I’m sure by now you’ve seen ads for these kinds of sneakers – the ones that will help you “lose weight” and “firm up and tone your muscles” just by walking around in them. A bunch of companies have jumped on this bandwagon now and I’ll be honest – I’m curious to know if there’s anything behind this concept.
I came across this post on the Wall Street Journal Health Blog looking at this exact question. The American Council on Exercise commissioned an independent study to look at whether wearing these kinds of shoes resulted in any changes in cardiovascular fitness (measured by oxygen consumption, heart rate, perceived exertion), calorie burn, and changes in muscle activity in the back and lower body. The study followed two different groups of young physically active females and found that basically there were no (statistically) significant changes (improvements) in fitness levels or in muscle activity. However, several companies who manufacture a version of this kind of shoe beg to differ. (You can read their rebuttals on the WSJ blog post).
So, what’s the deal? Do they work? Or maybe the bigger question is “Does it even matter?” The concept makes sense to me – make your body work (for example, walking) from a place of instability and you will engage muscles to not only do the activity, but also expend more energy than usual to keep yourself stable while doing that activity. Personal trainers use this concept all the time – well I did, anyway, when training clients. I guess what surprises me is that people would replace good old-fashioned movement for a pair of magic slippers. I suppose that the temptation of a quick fix does sound more appealing that pounding pavement. Though, with all that said, I’ll be honest – I’d try them out! What’s the harm, right? I wouldn't stop being active just for a pair of magic shoes, but I’d definitely like to know what they feel like!
Do you have a pair of these shoes? What do you think of them? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Share on Facebook.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race! posted on Mar 20
How to achieve your healthy lifestyle goals this National Nutrition Month! By Campbell Reiff It’s March, and you know what that means – spring is here! March is not only the month for the change in seasons, but is also National Nutrition Month! This month, the …Continue Reading Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
Weekly Flu Report, March 17, 2017 posted on Mar 17
Rates of flu-like illness rebounded slightly over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. Regardless of the swings from week to week, it’s important to note that we can expect to see flu continuing to circulate in our communities well into springtime. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, March 17, 2017
Making Strides to Better Understanding Environmental Exposure posted on Mar 16
In partnership with the CDC, DPH is looking at the impact of certain environmental chemicals – such as lead and mercury – on Massachusetts residents. This technique, known as biomonitoring, measures environmental chemicals in the human body. Through a state-wide study, DPH is trying …Continue Reading Making Strides to Better Understanding Environmental Exposure