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  1. I tested 7 other platforms before making the choice, plus the 2 we were already running... Definitely one of the best, for us, out there. The old platform stopped adding new features many years ago. Now we are cool, and hip, and with the times. Anyways - If you see posts that look messed up. Don't panic until tomorrow, afternoon-ish. It is still going through and rebuilding the threads - which will take all night. I'm going to bed though, goodnight, enjoy, will check back in the am!
  2. To find your exact B.M.I. you can use our other chart, or a calculator. Use This Link to Open the Body Mass Index Chart
  3. Use This Link to Open the Body Mass Index Calculator
  4. This is an older list of WW point foods, from the 90's compiled by Denise. Should be good for the "Momentum" plan iirc? (correct me if I am wrong), or plans that used the "old Points". These were recently recompiled to a single page for better readability. If anyone has an updated list, will gladly redirect there. 1 serving = 1 point, from each food item on this list. FRUIT Apple, dried, 1/4 cup (3/4 oz.) Apple, fresh, 1 (4oz) Apples, crab, 2 oz or 1/2 cup Apples, mountain, 3 (2" x 1 7/8") Applesauce, unsweetened, 1 cup (8 oz) Apricots, 6 dried halves (3/4 oz) Apricots, fresh, 3 (4 oz) Blackberries, 1 cup (5 oz) Blueberries, 1 cup (5 oz) Boysenberries, 1 cup (5 oz) Breadfruit, uncooked, 1/3 cup (3 oz) Cantaloupe, 1/4 melon (8 oz) or 1 cup (5 1/2 oz) Cherries, fresh, 1 cup (5 1/2 oz) Cranberries, fresh, 1 cup (4 oz) Currants, fresh, 1 cup (4 oz) Dates, fresh, 2 (3/4 oz) Elderberries, 1 cup (5 oz) Fig, dried, 1 (3/4 oz) Fig, fresh, 1 (2 oz) Gooseberries, 1 cup (5 oz) Grapefruit sections, 1 cup (9 oz) Grapes, 1 cup, 20 small, or 12 large Green papaya, 1 cup Guava, 1 (4 oz) or 1/3 cup pulp Honeydew melon, 1/8 (6 oz) or 1 cup Kiwi fruit, 1 (4 oz) Kumquats, 10 small or 5 medium (3 oz) Mandarin orange, fresh, 1 (6 oz) Melon balls, 1 cup (6 oz) Mulberries, 1 cup (4 oz) Nectarine, 1 (4 oz) Orange sections, 1 cup (6 oz) Orange, 1 (5 oz) Papaya, 1/2 (8 oz) or 1 cup (5 oz) Passion fruit, 3 (3 oz) Peach, fresh, 1 (6 oz) Pear, fresh, 1 (5 oz) Plums, 2 (4 oz) Prickly pear (cactus pear), 1 (5 oz) Prunes, 2 (3/4 oz) Raspberries, 1 cup (4 oz) Strawberries, fresh or frozen (unsweetened), 1 cup Tangelo, 1 (7 oz) Tangerine, 1 (6 oz) Watermelon, 2" slice or 1 cup (5 1/2 oz) Snacks Crackers, 7 fat-free crackers (3/4 oz) Popcorn, light, microwave-popped, 3 cups Popcorn, plain, hot-air popped, 3 cups Pretzel sticks, 23 Pretzel twists , 8 small Seeds, pumpkin or sunflower, 1 Tbsp Cereals Cereal, cold, bran flakes, 1 cup Cereal, cold, high fiber (10g or more fiber per 1/2 cup) Cereal, cold, puffed, 1 1/2 cups Cereal, cold, shredded wheat, 1 biscuit Quaker Corn Bran, 3/4 cup Sauces & Soups SAUCES Barbecue sauce, 1/4 cup Chili sauce, green, 1/4 cup Chili sauce, red, 1/4 cup Cocktail sauce , 1/4 cup Duck Sauce , 1 Tbsp Gravy, beef, chicken, or turkey, canned, 1/4 cup Pizza sauce, 1/4 cup (2 oz) Spaghetti sauce, bottled, any type, reduced-fat, 1/2 cup (4 1/2 oz) Spanish sauce, 1/2 cup Teriyaki sauce , 1/4 cup SOUPS Chicken noodle soup, canned, 1 cup Chicken soup, without matzo balls, 1 cup Egg drop soup, 1 cup Breads Bread, high fiber (3 grams or more dietary fiber per slice), 1 