Is It Time to Ditch Your Workout Gear?
Have your battered running shoes and stretched-out sports bra had enough? Here's when to call it quits with your workout gear
Running shoesMore than anything, worn-out running shoes can destroy your workout, and even your health. Shin splints, knee pain, ankle pain, and even back pain can all result from working out in old shoes.
When to toss them: A good rule of thumb: if you're using your shoes 5 to 6 times a week you'll need new ones every 3 to 6 months. If you use them less often than that, then every 8 to 12 months should be good. If at any time you feel pain in your knees, ankles, or shins that wasn't there before, it's likely a sign it's time to replace your shoes. Of course, it's better to do this before you're in pain, so toss your running shoes if:
• You can hold your shoe at both ends and twist it easily (the sole should feel firm)
• You find yourself tying the laces really tight to feel supported
• Your midsole looks worn down or you can feel it when you're running
Help them last longer: Only wear your shoes when working out, since any running or walking wears them down. If you run often, get two pairs of shoes and rotate them, so each pair has time to decompress. After every workout, loosen the laces and open your shoes to air them out, and store them in a cool, dry place (not your gym bag or trunk). Never put your running shoes in the washing machine. If you do need to clean them, use a scrub brush, mild soap, cold water, and let them air dry.
*Sources: Andrew Schrage, co-owner of Money Crashers Personal Finance. Ilyse Baker, top 10 FitOrbit.com trainer. Janette Janero, group fitness director at Florida International University. Michele Bohbot, Electric Yoga designer and Master Yogi.
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