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The Inventor of Z-CoiL Shoes Still Competing at 80
Al Gallegos turned 80 in March, but he isn't slowing down. In fact, he just won three blue ribbons
running the 100m, 200m and 400m relays at the New Mexico Senior Games! This qualifies him to compete in the Summer National Senior Games
being held in Houston, June 16-30.
An avid runner for many years, Al was on a late night run in the 1980's when an idea came to him: "All of a sudden I thought, if I had springs in my shoes, I could really fly," he recalls. His next thought was that, with springs in his shoes, maybe he wouldn't get hurt any more either.
Sure enough, his innovative, shock-absorbing shoes with built-in orthotic support have served to keep him -- and hundreds of thousands of other
Z-CoiL enthusiasts -- going strong ever since.
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Preventing Tight Muscles
Tight, cramped muscles can really hold you back when you want to be on the go, so you'll be glad to know there are a few simple steps you can take to stay limber and pain-free. It helps to be aware, first, of the causes of muscle tightness.
When your range of motion is restricted for a long period of time--sitting at a desk and working at a computer for hours, for example--some of your muscles stay flexed in a lengthened position (like the muscles at the back of your hips, or your upper back), while others (at the front of your hips or your chest) remain in a shortened position. This can result in muscle imbalances, with the shortened muscles becoming tight and the lengthened muscles becoming weak.
To combat this type of muscle imbalance:
- Maintain good posture while sitting.
- Work to strengthen the muscles that have become weak.
- Stretch the muscles that have tightened up.
Muscles can cramp during exercise, usually due to muscle fatigue, or low levels of sodium or potassium. When muscles contract, the muscle fibers shorten, increasing tension in the muscle. If they're fatigued or lacking proper hydration or nutrition, the muscles are unable to relax properly.
DO NOT forcibly stretch a muscle when it's tight, or you could tear the muscle fibers. Allow the muscle spasm to relax and recover before attempting to stretch out the cramp. Also:
- Stay properly hydrated and properly fed; an electrolyte-replenishing drink may also help prevent muscle cramps.
- Avoid becoming overly fatigued.
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be felt as pain and stiffness for 24 to 72 hours post-exercise, and is caused by small ruptures within the muscle. DOMS is most intense following exercises where a weight is lowered or slowed. To prevent DOMS:
- Gradually increase the intensity of a new exercise program.
- Increase blood flow to the sore area, either by moderate intensity exercise or massage.
- Static (holding) stretches won't prevent soreness, but will help you maintain or improve flexibility.
So eat right, drink a big glass of water, put on your Z-CoiLs, and get moving (but don't overdo it)! Your muscles will thank you for it.
I am an active, 62-year-old female who loves to ski, golf, and hike. I live in South Lake Tahoe, CA, and last year accomplished the task of hiking Mt. Tallac, our frequently-hiked mountain which starts at 6250 feet altitude and ends up over 9700 feet. In training to do this, I hike several times over rocky terrain over 10 miles. After the summer was over, I noticed that my heels were aching terribly, so in visiting my doctor and later foot doctor, I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. I also work at our local hospital, 12-hour days, and that became unbearable.
Some folks there wear Z-CoiL shoes and said try them out. Our local store in Reno that carries them went out of business, so I ordered them online direct from Z-CoiL. I ordered the grey Freedoms, got them in a few days, and WOW, have been wearing them ever since.
Recently I golfed with my Z-CoiLs and this was amazing. I instantly took 5-10 strokes off my game. Maybe it is because I am pain-free, or maybe it improves my stance, but no more regular golf shoes for me. I can walk without pain, work 12-hour shifts pain-free, and also take 3-4 mile walks, with little or no pain. I will now purchase the Z CoiL hikers so I can continue hiking this summer, and hopefully for many years to come.
Randi S. - South Lake Tahoe, CA
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