How To Choose Your Running Shoes

Did you ever need a check list whenever you bought your running shoes? Well this is it: your checklist for choosing your running shoes.

 

1. Buy your shoes at the end of the day

According to Jorgen Welsink from Marathon Lifestyle Now whom we’ve had the pleasure to interview advises we choose our running shoes at the end of the day. The reason for that is because at the end of the day your feet are slightly swollen, as they are after a while of running.

 

2. Shoe flexibility

When you walk barefoot your foot bends under the toes, at the ball of the foot. Your shoe must allow for that natural movement of the foot otherwise your muscles, tendons, ligaments (including those of the toes) will work extra hard, too hard.

To test this bend the shoe with your hands, if they bend easily they’re flexible, if you put some effort into it then they’re not very flexible enough. Take a few of the shelf and feel the difference.

 

3. Toe room

Ensure you have the space about the thickness of your thumb between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. You also want to make sure your toes and feet can spread do the side as they would if you were barefoot. Make sure your little toe is happy as well.

 

4. Heel to toe drop

Heel to toe drop or heel drop is essentially the thickness measurement in mm from the heel to the toe or how fat the heel is. The heel drop can go as high as 12mm and as low as zero – which is as close as you can get to barefoot with a shoe on.

 

5. Terrain and shoe sole

Depending on the type of terrain you run on you have different types of soles. For example Inov8 have a great range of off-road shoes. This is the brand I use for winter training and Obstacle Course Racing. I use VivoBarefoot for any other type of terrain and the other seasons.

On our Amazon store you can find a range of running shoes.

 

6. Minimalist or not?

The closer you are to the ground – the closer you are to a zero mm drop – the less supported your feet are, the more impact you will feel and, as a results of feeling the impact, the more likely you are to reducing it.

The closer you are to the ground the more your muscles work (in your feet, ankles, knees, glutes etc). Minimalist walking or running also reduces your stride length, over striding being one of the main reasons of running injuries.

Being close to the ground also enhances the connectivity or communication between the soles of the feet, which have about 200 000 nerve endings, and the brain. As a result the brain knows how to position your body in the most efficient way to reduce the risk of injury. If the communication is restricted then the brain cannot properly respond to the terrain changes under your feet.

This is well documented  and probably the best book to get this information from is Natural Running Technique by Danny Abshire. You can find this book and others here.

I am an supporter of barefoot, however I do have a word of caution for you, our feet are not adapted to this lifestyle, our muscles, tendons, ligaments and skeletal system have not developed for a barefoot lifestyle unless you spend your childhood and adulthood barefoot most of the time. You can transition with care and discipline if you wish. The book mentioned above can help with that as well. Ignore the transition phase and you are on your way to potential injury.

 

I think I touched on the most important aspects of how to choose your running shoes. If I remember something else or if anyone has any questions or suggestions leave a comment below and I will update the article.

Check out our running shoes selection from Amazon to get an idea.

Ask any questions below.

Exercise For Tight And Stiff Shoulders

Exercise -for-tight-and-stiff-shoulders

Do you experience tight or stiff shoulders? This simple Qigong exercise is perfect for releasing that tightness.

From a comfortable standing position:

Step 1: Hand facing up lift them about the level of the forehead – BREATHING IN

Step 2: Interlock fingers when hands reach the forehead, twisting the hands, so palms face up

Step 3: Drive or lift your hands and arms above your forehead, pushing up, as if lifting a heavy object

Step 4: Release the fingers and lower your arms slowly, from the shoulder – BREATHING OUT

Repeat

 

Notes:
– breathe in when lifting
– breathe out when lowering
– breathe in through your nose, and breathe out through your mouth or nose
– keep shoulders down, even when you lift the arms above your head
If you have any questions or would like individual guidance, contact me at alexandra@alexandramerisoiu.com

Also connect through Facebook for live streaming, such as this one https://www.facebook.com/TheMerisoiuTechnique

How To Lose Weight Part Three

After we talked about the 3 reaction that take place in our bodies at any given time: physical, psychological and chemical, in Part I, and about how to keep the physical side in balance, or strive to keep it in balance, in Part II, we will now talk about psychological aspects of weight gain and weight loss.

Read Part I and Part II before continuing.
Psychological reactions means stress, depression, frustration, worry, anxiety and so on. We already know that stress causes imbalance at a hormonal level. we talked a bit about cortisol hormone in Part II.

A bit of stress is alright, but excessive stress can also affect thyroid function. And when hormones are out of balance we may experience excessive weight gain, even if we exercise and eat healthy. You can’t have 2 and not the 3rd, all three reactions have to be in balance, or as close to it at possible.

No need to explain more about the negative impact of stress on your health. I’d rather give you a list of bullet point ideas of how to actually reduce stress. You may have already done some and didn’t work, try others.
For example meditation doesn’t always work with me, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s why I have many other ways to relax. And here are some of them for you to try as well:

 

  • Breathing – stress and anxiety? Do some breathing exercises and you will be like new. To download a FREE ebook I wrote on breathing exercises click here.
  • Meditate – just close your eyes and focus on your breath, the sounds around you or parts of your body you want to relax, no need for fancy stuff, just do nothing for a while
  • Run – go for a run if you are a runner, and go for a run even if you are not a runner, put some gym shoes on and run…outdoors where you have space and room to breathe
  • Martial Arts – chose a martial art and be consistent with your training, it’s great stress releaver even if you don’t punch pads (Martial Arts are not always about punching bag and pads, not until you actually learn how to punch)
  • Sleep – take a power nap; when I am stressed I also feel tired, sometimes a nap is all I need so I can get back to work and be very productive
  • Eat – have a nice, healthy and satisfying meal, not comfort food, rather food with healthy fats, unprocessed carbs and protein, all you need and crave from comfort food but healthier and in another form
  • Walk – go for a walk, sometimes this is all we need to clear our mind
  • Social media and email? – no, no, this is not what you need, this will stress you even more, disconnect, you are not addicted to it. If you believe you are turn off internet on your phone when you are out for that walk, turn off the phone even

 

So here they are, a few suggestions to keep the mental part calm and happy.

Remember exercising and eating healthy are just part of your weight loss journey. If you want to do this, do it right, quick fixes will get you short lasting results.
Look at your style of life, make the necessary changes and you will see how, little by little, your whole life will change.

 

Read Part I and Part II of How to lose weight