Living a healthy lifestyle is just that…a lifestyle. There’s no reason why your healthy routine should end with the summertime. With the kids heading back to school and your schedule getting more hectic, it’s more important than ever to claim your “me time”.
Zappos Blogs: walking shoes
It seems like every five seconds we’re inundated by commercials and pop up ads promising the ultimate secret to a thinner, leaner, healthier you. “Lose 10 pounds in 10 minutes!”, “Eat cookies, lose weight!”…the promises go on and on.
Being healthy for the long haul really takes lifestyle changes. They don’t always have to be drastic ones either; there are lots of small yet impactful habits that you can incorporate into your life that will help you on your goal to becoming healthier. Here are just a few simple ones to try:
1. Walk the walk: Don’t take shortcuts; take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther in the parking lot, take a brisk 30-minute walk in the evenings. Got a dog? Make the most of those daily walks by adding ankle weights and wearing performance walking shoes with specialized outsoles to work more key muscles. Ones to try are Skechers Shape Ups, Reebok EasyTone and Ecco Performance Tao.
2. Drink lots of water: This one may seem obvious, but a lot of people don’t drink enough water. Try breaking up your day in segments: wake up time to noon, noon to 4 p.m., 4 p.m. to bedtime; aim for three 8-ounce glasses per time segment to get the optimum hydration. Water is also the ultimate detoxifier and is essential in every bodily function.
3. Don’t skip breakfast: They don’t call it “the most important meal of the day” for nothing! Nearly 40 percent of women admit to skipping breakfast. This can cause you to make poor lunch choices and wreak havoc on your metabolism. Opt for fiber-rich, protein-rich options like granola bar with nuts, peanut butter and banana, nonfat Greek yogurt or a low-sugar ceral. Soy or almond milk are also great breakfast drinks if you’re in a hurry.
4. Get your zzzs!: Sleep is a very essential part of a healthy, balanced life. While there is no real “magic number” to how many hours of sleep each individual needs, on average, a normal adult needs anywhere from 7-9 hours of restful sleep every night. Creating a relaxing nighttime ritual like a candlelit bath, soothing music or meditation before bedtime will help ease your mind and body into sleep mode.
5. Snack healthy: Keep healthy options such as fresh fruit, nuts, and low-fat yogurt close at hand. Almonds are also a great way to fill you up in between meals. They’re high in protein and low in saturated fat, plus they’re easy to stow in your bag for on-the-go snacking.
While walking is good for your overall health, walking in uncomfortable or unsupportive shoes is torturous. The key to making regular walking a pleasant and healthful experience is investing in shoes that will promote, not hinder, your progress. If you determine ahead of time what type of shoe you will need, take the time to be fitted by a professional and specifically look for a number of essential characteristics, you will find a walking shoe that meets your needs admirably.
Ask a professional in an athletic shoe store measure your shoe size. This is extremely important, even if you think you know your shoe size. Shoe sizes can change in an individual's life over the years, and many people aren't aware they have different-sized feet until they are professionally measured. Choose an athletic shoe store over a general shoe store because the employees at the athletic store will be much more familiar with the shoe needs of different sports, including walkers.
Choose a walking shoe that fits your specific needs. There are four main types of walking shoes: lightweight trainers for casual walkers; cushioned walking shoes for those planning on walking longer distances; stability walking shoes for larger individuals who need extra shoe support; motion control shoes for people with flat feet or those whose foot and ankle roll inward when walking; and racewalking shoes for serious competitors. Pick the shoe that is closest to your individual walking type or style.
Check that the shoes are flexible. Walking shoes should be bendable and supple-feeling in the part of the shoe where the ball of the foot lies.
Try the shoes on before purchasing and take a walk around the store. Be certain to try the shoes on with the socks that you would normally wear while walking. If the shoes feel painful, tight, or uncomfortable in any way, search for another pair.
If your days of pregnancy have left you with a few extra pounds on your frame, you're probably having a hard time squeezing into your favorite jeans and sweats from your pre-pregnancy days. Shaping up after giving birth isn't always easy, but you can focus on some of the larger areas such as the hips, thighs and glutes to get started. It's easier to slim down in this area after pregnancy with a few heart-pumping cardio routines each week. Here are some easy exercises to get those thighs and glutes in great shape after the baby.
