Tuesday, June 7, 2011

10 Reasons You Should Start Running Barefoot

  1. Connectedness. Running barefoot adds a new dimension to the running experience. You feel a whole level of connectedness to the ground, and as a corollary, the environment you are in.

  1. Lighter strides. With barefoot running, you will definitely be running much lighter than before. You will not be pounding on your knees/ankles/feet anymore.

  1. Right landing. People who wear running shoes typically land heel first (a.k.a hard heel strikes), which places more stress on the foot. The correct running form should be to land on the front or middle of the foot. With running shoes, you would land on your heels and it caused a lot of impact. When you run barefoot, you automatically adjust and land on yout forefeet/midfeet. Since you can feel my foot on the ground, I can immediately tell if I am landing incorrectly with each stride.

  1. Better posture. Everything is very instinctual and it takes no more than just a few steps for you to get into a comfortable running posture. The contact between the foot and the ground is like an instant feedback if your posture needs correcting and if so, how.

  1. Freedom & Liberty. When running barefoot, you can feel your heel, mid-sole, forefeet and your toes against the ground and brushing against the cooling air with each stride. It’s a liberating experience.

  1. Mindfulness. Every step you take, you’re aware. Every time your foot touches the ground, you can feel both the ground and your foot. During your run, you are present, of yourself, your posture, your surroundings, your environment.

  1. Less stress for your knees/feet/joints. Studies have shown running barefoot brings less stress for your feet, even when compared with expensive running shoes (Nike, Adidas and Reebok included). A new study suggests running shoes may cause damage to knees, hips and ankles. With running shoes, we tend to shift our weight down to our ankles, which lead to higher possibility of ankle sprains. You might have heard how prolonged running causes knee cap pain. By running barefoot, that’s less likely to happen since you get a better running posture (Reason #4) and lighter strides (Reason #2), which means lesser weight on your knees/ankles/feet.

  1. Gives you stronger feet. All the shoe wearing has made our feet weak and soft. In fact, some of us wear poor-fitted shoes that cramp our toes/feet. Going barefoot builds up our foot muscles and makes them stronger, the way they should be.

  1. It’s Fun! Do you remember the times when you were young and ran around barefooted? How did that feel? Walking/Running barefooted brought a sense of child-like wonder that was lost since long ago, like dancing in the rain. It made running fun, more fun than it normally is.

  1. Saves money. Sports apparel have become more fashion accessories and cost more than they should. If you add up all the money you have spent on sport shoes over the years you will be surprised. That is a lot of money that could have been saved and used for better purposes.

(I found this on Tumblr and do not know who wrote it. I take no credit.)

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