Well people this is the 52 installment of Body Designs! That’s right Body Designs is officially a year old! Thank you all for reading, recommending,commenting, criticizing and, above all, hopefully enjoying what I have been writing. It has been fun for me and, in some cases, I’ve even learned a few things. But enough of the sentiment, let’s get down to business.
A client mentioned to me an article she read in the New York Times on muscle loss as humans age (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/31/health/research/31muscle.html?_r=2). I found it interesting that there are companies out there trying to develop drugs (other than steroids) and nutritional products to combat this condition. Okay, here’s your first Body Designs test question. What do we call the process of muscle loss due to aging? That’s right! Sacropenia! So, if you’d like, read this article and then refer back to Body Designs 17 to see how you can help ward off this detrimental condition on your own.
And now for Body Designs 52:
Growing up on the east coast, we wear sneakers. Out here they’re called tennis shoes. But no matter what you call them, you should be more discriminating when buying new ones than finding “prettiest” style in your size.
But, with so many different “types” of athletic shoes out there, how is one to know which is best. There are basketball shoes, cross-training shoes, running shoes, and, of course, yes, there are tennis shoes.
In fact, there are many different foot types as well. Feet can be neutral, pronate or supinate. They can be flat or have a high arch.
What’s a Body Designs fan to do? Well, if you want expert help, I recommend either going to Top-To-Top on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica or Front Runners on San Vincente between Federal and Barrington. They can determine your type of foot, arch and gait and provide you with several choices that will fit you needs as well as your feet. However, they are expensive! That’s why I want to arm you with the information necessary to carry out this feat (of buying athletic shoes) on your own. That way, you can go into any sporting goods store and ask them for the right type of shoe and not be left with cold feet.
Below is a checklist and guidelines to help determine which shoe is right for you.
First, determine your Pronation:
Look at the soles of your shoes and if most of the shoe wear is: – on the inside, then you overpronate and probably need Motion-Control Shoes. – on the outside, then you underpronate and will most likely need Cushioned Shoes. – uniform, then you don’t pronate, you have a Neutral Stride and will choose Stability Shoes. Next, determine your foot type or arch height with the Wet Test:
Wet the bottom of each foot and stand normally on a paper bag. After a minute or so, step off and observe the imprint left by your foot. (Trace the outline with a pencil if you want to look at it later and show it to a salesperson.)
You have a low arch (flat feet/overpronation) if there’s not much of a curve along the inside of your foot and your imprint shows almost the entire foot.
You have a high arch (supination/underpronation) if there’s a very sharp curve along the inside of your foot and your imprint shows a very thin band between your heel and toe.
You have a normal arch (neutral pronation) if there is a distinct curve along the inside of your foot with a band a little less than half the width of your foot connecting the heel and toe.
Third, determine your gait type: You have Severe Overpronation if the heel strikes the ground first and the foot rolls inward. You have Mild Overpronation if the outside of the heel strikes the ground first and the foot rolls inward slightly. You have a Neutral gait if the middle to slightly outward part of the heel strikes the ground first and the foot rolls inward slightly. You Supinate if the heel strikes the ground first but the foot does not roll inward during the gait cycle. Instead, it stays on the outside.
Now that you’ve determined what type of foot you have, you are better suited to choose what “sneaker” you need.
A few more things to remember when buying and caring for your shoes: * Get fitted in the evening, when your feet are their largest. There should be 1/2 inch between the longest toe and the toe box. * If you wear orthotics, bring them along when trying on shoes. * Choose a shoe that doesn’t need to be “broken in”. * Do not choose a shoe that is higher in the rear foot in relation to the forefoot or other. Sorry Joe Montana and Skechers, it seems the new “slip-on” shoe is more favorable to experts than your (as well as other) “over-supportive shoes”. * Untie shoes before removing them; taking them off by stepping on the backs weakens the heel counter. * Don’t put them in the dryer when they’re wet. The excessive heat will degrade the components. * Replace them every six months.
Remember, the most important piece of fitness equipment you can buy is for your feet. You are on them all day. And, believe it or not, having the right shoes can actually help with your balance and mobility as well as help reduce the potential of injury
Thank you for a great year! Stay tuned for Body Designs 53!