Which Athletic Shoe Should I Buy?

Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS, CST, RYT
Senior Director at Ivyrehab Briarcliff and Ivyrehab Jefferson Valley

Buying an athletic shoe involves multiple considerations!

It is important to wear proper footwear to avoid ankle and foot pain or injury. Factors that should be considered in determining which shoe is right for you include:

The activities that will be performed, the construction of the shoe, what surfaces you will be on and the type of foot you have. Each sport or activity involves different movements or jumping and shoes are designed to fit the activity. Running, for instance, primarily involves movement in a straight line. Basketball and aerobics involve jumping and time spent on the forefoot. For example, playing tennis which involves side – to – side movements in a shoe with supports for straight movement could result in an ankle sprain. In addition, if you are involved in weight training activities for the lower extremities, wear different shoes than you use for impact sports. The extra weight from training compresses the cushioning and affects the shock absorption of the shoe. Cross trainers should only be used for short distance running (less than two miles). Some activities are similar so it may not be necessary to buy different shoes for each activity.

Uneven surfaces cause increased movement in the foot and ankle. This makes the ankle joint and the foot more vulnerable to injury. For example, running on rough terrain calls for an athletic shoe that is wider. This increases medial and lateral stability and decreases the risk for ankle injury.

Important tips to know before purchasing an athletic shoe:

● It is important to evaluate shoe construction prior to making a purchase

● Bend the shoe from toe to heel. It should not bend in places that your foot does not. In addition, if you push it down, it should not rock

● Place the shoes down and look at them from behind to assure the shoes are symmetrical

●You should also check wear patterns because this will tell you when to buy a new shoe

● There are 2 basic foot types: pronators and supinators:
(a) Pronator type foot is: limited big toe mobility, a heel that appears to turn out and the inner border appears to flatten when stepping. This type of foot requires a” motion control” athletic shoe. These shoes have firmer heels and a straight seam down the middle of the sole.

(b) Supinator type foot is: high and rigid arches and a heel that turns to the inside. This type of foot requires a shoe with more cushioning especially if you plan on using it for running. The sole of the shoe usually has a curved seam down the middle.

In summary, no two feet are alike even on the same person. However, by using basic guidelines, you can reduce the risk of injury.

For a free 10 minute screening, contact Ivyrehab Briarcliff at (914) 762 – 2222 or Ivyrehab Jefferson Valley at (914) 245 – 8807. With Direct Access a prescription is not required to be evaluated and treated. Visit our Website: www.ivyrehab.com to learn more about Direct Access.

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References:

1. Athletic Footwear and Orthoses in Sports Medicine – INDER https://www.google.com/search?q=D.G.+Sharnoff+Matthew+B.+Werd%2C+%E2%80%8EE.+Leslie+Knight+-+2010+-+%E2%80%8EMedical&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Recommitting to Fitness Goals

Kendra3When I walked back into the gym after several months without exercise, I encountered one really big surprise: even after having lost fifty pounds through diet and exercise, I suddenly felt like the new kid at the gym. I had trouble figuring out where I should start!  

It reminded me of how I felt almost three years ago, walking into the gym for the first time after years of battling illness, and being terrified of putting a toe in the water, for fear of hurting myself, doing too much, doing too little, or doing something ineffective. 

Fighting the urge to turn around and go home, I got on the treadmill for a few minutes and just started walking, slowly. Just so I could get my head together and clear my thoughts. I felt like everyone was staring at me. (They were not.) I felt like I didn’t have everything I needed to accomplish a good workout comfortably. (I did. Headphones, iPhone, armband, water bottle, sweat towel, check. No excuses.) I thought that I didn’t know how to build my own workout. (I did.)

While it was true that I hadn’t exercised in some time, I knew that deep down, I knew what to do. It was just a matter of digging up that knowledge and putting it to good use. In the time since that “first day” almost three years ago, I’ve worked with personal trainers, and enough to know what works to motivate my mind and my body. As I walked, I coached myself silently, in my head: “You love spinning. You still hate running. You like strength training. You hate the track. You like the Woodway Eco-Treadmill. You love stretching, so save time for that. Remember?”

Slowly, I put the pieces back together. Once I got my head on straight and my confidence back, I cranked up the incline on my treadmill, put in my ear buds with my favorite workout playlist, and had a great powerwalk. So great, that I couldn’t stop myself from smiling. (That may have drawn a few stares.) I felt like singing along to my playlist and punching the air in front of me. (I resisted. You know, you don’t want to be THAT person.) In the end, I was surprised by a new feeling: freedom and joy.

