A Treadmill Vs. an Elliptical for the Gluteus Muscles

Both treadmills and ellipticals are pieces of exercise equipment, providing cardiovascular activity that effectively tones lower-body muscles. Because treadmills offer running or walking opportunities, gluteus muscles are necessary to continuously propel the body forward, especially when the treadmill is at an incline. Ellipticals simulate the act of running but reduce the amount of weight-bearing pressure on hips

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, knees and ankles, something that treadmills do not. The hamstrings, quads and gluteus muscles all receive a comprehensive workout when exercising on an elliptical as well.
Gluteus muscles consist of three separate muscles: the gluteus medius, maximus and minimus. The medius facilitates thigh movement of the leg away from the body, as when kicking a leg out to the side. Our ability to stand up and remain standing is controlled by the gluteus maximus. The minimus, which is the smallest gluteus muscle, assists other muscles in performing walking, sitting and standing motions. This strong, versatile glute muscle supports tendons in the pelvic and thigh area as well.
To give the gluteus muscles a harder workout, treadmill enthusiasts should incline the treadmill platform to effectuate a lunging style of walking or jogging. Sometimes called “incline training” this type of exercise forces the gluteus muscles to uphold a trainer’s body weight and continuously shift it from one leg to another. However, when walking or jogging on a treadmill that is not inclined, a tendency to work hip flexors more than glutes exists because there is no incline to add stress to the glutes. Most trainers alternate between walking on an inclined treadmill and a non-inclined treadmill to avoid developing muscle imbalance.
Ellipticals provide a comprehensive workout for all parts of the body, including the gluteus muscles. Although the exerciser experiences the movements involved in walking and running, the impact on joints is less than it is on treadmills because of the gliding motion provided by ellipticals. So if you want to tone your butt muscles but suffer from issues provoked by weight-bearing exercises, an elliptical would be a good choice to begin this type of program. However, the general consensus is that treadmills may be more effective at working out the glutes than ellipticals.
According to a study conducted in 2007 by the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, jogging on a treadmill engages almost 50 percent of the gluteus maximus, whereas an elliptical only works out 32 percent of the same muscle. However, because some individuals may not be able to withstand the high impact exercise provided by a treadmill, the elliptical is the next best thing. Altering the way you stand on an elliptical may add more stress to the glutes. Try pushing your butt out farther and forcefully bringing your heel down when “glide-walking” on an elliptical.

Yoga and Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is a thickening of the nerves at the base of the third and fourth toes. A variety of things can cause the nerves to thicken, such as wearing high-heeled shoes, running or the genetic makeup of your feet. As the nerves thicken, you begin to feel almost as if there is a lump under the skin, which can be painful when you walk. Yoga is very effective in helping prevent and treat Morton’s Neuroma, as it helps open up the feet and relieve stress to the nerves.
Morton’s Neuroma often happens because the feet are compressed in small-toed shoes or because of constant stress to the balls of the feet while running or playing sports. Since the feet are compressed, this creates the buildup of nerve tissue. By opening up the foot, the nerves become less compressed and the tissue slowly unravels, which in turn relieves the pain of the Neuroma. Yoga is founded on the principles of opening pathways through the body starting with the feet as the grounding template. Yoga is done barefoot and, thus

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, gives the feet a chance to stretch and ground in an open space. Not only this, but certain yoga poses are designed specifically to open the feet.
Hero pose, or Virasana, helps open up the top of the foot and strengthen the sole and arches of the foot. Over time, it helps reconstruct and realign the tarsal (toe) bones by spreading the toes and opening up the space between the toes. This is turn relieves pressure on the balls of the feet and helps support the arches, which relieves the stress put on the neuroma. To do this pose, sit on your heels with your feet underneath you, the tops of your feet down. It can also be done with the toes tucked to increase the opening across the base of the toes