slice (1 oz) Breadsticks, 2 long or 4 short Cocktail (party-style) bread, any type, 2 slices (3/4 oz) Crisp breads, 3/4 oz Flat breads, 3/4 oz Matzo farfel, 1/4 cup (1/2 oz) Melba toast, all varieties, 6 rounds or 4 slices (3/4 oz) Oyster crackers, 20 (1/2 oz) Pita, any type, 1 small or 1/2 large (1 oz) Reduced-calorie, any type , 2 slices (1 1/2 oz) Rice cakes, any type, 2 (3/4 oz) or 6 mini Spreads & Condiments Almond butter, 1 tsp Butter, regular or whipped, 1 tsp Chutney, 1 Tbsp Cream cheese, light or whipped, 2 Tbsp (1 oz) Cream cheese, nonfat, 4 Tbsp (2 oz) Cream cheese, regular, 1 Tbsp (1/2 oz) Fruit butter, any type, 1 Tbsp Jam , jelly or preserves, 1 Tbsp Ketchup, 1/4 cup Margarine , fat-free, 4 Tbsp Margarine, reduced-calorie (tub), 2 tsp Margarine, reduced-calorie (stick), 1 1/2 tsp Margarine, regular, 1 tsp Margarine, squeeze, 1 tsp Mayonnaise, fat-free, 4 Tbsp Mayonnaise, reduced-calorie, 2 tsp Mayonnaise, regular, commercial and homemade, 1 tsp Olives, 10 small or 6 large (1 oz) Peanut butter, 1 tsp Pickles, sweet, 2 large Salad dressing, fat-free (except Italian), 2 Tbsp Salad dressing, reduced-calorie, Italian, 2 Tbsp Sour cream, light, 3 Tbsp Sour cream, nonfat, 1/4 cup Sour cream, regular, 1 Tbsp Spreadable fruit, 1 1/2 Tbsp Sweet and sour sauce, 2 Tbsp Protein Sources Anchovies, 6 (3/4 oz) or 1 tsp. Paste Bacon, 1 slice crisp Beans, dry 1/3 cup or 2 1/2 oz cooked or 3/4 oz uncooked Bison/Buffalo meat, 1 oz. Cheese, 1 fat free slice Cheese, cottage, 1%,2%,or nonfat, 1/3 cup (2 3/4 oz) Cheese, hard 3 Tbsp. Shredded, 2 Tbsp. Grated or 3/4 oz Cheese, Neufchatel, 1 Tbsp (1/2 oz) Cheese, nonfat, hard or semisoft, 1 slice, 1 (1") cube, 3 Tbsp Shredded, 2 Tbsp grated, or 3/4 oz Cheese, pot, 1/3 cup Cheese, ricotta, nonfat, 1/3 cup Cheese, soy, nonfat, 1 slice, 1 (1") cube, 3 Tbsp shredded, 2 Tbsp grated, or 3/4 oz Chicken drumstick, cooked, without skin (with bone), 1 (1 1/2 oz) Chicken roll luncheon meat, 1 slice (1 oz) Chickpeas, dry, 1/3 cup or 2 1/2 oz cooked or 3/4 oz uncooked Clams, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Crabmeat, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Crayfish, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Egg substitute, fat-free, 1/4 cup Egg whites, 3 Fat-free luncheon meat, 6 slices Fish, fresh, flaked, 1/2 cup Frankfurter, beef, pork or turkey, fat free, 1 Gefilte fish, 1 piece (1 1/2 oz) Goose, wild, cooked, 1 oz Lentils, dry, 1/3 cup or 2 1/2 oz cooked or 3/4 oz uncooked Lobster meat, cooked 1/2 cup (2 oz) Luncheon meat, lean (less than 2 grams fat per oz), 1 slice or 1 oz Mussels, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Oysters, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Peas, dry, black-eyed, 1/3 cup or 2 1/2 oz cooked or 3/4 oz uncooked Peas, dry, split, 1/3 cup or 2 1/2 oz cooked or 3/4 oz uncooked Pheasant, cooked, 1 oz Quail, cooked, 1 oz Salmon, smoked, 1 oz Sashimi, 4 pieces (except salmon or mackerel) Scallops, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Shrimp, cooked, 1/2 cup (2 oz) Smelt, cooked, 1 oz Soybeans, dry, 1/3 cup or 2 1/2 oz cooked or 3/4 oz uncooked Squab, cooked, 1 oz Sweetbreads, cooked, 1 oz Tempeh (fermented soybean cake), 1/4 cup (1 oz) Textured vegetable protein, 1/3 cup (3/4 oz dry) Tripe, cooked, 1 oz Turkey roll, 1 slice (1 oz) Vegetarian