This is the first of my weekly Product Commentaries. If you have a specific product you want me to review - drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sketchers is now diversifying its line of Shape-Ups sneakers and has added Tone Ups. I have been using my original Shape-Ups and the XF (Extended Fitness) versions for a year and 6 months respectively. http://www.skechers.com/women/styles/shape-ups
I bought them to evaluate and determine if they really work and not just because there is a health/fitness guru who said they do. Remember I have to prove it to myself first...
Many people have asked me - do they work? I say, for me - YES. Have I recommended them - YES but with reservations. Not every one follows the directions when getting them - you have to work your way into them - 20 minutes a day for a week. Then you can start wearing them every day if you choose. I had a girlfriend who went full on wearing them and got such wicked cramps in her calves and hamstrings she had to stop within 2 days of wearing them and work herself back into them, properly.
I have tracked my progress and improvement using the Wii Fit as my "tale of the tape". I have always had posture and hip issues after my kids were born and when I had struggled with my weight. Within 1 month of wearing the original model shoe - I had improved my center of gravity and weight distribution by 75% and corrected it within 4 months. I no longer shift my balance to my left like always - I was even for the first time ever, and I was within the 'bulls-eye' of balance as well. Could I still do the table tilt or hula hoop better than before - well, better - but I am still lack coordination for somethings - have to have something to improve.
Some people ask their doctor's if those shoes can help - that is a good approach to preparing for any exercise or health improvement. For those with lower back/bulging disc issues - there are options in the Sketcher shoe line. The ones with the reverse heel - Shape Ups and their associated versions - are tough to start off with. Center of balance and gravity is challenging when your mid-back and lumbar have issues already and the shoes can exacerbate it in the SHORT TERM. You start to tone not just the muscles in your legs but your core using these shoes and if you work up to wearing them full time - in 20 minute increments at a time - it is just like exercising :)
The Tone-Ups do not have such a drastic heel and look more like traditional work out shoes and that becomes an easier start to getting fit on a small scale. Then you can work your way into Shape-Ups.
As for me - they are my shoes of choice and I even have a "work version" of the shoe so I can not be in sneakers all day long. Frankly for me now, working from home - there is nothing wrong with that either.
Next Thursday's Commentary: Probiotics - Do they really help?