We live in a society which is growing ever more sedentary – most of us get much less physical exercise than would have been considered the norm in the past. Cheap and widely available motorised transport has certainly been a factor, as has the fact that, for a lot of us, work consists of sitting slumped in front of a computer screen for eight hours or more daily. Consider also the fact that food is, in relative terms at least, cheaper than it’s ever been and both widely and instantly available and it’s hardly surprising that a lot of us aren’t in as good shape as we might like to be.
Sadly, our numerous labour saving gadgets, improved transport systems and computers don’t appear to have given us any additional leisure time in which to pursue activities which might make up for our low level of physical activity during our normal daily routine. It’s hardly surprising that, after a long day at the office, a commute and completion of a few domestic duties, many people don’t have either the energy or the time to go for a quick jog or to fit in a trip to the gym. It’s a vicious circle and one that can be hard to break.
And that’s precisely the situation that Marcia Kilgore was in. She was, of all things, an ex-personal fitness trainer – so her motivation to exercise wasn’t in question – who simply couldn’t find enough time in her busy schedule to exercise as often as she would have wished. Rather than simply accepting the situation, Ms Kilgore took steps, quite literally, to do something about it.
Working together with the London South Bank University (LSBU), she developed the concept for a special range of exercise footwear which, thanks to a specially engineered sole, would increase the time for which the lower body muscles were active during normal walking activity. Independent scientific trials at LSBU and Salford University in the UK have demonstrated that Ms Kilgore’s range of shoes – called Fitflops – increase the time for which the lower body muscles are active by as much as 16% – in comparison with walking in standard footwear.
The net result of this is that wearers of Fitflops can tone their legs and trim their buttocks just by walking around as they would be doing anyway. As well as the various scientific tests, users have provided plenty of anecdotal evidence which suggests that additional benefits, such as improved posture and reduced joint pain may be achievable. The Fitflops range of shoes has also received a seal of acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association.
The Fitflop range originally started life as a selection of sandals – but has now been expanded to include clogs, slippers and boots. They are available in a wide range of colours and styles – most of which don’t look very much like exercise shoes at all, so no-one need know that you are getting a free workout while you walk. If you are one of the many who struggle to find time to exercise, then walking to lose weight whilst wearing Fitflops might just be a good option for you to get what is effectively a free lower body workout just by walking around as you would usually do as part of your daily routine anyway.