breakfast patty (sausage-type), 1 (1 oz) Venison, cooked, 1 oz Whitefish, smoked, 2 oz Starchy Vegetables Chestnuts, 6 small (2 oz) Corn on the cob, 1 small ear(5") or 4 oz Corn, baby (ears), 1 cup Parsnips, cooked or uncooked, 1 cup or 6 oz Peas, green, cooked or uncooked, 1 cup or 6 oz Squash, winter, 1 cup or 7 oz cooked Water chestnuts, 1 cup (4 1/2 oz) Prepared Foods Beans, 1/2 cup fat free refried Beets, pickled, 1/2 cup Onion soup mix, 1 cup prepared or 1/2 envelope Poi, 1/3 cup cooked (3 oz) Potato flaked (instant mashed potatoes), 1/3 cup (3/4 oz) Uncooked Potato pancake, frozen, 1 (2 oz) Potatoes O'Brien, frozen prepared w/o fat) 1 cup (4 1/4 oz) Potatoes, hash-brown, frozen (no fat added), 4 oz Sushi, maki (vegetables and rice rolled in seaweed) 4 pcs. Yogurt and cucumber salad, 1/4 cup Sweet Stuff Biscotti, 3 sm. (1 regular) fat free Candied fruit, any type, including citron, pineapple, And gingerroot, 1 Tbsp or 1/2 oz Cookies, gingersnap, 2 (1/2 oz) Cream, whipped, 1/4 cup (1 oz) Fortune cookie, 1 Fructose, 1 Tbsp Fruit juice bar, frozen, 1 Fruit juice bar, no sugar added, frozen, 2 Fruit pop, frozen, 1 bar (1 3/4 fl oz) Honey, 1 Tbsp Ice cream cone, plain or sugar, 1 small Ladyfingers, store-brought, 1 large or 2 small (1/2 oz) Lollipop, 1 (2 1/4" diameter) Marshmallows, 2 medium (1/2 oz) Molasses, light or blackstrap, 1 Tbsp Sugar, any type, 1 Tbsp Syrup, low-calorie, 2 tbsp Syrup, regular, any type, 1 Tbsp Topping, fudge, regular or fat-free, 1 Tbsp Topping, pineapple or strawberry, 1 tbsp Topping, whipped, dairy or nondairy, 1/4 cup (1/2 oz) Weight Watchers chocolate mousse bar, 1 Beverages Apple juice or cider, 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz) Beer, nonalcoholic, 1 can or bottle (12 fl. oz) Cappuccino, 5 oz Clam-tomato juice, 1 cup (8 fl. oz) Cocoa, hot; instant, fat-free, 6 fl. oz Cocoa, hot, instant, no sugar added, 6 fl. oz Cranberry juice cocktail, low-calorie, 1 cup (8fl. oz) Cranberry juice cocktail, regular, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Fruit juice, combined, any type, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Grape juice, carbonated or noncarbonated, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Grapefruit juice, any type, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Hot chocolate, 1 cup fat free Nectar, any type, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Orange-grapefruit juice, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Orange juice, any type, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Pineapple juice , 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Prune juice, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Tangerine juice, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Wine, light, low-alcohol, or nonalcoholic, 1 small glass Or 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) Miscellaneous Bran, all varieties 1/3 cup (3/4 oz uncooked) Breadcrumbs, dried, 3 Tbsp (3/4 oz) Cornmeal mix, self-rising, 2 Tbsp (3/4 oz) Cornmeal, uncooked, 2 Tbsp (1/2 oz) Cream, light (coffee/table cream), 2 Tbsp. (1 fl oz) Creamer, nondairy, 1 Tbsp powder Creamer, nondairy, 2 Tbsp liquid (1 fl oz) Creamer, nonfat, flavored, 2 Tbsp liquid (1 fl oz) Flour, any type, 3 Tbsp (3/4 oz) Half and half, 2 Tbsp (1 fl oz) Vegetable oil, 1 tsp Vegetable shortening, 1 tsp Wheat germ, 3 Tbsp (3/4 oz) Wonton skins (wrappers, 5 skins (3"x3" squares )
