Morning Cup of Vomiting in My Mouth: Skechers Shape-Ups

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Talk about perfect timing. The same day that someone sent me this video:

I come across a hyooooge display while walking through Macy’s with my girlfriend. I mean, one minute I’m perusing the Martha Stewart Collection, and the next, BAM – like a moth to a flame – I’m smack dab in front of this ginormous sign telling that, not only can I strengthen and tone my muscles, but I’ll also improve my posture and maximize caloric burn to boot.

All just by simply lacing up a pair of shoes and going for a walk! To be honest, I’m surprised the advertisement above didn’t claim that they also cure cancer and solve global warming.

Listen, I’m not knocking the whole notion that walking can be a great form of exercise. On the contrary, there’s a lot of research demonstrating how walking has a plethora of benefits and helps improve one’s overall sense of well-being. But come on, what’s with all the claims? We’re talking about walking here.

Tones Muscles: Given that most people equate “toning” muscles with lengthening muscles, this is absolutely not true. Every muscle has an insertion and origin that are fixed on a bone. The only way to lengthen a muscle, is to lengthen the bone. Not gonna happen.

Moreover, the easiest way to “tone” muscles is to be less fat. Sorry, but it’s true. That said, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and call this one a push. Get people moving, and they’ll presumably burn some calories. It’s hard to knock this one, but I think they’re really clenching for straws here.

Maximize Caloric Burn: Hmmm, I never realized that walking was such an intense form of exercise. How long do you think you’ll have to walk to burn off that deli-sized bagel and large soda you ate for lunch? What’s more, since when is walking considered exercise? I thought it was you know, walking?

Improves Posture: Riiiiiight. I don’t see how giving people a 2-3 inch heel lift, and placing them more into an anterior pelvic tilt will result in improved posture. Brilliant. In addition, I’d go so far as to say that these will cause or exacerbate more postural issues than they’ll prevent.

Increases Strength: Really? Where’s the progressive overload? Sorry, but the only way you’re going to get progressive overload through walking, is to increase your body weight. Nice try, though.

Unfortunately, this is yet another case of savvy marketing geared towards those people who think un-exercising counts as exercise. Next thing you know, people will be squatting on BOSU balls. Oh wait……

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