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New Year, New You: Our 2015 Fitness Picks

yellowWith 2015 finally here and Christmas but a distant memory, the time to be making New Year’s Resolutions is officially upon us. Whether you stuck to the promises you made back in January 2014 or not, now is the perfect time of year to rest, recharge and reflect upon the months to come, and if the first wish on your list is to get back into shape following the annual festive blowout, Universal Textiles has everything you need to kick start your journey to a new you this new year. Take a look at our top picks for New Year’s fitness below!

Signing up with the local gym is the end result of many a New Year’s resolution, and with a variety of machines in place to tone and train different areas of the body, it’s a great way to get an all-over workout.  This Mens Gildan Performance Vest is a great choice for those looking to keep cool whilst working out, with its sleeveless build and special moisture-wicking fabric helping to move sweat and excess heat away from the body. For women, this Spiro Performance T-Shirt is another great choice, with its quick-dry polyester build helping you to avoid excess perspiration.

Combining effective, aerobic exercise with relaxing, therapeutic motion, swimming is a great way to get fit, with around 3 million of us in the UK making a splash on a weekly basis. These Mens Aqua Sphere Montreal Jammer Shorts are the perfect way to get a streamlined swim, with their chlorine resistant build and breathable, high stretch fabric allowing you to exercise in comfort. For women, this Aqua Sphere Rachel Swimming Costume offers similar benefits, with a supportive bra-style back and UV protectant build helping you to get the most out of your swim.blackshoes

Going for a regular run can be a great alternative for those looking to take care of their body without hitting the gym, allowing you to avoid costly monthly fees. A sturdy and supportive pair of shoes like these Hi-Tec Ladies Covent Garden Trainers is a must however, with their glass fibre stability shank and waterproof leather upper helping to keep feet safe and dry whilst you’re on the move. For men, these Skechers Flex Advantage Trainers boast a memory foam insole and a shock absorbing midsole to keep feet both comfortable and stable, with built-in mesh fabric panels to allow effective ventilation.

Be sure to check out our full range of sports and fitness gear at Universal-Textiles.com, with athletic clothes and accessories for men, women and children all available at great prices!

Happy New Year from everyone at Universal Textiles!

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Why Supportive Shoes Are Key To The Future Of Your Feet

massivefuckingfootIt’s an unfortunate reality that people often underestimate the dramatic effects that their choice of footwear can have not only their feet, but also on their balance and posture throughout the wider body. With younger consumers in particular being tempted by the cheaper designs offered by some of today’s high street retailers, arch support is rarely high on the average shopper’s list of priorities, with many placing style firmly over substance. But as the old adage goes, you only get what you pay for, and with cheap but poorly designed shoes having the potential to lead to back pain and skeletal misalignment, supportive footwear is something that you can’t afford to scrimp on.

Though you may not know it, there are 26 bones in each of your feet, all of them working together to provide your body with the support it needs to bear the brunt force of walking and sprinting across a variety of different terrains both natural and man-made. With each step you take, your feet are working as your own personal shock absorbers, supporting the weight of the rest of your body as you go about your day.

According to the New York Times, modern people spend roughly four hours a day on their feet, with the average pair supporting a force equivalent to several hundred tons each day. When footwear is carefully designed to support the natural shape of your feet, your bones are kept in their proper alignment, allowing them to effectively absorb the pounding that flat, inflexible surfaces such as concrete and wood throw at them.PRINT

But with some of today’s all-too-affordable footwear, corners have often been cut, with thin and unsuitable materials being used in the manufacturing process. As a result, feet fail to receive the support that they need, which can cause the entire skeletal structure to become misaligned as other areas of the body (such as your back, hips or knees) are forced into helping absorb the impact. The end result can be persistent pain in not only your feet, but also in the spine, lower back and beyond, as well as a negative knock-on effect on your posture and balance.

So what can be done? Placing greater importance on the build of your shoes is certainly the best place to start, with the thickness of the sole and shock absorption performance being two key criteria. Skechers and Birkenstock are two of many companies that specialise in supportive footwear, with their specially designed footbeds offering comfort and support without compromising on style. For those who want as much support as possible, arch supports are another product worth investing in. These springy insoles are crafted to slip into your shoes and support the natural arch of your feet by filling the unsupported area with a comfortable bubble, usually filled with a soft, thick gel.

Click here to check out the Skechers and Birkenstock footwear that we currently have on offer!

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