Sport360 takes you through tips for runners and keen fitness enthusiasts to avoid blisters.
Basically, blisters are pockets of skin filled with fluid and they form when layers of the skin (dermis and epidermis) separate.
The main causes are often when your feet rub against your trainers and don’t have enough room to breath, especially when you sweat and run long distances.
As a result, pressure and swelling can form – and an annoying pimple-like spot.
In terms of injuries, and annoying ones at that, they are one of the most common.
They’re not pleasant and are very uncomfortable, especially when your shoes rub against your feet.
Indeed, your feet can often look like a bloody mess after a run or football match.
So, here’s our guidance to keep your feet in top-tip shape:
GET THE RIGHT FOOTWEAR
Making the right choices over footwear will benefit you in the long run (excuse the pun).
Our recent piece on five top tips to buy the right running trainers will help, read it here.
Care and attention when choosing and purchasing footwear is essential – consider the right pair of runners, going out shoes or everyday pair for work as an investment in yourself.
Getting the right fit for your foot will really help avoid blisters and make you feel comfortable. Leave a good amount of room between your toes and the end of the shoe.
For running and exercise – it’s always important you wear in your chosen footwear before, for example, running a marathon.
Make sure your feet have adapted and feel good. Sports socks will also help make you feel just right and avoid wet socks/trainers as that will certainly cause a blister.
With all of the above, most running/footwear shops should be able to guide you through this process nicely.
SHOULD I POP A BLISTER?
A common question, but on the whole, no you shouldn’t.
Popping the blister increases the risk of infection and soreness, but of course, in some cases it is better to do so – especially if the pesky little thing is frequently coming into contact with your feet.
If you wish to do so, pop the blister by taking a fresh needle and from the side, gradually drain out the fluid.
HOW SHOULD I TREAT A BLISTER?
It’s best to let the blister pop of its own accord (a short period of time) but the best course of practice is to apply some antiseptic cream and regular fresh dressage to reduce the risk of infection.
If the blister doesn’t seem to be going away or you’re experiencing soreness and swelling, it’s best to see a doctor.
We’ve pointed out three classic problems that affect a lot of us in the office.
But, don’t worry, they are all easily solvable.
Take our pointers onboard and see if they can make a difference to your workflow.
NOT STAYING HYDRATED
We all have those office days when coffee just gets us through but it’s vital you drink plenty of water and stay as hydrated as possible.
Getting fluids on board helps to increase your energy levels, improve digestion, stimulate muscles, detoxify the body and generally keep your body healthy.
Essentially, don’t leave water out of your daily schedule and on average men should try and drink around three litres per day, while women need to consume around 2.2.
By the time Thursday rolls around, we are all feeling a bit sluggish.
And this is often when our posture can slip, resulting in shoulder, back and neck problems.
It’s important you pay attention to your posture when seated and avoid slouching as well as hunching over.
By doing this, you’ll eliminate obvious physical problems and other issues such as headaches.
Try and sit upright with your back straight where possible – but if you’re struggling – stretch at home and complete activities like yoga or pilates to loosen up your body.
TAKING ON TOO MUCH
We all live fast-paced lifestyles in the UAE and can be guilty of taking on too many commitments at any one given time.
Whether it’s work or personal, it can be difficult to juggle everyone at once.
Multitasking can actually lead to stress and anxiety so try and be conscious of your workload – and make time for you as well.
Try and set daily objectives and keep a diary of your week and what needs to be done. Setting targets each day will enable you to tick off the things you’ve accomplished and end the day knowing you’ve done all you can.
It’s important to take regular breaks and unwind too.
It may be easy to forget, or even realise at all, when the music is bumping and the on-looking crowd goes wild for a flawlessly executed hand spin or freeze, but more goes into a b-boy’s moves than meets the eye.
Breakdancing is certainly considered one of the cooler and more eye-catching forms of dance, yet at the same time it’s also one of the most physically-challenging. The few seconds in which a b-boy stands on their head or windmills?
Days, months and years go into making that possible. For those that take breakdancing seriously, it’s more than just a hobby. As Nabil El Khayer puts it, b-boying is a lifestyle.
“B-boying is part of hip-hop, so it’s a lifestyle,” the 31-year-old Frenchman told Sport360.
“If you want to get into this lifestyle 100 per cent, you need to dedicate yourself by taking care of your body and taking care of your mind.”
El Khayer will be a judge on Friday at the UAE Cypher of the Red Bull BC One, considered the biggest one-on-one b-boy competition in the world. Now in its sixth consecutive year, the UAE Cypher, held at JBR Rimal Sector, will give b-boys the chance to earn a spot in the World Final in Amsterdam come November.
Having twice won the UK B-Boy Championships (2010, 2011) and the World B-Boy Classic 2vs2 (2015), El Khayer’s accomplishments and experience in the breakdancing are unquestionable and his success has been the result of approaching his passion like a professional athlete.
“For me it’s an art, but I consider it like a sport because it physically demands a lot,” he said.
Speaking of sports, El Khayer, like so many other young boys, tried a number as a kid, from taekwondo to football to swimming.
None of them, however, resonated with him like b-boying did when he was first exposed to breakdancing at the age of 11 in his native Nantes on a day he joined his brother to go watch friends.
The relationship between the music, rhythm and body movements in breakdancing was everything El Khayer couldn’t get from sports. It also allowed him to express his creativity and form his own style. Maybe more than anything though, El Khayer realised just how much he’d learn about his own body.
“When I got into b-boying, it made me be more aware of working out and taking care of my body because I saw a lot of friends practicing, but just throwing themselves on the floor without thinking about doing the move and how to do it properly. They would just train. You’d ask your body to do something and it would not be prepared for it,” El Khayer said.
“It’s like every other sport. A tennis player is playing and he’s using his shoulder and he needs to work on his shoulder to stay strong. Like football players, they go to the gym and do a proper workout. It’s the same for b-boying.
“If you want to be good and be able to do certain moves, you have to work on certian muscles. We call it muscle memory. You need to get these types of muscles strong to do a flare, an air flare, a power move or every move on the floor.”
El Khayer identifies legs, ligaments – shoulders, elbows, ankles – and lower back as the key areas to strengthen, with the latter necessary to avoid disc injuries. But strength alone is not enough to maximise a b-boy’s movements.
For that, El Khayer believes in improving cardio, muscle endurance and flexibility. A year after being big into CrossFit and gaining six to seven kilograms of muscle, El Khayer’s settled into a daily routine that features a happy balance between being strong and light on his feet.
Every morning, he begins with nearly an hour of swimming, which El Khayer believes is “the best thing for cardio”.
He then goes to the gym to do 30 minutes of interval training before his work as a performer and choreographer.
He finally ends his day with an hour of stretching before sleeping, which may seem like much but is central to El Khayer’s style as a b-boy. “I freestyle a lot,” he said.
“When you get into big competitions, you need to have sets. I don’t like to do this, I just freestyle. The way I work is I work on moves and combos and then just don’t think about it, go into the battle and do whatever I can show. I just go on the floor and respond to the man in front of me. I’m very flexible and I use power, so I’m versatile.”
El Khayer’s love of b-boying goes well beyond the physical aspects, but he feels anybody could enjoy it as an alternative form of exercise, not unlike other forms of dancing like Zumba.
“Dancing in general is a good alternative for people who get bored in the gym,” he said. “It’s a lot of cardio, with just going up and down from the floor. Just to know your body is very interesting because in b-boying you need to focus on every part of your body.”