On my way home after my workout, I remembered some really helpful advice I had gotten from a trainer: slow and steady wins the race. When you’re recommitting to fitness after an absence, it’s hard to resist temptation to overcompensate for your “time away.” What a recipe for injury and setbacks! Writers don’t write novels in a day, and likewise, we don’t build our healthiest, strongest bodies overnight, or even in a few weeks of hard effort and the best of intentions. In the past, I have been guilty of having fierce fitness energy for about a month, and then crashing when I felt like I was spending “all my time” at the gym. Working with a sustainable pace, and on a healthy schedule, is truly the best way to minimize setbacks. I’m so grateful for everything that I have learned that has brought me to this healthy place of mind and body. It makes the difference between starting over and starting anew.

If you’re struggling with getting to the gym for the first time, or getting back there after some time away, remember this: don’t bring yesterday with you. If you’re struggling with frustration or guilt, you need to leave those things at home. They are not tall enough to ride this ride.

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From Couch to 5K… and beyond!

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

Club Fit Member Linda Adair goes from couch to 5K, and farther — losing 45 lbs and getting stronger in the process!

Linda before and after

Linda lost 45 lbs — gained speed, strength and fitness!

Change is good! But only if you make the right changes. Linda Adair decided that she wanted to get back into shape last summer, and 45 pounds later, she has achieved that goal.

Last June, Linda reached a point where she was tired of being overweight, and wanted to return to her former fit, energetic self. With the support of fellow Club Fit Briarcliff member and friend, Denyse, a marathon runner, she attempted the Couch to 5K program, and by August she was running 3 miles every other day. “The first day was tough, but then I got back up on day two and did it again,” she says.

In the fall she joined Club Fit, and she feels it made a huge difference in her fitness quest. “I had adjusted my diet and increased my exercise, but Club Fit pushed me over the top with the addition of Group Fitness classes and access to the Fitness Center,” she says. Linda, a paralegal (she graduated in March!), is a regular in the Spin Studio, and uses the treadmill, the women’s circuit and the free weight area. She completed her first 5K, slowly, last July, and now she has thirteen 5Ks and one 10K planned for 2015!

So the exercise increased, but what did she change in her diet? “I eat tons of fruit, cut out carbs and replaced white rice and potatoes with healthier starches like yams and brown rice.” She adds, “My diet is constantly evolving, and I continue to do research, but I definitely don’t starve myself. If I want something that doesn’t fall into my ‘healthy’ list, I don’t deprive myself.” The key is to become educated, and learn how to maintain a good balance, something she feels should also be stressed to young people, who today can so easily succumb to eating disorders.

Speaking of young people, two of the reasons Linda was motivated to regain her health were her daughters. Both girls are active and athletic, but her younger daughter also suffers from cystic fibrosis. Because of this, Linda and her family have become active supporters of Team Boomer, a program within the Boomer Esiason Foundation that encourages people with CF to incorporate exercise into their everyday lives, and supports athletes in raising money for CF through fundraising events. The Foundation, launched by former New York Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason, works to heighten awareness, education and quality of life for those affected by CF. “One hundred percent of the money they raise goes to research, so I am happy to support them!”

At this point, Linda has achieved what she set out to do… “I am healthy now!” She dropped from a size 16 to size 6, and feels much stronger and faster since her decision to commit to fitness last summer. Her husband and daughters also are benefitting from the adjustments she made to her diet, which of course impacted the foods she brings into their Pleasantville home. “There are always things you can work on at the gym, but at this point I am simply grateful to be healthy!”

For more information on the Couch to 5K program that started Linda on her way, visit www.fromcouchto5k.com, and if you want to give a philanthropic twist to your fitness plan and join the Adairs in their support of Team Boomer, visit www.teamboomer.org.

Diana Pernicano — Cancer Warrior and Club Fit Member

Diana Pernicano, Cancer Warrior and Club Fit Member

Cancer Warrior and Club Fit Member Diana Pernicano and her father, Club Fit Member Ted Pernicano

When you are a nineteen-year-old college student, the last thing you expect to hear are the words, “You have cancer.” But that’s exactly what happened to Diana Pernicano this past November, when she was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma. Luckily, Diana had a happy ending. On February 28, after three months of intense chemotherapy at Sloan-Kettering, Diana was declared cancer-free.

She decided to make a positive out of a negative by learning as much as she could about the disease, and devoting herself to educating others, kids in particular, about cancer. “Kids in middle school and high school need to understand that it’s important to go to the doctor and to stay healthy, that cancer doesn’t just happen to adults,” she said. But people of all ages also need to understand that cancer doesn’t always have to end badly. She said she was surprised by how many of her classmates assumed she would not survive. She’s happy to say, “Today, two out of three cancer patients will become a survivor.”

