STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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When shoe shopping, consider whether you will be walking, running or cross training. “There are differences in design and variations in material and weight,” said Dornfeld. “For a walking shoe, look for a comfortable soft upper, smooth tread and a rocker sole design that encourages the natural roll of the foot during the walking motion.” The shoe should be light- weight and have extra shock absorption in the heel and under the ball of the foot.


The jogging shoe is slightly different. “The features of a good jogging shoe include cushioning, flexibility, control and stability in the heel counter area as well as lightness and good traction,” said Dornfeld. “Joggers should wear a shoe with more cushioning impact because it can help prevent shin splints, tendinitis, heel pain, stress fractures and other overuse syndromes.”


If you play tennis, pay attention to the sole of the shoe. “Tennis players need a shoe that supports the foot during quick side-to-side movements or shifts in weight and a shoe that provides stability on the inside and outside of the foot,” said Dornfeld.

When you’re choosing shoes for a particular activity – be it running, tennis or aerobics – being practical and comfortable are the two most important things to consider.


“We recommend a gym shoe that is close toed and has a non-skid tread on it,” said Melissa Miller of Transformation Personal Training.


With the right pair of shoes, you can perform better and prevent injuries. If you have a coach for your specific sport, ask him or her for a recommendation because he or she will have knowledge about the best shoe for your sport. In the past, there used to be one universal pair of gym shoes that worked for everybody, but that is no longer the case.


“One brand does not meet the needs of everyone,” said Jessica Dornfeld, marketing communications manager at the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society. “The latest innovation or most expensive shoe with all the features may not be your best choice.”


Shoes are designed for specific sports for good reason. “You do not necessarily need a different pair of shoes for every sport in which you participate, but generally you should wear sport-specific shoes for sports you play more than three times a week,” said Dornfeld.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT SHOES FOR YOUR ACTIVITY

JAMIE LOBER

Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Jamie Lober

If your sport is soccer or another sport that involves running on a field, you should choose a shoe that is cleated, studded or spiked. Cross trainers should wear shoes that have features from more than one of the categories because they are participating in more than one sport.


Your feet will change and may become larger after a workout or at the end of the day, so that is an important time to try on a shoe to make sure it fits well. You also want to try the shoe on with the same socks you will wear when you participate in the sport. Comfort is key, and tighter is not better.


“When the shoe is on your foot, you should be able to freely wiggle all your toes,” said Dornfeld. “The shoes should be comfortable as soon as you try them on. Make sure your heel does not slip as you walk or run.”


Shoes can last a long time if you’re mindful about taking care of them. “After 300 to 500 miles of running or 300 hours of aerobic activity, the cushioning material in a shoe is usually worn down and it is time to toss the shoes,” said Dornfeld.


When you find a shoe you like that works well for you, stick with it. Ask the employees at the shoe store for help. “The best designed shoes in the world will not do their job if they do not fit properly, so you want to find a shoe store that employs a professional shoe fitter who knows about the different shapes and styles of shoes,” Dornfeld said.


If you have foot or ankle issues, adjusting your shoes can offer the relief you need. “Many simple devices are available without prescription,” Dornfeld said. “A heel cup provides an effective way to alleviate pain beneath the heel. An arch support can help treat pain in the arch and a metatarsal pad can help relieve pain beneath the ball of the great toe or beneath the ball of the other toes.”


Arch supports and many others products can be custom made for your feet. If you still have questions or concerns, consult with an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in diseases of the bones and joints. You can stay healthy and fit while wearing great footwear.