  5. Nutrition charts can help guide healthy eating decisions at restaurants. It's easy to see which menu items contain a lot of fat, calories, and carbohydrates. It's also easy to pick out the ones with very little. Plus the fiber, protein, and other good nutrients can all be seen together. Something the regular menus do not provide. Use this Link to Open the Restaurant Nutrition Guide
  6. Weight Watchers started calculating their dietary intakes using the Points system as part of their weight loss plans. In later years, they have extended the original Points system with "improved" computations of macro-nutrients. Basically they took a closer look at calories, and split it into two more factors. No more muffins loaded with fiber to stay at 1 Point! If you're still trying see how the "old Points" calculations may have worked, or just comparing numbers - the old Points system was simple. Calories ~ Fat ~ Fiber = Points Use this Link to Open the WW Points Calculator *Calculator provides estimated points and may not be accurate, it is not an official Weight Watchers calculator. The formula in use is an empirical match obtained from public sources.
  7. In November 2010, Weight Watchers announced that the Point system was being replaced by a new PointsPlus system. The old system used calculations based on calories, fat, and fiber content. The new PointsPlus system replaced calorie calculations with protein and carbohydrates. Carbs ~ Protein ~ Fat ~ Fiber = Points+ This calculator based on Weight Watchers "Points Plus" system. Also know as Points+, Pts+, PlusPoints, or PointsPlus. Use this Link to Open the WW PointsPlus Calculator *Calculator provides estimated points and may not be accurate, it is not an official Weight Watchers calculator. The formula in use is an empirical match obtained from public sources.
  8. Put Your Calories IN: Put Your Calories OUT Put Your Calories IN Then Shake 'em All Around! After you've done the hokey-pokey, and turned yourself around...You'll have burned approximately, 10 calories! That's what it's all about! Use the calorie calculator to find out how many calories you burn when doing other activities, and a ton of other caloric information. Simply enter your body weight and the time you spent doing one of the exercises or activities, and click on "Calculate Calories Burned". Use this Link to Open the Calculator for Calories Burned The calorie calculator can be used to discover how many calories are typically burned doing the any of the following activities: Aerobics Bicycling Rowing Ski Machine Weight Lifting Basketball: playing Bicycling Football Frisbee Golf Golf Handball Hiking Horseback Riding Ice Skating Martial Arts Racquetball Racquetball Rock Climbing Rock Climbing Rollerblade Skating Rope Jumping Running Skiing Snow Shoeing Softball Swimming Volleyball Walking Water Polo Whitewater Rafting, Kayaking Chopping & Splitting Wood Gardening Housecleaning Mowing Lawn Using Snow Blower Children's Games: 4-square, etc. Raking Lawn Intercourse Shoveling Snow Disclaimer: The information given on the Health Discovery Calorie Calculator is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice or treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician.
