Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Doctors warn that toning shoes can cause injuries

With manufactures of "toning shoes" touting record number sales and claims to tone the butt, legs and abs without hitting the gym, toning shoes have become the fastest and largest growing segment within the footwear industry. So popular has this type of shoe become with consumers, primarily among women, that the market leader, Sketchers, now wants to get men in on the excitement by hiring Pro Football Hall of Fame Quarterback Joe Montana to tout it's benefits.

But as the popularity of the shoe grows, so too does the criticism. Numerous doctors from varying fields of medicine, podiatrists, chiropractors etc. are warning that the shoes are nothing more than a gimmick and can potentially cause injuries to the wearer. Two common injuries to warn against are the rolling of the foot and also strained Achilles tendons citing that "people with balance problems or tight Achilles tendons should take a cautious approach". Interestingly enough, Nike, known in the industry for providing footwear and apparel that enhance overall performance, shuns the idea of the shoes and has no plans to get in the toning shoe game. Nike, through their spokesperson Derek Kent stated "Our focus is on creating performance products that really work. Unlike today's toning products, we won't ask the consumer to compromise on stability, flexibility or any other key performance characteristics as they train."

Although an advocate for most things that encourage people to get out and move more, I’m typically very skeptical of anything that makes overt end all be all claims. Avia’s shoe claims to be the “Personal Trainer in a box” while Reebok’s ads encourage you to “make your boobs jealous!” because the attention will be on your… ahem “assets”. I tend to agree with the sentiment stated that many of the benefits expressed by these companies can be obtained through a proper, balanced diet and integrated fitness programs involving increased cardio activity such as walking or running as well as resistance and flexibility training, and would be less expensive than shelling out $100 - $250 for a pair of shoes. But, if the mood hits and the desire to buy is there, do your research, be cautious of the claims and most importantly, recognize if there are physical limitations present in your own body that could potentially be exacerbated by the use of such products. Sometimes a quick fix for aesthetic benefits is not worth the marketing hype in the long run.

For the full article, check out: A revolutionary sneaker, or overhyped gimmick?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First Lady Launches President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

On Thursday, First Lady Michelle Obama joined kids from the Washington, DC area to launch the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and introduce the 2010 Council co-chairs and members. In conjunction with the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, this year President Obama has broadened the scope of the Council, formerly known as the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, to include a focus on healthy eating as well as active lifestyles. Yesterday, the President signed an Executive Order outlining the Council’s new emphasis on both good nutrition and physical fitness.

The President has named Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, and Dominique Dawes, three-time Olympian and former U.S. national champion in women’s gymnastics, 2010 Council Co-Chairs. Dawes delivered remarks at the event and Brees recorded a video message that was shown there. Joining Dawes at the event were 2010 Council Members Dan Barber, Tedy Bruschi, Allyson Felix, Michelle Kwan, Curtis Pride, Donna Richardson Joyner, Dr. Ian Smith, Carl Edwards, Cornell McClellan and Dr. Stephen McDonough. Council Executive Director, Shellie Pfohl, was also in attendance. Following the announcement, the First Lady, Pfohl and the Council Members joined the kids in participating in a series of activity stations.

For more information on the council, visit:


*Source:  press release from

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Got Chocolate Milk?

For all of you chocolate lovers here’s another bit of good news for you. A new preliminary study presented at a conference held by the American College of Sports Medicine recently suggests that a low-fat chocolate milk treat after a workout is more beneficial to the body than engineered carbohydrate only sports drinks. According to the study, low-fat chocolate milk contains just the right amount of protein and carbohydrates to rebuild and refuel muscles. Now, before you go running out to order that post-workout chocolate shake, the key phrase here is “LOW-FAT”. It should also be noted that this is a preliminary study and has yet to go through peer reviews. But in the meantime, read up, stay tuned and get the dark chocolate chips ready for meltdown…

Click here for the full story...