Strap on those walking shoes and hit the treadmill for 20 to 30 minutes of speed walking on an incline. Taking long, deep strides will give your hip and thigh muscles a killer workout and help to boost your metabolism. Add some hand weights to the mix for an extra boost.
An hour of kickboxing can burn off several hundred calories per hour and is an easy workout routine to ease into after pregnancy. You can kick and punch your way slim while increasing lower body strength. Plus, it's a great exercise to do at home. Just pop in a DVD and start feeling the burn!
Squats and Lunges
If you don't have time for a full cardio circuit, stick with a few rounds of squats and lunges. These exercises target the hips, thighs and buttocks and will help to strengthen and tone up your largest muscle groups. Building muscle in this area will also help you boost your metabolism so it will be much easier to burn calories all day long.
The elliptical trainer can give you a total body workout, and bumping up the resistance level will help to boost your metabolism and lose those extra pounds. Elliptical machines are a good match for shaping up your glutes, thighs and calves, and they're a great fallback plan for days when your motivation level is running low.
Whipping yourself back into shape after pregnancy can be challenging, but there are a few exercises you can do to lose the extra weight. Add some of these routines to your workout schedule to get the results you want as quickly as possible.
During the classic baseball movie The Sandlot, one character slips on a pair of PF Flyers because they were supposed to make a kid jump higher and run faster. These days, athletic shoes are customized for sports like running and basketball and have been celebrated in songs that definitely aren't retreads.
"Walking Shoes" (Performed by Tanya Tucker)
Tucker sings about putting on her walking shoes and Hipsall Overcoat as she's leaving because the one that she adores has been treating her badly. In this case, her shoes are meant for a lot more than a simple walk around the block.
"Walk a Mile in My Shoes" (Performed by Elvis Presley)
One of the more thoughtful shoe songs, Joe South wrote this popular tune about stopping to see things from another person's perspective. In other words, before you pass judgment on someone, make sure you walk a mile in their shoes first.
"These Boots are made for Walking" (Performed by Nancy Sinatra)
"Boogie Shoes" (Performed by the KC and the Sunshine Band)
A tune that was born during the early days of the Disco Era, "Boogie Shoes" talks about slipping on a special pair of footwear so you can dance the night away with that one special someone.
"Italian Shoes" (Performed by Mink DeVille)
For those who have shoes for every sport and occasion, Mink DeVille recorded this track on their album Sportin' Life. The group sings about the joys of wearing Italian shoes, which feel, in their words, "soft as butter."
"Dancin' Shoes" (Performed by U2)
A cautionary shoe tale, the lead singer talks about a woman who finally has to leave the magic of the dance floor and face the hard realities of life. As she slowly adjusts to a normal life, the woman has to learn to walk all over again while wearing her dancing shoes.
A well-fitting pair of walking shoes can make your workout more pleasant, reduce fatigue and discomfort, and protect you from injury. While walking is low impact, good men's walking shoes are still critical. Walking shoes have different fitting concerns than other athletic shoes, and should fit somewhat differently to correctly support the foot. Achieving a proper fit is especially important if you have narrow or broad feet, orthopedic concerns, or other fitting issues.
Choose a men's walking shoe with a low, supportive heel and a flexible, bendable toe and a firm, supportive arch. Look for a lightweight and breathable shoe for all-around comfort.
Select a men's walking shoe that matches the shape of your foot. Match the widest part of the shoe to the widest part of your foot. Wiggle your toes, checking for at least 1/2 inch of space at the end of the shoe, beyond your longest toe.
Make sure that the molded arch on the sole of the shoe matches up with the arch of your foot. Pay special care to the arch if you have unusually high or low arches to make sure that the shoe supports and stabilizes your foot appropriately.
Check the fit of the heel of your shoe, looking for a snug and comfortable fit. Be sure that the shoe does not slip or rub when you walk.
Walk around the house in your walking shoes to make sure they fit well. You may be able to exchange your shoes as long as they've not been worn outdoors.
Replace your shoes every 300 to 600 miles, depending upon your weight and your usual walking terrain.
Wear your walking shoes for walking, but be sure to purchase more versatile or appropriate shoes for other athletic activities.
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