Diana has also devoted herself to fundraising, and is currently working with the American Cancer Society to raise awareness and funds. She had already been participating in the Yorktown Relay for Life event before her diagnosis, partly because her father also suffered through a cancer scare nine years ago. He was diagnosed with a cancer of the spine that was also treated successfully.  (Their cancers are not related.)

After her diagnosis and treatment, Diana was invited to speak at the Relay for Life kickoff event in February, and did so well that she was invited to help with the speakers in the New York City office. “Survivors who I heard speak would talk about the experiences they had, but not about specific programs that helped them get through the experience.”

She impressed enough people with her story and attitude to be featured in an ACS video distributed to colleges across the country educating college students about the disease, as well as the importance of sharing stories about experiences with cancer and reaching out to others. Visit YouTube to see it for yourself! “It’s such a different perspective when you go through this at my age,” she says. “It’s also so hard, no matter what your age, to really understand what a patient goes through, unless you have cancer yourself.” Diana also invites everyone to read more about her experience on her blog, at dianapernicano.wordpress.com.

Diana will continue her studies in nursing at Mount St. Mary College in the Fall, where she was attending school when she was diagnosed. Her focus will be on oncology nursing, which she was already pursuing because of her father’s experience with cancer. But now she feels she can contribute so much more to cancer patients, because she has the unique perspective of knowing exactly how they feel.

Diana has a good role model in her father, a Club Fit member who was a runner before his diagnosis and used Club Fit to help him get back on track. He is still at Club Fit almost every day. Diana became a full member three years ago. She uses the Fitness Center, plays racquetball, shoots hoops in the gym and enjoys Zumba — an all-around member! She also attended a Cancer Wellness session or two, and although she was too sick to participate more, she thinks it’s a great resource for others going through what she did. Diana is on the cross-country team at Mount St. Mary, and intends to return to the team in the fall.

Diana will have her own team for the first time at this year’s Relay for Life, “Diana’s Lymphomaniacs,” and has already raised more than $10,000. Part of that number includes funds raised on May 18 with a foul-shooting competition for Mildred E. Strang Middle School teachers and students at Club Fit Jefferson Valley. Forty students and 17 MESMS teachers participated! The actual Relay for Life event will take place on June 13th at Jack DeVito Memorial Field in Yorktown, and the Lymphomaniacs are happy to accept donations at her Relay for Life page! For more information on how you can join the fight against cancer, visit www.cancer.org.

How to choose your workout shoes.

A number of people have recently asked me about how to choose good workout shoes, and I must confess: I have absolutely no idea. Being on a tight budget, I have tried to find what appear to be the best quality shoes within my price range. I use a comfortable and supportive cross-training shoe for any exercise that absorbs impact, but for spinning and weight training, when my feet are constantly in contact with the pedal or floor, I use low-cost workout sneakers from Old Navy. I find them to be very lightweight, breathable, comfortable, and supportive enough for exercise without impact, but I wasn’t sure when I bought them that I was making the right decision for reasons other than cost. Thankfully, I was at least smart enough to ask my amazing personal trainer, Jenn Gannon, who has offered us all her expert professional advice!

I asked Jenn my top three burning questions about choosing workout sneakers, and here’s what she had to say.

Q: What should I look for in a good pair of all-around workout sneakers? Do they have to be expensive?  A: Think about what types of activities you are involved with at the gym, or even at home! If you are utilizing cardio equipment and weight training, even our group exercises classes, the best shoe is a cross trainer. They are going to provide you with stability, comfort and are the most durable to withstand all the various activities. With that being said, the price does not have to be astronomical but because a cross trainer will be of value for all of these activities you might want to splurge on a reliable shoe. Try outlet stores, Reebok is notorious for “2 for $99” deals. Even some online searching for shoes you’ve already owned, research is key!

Q: Is it okay to use “running shoes” for general exercise?  A: No, Running shoes are a specific kind of shoe that is tailored for runners. Running shoes provide extra cushioning to absorb the impact of foot striking. Not only that but running shoes come in different varieties that give extra support for a persons’ foot mechanics, such as their arches or the degree of pronation or supination. Most running shoes are designed with the intention of improving a runners performance. Any good sporting goods store will be able to judge all of these mechanics and find a proper shoe. Do your research if you are a runner if you are looking to improve!

Q: When should I replace my workout shoes?  A: Shoes should be replaced between every 300-500 miles. It ultimately depends on how you wear and tear the soles of the shoe. If you find a shoe you like and there is a deal, buy more! I like to rotate through shoes so that they last longer, especially if you are an avid exerciser. Shoes are the most important part of a work out, if you feel that they no longer are providing you the support or you can start to see your socks showing through a hole you are way over due for a new pair!

