Putting A Spring In Your Step

The late great, Marilyn Monroe once said, “Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world.”

Well, with the warmer weather here [honestly!] it’s time to get out and put a spring in our step.  I tend to think flat shoes are good for my feet.  So, I’ve kicked off my heavy winter boots and am now in light fashionable ballet pumps. But these have thin soles and offer little support and indeed can change the way I walk and encourage my arches to drop. [note to self: – maybe they’re why I’m feeling aches and pains in my knees and back?  Everyday shoes with a low broad heel are a more comfortable option.  I must look some out! On second thoughts my achy, creaky body could be the result of overdoing the gardening – but at least I’m being active which is good for my health.

Did you know that the average step is 2.1 – 2.5 feet in length?  Although it sounds a lot just 2,000 steps make a mile.  Sedentary folk walk only 1,000 – 3,000 steps each day, but the majority of us walk between 3,000 – 4,000 steps. For health’s sake we should all aim for 10,000 steps a day (5 miles) minimum.

With all this activity it’s not surprising our feet sometimes develop lumps and bumps and may be in need of a little TLC.  To ensure mine are fit for spring, especially following a winter hidden away in boots, I intend to spend time pampering and treating them to a pedicure, in order to keep me on my toes and in tip top condition for summer.

A change is as good as a rest, and some shoes can exacerbate many common foot complaints.  If like me you’re out a lot and want to wear high heels, make sure you keep a pair of flats in your handbag to change into. Wearing high heels with pointed toes can be uncomfortable and particularly bad if you have bunions. As are restrictive winter boots, keeping the bunions enclosed and adding to the pain.

When you feel pain act fast, because it’s well-known that discomfort shows on the face!  Today I refuse to be a slave to fashion and now older and wiser listen to my body and make footwear changes if necessary.

And what a relief…it makes me look and feel much better!

Question 1 CELLULITE  

My husband and I recently retired and have booked a summer cruise to celebrate.   My only worry is that my thighs and bottom are not in good shape for lazing around a swimming pool all day!   Is there anything I can do to shift cellulite in time? Janet Poole – Bristol

Answer 1 CELLULITE

Janet you are not alone!   Cellulite is a word horribly engraved on most women’s minds if not their bottoms and thighs! This stubborn “orange peel” type skin affects so many women at many stages of life, with hormones playing an important part in its formation – at puberty, during pregnancy and around the time of the menopause.

A combination of a good diet and exercise is my advice to rid you of it. A critical assessment of one’s eating habits is essential. Out go fats, refined sugar, excess salt and alcohol. In come lean meats, raw vegetables, skimmed milk and plenty of water and fresh fruit juices.  The aim is to purify your body’s system and rid it of excess toxins which encourage cellulite.

Exercise will tone and strengthen your body and massage will work on cellulite spots by breaking down the nodules of fat, improving the circulation, and helping disperse excess fluids and toxins. Use over the counter anti-cellulite preparations in massage to soften and revitalize the skin.

One exercise for bottom and thighs is to lie on your back, knees bent, shoulder width apart with arms at your sides.  Clench buttocks, pull in tum and lift pelvis up off floor transferring weight onto your shoulders.  Hold for 10 seconds, relax down, and repeat 6 times. Janet that will turn your wobble into a wiggle! Enjoy your cruise.

Question 2 LUMP IN BREAST

My partner recently discovered a small lump the size of a pea in my right breast.   I am terrified it might be something awful and don’t want to see my doctor.   What do you think I should do? Jessica Brown – Liverpool

Answer 2 LUMP IN BREAST

Jessica, with a breast lump, however small my advice is to go and see your GP as soon as you can. The chances are it’s nothing serious, but it might be something that needs attention and if diagnosed earlier, treatment can be more successful. I know first-hand the effects breast cancer can have on someone. I was 47 when I was diagnosed and my advice is that all women should get to know their breasts and to recognize if there are changes.  According to Breast Cancer Care the signs and symptoms of breast cancer can include:

  • a lump or thickening that feels different from the rest of the breast tissue
  • a change in size or shape of the breast
  • redness or a rash on the skin and/or around the nipple
  • a change in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling (like orange peel)
  • discharge (liquid) that comes from the nipple without squeezing
  • your nipple becoming inverted (pulled in) or changing its position or shape
  • a swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
  • constant pain in your breast or your armpit

The older you get, the more important it is to be aware, as one in three women who are diagnosed are over 70.  Each year 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK – that’s one person every 10 minutes.