion footwear. These innovative orthotics are flexible, ultra light-weight and designed for support and pressure relief. The unique Cobra shape and built-in Lynco support comfortably balances your feet and helps provide proper body alignment. Made from soft, breathable full grain leathers and state-of-the-art thermoplastic urethanes. You can purchase them here: http://aetrex.com/women/lynco-orthotics-womens/lynco-fashion-series
  6. Be sure you are wearing the right size shoes! You would be surprised to find out how many people wear shoes that are the wrong size. Be sure to get your feet measured by a professional. You can also visit a location that uses iStep foot scanning technology for a total foot evaluation. The Step will identify your arch type, foot size and pressure points. It will then recommend the appropriate orthotics for your particular needs. With the right orthotic style and in combination with the proper footwear, you can prevent unnecessary foot pain and achieve maximum foot comfort to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. In a matter of  seconds you’ll be on your way to a better life. You can find your local iStep location here: http://aetrex.com/store-locator/

By treating your feet right, making sure your shoes fit and ensuring you get breaks throughout the day, it is possible to wear heels pain-free!

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.