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Heel - High Arches, Flat Feet, the Quest for Pain Free Movement.

High Arches, Flat Feet, the Quest for Pain Free Movement.

Let’s Talk About Feet

Have you ever thought about how your feet may be affecting your running, cycling, lifting-your everyday life? Nor did I.  Not until I was really in pain and it was getting in the way of my everyday activities. 

    As a runner, cyclist, crossfitter and dental hygienist, I spend a lot of time on my feet.  When my hips started to give me pain and I couldn’t find relief through proper warm up, cool down and stretches, it started to raise questions for me. In a quest for pain free movement, I started to research what other areas of my body may be inhibiting my performance. What I learned was it starts from the bottom up, my feet. 

    Here are a few facts about our feet:

    1) 25% of the bones in our body are located in our feet. That is 26 bones!

    2) The average human will take anywhere from 5 to 7 thousand steps a day and over 80 thousand in a lifetime. This is NOT including athletes or distant runner.

    3) The food has over 200,000 nerve endings.  

    Logo - High Arches, Flat Feet, the Quest for Pain Free Movement.

    Plantar Fascia is a flat band of tissue on the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes and supports your arch.  Weakness, tightness, irritation and inflammation of this band of tissue leads to Plantar Fasciitis.  Commonly diagnosed and experienced by runners, but can affect all athletes. 

    The questions you all must be asking is, “How do we all get here?”. “How do we lose the strength in our feet that over time we all end up having some form of foot pain?”.  “And how do we address it?”

    Under healthy circumstances, your plantar fascia acts like a shock absorber, protecting your foot.  Overtime with the help of ill fitting shoes, primarily shoes without support to the arches, inflammation resulting in weakness from overuse will occur.  Shoes with poor arch support, along with a major lack of barefoot training and walking, takes away the foots sensory and protection mechanisms. This system allows the brain to protect the foot as well as the rest of the body. The sensory information delivered from the foots nerves ending helps the brain create a responses system that allows for better movements, better performance, in summary overall general health.  With the lack of proper information from the foot, the brain makes clumsy and inefficient choices on how to navigate through everyday life and sport.   

    After learning about this I was left stumped but very excited for the possible solutions to my problem. I started with a run diagnosis done at a local run shop, in addition to having my foot scanned while barefoot.  I was put on a treadmill with a “neutral” sneaker, so that we could record my gait and foot strike most accurately.  I learned in addition to having flat feet, I have excessive pronation or over pronation (rolling of my subtalar joint inward).  This has been a major contributor to the misalignment and pain in my hips.

    With all this new information, it was time to research and apply treatment.  I’ve found and incorporated a few different exercises, including mobility exercises for my ankles to help release my calf  muscles-allowing for better ankle movement. Starting with a flexed foot stretch to get into my calf muscle,  as well as knee to wall stretch to allow for better mobility.

    Clothing - High Arches, Flat Feet, the Quest for Pain Free Movement.

    As part of my warm ups, when I workout I practice single leg balance (10-15 reps per leg for 2 or 3 sets), and what I like to call tic-tac-toe hops barefoot to help build stability, strength and proprioception. 

    Clothing - High Arches, Flat Feet, the Quest for Pain Free Movement.

    RomWod ( is an online platform geared to the Crossfit community, but don’t let that scare you.  With the large amount of wrist, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle movement used to preform a lot of our lifts, explosive movements (similar to runners) these guided stretches gets into all the nook and crannies.  Opening up spaces of your body you had no idea where tight. 

    Trademark - High Arches, Flat Feet, the Quest for Pain Free Movement.

    HighHealer is launching on Kickstarter August 14th, 2018. The ease that is created by using HighHealer is most in it’s ability get a lot done in a short period of time. Orthopedic surgeon and inventor Stephen Bui explains, four key areas which the HighHealer focuses on:

    - A roller that can be frozen before being used for cold therapy to decrease foot inflammation.

    - Stretch and massage the Plantar Fascia ligament

    - Strengthen the smaller muscles that stabilize your feet.

    - Loosen calf tightness.

      In conclusion, I have found a vast amount of gains, not just lean muscle definition but gains in my overall relationship to movement, sport and foot health. If you’ve made it this far, I strongly suggest you take a little time to investigate the aches and pains, in your foot, knees and all the way up to your hips.  A little preventive care can significantly extend your lifetime in movement. 