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. To start Happy Baby pose, lie on your back with your feet up, which allows the blood and lymph fluid pooled in the feet to travel back up your legs, in turn helping to maintain healthy pathways through the feet. It is also an excellent opportunity to use your hands to help open the feet. Lie on your back, knees bent into chest, and place your feet in your hands. Hook your thumb between the big toe and second toe and hold your big toe. Use your fingers to pull open the outer (lateral) blade of the foot.
Standing poses also open up the feet, but may put undue pressure on the neuroma, depending on the severity. The main goal for the feet in any standing pose is to make sure you activate all four corners of the foot. Crescent lunge is a great way to practice this. Start standing and simply feel your feet pressed against the floor. Push down equally with your inner heels, outer heels, base of big toes and base of fifth toes. Next, step your right foot back into a high-heeled lunge position, allowing your toes to spread out as wide as possible and focusing on putting pressure equally across the bases of the toes. Repeat on the left side.
Make sure you also do yoga barefoot to allow the feet to open to their full extent. Before you begin, make sure you warm up your feet by rolling a tennis ball between your foot and the floor. This also helps break up any adhesions in the tissue and over time may help relieve nerve pain in the neuroma. Walk as much as possible without shoes or with wide-toed, supportive shoes. If after doing yoga or any activity, the neuroma hurts, be sure to ice it to reduce swelling and pain.

How To Make Heels Look Nice With Fat Ankles

Women with large calves or big ankles can slim their look by wearing high-heeled shoes. The right heel style can elongate the legs and minimize the size of your ankles. You should avoid shoes that have an ankle strap; this shoe type will draw attention to your ankles. Flat shoes and low heels do not flatter wide legs and ankles either, so avoid these types of footwear. Whenever you plan to sport heels, reduce your salt intake. Too much salt causes water to pool around the feet

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, triggering swelling.
Wear shoes that have details on the toes such as rhinestone accents or bows. This will draw the eye away from your ankles. Do not wear high heels with ankle straps except for Mary Jane-style shoes. These types of shoes have a low strap with a center strap that divides the foot.
Try a pair of open-toed heels with a medium to high heel. Sling-backed or open-backed heels give the illusion of longer legs, too.
Consider wearing a shoe that has a chunky heel such as platform wedges

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. Wearing shoes with a heel that is too thin will accentuate wide ankles. Find shoes that have a medium to thick heel for the best look.

What Causes Blisters on the Bottom of Your Feet When Walking?

Walking is the perfect exercise for many of us: gentle, low-impact and accessible. Walking can help lower bad cholesterol and raise the good kind, as well as manage weight

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, mood, type 2 diabetes and blood pressure. However, the common problem of blisters on the feet is frustrating and painful enough to sideline anyone¡¯s fitness regimen. Exercise walkers should be careful to avoid blisters and know how to properly treat them if they appear.
Blisters appear when improperly-fitting shoes or clothing rub against the skin. Over time, this friction causes the outer layer of skin to separate from the inner layers, forming a pocket between the layers. Sensing irritation, the body responds by creating lymph fluid to lubricate the area. The pocket fills with this lymph fluid and creates the familiar bubble known as a blister. This type of blister is generally a reaction to ill-fitting shoes, improper shoes with large interior seams and perspiration. Blisters on the bottom of the feet are likely to be caused by the foot sliding back and forth in a too-large shoe in combination with the warm, wet conditions caused by perspiration.
Blood blisters are similar in action and appearance to common blisters, but are red in color due to blood that has leaked into the lymph and tissues in response to strain or trauma. This type of blister indicates that a blood vessel has been damaged or broken by an impact or pinch, possibly in addition to the creation of a common blister. These blisters are not dangerous, but they are a sign that a larger degree of irritation may be present. A blood blister on the bottom of the foot is probably a sign of a sudden impact.
The common blister is relatively easy to avoid. Make sure your walking shoes fit properly, since both too-tight and too-loose shoes may lead to excessive friction. Choose shoes that fit without creating pressure against the anklebones or heel and socks that are close-fitting and not too thick. Change your socks often and use foot powder to keep the foot dry. Check the insides of your shoes for any raised seams. If you find any potential sources of irritation, select a different pair of shoes. If new shoes are not an option, or you continue to get blisters in spite of preventative methods

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, you may use athletic tape or petroleum jelly on the blister-prone areas prior to walking.
Most blisters will drain and go away on their own, but if a blister is very large or painful, it may be necessary to pop it. To do so, first sterilize a pin with a flame or rubbing alcohol. Use the pin to puncture the very edge of the blister and press gently to drain the fluid. Leave the skin intact over the blister. Gently apply antibiotic cream or ointment to the area, and cover it with a sterile bandage. If you will be walking again before the wound heals, use athletic tape to secure the bandage.

