When I first heard of toning shoes, skepticism would have been a mild word for my reaction. But my mother had osteoporosis and so I know because the importance of getting some exercise, especially toning exercises and I’m willing to listen to any and all ideas. Remember, weight bearing isn’t just for those guys with the huge bulging muscles on the front of a magazine. It’s for all of us, including older women and children. If our bones are going to be strong and support us faithfully our whole lives, we need to pay attention to both nutrition and exercise.
When we reach menopause, or as soon as our early 40s, we women begin to lose muscle mass. Basic physics insists that if we have more muscle to carry around our bones must be stronger to support us. Sit on the couch and watch TV all day and watch that muscle turned the flab. And that flab not only looks awful but it certainly doesn’t help us build bones. Bottom line: we women are in special danger of losing our bone mass.
Below I have explained four exercises that I do on a fairly regular basis. I also use a weight machine and do yoga stretching, as well as walking. These toning exercises for women are simple and I have done them faithfully for years. I had no thought of moderating my routine until I read a very lengthy article about toning shoes. Supposedly, toning shoes make our muscles – especially our lower body muscles – work much harder. Many women who wear toning shoes also commented that this footwear also improved their posture which is obviously highly desirable for all of us.
So, I went to the shoe store and spent an incredible amount of time trying on toning shoes and walking around with them to see how they felt. I’ve had many Nikes and do love that brand. And, Sketchers shoes fill my closet so I was inclined to choose their toning shoes. But I have to admit that I ended up with a pair of New Balance True Balance shoes.
Why did I buy a New Balance toning shoes? One reason [and the least important] is that they look really good.
More importantly, they are light and comfortable. I tried on a pair of those shoes with the super thick soles and they were hard to wear. My toning shoes, though, are extremely comfortable and that is the most important point, after all.
Another reason that I bought these shoes is because of the reviews on Amazon. I didn’t buy that day but instead came home to read what other wearers thought. This review pretty much sums up how I feel about my new toning shoes:
I absolutely LOVE my New Balance True Balance shoes! You can feel the "workout" immediately after walking in them, and the balance technology makes you stand up straighter. They’re comfortable and great to walk in. Most importantly, they’re adorable and no one can tell that they’re toning shoes. They definitely beat the granny style, thick-soled Sketchers toning shoe by far!
Naturally, I couldn’t evaluate the toning benefits in the store. You have to go out and walk a bit to see if they make a difference. They do. I could feel that my calves had been working much harder than normal from the very first walk. So now I not only use them when I walk but also when I do my toning exercises.
And now … drumroll … my favorite toning exercises.
Squats: squats are a very famous exercise and most of us are somewhat familiar with them. They are a terrific exercise because they work not only out butt but also those hard-to-reach top back of your legs. They also work your hamstrings and quadriceps which is a lot of return for one simple exercise. To do a proper squat, stand erect with your feet shoulder distance apart. It’s very important that your butt be firm as though you are about to sit down in a chair. Further, your shoulders should be straight and your abs tight. If it will help you to keep your balance, rest your hand on a chair or other furniture. Now, lower your body as though you were sitting down into a chair and hold that position for a count of five. Your weight will go back on your heels for balance and maximum toning. Begin with three repeats and work up to 10.
Pus-hups: when I think of push-ups I think of a squad of testosterone-laden military guys doing a hundred push-ups at a time. And in fact, push-ups are difficult for most women because we usually don’t have as much upper body strength as we should and push-ups are very intense. However, women can do a modified push-up by resting on our knees with our legs tilted in the air. Sod, rest on your knees and the palms of your hands and lower your upper body as close to the floor as possible. If you can’t go very far, don’t worry about it because as your strength builds you can do more and more repeats.
Reverse Lunges: the classic lunge is great for the quadriceps but if you have knee problems you might be wise to give lunges a pass because they might just make your problem much worse. A reverse lunge, however, puts much less pressure on your knees so to begin stand straight with your feet together and your arms at your side. Choose one leg and move it backwards until your front leg is at a 90° angle and your back leg is extended until you are on the ball of your foot. From this position, lower yourself until the back leg almost touches the floor (or as far as you can go). Hold for a count of three and then carefully return to your starting position. Switch legs and repeat. Begin with three repeats and work up to 10.
Bridge Butt Lift: do you have dimples on your butt? Well, most of us do and it certainly does keep us off the beach when our cheeks look like Swiss cheese. But here is an easy fix … find a comfortable spot and lie flat on the floor. Move your legs so they are shoulder length apart and place your palms on the floor on either side of your body. Push down hard on your feet and squeeze your gluteal muscles as hard as you can while lifting your butt off the floor. Hold that position as long as you can and relax back to the floor. Start with three repeats and work up to 10 as your butt, arms and legs grow stronger.
So grab yourself a pair of New Balance toning shoes and get busy with these exercises. Your bones and your body will sing a song of joy.