With the explosion of striptease, pole dancing, and high-heeled workouts, you can’t help but wonder if sporting stilettos actually tones your body. I love the sense of confidence I feel when stomping through the streets in a new pair of heels. But should we listen to our podiatrists and chiropractors when they warn us to stray away from our pumps? Check out the benefits of heels, and share what you think about high-heeled workouts.
Improved Baby-Making Muscles (and Sex Life!)
In 2008, Dr. Maria Angela Cerruto, a urologist at the University of Verona, Italy, studied 66 stiletto-strutting women under the age of 50 and concluded that wearing heels can help strengthen pelvic and abdominal muscles. To counter the elevated angle of a heel, women lean a little forward, thereby tightening abdominal muscles and tucking the pelvis under. This action increases the ability for pelvic muscles to contract, which leads to more gratifying sex, easier childbirth, and problems associated with urinary incontinence. The benefits of high heels are described as being similar to doing Kegels or holding Mula Bandha during yoga.
Keep reading for a look at other advantages.
Stellar Calf Muscles
Walking in high heels engages calf muscles and gives the added bonus of making legs appear longer and leaner. Dr. Cerruto recommends wearing two- to three-inch heels, because anything over can increase the chance of injury. But regardless of heel size, be selective with how often you wear them and make sure to do the proper stretches after wearing them. A 2010 UK study indicated that women who routinely wear high heels (two inches or taller) have shorter calf muscles and weakened Achilles tendons. Routinely wearing heels can also increase the chance of a sprained ankle or back injuries; other problematic issues can arise if short-term strains are ignored, such as bunions, arthritis, and foot and spine malformation.
For many women, wearing heels feels sexy . . . and powerful! But you can only generate these feelings if the shoe fits. Many women struggle to find a shoe that isn't aggravating and pain-inducing. When shopping, it's important to find a high heel that offers arch support and shock absorbers. Choose thicker heels or opt for platforms that add height rather than an increased arch. Try a pump stiletto that has several straps supporting the top of the foot. It sounds obvious, but choose options that you can comfortably and easily walk around in. Catwalk down the isle of the shoe store. If you trip, lose your balance, or awkwardly wiggle about, rethink the shoe purchase.
I think I'm inspired to try my gym's high-heeled workout as long as I'm wearing my Cole Haan Pumps. What about you?