Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Benefits Of Barefoot Running: Do Your Feet Have To Be Naked?

Health Risks Of Running- Good News After All!

If your at all into running you have probably heard about
the benefits of barefoot running.
What are the benefits of barefoot running?
Researchers reporting in the Jan. 28 issue of the journal Nature 
show that runners who run without shoes usually land on the balls 
of their feet, or sometimes flat-footed, compared to runners in shoes,
 who tend to land on their heels first.
Cushioned running shoes, which date back only to the 1970s, may seem 
comfortable but may actually contribute to foot injuries, say Daniel Lieberman, 
Ph.D., professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University, and colleagues.
The scientists, using motion and force analysis, showed that barefoot runners
 who strike on the fore-foot (land on the balls of their feet) generate smaller 
collision forces than shod rear-foot strikers.
I have tried running barefoot and I can tell you it feels Great!...
...It feels great running on a smooth surface when the weather is mild.
BUT... try as I may, I have not been able to toughen my feet to run on rocky 
surfaces, nor be able to adjust to extreme temperatures...maybe I'm just a wimp.
So here's what I've been doing:
A couple times a week I go to the track kick off my shoes and walk backwards 100 yards. 
Then I run 100 yard dash,walk backwards 100 yards.
I do 10 repeats.
Our natural tendency when we walk backwards is to land on our fore-foot -- NOT on our heals... walking backwards teaches me how to land properly.
Now when I slip into my comfy sneakers and run on a rocky trail,
my form seems so much better.
Try it.
And here are some other ideas for you:

Now here is another NEW running shoe technology that I recently  learned 
about from my friend Alan Peisakoff who is a big time distance runner.

He has run several half marathons with Newtons:

Prior to his "Newton" days Alan's body was "beat up" from running.
Not so now.
 Newtons are designed to guide your feet to proper form.
Alan says "Don't do any more than 5 milers until you get used
to the new form. Your calves and shins will be sore until you get used to them.

These shoes are a bit pricey. But I figure I only got one body, with one pair of feet.
They're worth it!

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