I may consider myself a little bit of a preacher – When I believe in something, I really believe in it, and although I don’t believe that everyone needs to think like me…I don’t shy away from sharing my point of view on things. I’m a little different than your average trainer. You will rarely, if ever, see me wearing running shoes, and I can’t remember the last time I went for a run. I used to do both, and after spending many nights with aching knees, and what I thought was a bunion on my foot, I began a new journey of research into training – barefoot training.
Let me start with an idea for you to ponder – were you born with shoes on? I definitely was not. I’m a believer in the idea that we all need to ‘get back to the basics’ with training, wellness, health, and nutrition, and because this is the way life was intended to be, it’s the way it should be. If you were to do some research back into the cavemen ages, you surely would not see pictures of them hunting animals with their slick Nike shoes on, as well as a water belt around their waist. Yes, this is a convenience of technology that we get to embrace, but the point is that they survived being barefoot, and so will we. I’m not saying you need to start walking up and down Main St. in your business skirt, with no shoes on. All I am saying is instead of wearing shoes from the moment we wake up, until the moment we go to bed, why not strengthen the muscles in our feet that we’re meant to spend the rest of our lives on?
The only part of your body that touches the ground on a daily basis is your feet. You have almost 30% of the joints in your body residing in your feet, and this is the foundation of all your movement. It’s important to strengthen your feet so you can support your body without relying on sturdy shoes, tight shoelaces, and false balance. Could you imagine moving from task to task with hard gloves around your hands? You wouldn’t be able to pick up a damn thing; but more importantly, you would have absolutely NO hand strength, and this would trickle down to affect your arm strength as well. Same goes for your feet. How are you to ever strengthen your feet, balance, and mobility if you don’t challenge it? If the muscles in your feet deteriorate, it could have the trickle affect of compromising your ankles, knees and hip strength. Spending a little time in a controlled workout space can help you do just this. I’m not saying you need to throw all of your shoes in the garbage, all I am saying is that if you can spend just an hour or two each week training barefoot, you could potentially increase your foot strength, decrease your chance of injury to your ankles, knees, and hips, and consequently avoid common foot problems you often see like bunions, corns, hammer toes, athlete’s foot, and Achilles issues. Simply starting with 15 minutes during your workouts can start to increase this strength, and over time, you can do a whole workout without shoes on. You have muscles, tendons and joints in your feet, so it will take some time to gain strength in them just like any other muscle in your body – just give it some time, and you will soon be walking around on feet of steel.
I’ve been barefoot training for over a year now, and I no longer spend time worrying if I have a bunion on my foot, or sore knees when I go to bed. I truly believe it has strengthened my feet, ankles, calves, and lower body joints, and I can feel how much my balance has increased as a result. I’d say double whammy here – it’s a success! No more pain, and an increase in strength. I will never go back to training with shoes on, and I hope this newfound training style will not only save me money on shoes, but also help me avoid any ankle, knee and hip injuries that many athletes experience as the age. I’m determined to workout until I croak, and I don’t care if I’m not wearing fancy coloured shoes while I push hard…I’ll always have an excuse to make my feet pretty and get pedicures :0
Showing you the difference between liking and loving your body,
ashley dale roy