Average Weight Of A 12 Year Old 5 Foot Girl Barefoot Running/Walking – Are Your Runners Killing You? You Should ‘Go Natural’!

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Barefoot Running/Walking – Are Your Runners Killing You? You Should ‘Go Natural’!

* Even if you don’t run or jog, read on.

“When you run on the ground and run with the ground, you can run forever.” – Tarahumara Indians

The more expensive your runners…the more likely you are to get leg injuries! It’s true, the multi-million dollar industry surrounding the technology and science behind running shoes is a farce. About a year ago I had this intuitive feeling when I started walking and running on soft grass. Instead of pounding the pavement in my joggers and slowly feeling my knees and joints getting more painful, I started taking off my shoes and socks and started running around the grass oval near where I live. It was absolutely wonderful. Sometimes it rained during the night, so the grass was a little wet. I can’t tell you how much more exhilarating, energizing and rejuvenating the whole experience was. More importantly, running barefoot actually felt more natural and somehow more efficient and “less” taxing on my body. After a few “early day” tests, I am confident that I am running faster with less effort.

After I wrote about the Tarahumara Indians in my first book, I learned that they used to run more than 100 miles through the mountainous copper canyons of Mexico in nothing but thin homemade rubber-soled sandals. And I used to laugh when I watched the videotapes of them hustling along, beating some of the best ultramarathoners in North America.

Fast forward a couple of years and I just recently finished reading one of the best books I have ever read. Christopher McDougall calls it “Born to Run” (1). He is a US journalist with a fairly high profile as the editor of Men’s Health magazine and writes for notable publications such as Esquire and the New York Times. The book details how the human body was designed for running, and how the high number of running-related injuries we see in the world today is largely unrelated to the fact that running is bad for us. It’s almost entirely due to the wrong way we run, and most importantly…fashionable running shoes.

McDougall cites a wealth of scientific research, biomechanical analysis, and expert opinion to show that the more high-tech, expensive, and “supportive” our running shoes are, the more likely we are to get injured. This is due to the basic myth that running shoes or expensive orthotics, artificially supporting or supporting the feet is a good thing. As with anything where we artificially ‘support’ the body and prevent it from doing what it is designed to do naturally, the structures involved actually become ‘weaker’. Overtime, as the surrounding bones, ligaments and muscles weaken, they are more likely to get injured. That’s why about 75% of serious runners sustain some form of foot injury each year.

A look at Born to Run

Here are some quotes and wisdom from McDougall’s excellent book (although you’ll want to get your own if you like or have ever wanted to run/jog).

For millions of years, people ran without arch support, pronation control, or gel-filled pads under the heels.” McDougall

Leonardo da Vinci considered the human foot, with its fantastic weight-suspension system that includes one quarter of all the bones in the human body, “a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.”

Abebe Bikila – Ethiopian marathoner ran barefoot across the cobblestones of Rome to win the 1960 Olympic marathon.

“Shoes block pain, not impact. Pain teaches us to run comfortably. From the moment you go barefoot, you will change the way you run.” Barefoot Ken Bob

“Covering your feet with cushioned shoes is like turning off smoke detectors.” – Barefoot Ted

“Bricolage – the concept of “less is more” or that the best solution is also the most elegant. Why add something when you are already born with everything you need?” Barefoot Ted

“Many of the foot and knee injuries we’re dealing with now are actually due to people running in shoes that make our feet weak, cause over-pronation and cause knee problems.

In 1992, when Nike invented the modern athletic shoe, people had very strong feet and much less knee injuries.” Dr. Daniel Lieberman, professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University.

“I find that when my runners train in bare feet, they run faster and get less injured.” Stanford University head coach Win Lananna

“There is no evidence that running shoes help prevent injuries at all.” – McDougal

Newcastle University in Australia researcher Dr. In a 2008 research paper in the British Journal of Sport Medicine, Craig Richards found that there is no evidence-based research that proves that running shoes make you less prone to injury.

“No stonemason worth his trolling would ever put a support under an arch; push up from below and you weaken the whole structure.” Gerard Hartman, physiotherapist to many of the world’s greatest distance runners.

“The foot is as if pronated.” Hartman (ie, it’s completely natural!)

“Putting your feet in shoes is like putting them in plaster.” Hartman

“Painful Truth No. 1 – The best shoes are the worst” – MacDougall

In early 2000, Nike conducted its own research on barefoot running and was surprised by the results. They quickly and then began to look for a way to make money running barefoot. Two years later, they launched worldwide TV commercials featuring barefoot athletes, from Kenyan marathon runners to Brazilian dancers, rock climbers and karate masters. Messages flashed across the screen: “Your feet are your foundation. Wake them up! Make them strong! Connect with the earth… Natural technology enables natural movement… Power to your feet.” Barefoot reads ‘The Show Begins Here’ across the sole. And it all ends with the closing slogan… ‘Run Barefoot’.