I hope you find these responses as helpful as I do. Happy exercising!

Motivation from the Heart: Club Fit members take to the trails at Rockefeller for Sandy Hook Memorial Virtual 5K


It’s not always about doing something good for ourselves. In fact, the most inspiring stories are often born of the things we do out of the goodness of our hearts, our wanting to make a difference and the depths of compassion we embrace. That’s why We want to share this story with you. Not just because these women we’re about to tell you about are Club Fit members, but because they are exceptional individuals that are trying to make a difference in whatever way that they can.

Martha Klein and her fellow teammates; Laureen Fitzgerald, Sharon Edmonds, Kathleen Crowley, Janet Hartman, Mary Oliver, Gerry Mattia, Caroline Curvan, Kim Carrafiello and Ann Zimmerman all took to the trails at Rockefeller State Park on January 27. Why? To run a Virtual 5K of which all the proceeds went to the United Way for the victims of the recent and tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. Martha was originally contacted by a group from Tampa, FL. The group was promoting a virtual 5K/Half Marathon fundraiser for the victims of Newtown. The event was nationwide with over 10,000 participants and it didn’t take long for Martha and this team of extraordinary women to get on board!

Martha had a lot to say about her experience but a few things struck to the heart of the matter right away: “I knew without missing a beat that this was something that would resonate with all of us. We run all the time, not always together but always there for each other . . . And now we could share it. With those who have lost so much and lives are changed forever. How could we not?” Martha went on to say, “Personally I felt incredibly lucky that I was able to do something. Anything. Every time I run Rockefeller now I will always take a moment to be thankful that my children are safe. And hope that the families in Newtown find peace.”

Janet Hartman said “My experience with this run also made me feel so good being able to do something for the families who lost a child or loved one on that tragic day in Sandy Hook. In addition, after our run I bumped into a few other running friends in a Starbucks. They asked me about my bib – and with teared up eyes – touched it and said, “I’m going to get a group of friends together to register and run in their memory as well.” It is certainly evident that the goodness we put forward can spread when we are willing to support a cause we care so much about. Simply, these ladies inspire others to pay it forward.

Laureen Fitzgerald, an avid runner who is also in part responsible for putting together the annual Rockwood Ramble, said “It was a way for us to honor the victims of this tragedy and reflect upon their memory.”

Knowing that there are ladies like this right next to us should certainly give us a little nudge to use what we have in order to do something good. Whether it is one small act of kindness or a huge collaborative effort, it begins with the thought. We will all take something positive away from their experience. A sincere “thank you” to all of you compassionate ladies for sharing your experience with our community.

For more information on the virtual 5K/Marathon, visit the
Sandy Hook Memorial Half Marathon and 5K Facebook page
If you wish to make a donation please click here: Our Hearts With Sandy Hook

Want to start training for a 5K but need a little help? Contact sreiner@clubfit.com for more information on Club Fit’s Couch to 5K program. Maybe you’ll even see Laureen at the Rockwood Ramble this year! Who will you run for?
Remember, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu

Running, running, running away…

On the Woodway EcoMill at Briarcliff. Walking, not running. :)

It’s no secret that I love spinning.  I talk about it all the time.  My deep dark secret, and the reason I gravitate so much toward a spin bike, is that I….hate…running.

It’s a scary thing to say out loud when you’re writing about exercise and fitness, but I really do hate running!  It feels like I great party I wasn’t invited to.  I’m so jealous of everyone who has ever described a runner’s high, or a gorgeous sunset at the end of an early-morning jog, but I just get no joy from the actual practice.  My teeth bump, my knees complain, my cheeks bounce, I tire easily, and I just keep feeling like I’m getting nowhere.  Even with music, it’s a fight to keep up that pace, because I just don’t love it.

I realized that I have been laboring under the delusion that when my fitness journey gets to a certain point, I will be gifted with love from the Running Gods.  That Nike herself might appear, graciously acknowledge my hard work, and show me the light!  All this time, I thought I was “working up to running.”  Then, I stumbled across a post on SHAPE magazines website that had 20 different profiles of super-fit women who don’t run. Reading through their testimonials, I saw women who were miles ahead of me on the road to fitness, but who shared my exact same complaints about running.  (You can check out the piece here.)  Guess what most of them named as their number one alternative for cardiovascular excercise?  Spinning!

I guess I’m not doing so badly after all.  I know I’ve said before that everyone’s journey is different, but sometimes we need to be reminded to take our own advice.

What’s your favorite cardio workout?  (It’s okay to say running!)  Let me know in the comments below!