What Type of Shoes Should You Wear When Trying to Lose Weight?

The human body is structured to be able to efficiently hold up a certain weight. If you start exceeding that weight, your body will begin compensating or breaking down, causing pain or discomfort in certain areas. One of the most common areas that become painful when you are carrying a couple extra pounds are your feet and lower legs, and your shoes could be either helping or hurting this pain.

The arch of your foot can be thought of as a spring that absorbs the shock caused by the weight of your body when you walk or run. This spring is rated to a certain weight, let’s use 150 pounds as an example. As you start to weight more than the spring is rated for, the spring will overcompress. If you weigh 180 pounds and the spring is rated for 150, the spring will collapse under the weight, just like you see the back of a truck dip down when there is a bunch of stuff loaded in the back. This collapse of the arch of your foot then causes the rest of your ankle to roll inward with every step, a process called overpronation.

Overpronation can cause a lot of discomfort in the feet and lower legs, but this pain can be mitigated by wearing the right shoes. While there is no replacement to weight loss when trying to cure this pain, wearing a stable shoe that adds support under the arch can keep your foot in a neutral position while walking and running. While lower leg pain when you are a bit overweight is usually caused by overpronation, you can verify this by looking at the wear and tear of an old pair of shoes. If you notice that more of the tread is worn down on the inside of your shoes than on the outside, this is an indication that you are an overpronator. Also, running shoe stores such as Body N’ Sole will video tape you walking and tell you if you are an overpronator for free.

A common mistake I see people making is that when you buy shoes, they choose them based on style rather than functionality. While the Nike Free series look great, they offer zero support for your collapsing foot. You want to look for a shoe that is supportive and rigid in design. Usually, shoe companies will make these types of shoes fairly easy to identify on their websites by allowing you to search for shoes based on if they are “support” shoes. Some companies, such as ASICS, even allow you to filter shoes by whether or not they are made specifically for overpronation. Some shoes commonly worn by overpronators are the ASICS GT-2000s, Nike LunarGlides, Mizuno Wave Inspires, Brooks Adrenalines, and Saucony Hurricanes. I’ve personally run with each of the following brands, and you can’t really go wrong with any of them.

When you are buying your new pair of shoes to combat your overpronation, make sure you try them on with athletic socks on, preferably at the end of the day when your feet are a bit swollen, and that you have about a half inch of extra room in the toe box. If you decide to use insoles for a bit of extra support, purchase them before you buy the shoes so you can make sure the shoe will still feel great once you add the insoles. Spend a week or two breaking them in, and hopefully your new shoes will help alleviate any pain you may have been having.

Finally, remember to replace your shoes about every 6 months if you are active. The support will begin to break down after awhile, and you will want to replace your shoes to ensure your feet are getting the support they deserve. I hope you found this article helpful. Feel free to email me with any comments, questions, or concerns at 2weekstohealth@gmail.com.

Author: Scott Van Hoy – Click Here to view the author’s profile

Advertisements

Fitness on a Budget

I remember when I was growing up it was always difficult to convince my parents to buy me new things. They were incredibly disciplined in what they invested their money in, and if it was something they didn’t see as “valuable” or “worth the money”, it was an almost certain “no”. Dreams of buying 30 dollar dumbbells, a treadmill, or even some gym memberships were never going to be reached. If it wasn’t for the local YMCA offering a 12 dollar monthly membership, I do not know if I would have ever been part of a gym! Now I don’t want to throw my parents under the bus, they gave me everything that I wanted that I truly needed, but the point is there millions of people who struggle financially and still want to get healthy. I am now a college student, and I know what it feels like to live off of 100 dollars for a month; I see it with my friends and in myself every day! Breaking the bank isn’t an option for me or for many of us, and that is a sad but true reality. However, this reality does not inhibit our ability to live a healthy lifestyle. In fact, we can still get in tremendous shape and look amazing with the use of extremely cheap equipment. In particular, the following presents my five favorite exercise modalities, all which can be found at sporting good stores or online for under $20!

Your Own Body

As cliché as it is to use in this article, do not underestimate the power of bodyweight exercise in shaping an amazing physique! There are several successful exercise programs that use only your own body to change and get dramatic results. I personally prefer to use bodyweight exercises as opposed to weighted exercise just because of the lean and clean cut look it elicits. Whether it be push-ups, dips, squats, lunges, running, or jumping, there are hundreds of exercises out there that are incredibly effective, and they are completely free. Here is a sample body weight workout that will challenge you for free!

