Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Barefoot Running



Many exercisers are exploring the concept of barefoot running by using increasingly popular minimalist running shoes. These shoes follow the notion that the barefoot style offers better balance, improves your connection with the earth and gives you the ability to move in a more natural way.
What the Research Says: 
Research claims that traditional running shoes force the heel to hit the ground first, while a barefoot runner’s mid-foot or forefoot is the first to strike the ground, causing less impact and reducing the risk of impact-related injuries. Minimalist shoes are also designed to provide no movement friction between the shoe and the foot, so blisters rarely occur. These shoes can offer a very customized and personal fit because they easily conform to your foot shape.
When first trying out a minimalist shoe, keep the following tips in mind.
  1. Run on soft ground

    Minimalist shoes allow your feet to absorb much more of the surface underneath you, so try finding grass or Astroturf for your first few ‘barefoot’ jogs.
  2. Shorten your stride

    Quicker, shorter strides will help you land steps with your forefoot first, taking stress and impact off your heels.
  3. Stretch

    When you are running with minimalist shoes, more pressure is put on your calves, which can take some getting used to. Be sure to keep your leg muscles warmed up and limber to reduce soreness.
  4. Adapt gradually

    Increase your mileage slowly until your body is comfortable with the lessened support.
The theory behind the minimalist shoe is the muscles of the hips, legs and feet become stronger as they adjust to a less structured shoe, but it’s important to let your body get used to the new form gradually. Follow these tips from Life Fitness and considering giving barefoot running a try.

This article was adapted from: www.lifefitness.com

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