September 27, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

kick off your shoes and run barefoot

Can a small change, like running barefoot on the beach, make a difference and benefit both your feet and your mental health? The British physiotherapist has the answers.

For many, the very idea of ​​walking without shoes seems outrageous or even disgusting, not to mention running. Nevertheless, in the world there are many fans of the theory, lovers of walking barefoot. There are even special marathons for running without shoes.

“Running barefoot really helps us reconnect with nature,” says Sammy Margot, a physical therapist specializing in muscle and joint care. This “sport” is considered an attractive activity, and its proponents claim they have already experienced the benefits of running/walking barefoot.

However, it is important to remember that each body reacts differently to pressure and force, so our response to barefoot running can vary. “The body, muscles and joints perceive the pressure of the earth differently. Some people may experience a reduction in pain in certain areas and vice versa,” explains podiatrist Dina Gohil.

However, when you physically feel your feet touching the ground, your body can become more aware of the movement pattern: “Exercising outdoors without shoes can help restore your natural running rhythm and stride,” says Ms Gohil.

What do we get from running barefoot? When you’re not wearing shoes, you become more aware of how your heel touches the ground, as well as speed and power. Thus barefoot exercise can help strengthen the foot and ankle, improve muscle strength, flexibility and ensure proper movement, the orthopedist adds.

According to barefoot runners, the soles of your feet will become much more elastic over time: “The best way to harden your feet is to try to walk on as many different surfaces as possible,” adds Dr. Dina Gohil. In addition, the leg muscles will also develop differently. According to Sammy Margot, this the way you run activates the smaller muscles in your legs and feethelping to improve strength and overall mobility.

While many runners benefit from running barefoot, there are certainly there are potential risks that should be considered. First of all, there is a risk of injury if you step on something sharp, so always be smart when choosing where to run barefoot. As Dr. Dina Gohil points out, until your feet get used to the new conditions, you may notice that you are more prone to blistering until the skin becomes tighter or calluses form. Another risk is the occurrence of fasciitis of the sole and heel of the foot. Other problems may include corns/corns, cuts, infections, tendinitis, calf muscle tension, etc.

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