Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sketchy, At Best

Possibly a Pricey Problem!

Women seen to be the target of any product that comes out (unless beer is somehow associated with it). Seriously, look at the mall stores: almost none of them is aiming at the male demographic. Everything is designed to get women (in my estimation) feeling less secure about the way they look, the way their hair curls or doesn't, and the lines, creases, and expansions of natural body development. It's not that these things don't occur to men as well, but, frankly, I don't think men are as uptight about these changes...they just go buy sports cars and let it go at that!
Anyway, the bullseye is on women as far as fitness is concerned as well...despite the fact that most women wouldn't care to don lycra on a bet; that's not to say there aren't products designed every day to help out in the privacy of one's's just that all the people advertising these bits of paraphernalia are truly ripped! Six-pack abs? They've already got 'em...and they do their best to convince women that they, too can look like this. The cost is generally more than one might wish to pay, but if it costs more, it must work well...right? So it is with toning shoes which became "all the rage" the last couple of years. Turns out that the rage is mostly coming from customers and researchers.
Initially near the $100 range, these athletic-type shoes featured a rocker-shaped sole which, according to manufacturers' claims "exercise and tighten the muscles in the calves, thighs, and buttocks." One manufacturer used this as a tag line to indicate how well the shoes worked: "Your boobs will be jealous!" Really? Well, not so much, it turns out.
Dr. John Mercer, a biomechanics professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas decided to be the latest to test the theory about the effectiveness of such shoes. He selected young university women, since the shoes are aimed almost exclusively at women, and had they exercise on a treadmill alternating between Sketchers Shapeups and regular walking shoes. The participants were hooked up to electrodes that measured electrical impulses generated as the muscles contracted. He also measured oxygen consumed to decide whether the women were working harder in one type of shoe than in the other. Additionally, the walkers were tested for calorie burning during each session.
Mercer's findings were presented this June at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine...those findings indicated that there was no significant difference in any of the categories measured, despite the claims of increased productivity by the makers of the shaping shoes. No difference. These findings echoed those published last year by a group of exercise physiologists at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse whose test included three different brands of shaping shoes. There simply was no benefit to buying and/or using these shoes, except one: if women feel they are going to tone a lot, they are more tempted to actually get out and walk when they might not exercise at all otherwise.
But they do not need shaping shoes to get the results.
Save your money, ladies, but get out there and move...somebody will be jealous!


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