Thursday, May 28, 2009

Save Money on Your Athletic Shoes

The old maxim, "It fits like an old shoe," doesn't mean "it's" good for you. Old athletic shoes, even if the uppers look good, wear down where the foot has stressed them. The insole packs down and is no longer functional. This is especially true of athletic shoes. 

The proper athletic shoe for your foot along with a  good orthotic may reduce repetitive strain injuries, the bane of any athlete or casual exerciser who works out regularly.

Athletic shoes are no longer as functional and supportive after roughly 500 miles. Active people walk about 5 miles per day. If you're wearing your sports shoes as your everyday shoes, be sure to add this mileage to your training mileage. As a general rule, a pair of well used athletic shoes has about 100 days of use. After that, the shoes have compressed cushioning (especially in the midsole) and have developed wear patterns that can accentuate poor gait and stance habits.

Here are a few tips to extend the life of your athletic shoes and save money:
  • Footform orthotics extend the life of your shoes by spreading out pressures more evenly throughout the shoe. 
  • Date your shoe when you start to use it (with a permanent marker) and half-way through the shoe's life add a new pair to your closet and alternate use between the 2 pairs. Continue to stagger the use of your shoes, throwing out the old pair.
At Footform Performance Center in Bend, Oregon, you can set a half-hour appointment for gait analysis and shoe consulting. Call my office 541-389-4547.

Note: Some specialty athletic shoe stores will recycle old athletic shoes. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Balance Everyday with Easy 1 Minute Exercise

Tipping over is a problem as we age. Toddlers tip over often as they walk, getting better and better at not falling as they practice. Most of us go through life on the walking and standing skills we developed as a child. We don't realize that balance is a learned skill, something we have to practice and nurture. If we don't practice our balance skills, as we age tipping over may start to happen again. Only with age, the consequences of falling can be dire.

Balance requires always moving to find balance. It's a subtle thing. Even though a person may appear to be perfectly still as they stand, muscles and nerves are constantly working to maintain equilibrium. Staying centered takes awareness.

Practice your balance skills with these easy tips: This exercise can take as little as 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise throughout your day.
  • Keep Moving: Practice bending your knees different amounts while you walk and stand.
  • While standing, practice shifting your weight in this order:(Both feet hip width apart, pointing straight ahead)
  1. Toe - Heel - Back to Center
  2. Shift Right - Shift Left - Back to Center
  3. Roll to the Outside of the Foot - Roll to the Inside of the Foot - Back to Center