How to Choose Running Shoes That Last

When people talk about running shoes, they tend to refer to them as a category, without much thought to the subcategories like road running shoes or trail running shoes. As a category though, running shoes are designed to act as shock absorbers for the impact that is generated during running. Particularly if you run on hard surfaces, the value of a good running shoe cannot be underestimated and should be treated with the respect that a piece of equipment designed to protect your joints, deserves. The selection of running shoes on the market is enormous, so where do you start when you need to find the perfect pair?

First, figure out your foot shape

The shape of your foot (which is generally determined by the shape of your arches) is the first factor that will play a role in what kind of shoes you need. The shape of your foot is in turn likely to affect your gait, which will inform what type of support you will need. The value of doing your homework (and doing it well) cannot be emphasized enough. 

If you pay a visit to an Asics store in AU, the staff will be able to help you with an assessment of your feet to determine what your gait is, and will be able to advise you accordingly. They will look at your pronation, which is largely about how far your foot rolls inwards or outwards when you move, and advise you on what to do if you are found to be an overpronator or underpronator. 

Testing your gait on your own

It is also possible to test your pronation at home, using a technique called the wet foot test. All you need to do is to wet your foot, and put it down on a piece of paper for 10 seconds. When you study the print, you will be able to find out a lot about your feet that might come as a surprise!

Depending on the thickness of the band joining the front and back parts of your foot, you will be able to make a basic diagnosis on whether you have flat feet or high oraches, which will affect your pronation. The one limitation of the wet foot test is that it does not take your weight, existing injuries, or running style into account, which may still leave you in need of a professional opinion. 

What do I do once I know my gait?

Bear in mind that your gait isn’t right or wrong, desirable, or undesirable – it just is. The purpose of knowing it is to empower you to buy the correct shoes for your type to keep yourself free from injury. An advisor at any of the Asics stores in Australia will be able to advise you on whether you need extra support or padding. Remember that functionality always comes first and that the appearance of any given running shoe should never be a priority over what it offers. The right shoe is your ticket to running without injury, and to better performance.

Waterproofing: nice, but not a deal-breaker

Running shoes that offer a measure of water resistance while maintaining breathability can be great to have, especially if you live in a damp climate. This arrangement will keep your feet dry and ventilated while allowing the heat generated from running to escape from your feet and keep them cool. Dry feet are happy feet, so a moisture-wicking component will go a long way in preventing the development of blisters.

The perfect fit – maybe not at a cost

Sneakers
The sneakers are designed especially for running the fast races

An expensive shoe isn’t automatically the right shoe, and one of the best things you can do for your sanity is to stay out of the mind trap that more expensive means better. The perfect shoe is the one that ticks the boxes on all your requirements, and the price should never be considered an indicator of this. 

When you try on the shoes in the store, remember to bring socks that are similar to the ones you will be running in the long term. Socks can make a huge difference to how your shoes feel and how you experience wearing them. Cotton socks are not a good idea for running, as their moisture-wicking properties are not great, and the accumulation of excess moisture could lead to blisters and chafing.

How to Reach Peak Fitness While Being Mindful of Your Impact on The Planet

Sustainability is on everyone’s minds this year. As we are increasingly seeing the impact humans are having on the environment, it is becoming apparent that everyone has a role to play in reducing the harm done to the planet.  

For the fitness fanatics out there, it is vital to consider the impact of our health routines on the environment. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that fitness lovers can reduce any negative impact their lifestyle has on the environment. This article will explore some of the best ways to stay fit while being mindful of the environment.  

Plan Your Meals 

Plan your meals ahead of time to avoid food waste. Making a meal plan can be a great way to prevent overshopping and having to throw out perfectly good food. It is also a good idea to avoid shopping while hungry, to reduce impulse buying. You could also have your shopping delivered to cut down on the emissions from going to the shop yourself.  