And my two favorite quotes of all…

“The best runner leaves no tracks.” – Tao Te Ching

“You don’t stop running because you get older, you get old because you stop running.”

in short

Interestingly, primitive cultures that had no modern running shoes and instead relied on the infinite wisdom of Mother Nature to shape the human foot could run many miles every day for a lifetime and never, ever did. one injury.

Why? Because our feet are exquisitely shaped by the master herself. More than a quarter of the bones in our body are in our feet. When we land on the middle of the foot (not the heel), which we tend to do when wearing “cushioned” runners, because we know the running shoes will cushion us, our body weight and force. creates on the lower legs is moved.

Without the cushioning of expensive running shoes, instead of pushing the front leg too far in front of us and thus exerting a force 12 times our body weight on the lower body, we actually start to run in a more “natural” way. The feet tend to slide closer to the ground, landing softer and on the midfoot and/or balls of the foot. It uses a unique foot design to more efficiently expel force, removing stress from the feet and lower legs.

Not only that, but this type of running also strengthens the feet, ankles and legs, reducing the risk of injury in the long run. It is also much more efficient. If you start doing this for a few weeks, you may find that you can run as fast as before, but with much less effort. *

What if you can’t run on grass?

No problem. Many people don’t have a nice, lush, safe patch of grass to run on. There are basically two options.

Option 1: MacDougall and I recommend buying a simple (and inexpensive) pair of runners. The cheaper and less shock absorption and support they have, the better. They’ll make you run more naturally, make your feet work the way they were meant to, and strengthen your feet, ankles, and legs over time.* While the famous Dunlop Volleys are a bit of a laughing stock today, they’re actually a great pair of runners that to buy. I bought a pair myself for $17 at Target a few months ago. They are fantastic… and what a fashion accessory! I like both guys and girls at the gym!

My “Awesome” Barefoot Runners – I get a great look!!!

Option 2: Another option is to buy yourself a pair of ‘barefoot runners’. Yes, even the biggest running shoe manufacturers in the world, including Nike, now admit that their most expensive runners are often the main cause of injury. There are many brands of barefoot runners available today. I bought myself a pair of Vibram five fingers (see left). These are probably the most well-known, but you could Google “barefoot running” or “barefoot running shoes” and you could pick up a cheaper pair somewhere.

* IMPORTANT NOTE. This should be done very gradually to avoid injury, see the recommendations below. Recommendations for YOU:

  • Even if you like to just walk and walk rather than run or run, take off your shoes and socks and go barefoot wherever possible (only if it’s 100% safe to do so, of course). It is even better to do it on slightly wet grass. (You also benefit from the ancient practice of “grounding”).
  • If you are a runner or jogger, especially if you usually run on a gymnasium track or for intense services, get yourself some barefoot runners or an inexpensive runner (like Dunlop volleys) with minimal support/shock absorption. Once this is done, gradually progress from walking to very slow movement to jogging over ‘WEEKS’. Once again, this should be done very gradually and with proper running technique (see 3) to avoid injury!
  • Although I would suggest that it is better to walk or run barefoot for long periods of time on soft surfaces or with minimal support on harder surfaces. You MUST function biomechanically correctly. This includes keeping the body in an upright position, back straight, head up and hips aligned. Your feet should be flat on the ground, your stride length should be much shorter (faster is good), and you should have a soft foot that lands around the midfoot. Since your body won’t be used to this type of movement, you MUST start very slowly and build up very gradually. I’d recommend just walking for a week or two, then doing short five-minute shuffles for another week. Then just accumulate 5 or 10 minutes a week. Namely, this is a very gradual transition to a different type of running/jogging.
  • Please do not rush out and start running with bare feet as you are likely to injure or harm yourself.
  • Runs on soft (dewy) grass – without thorns and wings! Arghh! – where possible. It’s beautiful!
  • In general, try to avoid this (or any kind of running) on ​​really hard surfaces like concrete. If you run on such surfaces, you may want to use some more “cushioned” support, make 100% sure you run with proper technique (“landing lightly”), or simply try to avoid it. Note; When running on hard surfaces like concrete or pavement, I usually wear “normal” running shoes (nothing high-tech, but something with a little cushioning). Whenever I run on grass, I run barefoot, and whenever I’m on the gym treadmill, dirt track, jogging or walking track, etc., I usually wear the Vibram Five Toes. However, regardless of the surface I try to run with the technique described above so that even on hard surfaces it doesn’t aggravate potential problems (slightly worn/arthritic knees due to my football years and a lot of weight on my legs etc. I’m aware that I’m not trying to make them worse, but it can not apply to you).
  • For more information on all the scientific evidence, opinions from the world’s leading experts, and anecdotes about the world’s greatest runners who don’t wear trendy running shoes and never get injured, or if you just love running, buy a copy of Born. run'(1). It’s a great read.
  • Get back to nature and experience how walking and running were made. It could really change the way you think about running and exercise. You might even find it enjoyable, if not exhilarating. Seriously! Enjoy.

1. MacDougall, Christopher. ‘Born to run’. 2010 Profile Books (UK)

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