We’re finally in the truly sunny months this year, and with it come s the dream of being the most fit version of ourselves. For many of us, with that choice comes running; the easiest and most effective form of cardiovascular exhaustion. Your next thought will probably be “I’ll need running gear of some sort, because I’m super serious about this”, and I’m here tell you, that’s not the case.
Training companies believe that running barefoot has incredible physical benefits. It’s easy to underestimate the physical experience of actually using your feet outside of a shoe to navigate terrain, but it’s an altogether different experience. Proper foot and ankle function are paramount to getting serious about your physical capabilities, and to do that right, you’ll have to ditch the rubber soles.
Your feet are the first thing to hit the ground when you move, supporting the entirety of your weight. Think of how much benefit you’re losing when you’ve got inches of rubber between you and the ground!
You Should Already be Running Anyway
Running already represents a myriad of benefits, and that’s before you take off the shoes. We already know running regularly benefits your mental health and overall wellness. It keeps you away from high blood pressure, strengthens your lungs and lung capacity, keeps you trim, and your legs long. It’s also proven to be a stress reliever and increase your bone density. If you aren’t already running you should be, but what if you could double the benefits?
Learn the ABC’s of Running Barefoot
The folks at System Natura have worked out some tips to help get you started. Alignment are the building blocks of posture, and running without shoes helps your feet feel out the movement most beneficial to your body. Breathing is essential to relaxing and destressing your body before a barefoot running session. Cadence is the most important thing to remember here, you’re looking for quick leg turnover. The higher your step rate, the less energy you’ve wasted on needless motion.
The Many Benefits
Forget the expensive sneakers that proport to be the ultimate running shoe. Instead of buying the shoe that insists it’s “so perfectly natural, it feels like you’re wearing nothing at all”, skip, and just go with wearing nothing at all.
Barefoot running is totally noncompetitive, since by nature every session is unique to the age, training level, and body type of the individual.
This is a practice that helps you regardless of who you are and what your choices have been up to this point. If you have legs at all, and spend a lot of time sitting down (perhaps for work, like me) then you have twice as much to gain from a barefoot running program.
These days you can even bring a lesson anywhere with you, since this system of exercise requires no tools of any kind. Adopting a program like this one from System Natura will even let you get guidance to barefoot running with you wherever you go.
Give barefoot running a try, see how it suits you. You may find that it helps communicate with your body in ways running with thick running shoes just doesn’t.
Image credit: Photo courtesy of Google