If you do find yourself with excess food about to go out of date, consider donating it to a soup kitchen. Bear in mind that soup kitchens will only accept in-date food, so it is a good idea to consider whether you’ll eat the food well in advance of its use-by date. For any expired food, you could consider starting a compost heap

Choose A Non-Plastic Water Bottle 

While buying a big pack of water bottles from Costco may be convenient to grab and go before a workout, all that waste plastic is definitely harmful to the environment. It is better to find a non-plastic, reusable water bottle. Not only will this reduce the amount of waste plastic you put into the world, but it will also save you money over time. It is best to look for a water bottle made from recycled, ethically sourced, or biodegradable materials.  

Buy High Quality, Durable Workout Clothes 

Avoid buying cheap workout clothes that will only last a few seasons. Consider using workout clothes that will stand the test of time and durability. Do some research to find the right fit and ensure that the clothes you choose are sustainable and eco-friendly.  

Choose Plant-Based Protein Supplements 

Choosing the right supplements to help aid your fitness is crucial. It is also vital to choose supplements made with natural ingredients, without harmful additives. You can find plant-based enhanced protein from the expert supplement brand Ingredient Optimized to help ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs while having minimal impact on the environment.  

Recycle Worn Out Gear 

Once your workout gear is no longer fit for purpose, recycling them rather than tossing them in the trash is important. There are charities that will accept old exercise gear, and even big names brands are starting to accept back their old products to recycle into brand-new exercise equipment. Do some research to find out where you can responsibly donate your old exercise gear.  

Cycle Or Walk To Work 

Turning your commute into a workout is a great way to improve your overall health. It is also a fantastic way to reduce the emissions caused by driving to and from work. While commuting by foot or bike may not be realistic for everyone, it can be hugely beneficial to those who live close enough to their employer. Consider getting public transport rather than driving, and getting your exercise by getting off the train or bus a few stops early and walking the rest of the way.  

Raise Money For Environmental Causes 

You could consider raising money for environmental causes by doing a sponsored race or other exercise challenges. Consider reaching out to a local environmental charity to see if there are any upcoming events you could participate in, or simply start a fundraising page to share with friends and family and donate the proceeds.  

Workout In Nature 

Taking your workout outdoors can have a positive impact on your mental health. You could also join the growing number of fitness enthusiasts that combine exercising outdoors with cleaning up the environment. Plogging is the exercise of collecting trash while jogging and can be a great way to get outdoors, exercise, and clean up the environment all in one.  

Look For An Eco-Friendly Gym 

Eco-friendly gyms are becoming more and more popular. There are gyms that use the energy produced by people working out on treadmills, exercise bikes, and more to power the gym itself. There are also places that plant trees each time they get a new member and other excellent eco-friendly practices. Do some research to find a gym in your local area that prioritizes good environmental practices.  

Go Vegan 

Vegetarian food
Vegetable rings are attached to wooden sticks and are displayed on the plate

A vegan diet can help massively cut down on the number of emissions we are responsible for. You don’t even need to ditch meat and dairy entirely – even one or two vegan days per week can make a difference. The great thing about a vegan diet is that, when done correctly, it is one of the healthiest diets possible.

How to Make Your Used Car as Green as Possible

If you are a person who cares about the environment but you don’t have an electric or a hybrid car, there are still ways for you to make your car greener. Surely an ordinary gasoline car is not going to beat an electric car in terms of energy efficiency, but then again, there is no reason for you not to make even a small difference for our planet if there are ways for you to do that, right? 

Read on to discover tips on how you can make your car more eco-friendly.

Weight of the Car

The operating principle of an average vehicle is simple: if your car is heavy, the engine will burn more fuel, and if your car is lighter, it will need less fuel. Bigger vehicles like SUVs and trucks use more fuel because they are heavier, so if you want to have a more eco-friendly car, you can consider buying a smaller car. They use less fuel and it is also easier to park them if you live in a city. On top of that, you should make sure that you don’t carry things you don’t need in your car. Another useful tip would be to fill your tank half the way to make the vehicle even lighter. 

