Centerworks Blog

Latest "Links to Interesting Articles" Posts

ACSM Top 20 Fitness Trends for 2012

According to an article in the Huffington Post, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has ranked the top 20 fitness trends for 2012.  A survey was completed by 2,620 ACSM certified fitness professionals.  While some things have remained the same, Pilates is off the list for the second year in a row.  But let’s take a look at the list…  Then help decide if you think Pilates should still be considered a player in the top 20 trends.

Posted by Aliesa George in Exercise and Fitness, Links to Interesting Articles, Pilates.

Pilates Exercises Can Improve Your Whole-Body Health & Sex Life

How great to see Pilates getting some good press in the Huffington Post.  Did you know that Pilates can help you increase strength and flexibility, improve your posture, enhance focus and concentration, and even improve your sex life!  It’s true.

Posted by Aliesa George in Links to Interesting Articles, Pilates.

Top 10 Crazy & Inspiring Pushups – Can You Do Any of These?

Are your workouts are getting boring?  Perhaps you’re looking for a new challenge…  Have I got some crazy Push-up variations for you! 

Posted by Aliesa George in Exercise and Fitness, Links to Interesting Articles, Motivation, Inspiration & Goal Setting, Videos.

Ankle Sprains Influenced by Foot Position During Walking & Running

Have you ever sprained your ankle?  Did it turn into a nagging chronic injury?

I recently came across a synopsis of a study that was published in the June online edition of the AJSM (American Journal of Sports Medicine) that shows a correlation between ankle alignment and ankle sprains.    Ankle sprains are the most common sports-related injury, and many people develop chronic instability and repetitive ankle injuries.

Posted by Aliesa George in Foot Care & Foot Fitness, Links to Interesting Articles, Running, Walking.

Extreme Heat & Exercise – Stay Safe, Stay Fit, Stay Indoors & Do Pilates!

We’re in the middle of the Summer scorching season here in Kansas.  The highs this week have been well over 100 degrees!  Staying safe and exercising in extreme heat conditions is something that everyone should be aware of. Consider your choice of activities wisely.  Do you really need to go out for a run in the heat of the day?  Or would an indoor workout be more advisable?  If you exercise early, or later in the day it might be a little cooler, but you still need to be careful.  (If cooler is 90 degrees instead of 105 – it’s still HOT!)  Be sure to drink lots of fluids, and pay attention to the warning signs for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Your life depends on learning to listen to your body and NOT overdoing it in the heat!

Posted by Aliesa George in Exercise and Fitness, Health, Links to Interesting Articles.

Moving Backwards Can Help Improve Muscle Strength for Knee Injuries

A study was just released, “Moving Backward Helps Injured Knees Move Ahead.” I find this research fascinating as I have been exercising backwards for years.

Results show that people who use backwards locomotive movements on treadmills and elliptical machines have greater improvements in quadriceps and hamstring strength, as well as better aerobic capacity that a forward-locomotive group.  This improved quad and hamstring strength can be a great asset to people suffering from knee injuries, and a great aid in rehabilitation.

Posted by Aliesa George in Exercise and Fitness, Links to Interesting Articles.

Interesting Article on Flip-Flops and Foot Pain

Flip-Flops are Great… If You Enjoy Poor Foot Mechanics, Increased Risk of Injury, and Foot Pain…

One of my clients brought me a copy of an article written by Rachel Saslow for the Washington Post, that was recently re-published in the Wichita Eagle newspaper about Flip-flops. 

Posted by Aliesa George in Foot Care & Foot Fitness, Links to Interesting Articles.

Foot Pain Doesn't Have To Increase in January!

Just saw this article posted online – “Foot Pain Will Increase in January!”   It says that there is an increase in Foot Pain, because people are starting to get up off the couch and exercise!  Oh the joys of those New Year’s resolutions.   The recommendations are to start slow and get the right shoes to help avoid injury.  I agree with this perspective, a good supportive shoe is helpful, but I truly believe taking a few quick minutes to do foot stretching and strengthening exercises is a critical necessity to help avoid foot pain and injury while you’re increasing your activity level.  If you’re walking, running, cycling, going to aerobics class or Zumba, taking a couple of minutes before or after your workout to do a few  foot specific exercises will keep your feet happy, healthy, and pain free!    My favorite foot care exercises are in the book Fantastic Feet! My favorite toy to help reduce the risk of plantar fasciitis (a common foot pain problem) – Foot Savers!

