Archive for March, 2011

Skechers My Shape Ups Review

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Please read this review prior to purchasing any “toning” shoes such as My Shape Ups by Skechers!

I recently worked with a client of mine that unknowingly fell for the marketing strategy that this type of footwear would help her efforts to tone up.  I noticed that she was wearing these within 2 minutes of her session and then followed by listing many reasons why these are terrible for you.  But before we get into that, we must first evaluate the purpose of footwear.

A properly fitted shoe is designed to support your foot to proved a steady and stable surface for the body.  Once the feet are properly aligned and supported, the ankles, knees, hips, and rest of the body follow.  This is ESSENTIAL for maintaining proper posture, balance, and technique while exercising.

“Toning” shoes are designed to provide an unstable surface, which is supposed to make you use your muscles more frequently and tone them.  However, this is a fancy marketing strategy for compromised foot stability and is a great way to injure yourself.  While wearing this type of footwear, the body is unable to properly control the ankle, knees, and stay balanced while exercising.  This also changes gait pattern and will lead to injuries just from walking.  Think about how you walk on an unstable surface such as ice, doing this all the time will lead to problems.

Now back to my observations while training my client:

  • She was unable to lunge properly due to almost falling over during every step, the ankle and knee were wobbling all over the place. This instability places extra lateral tension in the knees and ankles, increasing the probability of injury.
  • Squatting was out of the question because she was unable to sit back into her heals, otherwise she would have fallen over.  Doing this places extra stress into the knee and will lead to injuries.
  • Jumping is out of the question. (Would you do jumping jacks on ice?)

Adding these together really limits what we were able to do since any movement based exercise was compromised due to the lack of balance and stability.  Overall, you are better off taking your money and investing in a properly fitted athletic shoe.

UPDATE: ON SEPTEMBER, 28th 2011, REEBOK SETTLED A LAWSUIT WHERE THEY PAID OUT $25 MILLION FOR FALSE CLAIMS REGARDING THEIR TONING SHOES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS STORY, CHECK OUT THE LINK HERE.

If you would like more information please call us at (773) 706-8705

Is P90X the Answer for Losing Weight?

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

I was recently watching the P90x infomercial for the 1000th time and would like to give my reviews of the program. Although they have many success stories that are used in their marketing strategy, they do not list the unsuccessful attempts by many that did not get the results they had hoped for, or those that had to quit the program after injuring themselves.

One thing that I always promote is safety, proper body alignment, and technique when it comes to exercising, if you become injured, then you will never reach your long-term goals.  The problem with P90x or any other at home exercise tape is the lack of supervision.  The majority of people that purchase these products are overweight, out of shape, and have a lack of muscular strength, endurance, and body awareness.  If not, then you would not be in the market for such products.  This is when safety comes into play, if a client comes to me looking to lose 50lbs, and has not exercised in 20 years, I would never have them jumping, attempting push ups, sit-ups, and other high impact moves.  This is when most people encounter back pain, knee injuries, and a variety of other issues.

The other problem with many of these programs is how “fast” that one can become in great shape.  attempting to lose 30 pounds in a month is not only unrealistic, it’s setting yourself up for failure and injury.  Healthy long-term weight loss should be 1-2lbs per week by making healthy diet changes, and exercising in the best way for you using a variety of modes.  Instead of purchasing a movie based fitness program, you should consult with a professional to see what is the best strategy for you and your goals.  Please don’t be fooled into purchasing one of these programs unless you have been evaluated by a fitness professional.

For more information please contact us at (773) 706-8705

Snacks That Help You Lose Weight!

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

When it comes to eating healthy to lose weight, many times people do a good job with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but blow it on the snacks.  Many snacks, bars, and supplements contain a lot of High Fructose Corn Syrup (Sugar) and calories which is not going to help your effort.  With this in mind, I am going to list a few do’s and don’ts of snacking.

Do:

  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetables- these contain a lot of nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber to keep you feeling full.  It’s also easy to take with you since they can be eaten raw and are portable.  Most people don’t eat enough fiber, so adding it with snacks can help keep up your daily intake.
  • Unsalted Nuts- these will add healthy oils to your diet and some protein.  Just make sure not to eat too many because they can add up to a high calorie snack.  Also make sure they are unsalted.  Salt will make you retain water, look and feel bloated, and can increase your blood pressure.
  • Fat Free/ Low Fat Dairy- Try some Cottage Cheese, Yogurt, or Cheese Stick.  These will help maintain your calcium intake, and add some protein to your diet.  Just make sure to limit portions as eating to much will add up to a lot of extra calories.
  • Drink more water, sometimes we feel hungry because we are actually dehydrated.  Your body will tell you it’s hungry so that you eat something with liquid.  This will also keep your system flushed out and healthy.
  • Read the Label!- You should get into the habit of doing this before you purchase or eat something.  Then ask yourself if it will be helping or hurting your efforts.  Look at the ingredients, Calories, Sodium, Fat, and Trans Fat. If they are high, then you should avoid it!

Don’ts:

  • “Energy Bars and Drinks”- Most of these are full of sugar and offer no nutritional value.  You may get a little boost for a while, but will usually come crashing down. Even a lot of the meal replacement or health food bars and snacks have “High Fructose Corn Syrup” in the first 3 ingredients.
  • Potato Chips/Snackfoods-If you bought it in the snack food aisle, chances are you shouldn’t be eating it.  Check out the Salt, Fat, and Calorie content in relationship with Nutritional Value.  I would venture to guess that the calories are high, and nutrtion is low. This also includes but not limited to (Animal Crackers, Pringles, Cheetos, Cheese Puffs, Doritos, Lays, ect…)

Is Personal Training Right for my Kids?

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Have you thought about taking your children to a personal trainer to keep them healthy? What about for sports performance?

Although many people may initially feel this is unnecessary, I would like you to consider the following:

  • Kids that learn how to exercise properly develop good habits and associate exercise with fun, and are more likely to keep it up as a teen and adult.
  • Kids that learn how to better control their body at a young age, often excel in sports, have less injuries, and again, are more likely to keep exercising throughout their life.
  • What about the teens that play sports other than football and basketball. They often do not get the same off-season training, conditioning, and coaching as the “main sports.”  If your teens participate in an effective training program, they can improve performance and potentially earn sports scholarships.

If you would like more information about youth training please contact us via email at chicagofamilyfit@gmail.com or call us at (773) 706-8705