  9. A man's ideal healthy body weight depends on his height. To calculate the ideal weight for a man, you'll only need to know the gentleman's height. Use This Link to Open the Men's Ideal Body Weight Calculator
  10. For Men 25-59 years of age. Height in Feet&Inches Small Frame Medium Frame Large Frame 5'2" 128-134 131-141 138-150 5'3" 130-136 133-143 140-153 5'4" 132-138 135-145 142-156 5'5" 134-140 137-148 144-160 5'6" 136-142 139-151 146-164 5'7" 138-145 142-154 149-168 5'8" 140-148 145-157 152-172 5'9" 142-151 151-163 155-176 5'10" 144-154 151-163 158-180 5'11" 146-157 154-166 161-184 6'0" 149-160 157-170 164-188 6'1" 152-164 160-174 168-192 6'2" 155-168 165-178 172-197 6'3" 158-172 167-182 176-202 6'4" 162-176 171-187 181-207 FRAME SIZE If you have always wondered what size frame you are, here is the method the insurance company used. This will be easier with the help of a friend. Extend your arm in front of your body bending your elbow at a ninety degree angle to your body. (your arm is parallel to your body). Keep your fingers straight and turn the inside of your wrist to your body. Place your thumb and index finger on the two prominent bones on either side of your elbow, measure the distance between the bones with a tape measure or calipers. Compare to the medium-framed chart below. Select your height based on what you are barefoot. If you are below the listed inches, your frame is small. If you are above, your frame is large. ELBOW MEASUREMENTS FOR MEDIUM FRAME Height in 1" heels Elbow Height in 1" heels Elbow Men Breadth Women Breadth 5'2"-5'3" 21/2"-27/8" 4'10"-4'11" 21/4"-21/2" 5'4"-5'7" 25/8"-27/8" 5'0"-5'3" 21/4"-21/2" 5'8"-5'11" 23/4"-3" 5'4"-5'7" 23/8"-25/8" 6'0"-6'3" 23/4"-31/8" 5'8"-5'11" 23/8"-25/8" 6'4" 27/8"-31/4" 6'0" 21/2"-23/4"
  11. A woman's ideal weight depends on her height. To calculate ideal weight for women, you'll only need the lady's height. Use This Link to Open the Women's Ideal Body Weight Calculator
  12. For Women 25-59 years of age. Height in Feet&Inches Small Frame Medium Frame Large Frame 4'10" 102-111 109-121 118-131 4'11" 103-113 111-123 120-134 5'0" 104-115 113-126 122-137 5'1" 106-118 115-129 125-140 5'2" 108-121 118-132 128-143 5'3" 111-124 121-135 131-147 5'4" 114-127 124-138 134-151 5'5" 117-130 127-141 137-155 5'6" 120-133 130-144 140-159 5'7" 123-136 133-147 143-163 5'8" 126-139 136-150 146-167 5'9" 129-142 139-153 149-170 5'10" 132-145 142-156 152-173 5'11" 135-148 145-159 155-176 6'0" 138-151 148-162 158-179 FRAME SIZE If you have always wondered what size frame you are, here is the method the insurance company used. This will be easier with the help of a friend. Extend your arm in front of your body bending your elbow at a ninety degree angle to your body. (your arm is parallel to your body). Keep your fingers straight and turn the inside of your wrist to your body. Place your thumb and index finger on the two prominent bones on either side of your elbow, measure the distance between the bones with a tape measure or calipers. Compare to the medium-framed chart below. Select your height based on what you are barefoot. If you are below the listed inches, your frame is small. If you are above, your frame is large. ELBOW MEASUREMENTS FOR MEDIUM FRAME Height in 1" heels Elbow Women Breadth 4'10"-4'11" 21/4"-21/2" 5'0"-5'3" 21/4"-21/2" 5'4"-5'7" 23/8"-25/8" 5'8"-5'11" 23/8"-25/8" 6'0" 21/2"-23/4" If your having trouble using the weight charts to find your healthy weight, you can always use a calculator.
