Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wellness Wednesday! Kick off your shoes and run?

Who doesn't like a good run every now and then. Some more now than then, but to find the time myself...impossible. I will tell you that I feel so awesome after a good run though :) I found this new "Trend Alert" article in the June 2010 issue of Woman's Day magazine.

Kick off your shoes and run?

The Buzz: Running barefoot around your neighborhood or a local track may seem kind of crazy. But the au naturel trend is gaining momentum among some serious runners who think it's better for your joints and leg than wearing cushioned sneakers. After all, we went barefoot for millions of years before shoes were invented.

The Reality: A recent study found that when most people wear running shoes, they heel-strike, meaning that with each step the heel pounds into the ground. But barefoot runners tend to land with a lighter step toward the front of the foot. Is one way better? "Some people hell-strike without injury, and shoes protect them from stepping on glass and other debris," says lead study author Daniel Lieberman, PhD. "However, others develop problems such as shin splints that could be due to heel-striking."

Bottom Line: Most runners (and walkers) will be more comfortable in shoes, but if you've had shin splints or plantar fasciitis (heel pain) and want to run barefoot, start slowly. Do it for 5 to 10 minutes a week and gradually increase the amount of time you spend without shoes over at least 3 months.

*For barefoot runners, the beach, park or even the pavement is fair game*

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