In my opinion, running is one of the fastest ways to lose weight. This rang true for me a decade ago when I lost over 25 kilos within six months. For some who had traversed this path, running becomes a regular hobby. For others like me, the interest had waned away in favour of other activities. This article is for those who are new to running.
Before I even begin, I have an ethical responsibility to remind you that if you are new to the weight loss journey, you have to do things progressively, especially if you have a significant amount of weight to lose. Start off with walking first before running. If you don’t lose some poundage before running, you risk hurting your knees. Don’t make the same mistake I did. And do yourself a favour and get a copy of the Lifelong Fitness Blueprint. It’ll help you heaps.
Now, back to the topic at hand. There is one thing which seasoned runners know that beginners typically don’t – the importance of a good running shoe. It can make the difference between a great running experience and potential injury. Most people do not know that there is a proper shoe for your foot type.
Knowing your foot type before you hit the stores can make a world of difference whether you want to do brisk walking, jogging or running. How do you determine your foot type? It’s really quite simple. Get a huge piece of paper of darker shade, I’m thinking A3 size, and step on it after soaking each foot in water. Look closely at the imprint. This is your starting point. Now, there are generally three types of feet.
If your imprint covers most of the feet (not much arch at all) then you have flat feet. If you show a wide arch and narrow line of your outer foot then you have high arches. You are among the 30% of the population of in America. If your imprint has a medium arch then congratulations, you have the ideal feet for running.
I understand and appreciate that the method above may sound a bit complex to most of us, simply because it is not something we are used to. The good news is that if you go to a specialist sports shoe store, they can definitely help you with this. After all, it is their bread and butter. They even have specialist tools to help with this.
There is another thing I must emphasize in good faith, and that is that you do not want to skimp on running shoes! It might seem like a bargain to get a cheap or second-hand pair, but the long-term damage it can do to your feet is not worth it. That being said, I’m also not advocating for you to get the most expensive pair. It just has to be comfortable and “right”.
I recently read an article online that estimates that as many as 56% of the 30 million runners in America have injuries from improper shoe selection. I’m sure this figure does not deviate too much for those in other western countries. So you can see that you do have to do your homework to protect yourself, right? So how do you determine the type of shoe to buy? Here are some brief guidelines:
For the flat-footed person, you will want to buy a shoe that is rigid and stable. This will prevent your ankles from bending inward or outward and it will protect you. If you have high arches, you will want to look for a very cushioned shoe. High arched feet don’t absorb shock very well so you’ll want that cushion to help in absorbing the shock for you. For the medium arch or ideal foot, you want the combination of both stability and cushioning for your feet.
And here is another tip for pretty much everyone: When you try on a shoe it should be snug but not tight and there should be approximately a half an inch between your longest toe and the front of your running shoe. If you want to be even more pedantic, shop for your shoes late afternoon when your feet are a little more spread. If it is not comfortable when you are in the store, imagine what it will be like when you are out on a run. So test them well while you’re there.
In summary, those shoes you bought that were such a bargain may be cause for concern in the future, so pick wisely, and may your running experience be smooth and wonderful. Your feet will be most grateful. But there is one more thing I wish to address – choice. Obviously you don’t want to be restricted, right?
So to end this article, here’s a top tip for you: Go to a specialist foot store just to find out what type of feet you have and what size. Ensure you have this information at hand. Then go to an online store such as the Granite Fitness Online Store or Travel Fitness 4 Me to check out the wide variety of shoes available. Since you already have your type and size on hand, you’ll be in the best position to get a design and colour you like at a good price while feeling assured that your feet are well taken care of. Ta Da!
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