Exercise Bingo: Create a slip of paper for each of the spaces (i.e B1, N2, etc.), and put them in a hat. Pull out a slip of a paper, and conduct the exercise on that respective space for 1 minute. After the exercise is completed, pull out another slip. If you pull a free space, rest for one minute and drink water. The goal is to get two bingos on the same card.

B I N G O
1 Wide Push Ups Jumping Jacks Mountain Climbers Sit Ups Squats
2 Military Push Ups Burpees Free (1 minute break) Jump Squats Calf Raises
3 Plank High Knees Lunges Hip Bridges Arm Circles
4 Free (1 minute break) Butt Kickers 360 degree jumps Superman’s Free (1 minute break)


Speed Rope

A speed rope is very cheap item that will bring a hell of a lot of intd0c73dd1-e269-4b28-a360-57a2d7074ccf_1-89a1581b98b87ba35a057d771ef1ece7ensity into your workout. I would like to make the distinction between a jump rope and a speed rope, one is used for recreation and the other exercise. Don’t get discouraged, jumping rope is difficult at first, especially at high speeds. However, after practicing it for a few workouts you should pick it up quickly. You can find this modality for as cheap as $2.97 at your local Walmart. Check out this sample speed rope workout below!

15 Minute Speed Rope Circuit

Regular Jump (1:00) High-Speed High Knees Jump (1:00) Regular Jump (1:00)
High-Speed Jump (1:00) Regular Jump (1:00) Double Jumps (1:00)
Regular Jump (1:00) Single Leg Jump Rope (1:00) left Regular Jump (1:00)
High-Speed Side-to-Side Jump (1:00) Regular Jump (1:00) Scissor Jumps (1:00)
Regular Jump (1:00)(left) Single Leg Jump (1:00) right Regular Jumps (1:00)
  • Regular Jump– Normal jump rope at a regular pace.
  • High-Speed Jump– Jump as fast as you possibly can.
  • High-Speed Side-to-Side Jumps– Jump side to side with both feet as fast as possible while jumping over the rope.
  • High-Speed High Knees– Perform high knees while jumping over the rope.
  • Single Leg Jump Rope– Jump over the rope with only one leg, while the other is lifted off the ground.
  • Double Jumps– Jump high enough where you can perform two full revolutions of the jump rope before touching the ground.
  • Scissor Jumps– Put one foot in front of the other, jump, and then switch feet. Continue this process.

Medicine Ball

A medicine ball is yet another relatively cheap item that provides a lot of versatility when it comes to the amount of exercises you can perform with it. These can be found for anywhere between fifteen and thirty dollars. With its versatility nearly unmatched, here is three of the hundreds of moves you can perform with a medicine ball.

Medicine Ball Push-Ups are my personal favorite. The move is simply performing a push-up, but now there is a medicine ball under one of your hands. Medicine Ball Push-Ups have tons of versatility in their own right, and can also be performed with several balls, each placed on a different limb. It adds a balance and core component to boring old push-ups, and thus intensifies the move.  

Jump Squats are another already difficult move that Medicine Balls can intensify to push your body even further. This move is when you perform a normal squat, bending your knees to 90 degrees, and once you reach this point, explode straight up and jump in the air. Do all of this while holding the medicine ball in your hand.

Medicine Ball Burpees are another extremely challenging move that I love to use in both my workouts and the workouts of my clients. Start standing straight up, and then kneeling down and touching the medicine ball to the floor. Once the medicine ball reaches the floor, jump your legs back into Push Up position, and perform a Push Up with both hands on the medicine ball. Once the Push Up is completed, jump your feet back up to the ball, and stand up.

Agility Ladder

The Agility Ladder is my favorite thing that I mention in this entire article! It allows for workouts that challenge the coordination of the neuromuscular system, have high intense cardio components, and just provide for a fun and unique workout experience. All these benefits are only coupled when you realize it only costs eleven dollars at Walmart! Check out this Video with 30 speed ladder movements to see what it is all about!

Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands are the perfect replacement for weights for anyone that is on a tight budget. Not only do they serve the same practical purpose as dumbbells, but the difference in cost is absolutely astounding. While a pair of thirty-pound dumbells will cost around $40, the resistance bands will cost only $10! There are plenty of videos on YouTube that will take you through resistance band workouts from start to finish. 

All of this exercise equipment is a staple for the workouts I use for both my clients and myself. Not only are they all incredibly cheap and a perfect way to ensure proper intensity for your workouts, but they are extremely fun and challenging ways to workout. I promise that even if I had a billion dollar budget, these are exactly the things I would use to change my client’s lives!

This article was written by Alex Perelló.

10 Ways to Ensure Your Workouts will get Results

In a world that is flooded with information with regards to physical fitness, it is quite easy to get lost in different programs, gadgets, and movements that either cost way too much, or don’t necessarily work. But in order to live a healthy lifestyle, you don’t need any of this! All you need is the knowledge to create your own workout, and the persistence to stick with your own workouts consistently.

Using the next ten workout designs will ensure that you can create hundreds of your own workouts, all while being able to ensure the proper intensity so that you can see the results I know you want. These are the same designs I use personally and for my clients in order to ensure body changing results. Without further ado, here are ten workout designs that will give you the power to change your own life!

Circuit

Easily the most prevalent and basic workout style is a Circuit. A Circuit is when you perform a group of exercises (typically 3 or more) in back to back sets with little to no rest in between. Performing a circuit adds an intense cardio component to your workouts, and is extremely beneficial to losing weight as well as making your workouts more time efficient.

Let’s say that we were performing a chest, shoulder, and triceps workout. A sample circuit for a workout like this would be to perform a bench press (chest exercise), a shoulder press (shoulder exercise), and a tricep extension (tricep exercise) without any rest in between. You could perform this circuit several times until your total amount of sets adds up to 16/24, or change the moves in the circuit and continually do different circuits. You could also make the circuits longer by adding more moves to each circuit. An example of a circuit is below:

  • Circuit 1 (repeat 2 times) Push Ups, Shoulder Press, Triceps Dip
  • Circuit 2 (repeat 2 times) Bench Press, Upright Row, Tricep Pulldowns
  • Circuit 3 (repeat 2 times) Chest Flys, Shoulder Flys, Tricep Extensions
  • Total Sets: 18

Pyramid

Another prevalent workout style is a Pyramid. Pyramids are a challenging and efficient way to get a lot of repetitions into a workout. Let’s use push-ups as an example to demonstrate what a pyramid is. You would perform one push-up, and then stand up. Then, you would go back down into push up position, but this time do this two push-ups. You would repeat this until you reach your total goal of let’s say 8. Then after you reach 8, you would have to come back down. You would do 7 push-ups, then 6, then 5, then 4, all the way down to 1. Below is this example in a step by step format:

  • 1 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • 2 Push Up
  • Stand Ups
  • 3 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • …..
  • 8 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • 7 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • 6 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • …..
  • 1 Push Up
  • Stand Up

Drop Set

The third workout style is a Drop Set. Drop sets are also very challenging, and really get the muscle burn going. Let’s say we were doing a bicep workout. First, you need to curl a weight until you physically cannot lift it anymore (failure). After you reach this point, you are going to get a lighter weight (usually 5 pounds less), and then curl that weight until you physically cannot anymore. Do this for two more weight ranges, and I promise your muscles will be burning like never before! If you are a beginner and five pound increments are too much, don’t worry! As long as you decrease the weight after each set, and perform at least 4 sets total, the burn will be present. Below is a summary of what was just said:

  • Set 1: 20 lbs Shoulder Press until failure
  • Set 2 (After first sets’ failure): 15 lbs Shoulder Press until failure
  • Set 3 (After second sets’ failure): 10 lbs Shoulder Press until failure
  • Set 4 (After third sets’ failure): 5 lbs Shoulder Press until failure

Super Set

The fourth workout style is a Superset. A Superset is very similar to a circuit, except it intends to work the same muscle group, and it is only a group of 2 sets. How a superset works is that you would complete one movement that works a specific muscle group, and immediately following reaching failure on the first set, you would perform another exercise that targets that same muscle group. While it does not necessarily have to be the same muscle group to be a superset, it typically is used in this way. An example is listed below:

