Running is one of the simplest forms of exercise - just lace up and run! And of late, a fast growing group of runners are spreading the cause of barefoot running, where you don't even need to lace up! Based on human form and its intrinsic running stance, this school of thought suggests that barefoot running is a far natural and healthier workout. Here's the lowdown of top 5 FAQs on barefoot running and what you should bear in mind before leaving your shoes behind...
What's the difference between running with shoes and barefoot running?
Experts say, the difference lies in how your foot strikes the ground. When you are running barefoot your foot strikes the ground in a way that the front of your foot impacts before the heel. On the contrary, when running with shoes, most people tend to let their heels fall. Another line of thought believes that when you run barefoot you are in a better position to sense terrain changes, and alter your foot falls accordingly.
Are some surfaces better than others for barefoot runners?
Some experts believe that it is okay to run barefoot on any surface that you're comfortable with. However, some runners swear by green surfaces. Though, running barefoot is supposedly better for strengthening your heel, ankle and shin areas, since you aren't weakened by shoe support, make sure your surface is free from glass shards and other debris.
What are the specific health conditions where one should not run barefoot?
According to experts, people with below mentioned health conditions should not run barefoot.
- Peripheral vascular disease,
- If you suffer from HIV
- If you suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis
- Anyone else who is at risk of infection should not try it either.
I have decided to give barefoot running a try. What's the best way to do that?
While running barefoot, your body will give you signals as to how far you can go, you just need to catch them sensibly. Start with short segments, say about 5-10 minutes for the first week. Gradually and carefully, move up to 20-30 minutes in week or two.
How should barefoot runners take care for their feet? What is the best way to handle blisters and calluses?
Let your feet take care of you! Cuts, infections and blisters will happen. Remember that any form of exercise comes with its own set of potential injuries. Prevention works best with choosing the right terrain for barefeet running. Make sure to protect or cover blisters when needed, but give them time to drain on their own. If the condition worsens, seek immediate help from a foot doctor. Alternatively, you could look at buying shoes designed for barefoot running.
Also Read: What is The Barefoot Movement?
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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