The importance of proper footwear for the gym

BY PENDA HONEYGHAN

Monday, June 18, 2018

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MANY of us spend hours going through stores, rack to rack, to ensure that we choose the right gym attire, while others obsess over creating the perfect gym playlist. And while both of these contribute to overall comfort and confidence at the gym, Gisel Harrow, personal trainer and fitness instructor at Hard End Fitness Factory, Ardenne Road, said that many people tend to give the least priority to the item they should most — footwear.

“Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It's beneficial in many ways for improving your everyday activities and much more. However, one of the challenges noticed among many of the people who actually show interest in a workout is their lack of care for appropriate gym attire, and more specifically their shoes,” Harrow said.

She said that if you are serious about the time spent in the gym, then naturally you should be focused on getting the best results and also performing at your best. These, she said, are best achieved when you wear the proper gears.

Below, Harrow shares some of the reasons for choosing appropriate footwear for the gym.

It helps to prevent injuries

Wearing proper footwear helps prevent injuries that may occur during your training.

“During your workout your feet are pushed to their limit. They are pounding treadmills, jumping, skipping, stepping, dancing, lifting, keeping your balance, and taking a serious amount of impact. Wearing inappropriate shoes can cause serious damage to muscles, tissue, bones and joints throughout the body,” Harrow explained. She reasoned that failure to choose appropriate footwear is among the common culprits that negatively impact your fitness or weight-loss goals as a result of injury-related drawbacks.

Protection from bacteria

Gym equipment and other resources are a breeding ground for sometimes harmful bacteria. It is therefore important that you avoid direct contact with any of these surfaces by investing in a proper pair of gym shoes.

“Since people share all surfaces, from equipment and workout mats to the bathrooms, your feet have numerous opportunities to come in contact with bacteria which cause illnesses, including the human papillomavirus which commonly causes warts,” Harrow said.

Choose appropriate shoes for different kinds of workout

Just in the same way we have shoes that are appropriate in different jobs and professions, there are shoes which are for running, walking and weightlifting, for example. Harrow said choosing proper shoes for weightlifting, for example, is very important because the shoes are built to buffer the constant and high amount of shocks and impact that is delivered to your body during these exercises.

“If much of your workout time is spent lifting, you have to choose shoes built specifically for that,” Harrow explained.

“Invest in a good pair of shoes that best support your fitness lifestyle, whether its sport-specific such as running, lifting, or a mixture of activities. Choose one that gives you the maximum support that fits your needs.”

By doing this, she said, you will be able to reap the benefits of exercise without having to worry about injuries, bacteria or stymieing your workout progress.

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