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Got a New Year’s resolution to get more exercise? That’s great! But let’s make sure to protect your feet! Starting a new sport or fitness program is a great way to drop weight or to improve your cardiovascular health. But when you try a new exercise or start exercising more, you put lots of pressure on your feet. And that can lead to sports injuries (National Safety Council)…unless you follow these three important tips for safely exercising!

How to Start a New Sport or Exercise

Whether you’re starting a new running program, or jumping into deadlifts and squats, caution is key. With any new movement, your body needs time to adjust. Don’t expect to get off the couch and run five miles on your first day.

Instead, start low and slow with your training. In your first week, mix running and walking and don’t go more than a mile. If that pace feels comfortable, you can slowly increase your miles or speed the next week. (The safest way to train is to limit your increases to 10%. Whether that means you run 10% farther or faster is your choice.) If walking is your new exercise of choice, check out our blog on how to start a walking workout (Very Well Fit Magazine).

Why is slow and steady the best way to try a new exercise? It gives your body (and feet!) time to adjust to new movements and time to build up the muscles that will support your activity. If you rush into a new sport at full force, you risk an overuse injury which could send you into your Podiatrists office with problems such as shin splints or heel pain.

Choosing Sport Specific Shoes

Maybe your exercise resolutions have you getting serious about one sport. If that’s the case, it’s important to wear the right shoes for your chosen activity. If you’re playing tennis or basketball more than three times a week, choose shoes specifically designed for those sports. (The same is true for cleat-based sports, such as soccer or football.)

But what if you’re just walking or hitting the cardio equipment at your gym? In this case, cross-training athletic shoes are the way to go. These are athletic shoes with forefoot flexibility, so you can run if you need to. They also have lateral support, so you can step from side-to-side in Zumba class or on the elliptical. Finally, they have good support to protect your feet from the impact of any exercise.


Consider Orthotics to Prevent Exercise-Related Injury

Sometimes the structure of your body (biomechanics) increases your injury risk. That means even the best athletic shoes won’t protect your feet when you exercise. If your feet are flat, if your arches are too high or if your legs are different lengths, you may need extra support. Customizeable Orthotic insoles such as SelectFlex could be your solution. SelectFlex are an entirely new type of dynamic energy returning insole that won ISHN’s award for Best Protective Footwear.  SelectFlex insoles use a patented energy returning arch lifting technology called the PowerLift Arch.  The PowerLift Arch provides the wearer with 3 energy return levels to support the arch with dynamic alignment with every step. 

This can improve your efficiency when starting a new sport, especially running. Want to learn more about keeping your fitness resolutions with the help of cutomizeable orthotic insoles? See how SelectFlex can help you meet those 2022 fitness goals!


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How is Energy Return Important? [StatIc vs. Dynamic Insoles]

Energy Return is important for foot health and mobility. There are many types of Energy Return provided by footwear and insoles.

Most footwear and insoles are basically static, absorb and cushion energy but do not return significant energy nor dynamic alignment.

The best footwear and insoles generate greater alignment with the body, joint health and more energy at the end of the day from easier movement and less pain from their support of the body.

The most competitive footwear will propel or push you forward more efficiently when running, while the best insoles create and maintain support for your lower extremities.

The Holy Grail for marquee footwear manufacturers is to provide quantifiable energy return for their customers feet that produce quicker running times and higher performance.

NIKE React Foam technology was recently used in their marathon running shoe soles with a carbon fiber footpad. Nike achieved the Holy Grail of true 13% energy return while providing 4% propulsion for faster marathon times. Nikes high performance foam uniquely absorbs foot strike energy on the down step and releases it during toe-off with marathon setting results.

Conversely, soft materials are great at absorbing energy but are very inefficient at returning energy. This is often found in insoles that use foam to absorb impact, cushion and support the foot but are unable to return meaningful energy.

Protalus foam insoles do a good job of stabilizing the heel with their triplanar technology but do NOT return energy to the foot. Dr. Scholls inserts has the same foam limitation without the stabilising heel.

Foam is comprised of a matrix of thin walled air cells packed together within a polymer form, that individually begin to break down and compress over time, reducing the impact, cushioning and support they were originally designed to provide.

SelectFlex is an entirely new type of dynamic energy returning insole on the market that just won the ISHN Best Protective Footwear category for 2020.

SelectFlex insoles use a patented energy returning arch lifting technology called the PowerLift Arch. The PowerLift Arch provides the wearer with 3 energy return levels to support the arch with dynamic alignment with every step.

This unique arch technology dynamically lifts your arch into a comforting sine wave motion that provides up to 89% more arch support with every step. SelectFlex recently completed an in depth study at a major University. The revolutionary Certified Lab Tests & Performance Benefits measured, sets SelectFlex apart from static footwear and insoles.

For the first time, there is finally an insole that dynamically returns energy to the foot and the arch by lifting it into comforting re-alignment!