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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

Do these MBT's work?

Hi,

I walk to work 3 times a week. I go at a fairly brisk speed and it takes me an hour. I also try and do a 2 or 3 hour walk every weekend. I do this in MBT trainers. I have been doing it for about 6 weeks now and am not noticing any difference - why would this be? Do MBT's work and how much walking would I need to do for it to noticeable sculpt my figure or help me lose weight?

A.

Our expert says...

Hi,

Well, let me highlight the suggested science behind these and then give you my opinion about it and answer your question:

?Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT) makes all surfaces like walking in sand. Unlike most conventional training shoes that only support and cushion your feet, the unique lever spring action of MBT's challenge the core strengthening muscles to be more active. This creates good posture and increases shock absorption for all the joints. It is suggested that MBT can restore lost movement in spinal joints and develop core muscle strength. ?

The MBT marketing identifies how the majority of people are too rushed in our lifestyle and we are often pressurized into a forward stance or worse our posture gets forgotten completely. As we walk about the hard surfaces we walk on are putting our body through extremes of unnatural pressure; overloading the joints from the ankles, knees, hips to lower back and upwards through the spine.

The MBT range of footwear is designed to allow you to walk on a soft, uneven surface in order to stimulate exceptional muscle use; so increasing tone, alignment throughout the body, benefiting circulation and giving you a feeling of overall good health and well being.

Ok, so that is the theory behind MBT and I agree with a large percentage of the principles they put forward. What I would say, however, is that the impact of the MBT occurs only during the wearing of the shoe and I have seen evidence that intermittent as well as overuse of the MBT can cause muscular tension issues. They appear to be more of a short-term remedy/option for something that can be more effectively tackled through stabilisation exercise and not really a long-term fix.

To answer your question, the MBT will not enhance your existing walking activity to new heights in providing an accelerated/enhanced sculpting of your body and in reality there is currently no research proving that MBT?s help someone even burn a significant amount of extra calories to ?normal? walking.

Your weight loss will be achieved from the calories you burn through your walking, so keep the consistency of your training and keep varying the intensity, duration and terrain of your walks, these changes will have more impact on weight loss then the MBT footwear. Also, little tip: try to clench your butt muscles while walking (difficult to do at first but persist) and draw your belly button into your spine, as activating these muscles not only stabilises your spine and helps you walk with more strength, and better posture, but also burns more calories!!

It is difficult to prove or disprove the effectiveness of certain things available in the fitness market, but what I would say is that there are a lot of suggested ?quick-fixes? which just aren't real! I would personally comment that I have never recommended them to any of my clients, so if you find them useful/comfy then wear them but I would suggest you don?t rely on them for aiding your weight loss.

Hope this helps

Kelly

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