  • Exercise 1: Bicep Curl (perform until failure)
  • Exercise 2 (performed immediately after first sets’ failure): Hammer Curls

Group Set

Group Sets is another kind of workout style, and it is when you do several sets of the same exercise, with a rest period in between each set. In addition, you would not move on until you complete ALL sets for the specific muscle group. For example, a workout that uses the multiple set style would look like this:

  • 4 Sets of Bench Press (Break in between each set. Don’t Move on until all 4 sets are done)
  • 3 Sets of Shoulder Press (Break between each set. (Don’t Move on until all 3 sets are done)
  • 3 Sets of Triceps Extensions (Break in between each set)

Heartbreaker Sets

Heartbreaker Sets are another way to intensify weightlifting, and bring the burn to your muscles even quicker. How these sets work is that you must perform 2 high-intensity cardio moves for 30 seconds each, and then jump into your normal set. The combination of your heart pounding while lifting weights will bring the burn to your muscles quickly. An example is as follows:

  • Jumping Jacks (as fast as possible)
  • Line Jumps (as fast as possible)
  • Bicep Curl Set

Goal Sets

Goal Sets are another interesting workout style where you set a goal number of reps for an exercise that is unusually high, and try to perform these sets in as little sets as possible. You can break these sets up however you want, and that will make it easier. An example of these sets would be as follows:

  • 100 Push Ups
  • 100 Squats
  • 100 Sit Ups
  • 100 Lunges

An example of how you would perform this exercise is to do 10 sets of 10 push-ups, 10 squats, 10 sit-ups, and 10 lunges.

Compound Circuit

A Compound Circuit is a challenging combination of a circuit and a pyramid. How it works is you take one compound move (i.e a Bicep Curl into a Shoulder Press), and then move into a different compound move that works one of the muscle groups worked in the first movement (shoulders), and a different muscle group (triceps). The next compound movement would include the muscle that wasn’t chosen from the first compound movement (biceps), and the different muscle group worked in the second compound movement (triceps).  An example will illustrate this circuit more clearly below:

  • Bicep Curl into Shoulder Press
  • Shoulder Press into Tricep Extension
  • Tricep Extension into Bicep Curl

Station Workout

A Station Workout is a large circuit that is generally taken for time. How it works is you must establish five or more “stations”, and at each station you perform an exercise for a certain amount of time. Once this time is up, you will move onto to another station, and repeat this process. You can go around the station several times, and these workouts are excellent for total body and cardio work. An example is listed below:

  • Station 1 (1:00): Calf Raises
  • Station 2 (1:00): Squats
  • Station 3 (1:00): Bridges
  • Station 4 (1:00): Lunges
  • Station 5 (1:00): Fast Feet
  • Repeat 3 times

Progression Set

A Progression Set is an interesting twist to a circuit. How it works is that you will perform a circuit once, and the second time that you perform the set each move will be slightly intensified or complicated. An example is below:

  • Circuit 1: 15 Push Ups, 15 Squats. 15 second Plank
  • Circuit 2: 15 Push with shoulder taps, 15 Squat Jumps, 30 second Plank
  • Circuit 3: Plyometric Push Ups, 15 Squat Jump Thrusts, 60 second Plank

Well, that’s all ten! I want to stress that these are by no means the only ways to create your own workouts. I encourage you to further your research online, and adopt the ideas of other people in the fitness industry as well so that you can continue to challenge your body in different and creative ways! If you use and combine these ten designs, all while manipulating the information provided in my previous article “A Beginners Guide to Exercise Volume 1”, there is no doubt in my mind that you will be able to create a personalized workout that will get you the results you so desire!

This is a guest post by Alex Perelló, click here to view his bio and other articles!

A Beginner’s Guide to Exercise Volume 1

Entering the health and fitness world can be an overwhelming process because of the incredible amounts of information that is presented to beginners. One minute you hear about crazy mass building protein shakes, and the next you are hearing about falsified nutrition plans that get insane results in two days. All this information makes it difficult to get a basic grasp of the essential information that is necessary to creating your own sustainable, healthy lifestyle. It is my goal as a personal trainer to change this trend, and empower and educate normal, everyday people to have the knowledge necessary to revolutionize their own lives.

