The Dangers with Wellness Toning and Fitness Shaping Shoes

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Wellness shoes began as custom-made orthotics and morphed into sneakers and now flip-flops (Fit Flops). They are shaped to roll the foot and body into an unfamiliar walking position meant to stretch the Achilles tendon, thus firming the calf muscles and tightening the buttock. The heel of the shoe is lower than the toe, called a negative heel, forcing the foot to rock forward with each step. This unnatural gait counteracts the body’s natural movement, thus muscles that might otherwise not be called into play during a simple walk are now active.

Who Shouldn’t Wear the Wellness Negative Heel Shoes?

Those who already have joint or bone pain and problems may find the issues exaggerated by wearing these shoes. The rolling movement may put undue pressure on ankles, hips, or lower back. Calloused pressure points may be created as the foot learns new ways to compensate in a different gait. Pregnant women who already alter their gait to accommodate a heavy middle are thrust into a movement that could knock them off balance. Similarly obese people may find the negative thrust causing them to have low back pain.

Anyone who is consciously or unconsciously compensating for a deformity or disability is forced to re-compensate by wearing these shoes. Those with scoliosis who stand a certain way to balance and counter the curved spine are thrust into a rocking movement which hours later may cause back pain. Sciatica may recur due to a newly modified gait.

Those with osteoporosis can create a spontaneous fracture with the rocking sensation with subsequent pressure on the tibia or spinal movement. Those with osteoarthritis are likewise putting pressure on weakened joints that might otherwise be protected by different forms of muscle building exercise under guidance such as yoga or Pilates.

Muscles need to be warmed up and stretched before beginning to build them with the new shoe. Beginning with the enforced rocker movement of the wellness shoes can cause cramping later in cold muscles.

Advice on Using the Wellness Fitness Shoes

The shoes are for walking not running or any other type of movement. Don’t use them for other activity with stops and starts such as aerobics, skipping, or tennis. Break into them slowly and mind the following guidelines. Pain does not mean muscle development.

  • no hiking or climbing in the fitness shoes
  • Don’t use them on wet surfaces since a slip may result in a pulled or torn muscle.
  • Be aware the shoe is controlling the body, not vice versa as is the case when the body naturally tries to right itself when off balance.
  • Don’t use them daily.
  • Be mindful of the difference between muscle growth and possible bone pain. Bone pain is deeper and may be sudden. Bone pain can’t be modified by heat or cold although the skin and muscle around it can.
  • Low back pain after wearing wellness fitness shoes may be obvious but shin splints may be confused with simple overworked muscles yet can be an area of stress fracture in weakened bone.
  • Fit Flops open the wearer to accidents by changing the gait in an open toes thong shoe offering no ankle or heel support.

Practice forward runners lunge or Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 to tone the butt and thighs.

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