Sunday 17 November 2013

Barefoot fads and freezing feet.

I have been in the fitness industry for thirty years now, as an athlete, a coach and now a therapist. I have seen many fitness fads come and go.  Most of these fads start off as excellent healthy practices then people get overzealous.
Remember step aerobics? I can remember people doing 2 or three classes back to back. The choreography got more and more creative and complex and then we had a rush of  knee and hip injuries and what might have been an excellent aid to fitness fell by the wayside.

The Swiss ball is another example. It can be an excellent rehabilitation tool and is a relevant training tool for those sports that are performed on an unstable surface like ski-ing and mountain biking for example, but the big wobbly ball is hardly relevant for general fitness.Personally I find the floor below me to be predictably stable!

Currently  people with no understanding of anatomy are foam rolling themselves black and blue!! This, along with other good ideas have been bastardised and overused in an attempt to maintain interest and pander to the 'fad freaks' and make money. Some people will pay good money to jump on any bandwagon!!

The barefoot running trend that we now see should not become such a fad. Using the body correctly to move as it was intended is good for everyone's health.  Pressurising manufacturers away from shoes that hurt our posture, and our wallets, is also a good thing.

So please people, ignore the nutters out running barefoot in freezing conditions - This is not what the coaches and therapists are about - we are about healthy movement and phylogenic (*) exercise.

Treat your feet to shoes that keep them warm and safe and allow you to move as posturally perfectly as you were designed to. This footwear is not just to run in but to live in.

* Phylogenic ...Relating to or based on evolutionary development or history.

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