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      Person - IAMRUNBOX Press Release

      IAMRUNBOX Press Release

      Person - IAMRUNBOX Press Release


      Active Life Solutions Partners with IAMRUNBOX to Inspire Americans to Run and Cycle to Work

      Waynesboro, PA – March 21, 2018 – Active Life Solutions announced today that it is partnering with IAMRUNBOX to assist American consumers in seamlessly incorporating training into their daily schedules, without compromising on business time, family time, or personal time. By adding IAMRUNBOX Backpacks and Shirt and Garment Carriers to its e-commerce product line, Active Life Solutions aims to ignite the movement for active commuting in the US.

      In a world where we are under constant pressure, and where time has become a priceless commodity, establishing a fitness and exercise routine can be challenging at best. As a solution, increasing numbers of people around the world have discovered that the time spent traveling between their homes and offices every day is a perfect opportunity to train. This trend is on the rise, especially in European cities, where more and more people are ditching traffic jams and crammed public transport and opting for an active commute to their workplace.

      Weve observed that starting an active commuting routine, like running or cycling to work, can be quite a transformational experience. These commuters are happier, healthier and stronger, and perform better at work. However, for anyone to keep up a routine, it has to be easy. If it presents too many hurdles in your daily life, then you most likely will give it up. Thats why we have developed backpacks and carriers specifically designed to hold your laptop securely in place and keep your work attire wrinkle free while you are on the go, for a flawless commuting experience, explains Kirill Noskov, Founder and CEO of IAMRUNBOX.

      Active Life Solutions’ commitment to introducing the best health and wellness products from around the world to American consumers, led to the discovery of the Swedish lifestyle brand IAMRUNBOX. Active Lifes founder, Stephen Bui, statesWe are excited to be the company that gets to introduce this extraordinary European brand. IAMRUNBOX is providing an ergonomic and stylish answer for active commuters. This is a means of accomplishing more without sacrificing more. We anticipate that this launch will enable people to be active."  

      About Active Life Solutions
      Active Life Solutions is an e-commerce based company with a mission to help people find fulfillment, joy, and an improved quality of life by bringing the worlds best products to the American market. It is the companys goal to see people living an active life that improves their overall health and wellness. The company consists of a team of physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, personal trainers, pharmacists, and pharmacologists that thoroughly evaluate, test and select innovative products from around the world. 

      About IAMRUNBOX
      IAMRUNBOX is a Swedish lifestyle brand born out of a love for travel and a passion for running. Focusing strongly on ergonomics, innovation and design, the company develops products made to simplify an active way of lifeIAMRUNBOX offers backpacks and carriers designed to keep your laptop secure and work attire wrinkle free while you are on the goAiming to change the world for the better, the company promotes a health conscious lifestyle and advocates active commuting as an environmentally friendly and sustainable everyday choice. IAMRUNBOX products are sold in more than 30 countries, and are available at select retail stores in Europe and South East Asia, on as well as on Company headquarters are located in Stockholm, Sweden.

      To learn more about Active Life Solutions, please visit:
      Dr. Stephen Bui
      Phone: (717) 500-1257
      Active Life Solutions
      4758 Zane A. Miller Drive
      Waynesboro, PA 17268

      To learn more about IAMRUNBOX, please visit:
      Kirill Noskov
      Phone: +46 735 00 02 76
      IAMRUNBOX / Active Trend Sverige AB
      Ekskäret Klustret
      Mäster Samuelsgatan 36
      111 57 Stockholm

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      Posture Vertical Backpack Press Release

      Human - Posture Vertical Backpack Press Release

      Swedish Posture’s Vertical Backback available on

      By Michelle Benshoff

      March 5, 2018

      Waynesboro, PA - Active Life Solutions, a company focused on innovative products for active lifestyles, announces that it has partnered with Swedish PostureSweden’s premier posture focused company, to introduce American consumers to the world’s first posture enhancing backpack, the Posture Vertical Backpack. The Posture Vertical Backpack was a successful 2017 Kickstarter campaign. The designing company, Swedish Posture, based in Stockholm, Sweden, globally distributes posture correcting devices, with an emphasis on activating and strengthening core muscles versus braces that hold consumers in place, weakening muscles.  Active Life Solutions is committed to importing the best products from around the world and continues to experience sales growth as new products are introduced on its website,

      About Swedish Posture

      Sweden Posture strives to provide easy and accessible everyday training with their line of posture products to counter the sedentary lifestyle. The body’s posture affects overall health and self-confidence, as well as how energy is harnessed from our surroundings. Swedish Posture has developed products that contribute to improved posture, active sitting, and low intensity training. Its products are unique because their primary function is to remind rather than relieve. They work as routine reminders that stimulate muscle tissue, strengthening muscles over time and improving overall posture.

