Take Steps To Trim Your Lower Body

By Andrew King

Swiss engineer Karl Muller was walking barefoot through a paddy field in Korea when he realised that his backache was much better. Curious, he did some further research and learned that the Masai tribesmen of Africa do not seem to suffer from backache. They are also renowned for their excellent posture.

Considering the evidence, Muller deduced that walking on soft ground in bare feet was better for your back and joints than walking on hard surfaces. He decided to design a shoe which would attempt to produce the effect of this type of gait on a soft surface such as grass or sand.

The end result was the Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT) shoe. According to the company website, it is so different to conventional footwear that it merits the name of "anti-shoe".

MBT shoes have no heel - they incorporate a specially designed curved sole. When your foot makes contact with the ground, a gentle rolling actions is the result. It's like walking on sand in fact. The sole is constructed using materials of differing densities which further aids in reducing jarring and shocks.

Independent scientific studies have verified that this is genuinely better for your back and joints. There are further proven benefits in addition to better posture. For example, whilst walking in MBT shoes, the wearer's muscles will be activated for longer (when compared to similar walking in traditional footwear). The muscles are used for about 16% longer. Wearers also tend to "walk properly" and take slightly shorter strides. Both of these effects mean that extra work is done.

The end result of this is that every step you take wearing MBT shoes is providing you with additional exercise. It's like having a lower body workout while you walk. In addition to alleviating back pain and producing improved posture, MBT shoes also help to trim your buttocks and tone your legs.

You would think that would all be motivation enough wouldn't you? Even so, despite all those benefits, there are some who think that MBTs are just a little chunky and not exactly easy on the eye. They are also just a little more expensive than traditional shoes - but it may be money well spent if it cures your back or slims you down. There are now some alternative, potentially better looking, offerings available which incorporate the same fundamental principles. Both Fitflops and Skechers Shape Ups use similar curved soles which are also designed to prolong the duration of muscle activity and to provide a toning and trimming effect on your lower body whilst walking.

Whatever footwear you opt for, the possibility of reducing backache and joint pain whilst toning and trimming your lower body - just by walking - seems extremely attractive. - 32188

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