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Stress & Exercise | Three Myths about Running Shoes


in the 


this weekend: 

Flagship Store 

Grand Opening 

Newton Shoes are a 

different type of running shoe that you need to try to see if they work for you. Here is an opportunity to do so: 

Saturday, March 14th 9:00 am – 1:00 pm 

Pearl Street 

Boulder, CO 


Glen Delman & 

Melody Fairchiled 

If you go: 

What: Glen Delman and Melody Fairchild talk and photo show 


I just took an on-line course called Stress and Your Body. The professor, Robert Sapolsky, is one of my favorite science writers and teachers. But, the whole thing left me feeling down. Stress can wreak havoc on your body. A little anxiety starts a cascade of hormonal and physiologic changes that is well, unnerving. But there’s a silver lining. There are some ways you can manage stress, and one, which makes me particularly happy is exercise. Yeah, I do a lot of it – I love to exercise. But I learned something new about exercise and stress. 

Exercise only works to manage stress when you do it often – virtually daily. And you have to commit to 20 – 30 minutes of exercise, not a quick push up here and a sit up there. The thing that I never thought of, but makes sense, is that, to be effective for stress management, exercise has to be voluntary. Okay, that might be tricky…. If I insist you exercise, and you hate to do it, your stress goes up, not down. 

In an elegant study of rats on running wheels, one rat ran as much as he wanted, which was a lot of running. We’ll call him the happy rat. An adjacent cage had a second rat on a running wheel, but his wheel only moved every time

When: This Sunday @ 5 pm Where: Flatirons Running, 629 S. Broadway 

Cost: Free 

More info: or 303-554-7837 

Melody Fairchild runs along a road in Rwanda, where she ran 54 miles of the Congo Nile Trail during her honeymoon. (Glen Delman / Courtesy photo) 

Healthy Aging Series: 

Sleep & Aging 

Saturday, March 14th 

1:00 – 3:00 pm 

Click here for more info 

Healthy and adequate sleep is critical for maintaining optimal health, cognition and well-being. Disruption of sleep and of the internal circadian clock have been shown to increase the risk of and contribute to many age related health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart and vascular disease, cancer, cognitive 

impairments and 

the happy rat ran. He was doing the exact same amount of exercise, but not doing it voluntarily. And his stress hormones were through the roof – much higher than those of the happy rat. 

So how do you start to love exercise? How can exercise be a part of the solution to decrease your stress? 

First, establish an 

exercise cue, and then 

tie it to a reward. We 

are social animals. 

Brene Brown would say 

that we are wired for 

human connection. 

If you don’t like to 

exercise, mix it with 

something social, 

something that satisfies that yearning for human connection, and voila, you just went on a 3 mile walk with a friend and it was painless. It’s kind of like surrounding the pill you have to take with peanut butter. Pretty soon, you’ve connected the reward of social connection with something that used to be drudgery and you’ve made a new habit. 

But what about the cue? If walking with a good friend is the reward, then a cue could be a pre-set alert on your phone that you are meeting your friend in 10 minutes. 

You now have a weekly date on your calendar that cues you when it’s time to go, and a reward of quality social time. Attach that to your exercise, and miles and miles can go by before you even know it. 

Three Myths about Running Shoes 

As PTs we are often 

asked to recommend 

running shoes for 

patients. So before you 

go to the running store, 

consider this: 

Myth #1: Preventing 

injury is a matter of 

finding the right shoe. There is no shoe that magically prevents injury. And no one shoe is great for 

everyone. So at the running store, run long enough to get a good feel for how the shoes work for you before you buy them.

accidents. This talk will discuss the basics of sleep, how sleep changes with age, how to identify 

common age-related sleep problems and factors that contribute to those 

problems, discuss 

consequences of disturbed sleep, and outline strategies to improve sleep. 

Don’t forget to wear your green! 

Tuesday, March 17th 

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Myth #2: Shop for shoes based on your foot type. Most running stores will tell people who pronate that they need a motion control shoe. They will tell people with high arches they need more cushioning in their shoe. Three large studies showed that matching footwear to foot type did nothing to prevent injuries. So while you might be steered in one direction based on your foot type, it’s more important to find shoes that fit well and feel good. 

Myth #3: Running shoes decrease running efficiency. Shoes add weight to your feet, and adding weight demands energy. But when CU researcher, Rodger Kram, evaluated running efficiency of experienced barefoot runners in lightweight shoes vs. unshod, he found running barefoot increased energy consumption 4% with each step. The research team surmised that shoes provide a degree of cushioning, and without shoes, leg muscles contract to create the same cushioning effect; so the metabolic cost of the activity goes up.


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