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Barefoot Running

September 2nd, 2011 by Elly McGuinness from Natural Balance Health and Fitness

BAREFOOT RUNNING

The latest craze, a crazily good idea, or just plain crazy??!

You may have seen or heard of the madness hitting the world of running – taking something that already feels painful to most of us, and then stepping that pain up a level again….by running barefoot! Why you ask? How could it possibly be good to increase the level of impact hitting our body and aggravate those oh so sensitive nerve endings in our feet, and wouldn’t the foot problems we already have become 100 times worse if we ran with no shoes on? Or is this a slightly different twist on the ‘no pain no gain’ slogan, and could barefoot running actually be beneficial for us? There are multiple views held on the merits and downfalls of barefoot running and I encourage you to make up your own mind regarding what you think, and do what feels right to you. Read on for a snippet of the ‘madness’ and decide for yourself whether you want to give it a go!

THE BENEFITS
* Get back to using your body in the way it was designed to be used – go natural!
* Improve your running technique and potentially rid yourself of chronic foot problems caused by shoes
* Save yourself $$$ on expensive running shoes
* As well as foot problems, you may even find that you can fix knee and back problems exacerbated by wearing shoes your whole life

WHAT ABOUT THE PAIN?
* Again, building up very gradually will minimise any pain you experience. Yes, you will likely experience some cuts and bruises along the way but your feet will get stronger and stronger every day!
* You may want to consider wearing some of the funny looking minimalist barefoot running shoes (yes the ones with the ‘toes’) to protect yourself from glass, stones and other nasty things
* Get a friend involved so you can share the pain, and then enjoy the benefits together!

WHERE TO NOW?
* Set yourself a date to get started and then just do it! Why not make that date today? Remember that today you just need to start walking around home with no shoes on!
* Check out the following sites for more info and to connect with likeminded people:

http://therunningbarefoot.com/
http://physicalliving.com/learn-the-skill-of-barefoot-running/

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