Knowing the features of a running shoe

There are six different features that make up the anatomy of a running shoe. Becoming familiar with these features will be helpful when shopping for a new pair of running shoes. The basic parts of a running shoe are:

  • Toe Box – It should have enough room for you to wiggle your toes. It is important to consider that because your feet tend to expand after you run.


  • Outsole – This is the rubber portion of your shoe’s underside. It provides you with the traction you need depending on your running event. For example, Trail and Fell Runners have different needs from Marathoners in terms of traction. Aside from that, the outsole also absorbs the shock every time you run. Good shock absorption is important as it lessens the possibility of injuries due to running.


  • Upper – The upper portion of the shoe is made of leather or other breathable synthetic material. The ideal type of material used for your shoe may depend on the type of running activity that you plan to use it for.


  • Midsole – It provides your feet with the much-needed stability, and like the outsole, it absorbs the shock on your feet whenever you run. The midsoles of some shoes are made up of ethyl vinyl acetate or EVA, a bunch of tiny bubbles which provides extra shock absorption as compared to those made of other materials.


  • Heel Counter – The heel counter provides support and stability to the heel. Heel strikers, or those whose heel lands first when running, will particularly benefit from this shoe part.


  • Insole – This composes the inner portion of the shoe. It provides your feet with the cushioning it needs. You could replace it with orthotics if your feet have special needs like Motion Control for people with flat feet.

The many benefits of running..

Why should you run? The reasons are practically endless. There are many benefits to running. Some are physical, some are mental, some are emotional. Aside from the physical benefits, there are many reasons to run that you may not have thought of. One of the reasons I run is because it makes me feel free. It is a time for me to escape from the stress of the day-to-day grind, collect my thoughts and rejuvenate my soul. I feel so much more relaxed after I run. Here is a sampling of a few of the major benefits of running:

Improve Your Health

Believe it or not, running is actually a great way to increase your overall level of health.  Research shows that running can raise your levels of good cholesterol while also helping you increase lung function and use.  In addition, running can also boost your immune system and lower your risk of developing blood clots.

Prevent Disease

For women, running can actually help to lower your risk of breast cancer.  It can also help reduce the risk of having a stroke.  Many doctors today recommend running for people who are in the early stages of diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis, and it is proven to help reduce the risk of having a heart attack.  By helping the arteries retain their elasticity and strengthening the heart, your chances of suffering a heart attack can be significantly reduced.

Lose Weight

Running is one of the best forms of exercise for losing or maintaining a consistent weight.  You will find that it is a leading way to burn off extra calories and that it is the second most effective exercise in terms of calories burned per minute, following only after cross country skiing.

Boost Your Confidence

Not all of the benefits of running are physical.  Running can provide an noticeable boost to your confidence and self-esteem.  By setting and achieving goals, you can help give yourself a greater sense of empowerment that will leave you feeling much happier.

Relieve Stress

Stress can actually cause a number of health and mood problems.  It can also diminish appetite and sleep quality.  When you run, you force your body to exert excess energy and hormones.  Running also helps to reduce your chances of developing tension headaches.

Eliminate Depression

When you are depressed, the last thing you likely want to do is to get up and go for a run.  Yet you will find that after only a few minutes of running, your brain will start to secrete hormones that naturally improve your mood.  In fact, there are few things in the world that can better or more rapidly treat depression than exercise such as running.

American Health Facts & Figures

American Health Facts & Figures


The prevalence of obesity in the United States continues to be an important health issue. The primary data source for monitoring national prevalence and population trends in obesity is the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).  This survey obtains measured (rather than self-reported) data on height and weight. Obesity is defined using body mass index (BMI) or weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared, although definitions are different for adults and adolescents.

Adult Obesity is associated with increased risk of a number of health conditions, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, gallstones, gout, fatty liver disease, skin conditions, reproductive problems, erectile dysfunction, arthritis, sleep apnea, asthma and certain cancers.

Obesity Among Adults

More than one-third of U.S. adults (34.9 percent) were obese in 2011-2012.  This includes 33.5 percent of men and 36.1 percent of women.  There was no significant change in the prevalence of obesity among all men or all women between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012.

  • The prevalence of obesity among middle aged adults aged 40-59 (39.5 percent) was higher than among younger adults aged 20-39 (30.3 percent) or older adults aged 60 and over (35.4 percent) in 2011-2012.
  • The prevalence of obesity in women aged 60 years and older increased between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012.
  • If obesity rates stay consistent, by 2030, 51 percent of the population will be obese by 2030.

American obesity statistics

NOTE: Obesity defined as BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2.
Source:  National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011-2012.

Obesity and Race/Hispanic Origin

The prevalence of obesity among adults by race and Hispanic origin in 2011-2012 show:

  • The prevalence of obesity among non-Hispanic Asian adults (10.8 percent) was lower than among non-Hispanic white (32.6 percent), Hispanic (42.5 percent) and non-Hispanic black (47.8 percent) adults.
  • The only difference in the prevalence of obesity by sex was found among non-Hispanic black adults: 56.6 percent of non-Hispanic black women were obese compared with 37.1 percent of non-Hispanic black men.