Exercise Science Basics

Exercise has many guiding principles, but none more important than the Principle of Overload. This principle is extremely simple, but the very foundation that all training programs are based upon. The Principle of Overload states that in order to experience physiological adaptations, you are going to have to place a physical stress on your body that it is not accustomed to. This stress comes from performing workouts that include weight, tension, or an increase in muscle energy demands. In addition, it comes from other things such as frequency, duration, and intensity. These things will be discussed later on.

Another important principle is the Principle of Specificity (also known as the Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands principle). This is another important foundation that describes the body’s ability to adapt to whatever demands you place on it. In other words, a workout program should reflect the desired outcome. For example, if you want to get good at running, your workout program is going to have to include running, if you want to get a stronger chest, your workout program has to include chest exercises, so on and so forth.

The fitness industry is incredibly superficial and predicated over aesthetics. Because of this, it would only be fair to discuss the term Muscular Hypertrophy. Muscular Hypertrophy in very simple terms is the increase in the size of a muscle as a result of some kind of resistance training (weightlifting). The weightlifting needs to be specific and these specifics will be discussed shortly. In general, people who want to increase muscle mass and increase the appearance of size participate in this kind of training.

Muscular Hypertrophy has a brother and its name is Muscular Endurance. Muscular Endurance is a muscle’s ability to produce and maintain a force for an extended period of time. Much like Hypertrophy, training for endurance also creates muscular adaptations, but instead of an increase in muscle size, it generally leads to a toned muscular appearance. How to train for endurance will be discussed below.

Workout Basics

Now that we discussed general exercise theory at a basic level, we can dive into topics that are important for the creation of workouts. In addition to introducing these topics, I will also discuss how to manipulate them in order to gain muscle size (hypertrophy) or muscle tone (endurance).

A Repetition is probably the simplest term in the entire workout industry. It is the completion of an exercise one time (i.e doing one push-up).  In order to gain muscle tone and improve endurance, one must perform 12-20 repetitions of an exercise. In order to increase muscle size and train for hypertrophy, perform 6-12 repetitions of an exercise. Body weight exercises are an exception, and should always be conducted until failure.

A Set is another simple term, and it is just a group of repetitions. To increase muscle tone, perform 1-3 sets of an exercise. To increase muscle size perform 3-5 sets of an exercise.

Failure is the point in which you have done so many repetitions of an exercise that you physically cannot do anymore. This is the point you want to reach for each and every set, so one must ensure that they are using the appropriate weight in order to reach this point for the kind of training they wish to participate in. For example, if you want to train for hypertrophy, and you are doing 6 repetitions in your training, you need to use a weight that is heavy enough so that when you reach that sixth repetition, you cannot do a seventh.

A One Repetition Maximum is an important measure to let you choose the appropriate weight so that you can reach failure. It is exactly what it sounds like, the maximum amount of weight you can (with good form) perform one repetition of an exercise with. This goes hand and hand with Intensity, which is a measure of a level of effort that is generally represented as a percentage to your One-Repetition Maximum. Gaining Muscle size requires training in the 75%-85% of one rep max, and gaining muscle tone requires training in the 50%-70% range.

Rest Interval is a measure of the time you rest between each set. For tone, rest between 0 and 90 seconds. For size, take rests between 0 and 60 seconds.  

Training Volume is the amount of total sets of exercises you do in a single workout. For weight training, begin by shooting for 16 total sets of exercises, and then try to move up to 24 total sets of exercises.  For example, if you are working out your arms (shoulders, biceps, triceps) try to do 5 sets of each muscle group for 15 total (beginners), or 8 sets of each for 24 sets total (advanced).

An often overlooked but extremely crucial aspect of creating a workout is having an appropriate warm-up and cool-down. Performing both of these exposes your body to a vast array of physiological benefits, such as a decreased risk of injury, proper muscle activation to ensure maximum performance when it counts, and an increase in psychological preparation. A warm-up lasts generally 5-10 minutes and precedes any of the actual workout. A good split for warming up is to start with a quick 3-5 minute cardio warm-up (running, jump rope, etc.), and then stretch the muscles that your body will be tackling in the workout for the remainder of the time. The Cool-Down more than likely will mirror the Warm-Up, with a 3-5 minute cardio cool down, and stretch for the remainder of the time.

