Walk Your Way to Optimum Health

Andrew Weil, M.D., a world-renowned pioneer in the field of integrative medicine with a Harvard education and a lifetime of practicing natural and preventive medicine, now has healing-oriented shoes! His Orthaheel products are designed to provide a supportive walking shoe that will help align your body while you walk your way to health. His Spring 2012 collection features AMS (Aided Motion System) orthotic technology, great styles and fresh colors.

Tips from Dr. Weil

Here are the top 5 ways to proactively lighten your mood through the simple act of walking effectively:

1. Exercise Daily. The goal is to get physical activity every day, which will result in optimal results for both mind and body.  Aside from physical body improvements, regular exercise also prevents and relieves mood problems.  Dr. Weil recommends daily walking as the best exercise for most people to obtain optimal benefit.

2. Get Outside, Connect with Nature. Insufficient contact with nature predisposes us to depression.  Take advantage of regular walks outside – city parks, gardens and forest hikes.  Seek out beautiful, natural environments to walk in to lift your spirits.

3. Laugh! Walk With a Friend. If you are sad or lack social connection, spend time with people who make you laugh and join them for a walk outside.  Avoid Facebook, cell phones or email as your only means of connecting.

4. Meditative Walk, Repeat a Mantra. Mantra repetition is portable, convenient and easy to implement anywhere at any time, especially while walking! This type of repetition can also make the time pass quickly if you find it hard to stay motivated. Select an appropriate word or phrase that can be used as a tool to interrupt negative thinking and depressive rumination. Find a quiet place to walk, as silence refreshes the spirit, reduces anxiety and makes it easier to be mindful.

5. Focus on Breath. If mantra repetition doesn’t work for you, focus on your breath while on a meditative walk and when you are stuck on troubling thoughts.  Practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique to control anxiety. (Inhale for 4, hold for 7, and exhale for 8.)

I received a sample sandal from the fashion-meets-function shoe line from America’s leading wellness doctor. The line is set to inspire easier movement, greater endurance and enhanced energy. He collaborated with Phillip J. Vasyli, Australian podiatrist and founder of the award-winning Orthaheel® technology.

Because the shoes have AMS (Aided Motion System) orthotic technology, the inside of the shoe rounds up to aid in your foot’s arch. AMS ensures optimum comfort from the ground up, counteracting the daily grind of walking on hard, flat, unnatural surfaces. If you think back to how our ancestors learned to walk, the ground beneath them was not paved or black-toppped. Rather it was dirt, sand or gravel, something that curved with the arch of the foot rather than flattening the bottom of the foot.

“By allowing your foot to function the way it was designed to, the Weil Integrative Footwear line helps restore your freedom to move with ease,” said Dr. Weil, of the Dr. Weil Integrative footwear line. “Walking is what the body is designed to do and our goal is to promote movement with comfort and style.”

The pair I have is a leather flip flop with some studs and cutouts on top for decoration. They are stylish and comfortable. I like that the black leather has a distressed look, and the piece between the toes is a heavy nylon fabric, not pleather. I eased into wearing them, as suggested. First around the house a few times after work. Then while running some shopping errands around town. But the kicker – the day I KNEW I loved them – was the weekend I had a Gala on Friday night. After dancing in high heels for hours, literally, the balls of my feet were achy. My toes hurt as I crawled into bed. It was the last thing I thought of after removing all my layers of eye makeup and crawling into bed. Then, Saturday morning, I had to be mom-on-the-go bright and early in the morning, and wearing these shoes massaged the balls of my feet and made them feels SO MUCH BETTER! They weren’t just comfy, they were healing. I was even able to do my shopping while walking around the Saturday Morning Market (it’s Florida, it doesn’t feel like winter here.)

I recently received a flyer in the mail from a local department store. They have some cute leather sandals with very similar styles. But they were completely flat on the inside. They didn’t have any of the added benefits of the Orthaheels. And on the inside of the strap, which you can’t see in this photo, there is a little sliver of elastic to help the shoe move with you too! The only drawback I have seen is that the woodgrain look to the heel is rubbing off after only wearing them for 2 months.

You can watch a video of why they work the way they do here:

The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later. Thanks!

The line includes stylish, leather flip flops and sandals for both men and women; as well as soft, supple moccasins and premium slip-resistant lace-up walking shoes for women. Hand-sewn stitching, full-grain leather and premium suede uppers are fashionable details seeded in comfort and functionality. All styles include built-in Aided Motion System technology: Tri-Planar Motion Control EVA orthotic footbed and 1st Ray Flexor Zone.

While promoting a healthy lifestyle, the Weil Integrative Footwear collection also promotes a healthy world!  The shoes are eco-inspired, incorporating eco-friendly materials including water-based adhesives and some recycled rubber, and are packaged in recycled cardboard boxes and tissue paper.

Dr. Weil donates all of his after-tax profits from sales of Weil Integrative Footwear products directly to the Weil Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting integrative medicine through training, education and research.

So, no more excuses! Get out there and start walking! If you think you can’t find the time for exercise, here are simple ways to get at least 30mins of walking in per day, depending on your lifestyle:

City Dwellers: Walk an extra five blocks to get to the next subway station closer to your destination.  Or walk an extra five blocks in any direction to find a new lunch outlet.

Career Focused: Take your 2pm conference call outside during a walk.

Parents: Walk your kids to school in the morning, if they’ll let you.. .or at least part of the way so you don’t embarrass them.  (Bonus: Vitamin D boost if it’s sunny!)

Shoppers: Park in the last row.  (Bonus: Quick and easy parking spot. Instead of wasting that time and gas searching the lot, spend that time walking!) or walk to a nearby store instead of driving.  (Bonus: bicep and core workout carrying your purchase home!)

Yogis: Walk to the studio in these 3rd chakra color flip flops.  (Bonus: Get a good warm up for improved stretching and muscle tone!)

The footwear collection ranges in price from $89.95 to $129.95 and is available at Dillard’s and select retailers across North America. For more information and to view informative videos on the health benefits of walking and the Weil Integrative Footwear collection, please visit www.weilbeing.com. Or view the whole collection for men and women at orthaheelusa.com.

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3 Comments

  1. Steph G says:

    I have 2 pairs of these and they are what I wear to work everyday. As a teacher who suffers from Plantar’s Fasciitis, these are the perfect shoe for all the walking I do at school!

  2. Chrissy says:

    I don’t wear flat flip flops anymore since I started running so much. I love shoes with arch support! These look cute.

  3. Run DMT says:

    I have been a fan of Dr. Weil since the 90s when I first read his books. I love that he is donating his profits to Weil Foundation. Outstanding!

    I have been admired Ortheels shoes for some time but haven’t made the leap for a purchase yet. The styles are very cute! I loved all the walking tips you listed!

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