Fully Inflated Tires

Modern cars notify you on the display if the pressure of your tires has changed, but if you own an older model, you will have to make sure that the tires are fully inflated. Not only do under-inflated tires make the ride less safe, but they also don’t roll as efficiently so the engine has to burn more fuel to move your car. Cold weather lowers the pressure in the tires, which is why it is recommendable to check the pressure at least once a month. If you don’t keep your car in a garage, bear in mind that the change in temperature will also have an impact on the tires.

Auto mechanic
An auto mechanic is repairing the car

Maintenance 

Regular car check-ups are important not only to prevent major damage to your car but also to impact the performance of the car. Such checkups usually include the replacement of spark plugs and wires if necessary, engine timing, oil change, and fuel and air filter replacement. Adequate maintenance of your car will ensure that it is performing well and its emissions will be lower. You can find a reliable car service in Sydney or any other city and let experts map out potential issues in advance. Prevention is the key to saving money over the long term. Also, you should check the owner’s manual to find out more information on how often your car needs to be tuned up.

Smoother Ride

The way you drive your car affects the fuel consumption of the engine. Driving more smoothly without aggressively using gas and brake pedals will reduce the car’s emission, so choosing a road where you are not going to be caught in a rush-hour is always the best option. Driving very fast will contribute to fuel consumption, so consider using cruise control on an open road to stay within the speed limit. 

Filling the Tank

When topping up fuel in your vehicle, make sure not to pour more gas into the tank than you need since evaporation of toxic gas is harmful to the environment. Not only can you spill fuel (which is not only a waste of money but also a dangerous thing to happen at a gas station), but you can affect the effectiveness of the canister. For safety and evaporation reasons, always make sure that the cap is screwed on tightly. 

A/C Usage

During the summer, it is impossible to imagine being in a hot car without air conditioning, but its usage increases fuel consumption. If possible, park your car in a shade to keep it cooler, and also while you are driving around town, roll down the windows to let air in. High temperatures can negatively impact the health of a child or an elderly person in the car so cooling the car before rolling down the windows would be an option for a situation like that. A well-maintained air conditioning unit and filter change will ensure that it works at its best and that fuel usage is minimized.  

Do you know any additional ways to make your car greener? Feel free to share them in the comments.

Simple and Eco-Friendly Hair Removal Options

For those who prefer to practice hair removal, finding the best option can be a challenge. With eco-consciousness on everyone’s mind, many people are trying to embrace the zero waste movement and do their part to reduce their carbon footprint.

With disposable razors and chemical-rich products, finding an effective hair removal option that doesn’t negatively impact the environment takes some consideration. Here are some simple, eco-friendly hair removal options to try for yourself.

Use a Home Laser Hair Removal Device

Permanent laser hair removal in an overpriced studio isn’t an option for everyone. Fortunately, you can get a high-quality laser hair removal product to take care of the process at home. This option is eco-friendly as the results are long-lasting, and you won’t be burning through single or short-term use products.

Products like the BoSidin hair removal device are adjustable to react appropriately to the skin type on different areas of your body— i.e., your bikini line versus your legs. Swapping to a hair removal device from a razor also helps prevent in-grown hairs and unsightly bumps. 

This eco-friendly hair removal option will pay for itself over time, as you’ll no longer need replacement razor blades and handles.

Swap Shaving Cream for Chemical-Free Lotion

Most consumer brands of shaving cream have tons of chemicals that irritate the environment and your skin. In addition to artificial dyes and perfumes, shaving cream also tends to contain

  • Glycols that have skin-drying effects
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), which is linked to hormonal disruption and other issues
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene, which is linked to breast cancer
  • Sulfates that cause skin irritation

In other words, many shaving cream brands are bad all around. If you decide that using a razor is the best option for you, swap to a chemical-free, organic shaving cream alternative. You can also make your own by whipping shea butter and coconut oil.

Go Electric

Electric razor
An electric razor is displayed with all its reserve parts

While electric razors sometimes require replacement parts and consume energy, they have a longer lifespan than disposable razors. This means your electric razor is less likely to end up in the landfill than your disposable blades.

When purchasing an electric razor, buy for quality. It’s better to invest more to purchase a reputable, high-quality razor that won’t burn out in a year. It’s also worth trying to recycle your electric razor when it eventually fails. Many local recycling programs accept electronics. Alternatively, programs like Earth911 accept electric razors.

