Pumas for Zumba

September 16th, 2011

Finding the right shoes for Zumba is very difficult. You need the support of an athletic shoe with the sole of a dance shoe.

Puma athletic shoes look like a dance shoe, right? They are narrow, light-weight, and have the tell-tale circle on the sole that indicates a sole that will allow turning and sliding. Unfortunately, Pumas are not a good choice for Zumba. They lack the necessary shock absorption needed for the high-impact moves of a Zumba class. Look at the sole of a Puma sneaker – it’s very thin. There is almost no rubber or cushion to help distribute the shock from impact with the floor.

One of my Zumba participants bought a pair of suede Pumas for Zumba class. She was excited about finding Pumas for Zumba because they were inexpensive and seemed to move on the studio floor like she had hoped they would. She was coming to my class at least twice a week. She was always in the front row and was nearly 6 feet tall – you couldn’t miss her.

Suddenly she disappeared from class. She had developed shin splints from the impact of Zumba while wearing her new non-supportive Puma sneakers to several Zumba classes per week. Mayo Clinic defines shin splints as follows:

Medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints occur during physical activity and result from too much force being placed on your shinbone and connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone.

My participant’s shins splints were so bad there was visible bruising near her swollen ankles. She had to go to the doctor and could not participate in Zumba for six weeks. the doctor told her if she continued to do Zumba, the impact could give her stress fractures in her tibia bones. At the end of six weeks, she had to start with one Zumba class per week and she could not do any jumping – doctor’s orders.

The moral of the story, don’t wear unsupportive sneakers, like Pumas, for Zumba.

ZumbaPumas

Almond Joy International Delight Coffee Creamer is Yummy!

September 14th, 2011

I recently discovered Almond Joy-flavored coffee creamer from International Delight and it is delicious! If you like chocolate, coconut, and almond flavors, I highly recommend it!

I am a poor graduate student so I need to cut costs and save money. I recently had to give up buying flavored mocha drinks at coffee shop chains – I just can’t afford to pay over $5 USD for a coffee drink, no matter how tasty it is. Even a large cup of black coffee from the campus coffee shop is $1.50. Buying coffee at school once a day, every day, for a week would cost $7.50 per week, $30 per month, or $360 per year. Ouch!

I also had to stop buying expensive coffee to keep at home. I can’t afford to pay over $8 for Caribou Coffee brand or over $9 for Starbucks brand coffee to brew at home. I recently switched to Eight O’Clock Coffee, which costs under $6 and tastes fine. There is also a $2 coupon for Eight O’Clock coffee available at the Eight O’Clock Coffee website at the time this post was written.

Now that I found the Almond Joy coffee creamer, my coffee routine is complete and cheap. The Almond Joy taste is good and masks the taste of the Eight O’Clock coffee, and that helps me forget that I’m drinking cheap coffee. The sweetness satisfies my sweet tooth with less calories and fat than an expensive mocha – 15 calories and 1.5 grams of fat per tablespoon of creamer (coffee has basically no nutritional value) compared to 479 calories and 22 grams of fat in a Mint Condition from Caribou Coffee (large, skim milk, milk chocolate, no whip)! The price is very affordable and there is even a 55ยข coupon available from International Delight for one pint of coffee creamer.

My only concern is that the Almond Joy flavor is a “Limited Edition” so enjoy it while it lasts. Thank you International Delights for a yummy product! I highly recommend it.

almond joy coffee creamer

Reebok Zigs for Zumba

September 1st, 2011

Awhile back I read that Alena (of Zumba with Alena) recommended Reebok ZIGS for Zumba. When I found a grey and pink pair in my size on sale at TJ Maxx, I decided to give them a try. Here is what I think about Reebok ZIGS for Zumba:

Pros:
Reebok ZIGS do not stick to studio floors. This is important because when your shoe sticks to the floor, your foot stays in one place while your ankle, knee, and hip twist and turn. I believe finding an athletic dance shoe that does not stick to the floor is the most important thing to look for in order to avoid joint pain after Zumba classes. Reebok ZIGS allow plenty of movement in all directions for Zumba classes, including turning, sliding, and gliding.

Reebok ZIGS provide adequate support. These are sturdy, robust athletic shoes that will absorb shock from high-impact moves during Zumba.

Reebok ZIGS are available in mens’ sizes for the handful of *wonderful* men who participate and instruct Zumba classes.

Reebok ZIGS are available online or in stores worldwide.

Cons:
Reebok ZIGS are ugly and attract a lot of attention. I picked up a pair of grey and pink Reebok ZIGS because they were my only option at TJ Maxx. They are so dark and clunky, I feel like I look like I’m wearing army boots to Zumba. I’m embarrassed to wear them outside of the studio, so I change my shoes immediately before and after Zumba class.

Reebok ZIGS are expensive. I found a pair at TJ Maxx for $35 USD. These shoes cost about $100 full price. That is too much for Zumba shoes in my opinion. I would not have bought a pair if I hadn’t find them on sale at discount store.

In summary, if you can afford to buy a pair of Reebok ZIGS for Zumba and don’t mind the way they look, go for it. The sole is what is needed for Zumba on studio floors. For now, Reebok ZIGS are my Zumba shoe of choice. As always, if you use Reebok ZIGS for Zumba, let me know what you think!

reebok-zigtech-shoes-for-zumba

Buying Textbooks on Amazon.com

September 1st, 2011

I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy student and I just had to purchase the required textbooks for first-year students. Ouch. Apparently, I was spoiled during my time as an undergraduate.

At the university where I completed my B.S. degree, we borrowed our textbooks for free. At the beginning of the semester, undergraduate and graduate students went to a part of the library where textbooks were stored. We picked up our required textbooks, checked them out the same way we checked out library books, used them for the semester, and returned them at the end of the semester. Of course, there are some books professors recommend buying those as time and money allowed.

I heard my classmates grumbling about spending $880 USD we had to pay for the 12 required textbooks through the university bookstore. I planned to use Amazon.com to save money. My total on Amazon came to $742 and I received free shipping using an Amazon Prime account. Although I saved almost $140 buying textbooks on Amazon.com instead of from the university bookstore, I was still concerned about how I was going to pay for these books before my fall financial aid and student loans are distributed.

At checkout, I received an offer to apply for a Amazon.com Store Card from GE Money Bank with six months interest free. This would allow me to put my textbook total on the Amazon.com Store Card and pay off my balance when I received the excess of my financial aid and student loans, which usually come one week after the semester starts.

This offer did not come without risk: If there is ANY balance on the Amazon.com Store Card at month six, six months of interest will be charged to the account on the interest-free balance of my textbooks $742 and the interest rate is very high at 25.99%.

As I plan to only use the Amazon.com Store Card to purchase my DPT textbooks and pay the balance when my excess financial aid and student loans are reimbursed, I decided to take the risk and put my textbook total on the Amazon.com Store Card.