Monthly Archives: January 2013
We need good shoes for our feet because our feet carry more than 25 percent of our body’s collected bone mass. Misaligned bones in the feet can pose a number of problems and throw off your knees, hips and low back. These issues can lead to tension in your neck, shoulders and a variety of other issues. This article was very informative and advised of the numerous physical reasons why we need proper footwear: http://www.ehow.com/about_6400512_importance-good-shoes.html
So, How Do I Know What to Buy?
You first need to consider what you’re using the shoes for. Are you running a marathon? Do you plan to do a lot of walking? Does you exercise routine consist of a variety of activities? Also consider how much mileage you plan to put on a pair of shoes and how often you’ll have to buy them. One thing I can suggest from personal experience is never cheap-out on foot wear. Your feet have to support your entire body all day. Spend the money to buy a good quality pair. Don’t just buy any pair because they’re on sale. I would also suggest the same for your children. It is so important for their little growing feet to have proper footwear. Trust me, they’ll thank you in the future 😉
Now, how often you buy a pair of shoes will depend on how often you use them and how you use them. As well, your weight, the force at which your feet hit the ground, whether you use them indoors or outdoors and the quality of your shoe will all determine how often you’ll be running to your nearest specialty running store for a new pair. It’s also important to know whether your feet pronate or supinate. Pronation occurs when your feet roll inward and your arch collapses which can lead to pain such as shin splints. Supination occurs when your feet roll outward which can cause your Iliotibial Band (IT band) to become tight, creating a whole new set of problems such as knee pain! If you’re not really sure what your feet do just grab a pair of any of your shoes and have a look at the wear pattern on the sole. Even better, when you plan on buying a pair of running shoes, go to a specialty running store. The employees there are trained to help you select the best pair of shoes for you.
For the Runner
There are a few different types of running shoes. There’s the trail running shoe which enables you to run in comfort through the woods or areas where the terrain is a little more rugged and it’s easier to lose your footing. Trail running shoes are lighter with extra grip for traction and absorbs shock better than a regular running shoe. Then there’s shoes built for the distance runner. These shoes are generally lightweight and flexible because most of the weight has been removed from the midsole sacrificing stability for supination or motion control for pronation. Stability and motion control add weight to the shoe which can make them a little more tiring to run in after a while which is why these features are found more in the shorter distance running shoe. Shorter distance running shoes weigh a little more than the distance running shoe because they offer more support and cushioning.
Whatever your choice of shoe may be, remember to replace them every 300 to 500 miles. This article has some good info on this: http://www.runnersworld.com/running-shoes/running-shoe-faq?page=single
For the Walker
Walking shoes are designed to address the motion that our feet make in a walking stride rather than a running stride. When we walk, the stance phase of our gait (the point at which the foot is in contact with the ground during the gait cycle) starts with the heel strike, then moves in to a mid stance and ends with the toe off. When looking for a walking shoe look for something that’s lightweight, breathable and offers flexibility to enable your feet to roll correctly. The shoe must fit properly. Ensure that there is sufficient room in the toe box. There should be about half an inch between the big toe on the larger foot and the end of the shoe. Shop for a pair of shoes at the end of the day when your feet are a little bigger and don’t forget to wear a pair of socks that you’ll most likely be wearing with these shoes. Don’t be afraid to take a little walk around the store with both shoes on to test their comfort. There’s also nothing wrong with wearing running shoes to walk in, but absolutely do not use walking shoes as running shoes. The construction of walking shoes just will not support the high impact of running.
For the Gym Rat
Cross-trainers work well for both forward and lateral movement which is why they are great for the gym. They are designed so that you can transition from jogging on the treadmill to pumping weights to sweating it out in Zumba (or whatever type of cardio class you enjoy, lol). Depending on the make, model, etc. they can be used for the shorter distance runs. They offer comfort, cushioning, stability, support and are durable enough to endure a variety of sports and activities. Due to the cushioning and amount of support in these shoes they are not good for the longer distance runs. They’re just too heavy and don’t have the same amount of flexibility. Many cross training shoes will have a leather or leather/lightweight synthetic mesh combination upper to provide ankle support as well as a secure lacing system to keep your feet stable during lateral movements. The foot base of the shoe will be wider and will offer more weight-bearing stability.
When comes to purchasing the right pair of shoes with your hard-earned money it can be quite a challenging task because you wan to make sure you make the right choice. Seek some help if you’re not sure and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Bring a friend or, as previously suggested, go to a specialty running store where they will be able to make an analysis based on a variety of factors including your posture, weight, gait pattern, activity level and your goals.
Happy shopping 🙂
This is so true. We can’t change or fix any problems at the same level of consciousness we had when we created them. We have to be willing to change and grow.
Food labels! For the conscious shopper reading labels while carefully selecting items to drop into your grocery cart can be a time consuming chore, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Are there too many calories? Is the fat content too high? Should I chose lite or regular? These may be some of the many questions going through your head while holding a box of crackers in one hand and a container of yogurt in the other. Here are a few tips that may add some clarity when reading those confusing food labels.
The list of ingredients used in a food product are listed in descending order by weight on food labels. Therefore, the ingredient that weighs the least is listed last. Ingredients that make up less than 2% of the food by weight is either listed at the end or not at all. These ingredients may be flavour enhancers and stabilizers.
Here’s what to look for:
Carbohydrates and Hidden Sugars
This will be broken down into Total Carbohydrate, Dietary Fiber and Sugars. Avoid sugars that are more than 10% of the total amount of carbohydrate. This means that the product is just way too high in sugar! Also try your best to avoid any product with more than one sugar source listed in the ingredients.
Try to select foods with the higher fiber content. The higher the fibre, the slower it will be absorbed into the bloodstream making you feel more full and satisfied for longer. When buying bread or grain products look for the word “whole”.
A simple formula to determine the percentage of fat in a product:
(Fat calories / Total Calories) x 100
e.g. 100/240= .41
.41 x 100= 41% of calories from fat
Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated Fats or Oils
Also known as trans fatty acids, these are the extremely unhealthy fats and should be avoided as much as possible. Trans fatty acids pose an extreme risk to our health and can lead to ailments such as heart disease and cancer.
Some other good to know terminology
Enriched- Nutrients have been removed during processing and have then been re-added. This is also known as fortified, a word that you’ll see on a carton of milk
Lite- Means lite in taste, calories, colour or fat. For a “lite” product to still have a some flavour and be satisfying to your palette remember, some other ingredient has been added to make the food appealing. Pay close attention to what you’re putting in to your body.
Low Cholesterol- Does not mean low-fat.
Salt Free- Does not mean sodium-free. Watch for sodium bicarbonate and monosodium glutamate.
Sugar Free- Means there’s no sucrose but there may be other harmful sweeteners such as fructose, corn syrup, sorbitol or dextrose.
Shopping, I know, can sometimes be challenging and frustrating. Just arm yourself with the right tools to make an educated decision and suddenly, it may be and enjoyable adventure. The last bit of advice I can add, NEVER GROCERY SHOP WHILE YOU’RE HUNGRY!!!!
“Remember, the thoughts that you think and the statements you make regarding yourself determine your mental attitude. If you have a worthwhile objective, find the one reason why you can achieve it rather than hundreds of reasons why you can’t.”
Napoleon Hill 1883-1970, Author of Think and Grow Rich