Swap Hair Removal Cream for Amber Gel

If you’ve ever opened a bottle of hair removal cream, you’ve likely been assaulted by the pungent smell of chemicals. Most environmental beauty gurus agree that any other option is more eco-friendly than hair removal cream.

Amber gel is one such option. This hair removal gel works similarly to sugar waxing. To use it, you spread it on the area where you want hair removed, let it dry and harden, then peel off like wax. Amber gel works on both thick, dense hair and light, soft hair, making it accessible and eco-friendly. 

Try Epilation

Epilation is a hybrid between an electric razor and tweezing. These devices roll over the area, grab hairs, and pull them out. While many users report a brief, mild pain similar to tweezing, epilation is not as bad as you’d expect based on what the device is doing.

Like an electric razor, epilation devices use a minimal amount of energy and have a long lifespan. When your epilation device wears out, you can recycle it the same way as an electric razor.

With these simple swaps, you can practice eco-friendly hair removal and mitigate your impact on the environment. Hair removal is a personal choice, but sustainability affects us all.

Sustainable Gift Guide: Eco-Friendly Gifts to Give Right Now

With the holiday season around the corner, we’re all on the lookout for the best presents for our loved ones. There are some safe options if you want to make your friends and family happy, but if you want to think about the environment and do something new and fun, you can opt for sustainable presents instead. There are many options to choose from and you can share the reasons why it’s important to practice sustainability in our lives, even when it comes to presents, so here are some of the options you might want to take into consideration. 

Bicycle 

If you know someone who’s so used to driving a car, picking a bike is a great way to go. Although it may sound like someone who spends tons of time driving around won’t transfer to anything else, this is the perfect opportunity to show that person all the right reasons to start riding a bike. You can opt for a traditional model or an electric one that’s also on the eco-friendly side of things. It’s important to show others how a small change can benefit their lives – not just for the environment around them, but also their own health as well. 

Sustainable fashion 

Clothes
Many dresses are hung using the clothes hangers

Lots of fashion brands are turning to sustainability as their prime source of fabrics and we’re all witnesses of recycled materials and sustainable cotton being among the most common materials at the moment. If you have an avid fashionista in your environment, you can choose different pieces of clothing based on your budget. There are even some pieces with important messages regarding climate changes and what we can do to help nature recovers, so this can also be a learning present everyone will enjoy. Combine a passion for fashion with sharing an important message that so many people could see, and introduce these things to their wardrobe. 

Natural materials 

Items made from natural materials are always a great choice and if they are also practical, you have a winner. One of the best items for men in your surrounding is a practical metal minimalist wallet that’s stylish and perfect for anyone’s style. In addition to that, wallets are one of the most common gifts for men so if you plan on buying one, make sure it’s made from the best materials and comes with great design features. These minimalist wallets are great for anyone because they’re practical and can fit into any bag or pocket, which is why they can suit everyone’s needs. 

Reusable items 

Personalized mug
A personalized mug is an ultra-modern and useful way of consuming coffee

Any avid coffee lover would like to have a personalized mug that can be used over and over again. Try to calculate how many cups of coffee we all take daily and how much waste we create that way. By using reusable straws and mugs, we can fix this issue and take it to a level where it’s not too problematic. In addition to that, reusable bowl covers, kitchen towels, and napkins can always be made specifically for your loved ones so they suit their style, which is something anyone would appreciate. For avid bakers, just add a few silicone baking mats and your present will wow them straight away! 

Living composter 

People buy organic food and spend more money on something that has no harmful chemicals, but they don’t realize that they can produce some of it in their backyard. By creating compost, you can make organic food on your own and always have some fresh ingredients by your side. If you know someone who would like to try and produce some food themselves, a composter is a perfect start. Add a few seeds as well, and you’ll have a starters kit for any gardening enthusiast. Composting has never looked so easy and simple with these helpful hacks and people will be blown away by this idea. 

