Q: I will be starting a walking program soon and need to purchase a pair of shoes. What should I be looking for? I want to make sure I buy the correct shoe for me.
A: Congratulations on committing to your health by joining a walking program. A good shoe can definitely make your walking more enjoyable and help you stay on track with your goals. Shop for shoes in the evening when your foot is slightly swollen. Make sure you try on both shoes and wear the same socks you are going to walk in. The shoe should be comfortable right away. If the shoes are too tight, do not expect them to stretch out. When picking out a new pair of walking shoes, be sure to consider your foot shape and arch type: foot size, wide or narrow foot, flat, low or high arches. Once the shoe is on, there should be about a half-inch between the end of your longest toe and the shoe. Large chain sports stores or department stores will have a variety of shoes to choose from. If you are still unsure about a proper fit, consider visiting a specialty run/walk store where a professional can analyze your walk, size your foot and check for where you distribute your weight as you walk. He or she will then show you a variety of shoes that will be specific to your foot. Most importantly, buy shoes that are lightweight, breathable and comfortable. All walking shoes will eventually show signs of wear and tear, even if they still feel comfortable. On average, a walking shoe will last for approximately 300 – 500 miles. Keep a journal of your exercise and mileage, as this will help you understand when your shoes are ready to be replaced.
Q: Is Greek yogurt a healthier option than eating regular yogurt?
A: Both types of yogurt in their plain, non-fat or low-fat form are excellent choices for a healthy diet. Both types are low in calories, packed with calcium and contain live bacterial cultures. Greek yogurt, which has a thicker texture and consistency due to the removal of liquid whey, lactose and sugar, can pack up to double the protein with a typical serving containing 15 – 20 grams. Greek yogurt also tends to be lower in carbohydrates, with five to eight grams for Greek yogurt vs. 13 or more for regular yogurt. Remember, both types of yogurt will have a higher carb content if you choose fruit flavors or yogurt with added sweetening agents. If you do choose Greek yogurt, take advantage of its versatility as it can be used as a substitute for cream cheese, mayonnaise and butter in many recipes. Regardless of which type of yogurt you choose, aim for non-fat or low-fat version and add your own fruit to be more in control of the carb and sugar content.
Joe Nguyen is the club owner at Anytime Fitness in Norwalk. To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author at JoeN@anytimefitness.com.