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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Minimilism in a Nutshell

Since the creation of mankind, people have run barefoot. Our bodies were designed to run. Have you ever actually watched a young child run? Not only are they having fun, but pay attention to their style: mid-foot strike, foot landing beneath their body. THAT is how we are supposed to run.

Over the last maybe 50 years (I am guessing here), shoe companies decided we need cushioning and arch support and this and that. And I agree there are people that do, in fact, need that support. However, the vast majority do not. Not only do conventional shoes affect your stride, but they also weaken the muscles in your feet and can damage your knees, hips, and http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifback.

I have no desire to go out and run completely barefoot. But I totally agree with the concept. Minimalist shoes are a good alternative. My husband even recently jumped on my bandwagon on minimalism and bought a pair of New Balance minimalist shoes. He loves them! And like me, he is now running pain free - no more pain in his knees and hips from running.

Minimalism/Barefoot is NOT something you should immediately go out and do. Like I said, your foot muscles are weak from conventional shoes and you must strengthen them. There are http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifexercises you can do that will help. As far as running, take it slow. For me, using the Couch to 5k program worked well for my transition. It built up my running distance gradually over a period of time.

Will there be pain involved? Yes, you are building muscle. Your feet and calves will ache and burn. Take care of yourself, stretch well, and listen to your body and you will be fine. (Stealing an example from my favorite minimalist website):

Neo: "Why do my eyes hurt?"
Morpheous: "Because you've never used them before."

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