  13. There are many things that could cause your workout routine to lose it's excitement. Luckily, there are just as many ways bring your motivation levels back up! You shouldn't be avoiding the mere thought of breaking a sweat... but if you are: Here are some of the best ways that you can get yourself back in the groove! Switch It Up! If your current workout routine seems as though it's not working anymore, or you've lost the initial excitement of working out. You'll need to switch it up and find a new routine! Start by compiling a list of exercises or activities that you DO enjoy. Which muscle groups do they the focus on? Are you getting enough cardio with them? Be sure that you are targeting all of your muscle groups, and alternating between them each day that you workout. You'll want to give each group some time to rest while you work the other muscles. Find the Right Intensity You'll know you're over-training if you start feeling tired all of the time, are having trouble sleeping, or feel sore most of the week. If that happens, you'll want to reduce the intensity of your routines. At some point, when you have gained strength and endurance, you may find your current workout routine is too easy (sometimes this will show itself as boredom). You're body is ready for more, and you should intensify your workout routine. Add Variety There are many ways to add variety to your workouts. Try a unique exercise that you've never tried before, get a new piece of equipment or workout dvds. Maybe there's a hiking trail nearby that you've never been down. Go and check it out! Always try to keep yourself 'in the game' with workout routines that you can tolerate. Find Support Moral support can be just the ticket you need to keep on keeping on with your workout routine. Find a family member or friend to workout with you. Join an online support group, like our Boot Camp Buddies, that you can check in with. Having others that are working out with you, makes you accountable for any missed workouts. Don't leave them hanging at the gym alone! If you find a good partner, they won't leave you hanging either.
  14. When any workout or specific exercise causes you pain, pay attention. Knowing how to react can help you avoid a serious injury. Strength training can cause several types of pain including: Muscle Soreness When you use muscles you have not used for a while or try a new exercise or training technique, it is normal to feel a dull ache of soreness in the muscles that were trained. This pain is caused by microscopic tears in the fibers of the connective tissues in your body--the ligaments that connect bones to other bones, and the tendons that connect muscles to bones. This microtrauma may sound harmful but is in fact the natural response of your muscles when they experience work. This is the primary reason it is so important that you get enough rest between specific muscle workouts. Each time you work out with weights, you cause this "damage"--these tiny tears in your muscles; they need ample resting time to rebuild and become even stronger, bigger, and more firm. Pain During or Just After a Workout During a workout, repeated contractions cause lactic and other acids, as well as proteins and hormones, to build up in muscle tissue. This can cause pain even without injury. But if you experience a sharp, continuous pain, or pain accompanied by a burning sensation, stop lifting and get it checked. Cramps These happen when muscles, often in the calves or feet, knot up in intense contractions. Cramps occur most commonly in endurance sports like cycling and running, where the athlete loses a lot of fluids through sweating. This is why it's very important to stay well-hydrated during exercise. If you do get cramps, the best way to stop them is to gently stretch the cramped muscle. Injury When working out with weights you need to be in full control of both the weights and your own body as it lifts and uses the weights. Careless weightlifting can result in injury. Not warming up, attempting to lift too heavy a weight, using momentum or jerky movements, letting the weights drop, not using correct form, or forgetting to stretch or cool-down after your workout can indeed result in injury. The following injuries can occur as a result of carelessness: Tendonitis: This is inflammation of the tendon and can occur if you begin your first set with too heavy a weight and/or are not properly warmed-up. Rest is the best treatment for this painful injury. Fascia injuries: Can occur if you suddenly jerk or pull the weight. Fascia is basically the packaging tissue of muscle. When fascia is torn, it becomes inflamed and the pain is severe. The injury should be treated with cold packs and wrapped with an ace bandage. Ligament injuries: Can occur when people use momentum and jerk the weight to accomplish a lift. This injury is treated by using cold packs and rest. Sprains or muscle tears: Are uncommon if you warm-up, stretch, and cool-down properly and implement the safety precautions and principles we teach. For injuries, R.I.C.E. is nice. Any time you do have inflammation or swelling, use the R.I.C.E method of reducing damage and speeding healing. Rest: When you are hurt, stop your workout immediately and take weight off the affected area. Ice: Wrap ice in a towel and hold it against the injury for 10 to 20 minutes, three or four times a day until the acute injury diminishes. Compress: Wrap the injured area in a snug, but not tight, elastic bandage. Elevate: Raise the injured limb and rest it on a pillow to reduce swelling. Strength Training Benefits Strength training provides many important benefits that cannot be achieved by any other exercise or activity. However, when enjoying this great form of exercise, be sure to pay attention to pain and soreness so that your program is not only effective, but safe as well. Good luck: I hope you enjoy all the wonderful benefits of a safe and effective strength training program. Article by: Chad Tackett Chad Tackett is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and the president of Global Health and Fitness. Offering the best online programs and guides to meet your fitness goals.