Obesity and Race/Hispanic Origin

NOTE: Obesity defined as BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2.
Source:  National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011-2012

Obesity prevalence in 2012 varies across states and regions

  • By state, obesity prevalence ranged from 20.5% in Colorado to 34.7% in Louisiana in 2012. No state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Nine states and the District of Columbia had prevalence between 20-25%. Thirteen states (Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia) had a prevalence equal to or greater than 30%.
  • Higher prevalence of adult obesity was found in the Midwest (29.5%) and the South (29.4%). Lower prevalence was observed in the Northeast (25.3%) and the West (25.1%).


The History of State Obesity Prevalence

  • There was a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States from 1990 through 2010.
  • State prevalences prior to 2011 is provided for historical information only.  Historical rates should not be compared to rates from 2011 and forward due to changes in survey methods.
  • Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 15 percent. Today there are 41 states with obesity rates over 25 percent.
  • No state met the nation’s Healthy People 2010 goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15%. Rather, in 2010, there were 12 states with an obesity prevalence of 30%.

US Adults Percent Obese 2000

US Adults Percent Obese 2005

US Adults Percent Obese 2010


Overweight and Obesity among Adults Age 20 and Older, United States, 2009–2010

Adults Age 20 and Older

  • More than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults are considered to be overweight or obese.
  • More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered to be obese.
  • More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity.
  • Almost 3 in 4 men (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese.
  • The prevalence of obesity is similar for both men and women (about 36 percent).
  • About 8 percent of women are considered to have extreme obesity


Estimated Percentage by BMI


■ Normal weight or underweight (BMI under 24.9)
■ Overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9)
■ Obesity (BMI of 30+)
■ Extreme obesity (BMI of 40+)

Source: NHANES, 2009–2010


Estimated Percentage by Sex

■ Men    ■ Women

Source: NHANES, 2009–2010

Trends in Overweight and Obesity among Adults, United States, 1962–2010

Changes over Time

  • Since the early 1960s, the prevalence of obesity among adults more than doubled, increasing from 13.4 to 35.7 percent in U.S. adults age 20 and older.
  • Obesity prevalence remained mostly stable from 1999 to 2010, but has increased slightly, yet in a statistically significant way, among men overall, as well as among black women and Mexican American women.
  • Among children and adolescents, the prevalence of obesity also increased in the 1980s and 1990s but is now mostly stable at about 17 percent.


■ Overweight     ■ Obesity     ■ Extreme obesity

Source: Ogden & Carroll, 2010; Flegal et al., 2012

Data for 1960–1980 are for adults ages 20 to 74; data for 1988–2010 are for adults age 20 and older.


Obesity Among Children and Adolescents

Childhood obesity rates remain high. Overall, obesity among our nation’s young people, aged 2 to 19 years, has not changed significantly since 2003-2004 and remains at about 17 percent. However among 2-5 years old, obesity has declined based on CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data.

  • Since 1980, the rate of obesity in children and adolescents has almost tripled.
  • In 2011-2012, approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. This includes 16.7 percent of boys and 17.2 percent of girls.
  • There are significant racial and age disparities in obesity prevalence among children and adolescents. In 2011-2012, obesity prevalence was higher among Hispanics (22.4%) and non-Hispanic black youth (20.2%) than non-Hispanic white youth (14.1%). The prevalence of obesity was lower in non-Hispanic Asian youth (8.6%) than in youth who were non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black or Hispanic.
  • In 2011-2012, the prevalence of obesity among 2-5 year olds was lower (8.4 percent) than among children 6-11 (17.7 percent) or adolescents 12-19 years (20.5 percent).


NOTE: Obesity defined as BMI ≥ 95th percentile of the CDC Growth Charts.
Source:  National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011-2012

Obesity and Physical Activity

  • Less than 15 percent of school-aged children walk or bike to school today, compared to 48 percent that did in 1969, according to the Safe Routes to School Partnership.
  • Only 4 percent of elementary schools, 8 percent of middle schools and 2 percent of high schools provide daily physical education for all students.
  • Approximately 50 percent of U.S. adults and 65 percent of adolescents do not currently get the recommended amount of daily physical activity.

Obesity and Nutrition

  • In total, Americans now consume 31 percent more calories today than they did 40 years ago.
  • According to the United States Department of Agriculture, healthier diets could prevent at least $71 billion per year in medical costs, lost productivity and lost lives.

Fast Facts: Economic Costs of Obesity

Healthcare Costs

  • In addition to its serious health consequences, obesity has real economic costs that affect all of us. The estimated annual health care costs of obesity-related illness are a staggering $190.2 billion or nearly 21% of annual medical spending in the United States. The majority of the spending is generated from treating obesity-related diseases such as diabetes. Obese people spend 42 percent more on healthcare costs than healthyweight people.
  • Childhood obesity alone is responsible for $14.1 billion in direct costs.
  • Annually, the average total health expenses for a child treated for obesity under Medicaid is $6,730, while the average health cost for all children covered by Medicaid is $2,446. The average total health expenses for a child treated for obesity under private insurance is $3,743, while the average health cost for all children covered by private insurance is $1,108.
  • Hospitalizations of children and youths with a diagnosis of obesity nearly doubled between 1999 and 2005, while total costs for children and youths with obesity-related hospitalizations increased from $125.9 million in 2001 to $237.6 million in 2005, measured in 2005 dollars.
  • In California alone, the economic costs of overweight, obesity and physical inactivity are estimated to cost $41 billion a year.


