Dr. Oz had fitness instructor Kathy Henkel on his Tuesday show to teach how she recommends a new type of workout involving doing exercises in high heeled shoes! Henkel stated that while in high heels women have tighter calves, thighs, buttocks and abs and that if women wear them while they work, why not wear them while you exercise. Henkel endorses that this isn’t for everyone and must be done with caution. Dr. Oz joined Henkel in doing exercises with the toes pointed (he obviously WAS NOT going to wear high heels on TV). They went through a few simple aerobic-type exercises and postures with audience members and Henkel’s high-heeled students.
With the feet in a flexed position, the calf muscles contract, the thigh muscles around the knee tighten and the pelvis is shifted forward causing the buttocks and lower abs to flex in order to maintain postural balance. This is similar to doing workouts on “Bosu” or swiss balls. The concept of instability was marketed by MBT, Reebok and Sketchers as a way to passively tighten the previously mentioned muscles (note: a lawsuit was filed and settled for false advertising against Sketcher’s claims). I do agree with Henkel that if women wear high-heels for 8 hours at work they might as well get their body accustomed to the position. Wearing high heels consistently can prevent injuries and pains incurred from the “occasional” high heeled shoe.
If wearing high heels while exercising it is important to support the arch of the foot while in the shoe. Slender Fit arch supports by Powerstep are a great way to reduce pains and injuries of wearing high heels.
Let’s be honest, as a man (even being 5’8″ with a 5’8″ wife) I love it when my beautiful wife wears high heels. Women love the glamourous look and feel and the slenderizing effect that high heels give. As long as we understand that there are pains and injuries associated to high heels, there is nothing wrong with wearing them intelligently.