      About Active Life Solutions

      Active Life Solutions is an e-commerce based company with a mission to help people find fulfillment, joy, and an improved quality of life by bringing the world’s best products to the American market. It is the company’s goal to see people living an active life that improves their overall health and wellness. The company consists of a team of physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, personal trainers, pharmacists, and pharmacologists that thoroughly evaluate, test and select innovative products from around the world.  

      Buy Online

      The Posture Vertical Backpack is now offered online at Other top selling Swedish Posture products available include Posture Flexi Shoulder Muscles Support, Posture Feminine Shoulder Support, and Posture Balance Core Trainer.  


      To learn more about all products sold by Active Life Solutions, please visit:

      Active Life Solutions

      4758 Zane A. Miller Drive

      Waynesboro, PA 17268

      (717) 500-1257
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      Self-help: Pain Relief with Trigger Points

      Are you suffering from muscle pain? Does your shoulder or back feel stiff?

      You may have developed what is called “trigger points” over the course of time for some reason.


      The link between trigger points and body pain was first discovered by Dr. Janet Travell, the former President John F. Kennedy’s personal physician, who became well known for the treatment and relief of Kennedy’s chronic back pain. In the book “The Trigger Point Manual,” Travell along with her colleague, Dr. David Simons, show that 75% of the time, trigger points are the primary cause of pain and that they are a contributing factor in every painful condition.

      Dr. Travell


      The word myofascial means muscle tissue (myo) and the connective tissue in and around it (fascia) thus causing sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers to form called “trigger points”. Trigger points are also known as muscle ’knots’. They are incredibly common, but it does not mean they are harmless. Chronic stress on our muscles can create scar tissue, which can lead to fibrosis.


      A trigger point in a muscle can cause strain and pain throughout the muscle. The pain may be sharp and intense or a dull ache. It may radiate from that trigger point to another part of the body depending on the type. For example, your lower leg (referral pain) is aching, at the same time your lower back (trigger point) feels stiff. 


      Sometimes, intense workout sessions can result in microtears in the muscle tissue, lactic acid buildup in your muscles. Deep tissue massage to the trigger point increases blood flow, squeezing old blood out to bring more oxygen rich blood into the tissue getting rid of the lactic acid. This speeds up the healing process and aid in quick pain relief.  


      Trigger points are so common because they occur when some part of your body is injured or stressed both external stresses, as well as postural, can be the culprit. For example, they can be caused by a car accident, a fall, sports injury, or physical labor. These muscle strains not only come from physical work, but also from lack of use, sedentary behavior, a long commute, nutritional deficiencies, emotional stress, lack of sleep, and much more.


      Person - Self-help: Pain Relief with Trigger Points


      They can also develop slowly over time from everyday occurrences such as:

      - Poor posture, prolonged isometric contraction (working at the keyboard, typing on - your computer)
      - Tensing or clenching your muscles due to anxiety or emotional stress
      - Sitting for long periods
      - Carrying a heavy briefcase
      - Lifting your baby or toddler

        In other words, your altered patterns of movement put abnormal stress on your muscles, ligaments, and joints. This leads to strength and flexibility imbalances in your muscles as well as postural dysfunctions throughout your body.

        This “use-abuse-disuse” scenario creates more trigger points in other areas and a vicious pain cycle begins. Before you know it, you’ve developed clusters of active and latent trigger points. You may even give up doing the things you love to do because it simply hurts too much.


        All trigger points cause pain when pressed; however, “active” trigger points refer pain to other areas of the body.  While a “latent” trigger point can be tender when pressed, a latent trigger point won’t give the same referral pain like an active trigger point.

        As the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists explains:

        “If unaddressed or ineffectively treated, eventually, other muscles around the dysfunctional one may be required to ”take up the slack“, becoming stressed and developing secondary trigger points. It is not unusual for chronic pain patients to have multiple, overlapping referred pain patterns, making diagnosis and treatment more complex.”


        The length of time it takes to release a trigger point depends on the following factors:

        - How long you have had your trigger point.
        - The number of trigger points you have.
        - How effective your current treatment is.
        - How consistently you can administer or receive treatment.

          Today, you can go to a massage therapist, physical therapist, chiropractor or even a trigger point specialist to receive manual trigger point therapy, but the success of the treatment depends on the skill level of the practitioner. Well-trained trigger point therapists are very hard to come by, not to mention expensive.

          Trigger points can be fickle; they need to be worked out ’daily’ using a technique. Going to your therapist on a daily basis can be costly and time-consuming. There must be something you can do to personally manage your trigger points at home.


          Some people are reluctant to have trigger point therapy done due to the fact that some (latent) trigger points can be painful when pressed. To work out your trigger points, begin by warming the affected muscle with slow, repetitive muscle strokes, along with the entire length of the taut band within the muscle. Work from one end of the muscle to the other. Your pressure against the muscle should start out light, and gradually increase.