Presents can be an opportunity for people to learn something new, so use them to educate people why it’s important to think about the usage of natural materials and how things can be practical and sustainable. Just because these presents are eco-friendly doesn’t mean they lack style – on the contrary, they look amazing and can easily be blended into anyone’s style. 

The Pro Guide to Taking Care of Your Prized Panama Straw Hat

People all over the world love Panama hats, made from the finely woven light-colored straw of the toquilla palm, for the combination of distinctive design, style, and comfort. According to UNESCO, toquilla palms are found on the coast of Ecuador. Their lightweight and enhanced breathability make them a practical, as well as a stylish choice for those living in sunny warm climates. However, straw being a delicate material, these hats require careful handling and care. Some handy tips for ensuring your Panama hat does not become discolored, fray, or show signs of age:

General Tips for Straw Hat Care

Avoid rain: The main function of a straw hat is to protect you from the sun and not rain. The material is not water-resistant, and if exposed to moisture, it will swell up and lose shape and start rotting if not dried quickly. In case you get it wet, blot with a clean towel and let it air dry naturally. Do not use a hairdryer, as the straw will become brittle.

Handle gently: If you wear your hat regularly, you may see it losing shape. It may be the consequence of how you hold it. The best way of holding it is to wear or remove it from your head is holding it by the brim on the sides, preferably with both hands. If you hold the front or pinch the crown of the hat, over time, it will result in the straw breaking. A straw hat is relatively fragile and does not take kindly to being squashed or folded. To remove creases or straighten the brim, you can iron it using a low-temperature setting if the instruction label permits ironing.

A Panama straw hat
A Panama straw hat is placed on the man’s head

Store properly: You must never set a straw hat on its brim; rather, the correct way of doing it is to turn it upside down so that it rests on the crown. By doing so, you will prevent it from bowing. The straw material of the Panama hat does not like extreme temperatures, so while you can wear it comfortably in the blazing sun, it is not a good idea to keep it for a long time inside your parked car during the summer. The high heat will dry out the straw, and it will crack, and your hat’s rigid structure will collapse prematurely, making it look frayed and old. However, you must not store straw hats in a humid place as you will encourage the development of mold and with time, the dampness will result in the straw rotting.

The ideal place for storing your hat is a dark and dry closet, where it will be cool and protected from dirt. Putting your hat in a plastic bag is not a good idea as the trapped moisture will help mold development that can damage and discolor the hat. Using a hatbox is the best way of keeping it safe and dry. To prevent it from losing its shape, you can stuff tissue paper inside it or put it on a mannequin head and cover it with a cotton cloth.

Brittleness: Your straw hat can become brittle over time when you wear it regularly in a dry climate and under the blazing sun. The most effective way of making the material pliable again is to take the hat into the bathroom and turn on a hot shower but be careful not to get it wet. The steam will act to soften it. Alternatively, use a steaming kettle to achieve the same result.

Cleaning Your Straw Panama Hat

Dust: Use a soft-bristled brush to remove the dust and the debris from the hat. If you have exposed it to a high level of dust, you can wipe your hat with a clean and damp cloth to clean it further. Embedded dust is difficult to remove, and with time, the hat becomes unsightly. Using a white cloth ensures that no color is transferred to the hat inadvertently. If the hat is exceptionally dirty, you can vacuum it after covering it with pantyhose to avoid damaging the straw.

Sweat stains: When you wear your hat in hot weather, you will sweat, and it can stain your hat. To prevent this, you can cut up panty liner or paper towels into strips and insert them underneath the liner to soak up the sweat. In case you see sweat stains, you should wipe them with a damp white cloth. For light-colored straw, you can use a solution of warm water and hydrogen peroxide in equal amounts to clean it. You should add half a teaspoon of ammonia to a quarter cup of lukewarm water to clean a dark-colored hat. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean small areas and blot with a dry towel or tissue and let the hat dry naturally before using.

Conclusion 

A good quality straw hat will last for many years if you handle it with care and maintain it properly. Not allowing it to get dirty and exposing it to extreme temperatures, rain, and storing it properly will help you to get the best out of it.