How Long Should You Wait to Exercise a Sprained Ankle?

If you start ankle exercises too soon or progress exercises too fast following an ankle sprain, you could cause more damage and delay your recovery. Ankle sprain rehabilitation is divided into three phases. Knowing these phases will help you determine when to start ankle exercises and what exercises are appropriate. The severity of your ankle sprain and your symptoms, such as swelling and pain

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, will influence your rehabilitation timeline. Consult a physical therapist or athletic trainer for guidance.
An ankle sprain occurs when one or more ligaments become stretched or torn, and it may be categorized as a grade I, II or III sprain. Grade I is a mild sprain when ankle ligaments are overstretched but not torn. Grade II is when ligaments partially tear, and grade III is a complete rupture or tear of one or more ligaments.
The goal of phase one is to reduce swelling and pain. This phase can last between one and seven days after your ankle sprain. Rest, applying ice and wearing an elastic bandage during this time is necessary. For grade III ankle sprains, wearing a walking boot or using crutches is also necessary. Elevating your ankle above your heart and taking over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen can further reduce swelling. Most exercises will be too painful to perform during this phase, with the exception of possibly isometric exercises. Isometric ankle exercises involve pushing your foot in a given direction against resistance, such as a wall, but not moving your ankle.
Phase two may begin after the first 72 hours or when your swelling and pain start to subside. The duration of phase two is between one and three weeks, depending on the severity of your ankle sprain. During this phase, you will perform light ankle exercises to increase ankle flexibility and strength. Exercises include ankle circles, marble pickup

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, single-leg balance and heel walking. For marble pickup, slowly pick up marbles using your toes and place them in a container while seated in a chair. Perform exercises several times daily. To maintain cardiovascular fitness, bike, swim or aqua-jog three to five days a week.
Phase three begins after you have regained normal ankle flexibility and have improved ankle strength and stability. The duration of phase three varies from a few days for a grade I ankle sprain to a couple of weeks for a grade III sprain. During this phase, perform sport-specific or functional exercises that are similar to your daily activities and exercises while still incorporating phase two exercises. For example, you may run for two to five minutes, perform a quick agility drill and then perform single-leg balance on a wobble board. Phase three eases you back into your normal exercise routine without re-injury. Because of this, functional or sport-specific exercises are initially performed only two to three days a week, not on consecutive days.

The Advantages Of Straight Leg Jeans Compared To Boot Cut

Jeans come in many cuts and styles

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; but sometimes it can be tough trying to figure out which one is right for you. There are some benefits, however

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, to wearing certain styles of jeans. Straight-leg denim, for instance, has a few advantages over boot-cut styles.
If your body type falls into the straight-up-and-down category, you may want to give the illusion of having curves. Ladies with boyish shapes look fantastic in straight-leg denim. The style hugs the body and gives you more shape. Tuck in a blouse to add even more shape and your figure-flattering, curvy look is all set.
Straight-leg jeans easily tuck into your boots while boot-cut denim doesn’t. If you want to show off a stylish pair of boots, straight leg denim works better than boot cut, which will cover your shoe. From ankle boots to thigh highs, straight-leg styles flaunt most shoe styles. Ladies with curvier shapes can pull this look off, too. If you’re worried about looking too wide on bottom, pair your denim with a high-heeled boot and a flowy blouse to balance out your proportions.
On the same note, because you can tuck your pant legs in — or not — straight-leg jeans offer more versatility than boot-cut styles. Pumps, sandals and ballet flats can also work with un-tucked straight-leg styles and look just as chic. Straight leg works well with flowy tops or fitted ones, so you have versatility up top as well. Boot-cut jeans work well with fitted tops but can be harder to wear with looser fit ones, as the look will come off more baggy than chic.
If you’re looking to go modern, straight-leg styles are the way to go. They’re the favorite go-to style of many celebs and people in the fashion sect, and can be dressed up or down. Try yours with sky-high heels and a blazer, or keep it simple in flats and a comfy sweater. Either way will keep you modern and chic.

