Is barefoot running good for you?

Are there really any benefits to barefoot running?

Studies into barefoot running have shown that unshod runners tend to land their stride on the ball of their foot or with a flat foot, whereas shod runners, possibly due the increased amount of support offered by modern running shoes, land on the heel of their foot. Over a period of time, in certain people, this pressure on the heel can lead to various problems, such as ankle sprains, Achilles tendinitis, shin splints and even back problems. Up to 30% of running enthusiasts are said to experience injuries relating to their running technique.

Madhusudhan Venkadesan, a postdoctoral researcher in applied mathematics and human evolutionary biology at Harvard who has been involved in detailed studies into the effects of barefoot running, writes that: "Heel-striking is painful when barefoot or in minimal shoes because it causes a large collisional force each time a foot lands on the ground. Barefoot runners point their toes more at landing, avoiding this collision by decreasing the effective mass of the foot that comes to a sudden stop when you land, and by having a more compliant, or springy, leg."

Source - Guardian

3 comments:

  1. I can't imagine barefoot running safe. I guess we should advice runners to select the proper footwear to make them comfy and avoid injuries.

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  2. I have a client who has run for many years and was getting bad hip and knee problems. When he told me he was going to run barefoot, I was sceptical but advised him to check with his docotr which he did.
    He has been running barefoot, well with those glovey type shoes only, for some months now and is feeling so much better!
    xx

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  3. There's another powerful reason why barefoot is good, and not just for the foot. Science has shown that the surface of the Earth is alive with gentle, natural electric energy. When we make barefoot connection with this energy (by being on sand, dirt, concrete, grass) our body absorbs vast numbers of free electrons that appear to neutralize the damage of inflammation-related reactive oxygen species (so-called free radicals), improve sleep, reduce pain and stress, and accelerate healing from injuries. The details with the science and stories are spelled out in a new exciting book called Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?

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