You now have the necessary knowledge to understand what causes your body to change, and how to manipulate the basic components of a workout to get your body to change in the way most people want it! Check out volume two, where we tie all this knowledge together, and address Program Design and Nutrition basics!

Running: A Little Goes a Long Way

When I tell my friends I’m a distance runner, one of the most common reactions I get is a groan, and something along the lines of “you must be crazy to run that far/that much.” While my love of running has taken me to some of the sports’ longest races, I tell them that in order to reap the myriad benefits of running, you don’t need to do much of it. Incorporating running into your weekly routine can be easy and fun!

Today, I’ll look at ways you can incorporate running into your exercise routine and take a quick look at the Copenhagen Study, illustrating some health benefits of running just a few times a week.

Use running as a warm-up/cool down

More into lifting weights at the gym? Do you get bored on the treadmill? Running can still help you get more out of your workout. Running just two miles, even for the beginner, takes less than 20 minutes and gets your heart pumping before you begin your normal routine. This kickstarts your mind and body, helping you stay focused on your workout and burning more calories due to your increased heart rate. If you’re like me, after a while the run will motivate you to workout harder. If you’d rather save running for the end of your workout, running can be a great way to cap your workout. This way, you don’t have to worry about burning energy you may want to save for another activity. Plus, it feels great to walk out of the gym after a good hard run.

Run to/from the gym

If you’re not a fan of treadmills, this is an easy way to work running into your day. If it is safe and feasible, check out the Google Maps tool that allows you to get walking directions to your gym. This will keep you off busy roads and allow you to add miles easily. Plus, no need to worry about parking!

Use Media!

With a smartphone in every pocket and Wi-Fi at most gyms, there’s no reason to worry about getting bored on the treadmill. During the months I’m running on the treadmill, I may start a TV series I only watch while working out or find new artists to listen to while running. Having a show to watch makes a run a lot easier to look forward to.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

If steady-state cardio isn’t your cup of tea, try HIIT. This method of short bursts of very intense exercise will help you get running and burn tons of calories. It can be something as simple as ending a set of pushups and rolling directly into a 50 yard sprint and going back to your routine. Working these intervals will add a new dimension of intensity to your routine.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this excerpt of the Copenhagen Study from the American Running Association:

The Copenhagen City Heart Study, which started back in 1976, makes use of the Copenhagen Population Register and is a prospective cardiovascular study that boasts subjects of both genders totaling approximately 20,000. The youngest subjects are 20 years old, while the oldest are now 93 and counting. The goal three and a half decades ago was to increase understanding of the causes underlying heart disease and stroke. Since then it has yielded some 750 published research papers and expanded to include other diseases ranging from allergy to sleep apnea. The central idea continues to be discovering associations with longevity, and now they have done so for different forms of exercise.

“Jogging” is the term of choice here because, surprisingly, the researchers found the strongest link with longevity among people who ran at a “slow or average” pace for just one to two and a half hours per week.

The average lifespan increase for male subjects in this population of exercisers was 6.2 years; for women the increase was 5.6 years. The subjects were asked to self-report their pace as either slow, average, or fast. While this seems a fairly blunt instrument to measure workout intensity, it does suggest that people who run at an easy-to-moderate effort, several times a week, for just 30 minutes or more see real health benefits. As little as two half-hour easy runs per week appear to offer measurable improvements in life expectancy. Five easy runs per week at this duration puts you in the upper reaches of this optimal zone—this is hardly overtraining.

The mortality of 1,116 male joggers and 762 female joggers was compared to the non-joggers in the main study population. The first data was collected between 1976 and 1978, the second from 1981 to 1983, the third from 1991 to 1994, and the fourth from 2001 to 2003. Results showed that in the follow-up period involving a maximum of 35 years, 10,158 deaths were registered among the non-joggers and only 122 deaths among the joggers. Analysis showed that risk of death was reduced by 44% for both male and female joggers. 

(http://www.americanrunning.org/w/article/even-30-minutes-twice-a-week-can-lengthen-your-life, accessed 1DEC2016)

This is a guest post by Zackary A. Landers. Landers is an ultramarathoner who is always looking for ways to serve his community and help his friends on the path to better health.