How to Fix the Bottom of the High Heels When They Wear Out

Your heels were made for walking, but your favorites wear out quickly. High heels are a fashion staple but each step wears out the tips. Save yourself the time and money — and hassle of getting to the shoe shop before closing time — by replacing your heel tips at home. The process is relatively simple and extends your favorite pair of heels so you can walk in them for years to come.
Flip over the pair of heels and measure the height of the heel tip. You can find a chart of corresponding replacement heel tip sizes online. Based on the shape and size of the heel tip, buy replacement heel tips at online retailers, cobbler shops or in the shoe department at most supermarket stores. If you cannot figure out the exact size of your heel tip, most brands of replacements should be able to fit one size up or down.
Using a pair of pliers, remove the old heel tips by lightly twisting and wriggling until the old heel tips pop out.
Sand down the shoe with sandpaper if the heel is uneven or holds remnants of glue or other material. Once the old tip is out, align the nail of the new tip with the hole on your shoe.
Use a hammer to push the new tip into place by using a light tapping action

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. Once the tip is fully secure, repeat the process with the other shoe.

Exercises to Help Keep Your Heels Down in Your Riding Position

A correctly positioned heel ¡ª one that sits just below the stirrup bar ¡ª allows your calf and ankle to flexibly absorb the movement of the horse. Olympic dressage coach Jane Savoie advises that if your heel will not stay down, it may not be a heel problem at all, but rather an issue with your calf muscles being rigid or stiff. Exercises that stretch your calf, making the muscles soft and springy, will often help your heels go down easier.
Calf stretches help you to drop your heel and ride with a long leg. Stand with the balls of your feet on the edge of a 2- to 4-inch-high step. With your knees straight, lower your heels until you feel the calf muscles stretch, and hold the position for five to 10 seconds. If you don’t have access to a step, place your hands on a wall, standing approximately three feet back. With your feet, hips and shoulders pointed at the wall, step forward with your left foot and slowly bend the knee, stretching the calf muscle. Be sure to keep your right leg straight and both heels on the ground. Hold for 15 seconds and switch sides.
Cherry Hill, award-winning author of more than 30 books on horse training and care, recommends stretching hamstrings ¡ª the large muscles at the back of the thigh ¡ª to help you ride with a long, secure leg and deep seat. Stand with your feet together and knees straight. Pick up your right foot and cross it in front of your left leg

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, placing it on the ground perpendicular to the outside of your left foot. Bend at the waist, reaching for the floor until your hamstrings fully stretch

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. Straighten up and switch legs.
You’re probably familiar with the term lunge as it relates to riding, namely as a technique for exercising and training horses from the ground. The term lunge also refers to a popular weight-training exercise for working the lower body. Lunges also improve balance, the hallmark of centered riding. With your spine straight, step forward about two feet with your right foot. Keeping your back leg straight and the heel down, bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle. You should feel your calf muscle stretching as your quadriceps muscles support your weight. Straighten up and switch legs.
If you have an unflappable, steady equine, or a good human assistant, try stretching while mounted. Suzanne Sheppard, a horse trainer and Centered Riding clinician, recommends simultaneously loosening up the hips, knees and ankles to help get those heels down. While holding your reins, place your palms on either side of the horse’s withers. Using your hands as supports, stand up as high as you can on your toes, leaning forward at your hips. Hold for two to three seconds. With your heels still up, bend your knees. Slowly relax your ankles, letting your heels fall down. Repeat these steps eight to 10 times. Start the exercise at the halt, but once comfortable, you can graduate to the walk.
Gripping with your knees can destabilize your lower leg and pull your heels up. Ensure your kneecaps are pointing down to lengthen your thigh and drop your whole leg downward. Many riders force their toes inward in an attempt to keep their foot parallel to the horse¡¯s body, causing their ankle to stiffen. Try turning your toes out at roughly a 35-degree angle to help loosen the ankle and drop the heel. As with all exercises, never stretch to the point of pain. Inhale deeply into the stretch and exhale completely during the stretch to allow your muscles to fully relax and release.

