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Take a Load off Your Feet and Lose Weight

Media Release

August 6, 2008

Take a Load off Your Feet and Lose Weight, says Podiatrist

A weight loss competition with a twist - Body for Wives 2008 - recently gave women living in the Manawatu the chance to enter their tubby spouses into a competition to shape up and slim down.

General manager of Foot Mechanics John Miller was involved in the competition as a sponsor and says the winner lost 20% of his body weight and is now reaping the benefits.

"The winner's complete attitude toward exercise shifted up a gear I just wish more New Zealanders would take their health seriously it's about valuing life,' says Miller.

Miller acknowledges people are often keen to lose weight and change their destructive lifestyle but lack the willpower or money. He says there are opportunities available for help, like competitions, but of course not everyone is going to be chosen to partake in a competition, he says.

'Competitions like Body for Wife spur motivation, enthusiasm, and give people a competitive edge; yet walking is equally a great form of exercise with a huge range of social, physical and mental health benefits and it's free," says Miller.

"Far too many New Zealanders lose their quality of life from conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and arthritis.

"I wish people could see what I see amputated legs and toes because of adult onset diabetes avoided by simply eating less high fat and high sugar foods when they were younger, whether 10 years earlier or five years ago."

According to Miller an article in a recent Woman's Day issue revealed Oprah Winfrey is suffering from debilitating foot pain due to her weight gain and may require surgery.

"Like Oprah, lots of New Zealanders suffer from unbearable pain caused by excessive weight. You could say there are many 'Oprah Winfreys' in New Zealand in denial and on a road that may feel easy and comfortable today, but may change drastically tomorrow," says Miller.

"The article quotes Oprah admitting she is suffering from crippling foot problems, which doctors confirm are 'exacerbated by her size.' In fact, recently she had to go to hospital straight after wearing a pair of shoes because of the pain.

"Feet already cope with demanding twists and turns that come with daily living, while bearing normal body weight. Once you add excessive weight the feet and knees will wear down over time. It's like building a one-level house with good foundations but then adding three or four more levels over time - eventually it's going to collapse. In the same way the house isn't designed to bear excessive loads, our feet aren't either," says Miller.

Miller agrees with warnings from orthopedic surgeon, Richard Berger who said Oprah's weight increase has impacted on the way her foot arch has flattened, and eventually her knees will deteriorate. This could mean future knee surgery for the celebrity.

"We live in an increasingly sedentary society. But foot health is vital if people are to remain active," says Miller.

Inappropriate shoes and sore feet are amongst the most common reasons people did not walk enough. From a foot health perspective sore feet indicate a problem that should be addressed.

"Don't let a foot problem stop you from walking, as help is available and walking is a great form of preventative medicine that costs nothing and is available to everyone."

Miller says deciding to make some simple changes when shopping for high heels can also be the difference between eventual foot pain or not.

"By keeping her heels under 2.5cm high Oprah would have reduced a lot of pressure on the ball of her foot and having a well padded shoe sole certainly helps take some of the impact of walking in heels," says Miller.

About Foot Mechanics
Foot Mechanics has clinics in Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Manawatu and Wairarapa regions and are experienced providers for some of New Zealand's top sport teams including the All Blacks, Black Sticks, Silver Ferns, Black Caps, NZ Rugby Seven's Team, NZ Rugby super 14 Teams, Rugby NPC Teams, Netball NPC Teams, and NZ Academy of Sports. Please visit for further information.


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