Click here to read the full article.

Posted by Aliesa George in Foot Care & Foot Fitness, Links to Interesting Articles.

The Future of Pilates

Just got my copy of IDEA Fit Tips, and what a nice article by Mary Monroe about Pilates!

CNBC reports that Pilates is the nation’s fastest-growing fitness activity.  An amazing 8.6 million participants!  A 450% increase since 2000.  WOW!

Even though the economy  has been a bit shaky, Pilates participation is holding strong.  What a great testament to the benefit of the work, and important value that’s being placed on maintaining whole-body health, regardless of what’s going on in the world around us.

Joseph Pilates said he was 50 years ahead of his time…  I know his spirit is looking down at all the great Pilates happening in the world with a giant smile – since the time has arrived and Pilates continues to grow and blossom, reaching more and more people with life-changing benefits for better mind-body health.

To read the full article from IDEA, click here.

Posted by Aliesa George in Links to Interesting Articles, Pilates.

Toning Shoes – Do They Really Work?

Do Specialized Shoes Like MBT’s and Sketchers Shape Ups Really Help Tone your Legs and Give You a Better Workout?

The American Council on Exercise, ACE Fitness research results are in on the benefits of “Toning Shoes” MBT’s, Sketchers Shape Ups and Reebok Easytone Shoes compared to a regular pair of running shoes.

This question about the difference between toning shoes vs. a regular pair of running or walking shoes always comes up when I teach my Fantastic Feet Workshop!

Everybody’s looking for the best option to get the most bang for their buck for a workout. But lots of bucks it takes to buy these fancy “toning” shoes! Is the cost for the claims of burning more calories, solving joint pain, working your hamstrings, butt and calves harder really worth it?

According to the ACE study – there is no statistically significant increases or evidence to support the advertising claims. A regular pair of tennis shoes can provide the same benefits as your MBT’s or other Shape-Up shoes, based on the ACE research study which measured fitness and wellness benefits.

Do I own a pair of Toning Shoes – YES. Do I wear them often – NO.

Why did I buy them? Because I had so many clients asking if they should buy a pair that I wanted to experience what it felt like to wear them so I could give a more educated opinion on what these shoes felt like during a workout and how they affected my gait and stride.

What’s my opinion?
Since so many people are running around in flip-flops and other strapless or backless shoes – in general, for most of the population – stride length has been compromised. If you watch people walk, the legs swing more to the front of the body than behind the body. (We’ve made this adaptation to keep our flip-flops from falling off our feet!) Because of this the hips, hamstrings, and glutes don’t get a chance to work like they should because the legs are never in extension (behind the body) far enough for these muscles to fire.

Our strength to propel the body forward when we walk and run comes from the back of the legs – hamstrings, glutes, ankle and foot. Without a long enough stride, hip, knee, and ankle mechanics are compromised. And if you take a look at most of the cardio equipment on the market (with the exception of a treadmill) the stride/swing for the legs is primarily to the front of the body which continues to enhance the imbalance that has been created by our poor shoe choices and shortened stride!

So accepting by the research that you’re not going to burn more calories, or work harder by wearing toning shoes what might be the value of wearing toning shoes for a workout? For me, the rocker-bottom helps free up the swing of the leg and makes it a bit easier to increase stride length to feel what I should be doing all day long (in any pair of shoes) to get the legs behind the body for better stride length.

I wear my MBT’s every once in a blue moon! The rest of the time I prefer to focus my attention on making my body do things right (rather than rely on my shoes to do the work.)

What Do YOU Think About Toning Shoes?

  • Do you own a pair of toning shoes?
  • Why did you buy them?
  • How much do you wear them?
  • What’s your overall opinion of toning shoes?

If you want to read the research, click here for the ACE Fitness article.

Posted by Aliesa George in Exercise and Fitness, Foot Care & Foot Fitness, Health, Links to Interesting Articles.