Essential Oils That Have Drawing Properties

Essential oils known for their drawing properties are useful cosmetically and medicinally. Also known as astringents, these essential oils help tighten skin tissue and close pores while drawing excess oil from greasy and acne-prone complexions. Essential oils that draw also help remove pus and blood from wounds, and coax phlegm from flu-wracked chests and sinuses. Always check with your doctor before using essential herbs. Even though most are applied topically, they can still cause side effects.
Cedarwood¡¯s drawing action makes it useful for dealing with oily hair and skin, as well as for illnesses that involve excess mucous in the chest and sinus passages, notes aromatherapist Jeanne Rose. Add one to two drops to face masks, face and body washes or shampoos, and consider adding a drop to ¡°vapo-rub¡± massage oil. Look for Atlas cedar oil rather than cedarleaf, or thuja, oil, which is sometimes a skin irritant. All of the cedars should be avoided by people with high blood pressure, Rose warns.
Like cedarwood, cypress combines the resinous aroma of the forest with drawing properties. Rose recommends its astringent action for face and hair preparations. Consider applying the essential oil to rub on your hands and feet if excess perspiration is a problem. Dilute the oil in water first

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, or mix it with body powder. Balancing the body’s oil and sweat glands is one of cypress’ primary advantages, and it doesn’t have the potential negative effects on hypertensive patients that cedarwood may, according to Rose. Use it in diluted form on hemorrhoids.
Sage¡¯s drawing powers make it useful in herbal formulas for antiperspirants and foot powders, as well as facial toners and aftershave splashes. Use a drop or two of the essential oil in homemade formulas, or add to commercial products to help control perspiration

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, oily skin and acne. Common sage may be too strong for skin contact for some people because of its high thujone content. Consider using Spanish sage instead.
A common ingredient in herbal face masks and hair tonics, rosemary essential oil is well-known for its drawing properties, notes herbal beauty author Dina Falconi. Use it to clean the scalp quickly by adding a drop or two to your hair and briskly working it into the scalp. Rosemary oil also works well in facial steams and face masks. Use it in diluted form on hemorrhoids.
Herbalists prize this ¡°degreaser¡± for its drawing power, especially in cosmetic applications. Lemongrass is the perfect choice for those who want an astringent oil with a citrus scent. Falconi notes that the scent of lemongrass essential oil is stronger than other lemon essential oils, so use it sparingly to achieve the right balance. Add lemongrass oil to deodorants, facial tonics, body powder and shampoo.

What Foods to Eat Before Surgery to Help Recovery

Following a nutritious diet is important for everyday health. If you are preparing for surgery, a healthy diet is even more important for you. Getting the right nutrients can boost your immune system and help you heal faster and it doesn¡¯t mean you need a specialized diet.
Your immune system is responsible for keeping you well. It has multiple ways of defending your body. It protects you from bacteria and viruses and when you do get sick, it helps you recover. Your immune system also triggers an inflammatory response which is responsible for wound healing. Supporting the immune system with good nutrition before surgery can help your recovery go smoothly.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends getting enough antioxidants to enhance your immune system. Antioxidants come from vitamins and minerals in the food that you eat. Their job is to remove the harmful free radicals from the bloodstream. Free radicals are the toxic byproducts that are the result of the body turning food into energy. Free radicals can damage DNA and impair the immune system. Most fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants. Many of these foods are identifiable by their bright red, yellow or orange colors. Foods such as tomatoes, spinach, carrots, berries, red grapes, cranberries, apples, peanuts and broccoli are good sources of antioxidants.
Protein plays an important role in healing, and making sure you are not protein-deficient before surgery can help speed your recovery. Eat cottage cheese, yogurt, fish, tuna, chicken

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, turkey or eggs to provide yourself with good sources of protein. If you are a vegetarian try to include soy milk, tofu and legumes in your diet before surgery. Almonds, walnuts and peanut butter are also natural protein sources.
Before your surgery, avoid foods that increase the inflammatory response. According to the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, foods that increase the inflammatory response include refined carbohydrates, such as sugar and white flour; saturated fats from red meat and organ meats; trans fats from commercially baked cookies, cakes and pastries; and alcohol.