  15. Consumers are faced with so many options that the task of choosing a pair of athletic shoes has become increasingly complicated and confusing, not to mention expensive. If you've tried to buy a pair of athletic shoes recently, you probably realize that the canvas sneakers of the past have been replaced by high-tech, state-of-the-art athletic gear of the present and future. By attaining a good working knowledge of athletic footwear, you will be less likely to fall for the latest gimmick or be coerced into spending above your budget. Know What You Need When shopping for athletic shoes, the most important step is deciding what sport you will be using them for. Most sporting goods stores carry a variety of shoes for activities such as running, walking, tennis, basketball and aerobics. Multi-purpose shoes such as cross trainers may be a good alternative for those who want to combine several sports or activities, such as bicycling or other exercise equipment, and weight training, in a single workout. Once you have decided on the particular type of shoe you need, it is important to know how to get a good fit. Remember, no matter how popular a shoe is or how good it may look, it won't do you any good if you have blisters after the first week of wearing it. Guidelines For Buying Shoes When purchasing shoes for a specific sport or fitness activity, you must consider your foot type. People with high-arched feet tend to require greater shock absorption than those with average feet. High-arched (cavus) feet also suffer from lateral instability and are more prone to ankle sprains. Conversely, people with low-arched ("flat") feet require shoes with less cushioning but greater support and heel control. After considering the type of shoe needed for a particular activity and evaluating your needs based on your foot type, use the following information to ensure you get the best fit: Choose an athletic-shoe store or specialty store with a large inventory. They will have a variety of sizes available. Try to get fitted for footwear at the end of the day, when foot size is at its maximum. It is not unusual for an individual's foot to increase one-half a shoe size during the course of a single day. Allow 1/2 inch, or the width of your index finger, between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe. If one foot is larger than the other, buy the larger size. The shoe should be as wide as possible across the forefoot without allowing slippage in the heel. If the shoe has variable-width lacing, experiment with the narrow and wide eyelets to achieve a custom fit. Some Final Considerations Athletic shoes no longer require a breaking-in period. However, they will lose their cushioning after three to six months of regular use. It is important to be aware of when your shoes need to be replaced because, if they are no longer absorbing the pounding and jarring action of the sport, you are more likely to sustain knee and ankle injuries. A final consideration when buying athletic shoes is price. It is possible to spend anywhere from $19.99 for no-name brands to more than $170 for Reebok's or Nike's latest technological wonder. Be sure to consider both your budget and your fitness needs before spending a small fortune on shoes. Finally, though purchasing may be a big investment, it is not a long-term one. If you spend a fortune on the latest style today, a new style will probably replace it tomorrow. It would be more practical, unless you are at a competitive level, to spend a reasonable amount and get the most for your money. Article prescribed by: The American Council on Exercise The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is the largest nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization in the world.
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