Decreased Worker Productivity and Increased Absenteeism

  • Obesity-related job absenteeism costs $4.3 billion annually.
  • Obese employees had $51,091 in medical claims costs per 100 full-time employees, costs for medical claims for obese worker per year.
  • As a person’s BMI increases, so do the number of sick days, medical claims and healthcare costs associated with that person.


Higher Workers’ Compensation Claims

  • Emergency responders and healthcare providers face unique challenges in transporting and treating the heaviest patients. According to one study, the number of severely obese (BMI ≥ 40) patients quadrupled between 1986 and 2000 from one in 200 to one in 50. The number of super-obese (BMI ≥ 50) patients grew by a factor of five, from one in 2,000 to one in 400.
  • A typical ambulance outfitted with equipment and two emergency medical technicians (EMTs) that can transport a 400-pound patient costs $70,000. A specially outfitted bariatric ambulance that can transport patients weighing up to 1,000 pounds costs $110,000.
  • A standard hospital bed can hold 500 pounds and costs $1,000. A bariatric hospital bed that can hold up to 1,000 pounds costs $4,000.



References: National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Center for Disease Control, F as in Fat, The Campaign to End Obesity.

Cardiovascular Disease (Heart disease)

What is Cardiovascular Disease (Heart Disease)?

Heart and blood vessel disease – cardiovascular disease, also called heart disease – includes numerous problems, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that develops when a substance called plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.

A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die. Most people survive their first heart attack and return to their normal lives to enjoy many more years of productive activity. But having a heart attack does mean you have to make some changes. The doctor will advise you of medications and lifestyle changes according to how badly the heart was damaged and what degree of heart disease caused the heart attack.

An ischemic stroke (the most common type) happens when a blood vessel that feeds the brain gets blocked, usually from a blood clot. When the blood supply to a part of the brain is shut off, brain cells will die. The result will be the inability to carry out some of the previous functions as before like walking or talking. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel within the brain bursts. The most likely cause is uncontrolled hypertension.
Some effects of stroke are permanent if too many brain cells die after a stroke due to lack of blood and oxygen to the brain. These cells are never replaced. The good news is that some brain cells don’t die — they’re only temporarily out of order. Injured cells can repair themselves. Over time, as the repair takes place some body functioning improves. Also, other brain cells may take control of those areas that were injured. In this way, strength may improve, speech may get better and memory may improve. This recovery process is what rehabilitation is all about.

Other Types of Cardiovascular Disease

Heart failure: This doesn’t mean that the heart stops beating. Heart failure, sometimes called congestive heart failure, means the heart isn’t pumping blood as well as it should. The heart keeps working, but the body’s need for blood and oxygen isn’t being met. Heart failure can get worse if it’s not treated. If your loved one has heart failure, it’s very important to follow the doctor’s orders.

Arrhythmia: This is an abnormal rhythm of the heart. There are various types of arrhythmias. The heart can beat too slow, too fast or irregularly. Bradycardia is when the heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute. Tachycardia is when the heart rate is more than 100 beats per minute. An arrhythmia can affect how well the heart works. The heart may not be able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.
Heart valve problems: When heart valves don’t open enough to allow the blood to flow through as it should, it’s called stenosis. When the heart valves don’t close properly and allow blood to leak through, it’s called regurgitation. When the valve leaflets bulge or prolapse back into the upper chamber, it’s a condition called mitral valve prolapse. When this happens, they may not close properly. This allows blood to flow backward through them. SOURCE: American Heart Association, What is Cardiovascular Disease (Heart Disease)?, Retrieved on February 18, 2014, from,

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense – the “movie heart attack,” where no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
• Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. •

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

• Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

• Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Learn the signs, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives – maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number.

SOURCE: American Heart Association, Warning Signs of a Heart Attack, Retrieved on February 18, 2014, from,

Lifestyle Changes to prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death in the United States. One reason these statistics are fact is undeniably a lack of commitment to a heart-healthy lifestyle. Your lifestyle is not only your best defense against heart disease and stroke, it’s also your responsibility. A heart-healthy lifestyle includes the ideas listed below. By following these simply steps you can reduce all the modifiable risk factors for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
• Stop smoking

• Choose good nutrition

• Reduce blood cholesterol

• Be physically active every day

• Aim for a healthy weight

• Manage diabetes

• Reduce stress

• Limit alcohol


SOURCE: American Heart Association, Prevention & Treatment of Heart Attack-Lifestyle Changes. Retrieved on February 18, 2014, from,