          Human - Self-help: Pain Relief with Trigger Points

          Clair Davies, the author of the book “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook”, says, “Only you will be able to decide what you can tolerate and what you can’t. Use your judgment; aim at a pain level of seven on a scale of 1 to 10. Repeat this sequence of compression and movement until your pain level is about two or three.” This repeated action moves the blood and lymph fluid out more efficiently. Use a self-massage tool designed for trigger points with a “Trigger Point Map” to help you locate trigger point locations. This way you can localize your problematic spot, find the trigger points and effectively treat them.


          Person - Self-help: Pain Relief with Trigger Points

          Simply massaging your skin with a massage lotion will not solve the problem. What it needs is sufficient deep sustained pressure to the “knotted-up area” to increase blood flow. It will also help remove any buildup of toxic metabolic waste. This will reset your neuromuscular system to restore its proper function so everything will again work the way it should.


          Person - Self-help: Pain Relief with Trigger Points

          Sometimes, it is more empowering to be able to treat and care for yourself. Investing in a tool for muscle care that you can use long term is more cost efficient than seeing a professional. It is more practical and gives you the freedom to do your therapy at your own convenience.


          Self-help: Pain Relief with Trigger PointsHuman - Self-help: Pain Relief with Trigger Points

          “There is no substitute for learning to control your own musculoskeletal pain,” says Dr. Simons. “Treating myofascial trigger points yourself addresses the source of that kind of common pain and is not just a way of temporarily relieving it.” In other words, you now can fix your own trigger points better than anyone else.


          Human - Self-help: Pain Relief with Trigger Points

          Finally, someone has spoken the truth! Dr. Simons has it exactly right: 

          You must educate yourself about your condition and then apply what you’ve learned. From time to time, you may need medical advice. But the bottom line is, you need to take responsibility for managing your own care.

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          Elderly Women: Sitting too much makes you 8 years older than your age

          Adults aged 65 years and over gain substantial health benefits from regular exercise. Physical activity guidelines recommend older adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, such as brisk walking and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days per week to work out all major muscle groups. However, the latest research suggests exercise can’t undo long sitting.


          elderly woman sitting outside

          Sitting too much makes you age faster


          Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine reported that elderly women who spend time sitting for more than 10 hours a day with low physical activity have cells that are biologically older than their chronological age compared to women who are less sedentary.


          Published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the study describes how participants of nearly 1,500 women aged between 64 and 95 wore devices on their right hip nonstop  for seven consecutive days during waking and sleeping hours to track their movements; they subsequently completed a questionnaire.


          The women are part of the larger Women's Health Initiative (WHI), a national, longitudinal study investigating the determinants of chronic diseases in postmenopausal women.


          Chronological age doesn't always match the biological age. 


          According to Dr. Aladdin Shadyab, the lead author from the University of California, cells age faster with a sedentary lifestyle. Chronological age doesn't always match the biological age. Shadyab and his research team believe they are the first to objectively measure how the combination of sedentary time and exercise can impact the aging biomarker.


          They discovered that elderly women with less than 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day and who remain sedentary for more than 10 hours per day have shorter telomeres (tiny caps found on the ends of DNA strands, like the plastic tips of shoelaces, that protect chromosomes from deterioration and progressively shorten with age) related to faster aging.

          As cells age, their telomeres naturally shorten and fray, but health and lifestyle factors, such as obesity and smoking, accelerate the process. Shortened telomeres are connected to having cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and major cancers.

          Shadyab said future studies will examine how exercise relates to telomere length in younger populations and in men.


          Experts said the research serves as a “wake-up call” for pensioners and the growing elderly population to stand up and walk around every 20 minutes when able.


          What can we do to avoid too much sitting?

          Sitting on the couch (movie marathon, watching TV) can be relaxing, but “too much” sitting in a day can be detrimental to your health. Prolonged sitting promotes dozens of chronic diseases, including overweight and Type 2 diabetes, even if you’re active.

          At a bare minimum, avoid sitting for more than 50 minutes out of every hour. When you sit, engage your core, incorporate weight-bearing, gravity-driven exercises into your love affair with your chair. 

          Another way is by spending more time outdoors, exploring and engaging with your community. Simple house chores such as carrying the groceries, climbing stairs and pottering around the garden can contribute to staying active day in, day out. 


          old woman taking picture outdoors


          It’s never too late to change habits for better health by taking time off sitting. It’s time to end your love affair with the chair. Maintaining healthy habits as you grow older can go a long way. Take control of your life today by living an active life.

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