Soul to Sole: Creating a Sound Foundation
Written by Brian Hoke, sports physical therapist and Vionic Innovation Lab member
As you embark on your journey to better personal health and fitness, what you put on your body is as important as what you put in your body.
Think about where you will be doing your fitness activity. Will you stay indoors or will you venture outdoors? Outdoor activities require consideration of the temperature and humidity. Our fitness gear should reflect the need for the body to maintain a steady state known as “homeostasis”. The body has a need to maintain this steady state with regard to our body temperature and our hydration. In cooler climates, we need layers of material that allow the heat naturally generated by our body as it exercises to dissipate while protecting us from the cold. In warm climates, it is paramount that our body has the ability to cool itself through perspiration, and our exercise clothing can facilitate that process or make it more difficult. Cotton is generally a heavier fabric and is slower to dry which can impair the evaporation necessary to cool our body. A wide variety of technologically superior polyester fabrics have been developed that wick away moisture and dry more rapidly, enhancing the evaporation and cooling needed to maintain homeostasis.
We should also be mindful of the surface where we will be spending our time while exercising. If we choose to be indoors at home or in a fitness facility, we will generally be on man-made surfaces that are by nature hard and flat. This is also true when we are outdoors on pavement or asphalt. As we have paved the world around us, these man-made surfaces work well for the wheel, but not for our human anatomy. Be mindful that as a general rule, any surface where your luggage rolls well is not an ideal surface for your foot as you exercise. Fortunately, footwear manufacturers such as Vionic have addressed this need by developing contemporary, fashion forward footwear with attention to the natural shape of the foot. The heel is cradled and the arch is supported to guide the foot in a natural pathway as we walk. This also inhibits the tendency for the ankle to roll inward (over-pronate) as we walk or run. Keeping better alignment in our footwear also takes stress off of our knees, hips, and back. In the Vionic active sneakers, there is also a mid-sole layer specifically designed to absorb impact and engineered to promote a smooth transition as we walk or run.
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