A New Year Training Plan that is good for your sole
Set yourself up for success this January – don’t just charge out there, get dry (and injured) and then give up in February!
Healthy feet and flexibility are the foundation of healthy natural movement that will allow regular movement for the long term (the best anti-ageing program known to humans).
SHOES OFF. GET WALKING
Whatever your movement gig is (from dancing to running to skiing) having strong healthy feet will only be a positive.
Start wearing barefoot shoes in your everyday life and your feet will start to change shape (from shoe shaped to foot shaped) and the hundreds of intrinsic muscles in your feet will dramatically strengthen. [See our FFS blog for research proof]
Add some Toe-Ga exercises to the mix everyday, while you’re in the shower, in the pool, watching The Walking Dead or brushing your teeth. Your big (great) toes will start to straighten and the more you use them (they are designed to be your bodies pivot and anchor) the more healthy your movement will be.
A SQUAT A DAY….
Natural movement is about more than just your feet – your body needs to be able to make the shapes it was designed to make (just look at any kid).
The deep squat is one of the most natural positions for humans to adopt, but years of sitting in chairs has impacted this innate ability in many of us. Spend less time in chairs and more time sitting on the floor, on one knee, on both knees, in a squat (try and do 10 minutes at a time).
HOW TO SQUAT LIKE A HUMAN
Feet flat on the ground, rooting the big toe to the floor. Bend your knees and keep the weight of your body forward. Practice every day and, if you need help, use a little support to help you get down there (a table or chair and/or put your heels on a little raise like a broom handle). Try eating a meal with your friends and family at a low table with the help of a poof or a cushion.
BORN TO RUN?
Humans are evolved to run long distances without shoes, but years of modern footwear and sitting in chairs takes its toll and it usually takes time to get your body back in shape (healthy feet and flexible squat) for running.
Once you’ve got completely used to standing and walking barefoot and your body feels ready for the next step, kick things off with a very slow run in barefoot shoes. It is most healthy to run at a very gentle pace for a longer time – than shorter faster runs. Common sense rules apply. Get advice on technique from a certified coach. We recommend Born To Run coaches and training your feet gradually, at a pace that feels right for you.
Coming soon, Vivobarefoot are launching an interactive online tool, designed to diagnose the health of your feet. We will give a personalised guide to training your feet towards healthy, natural barefoot movement. Sign up below to be one of the first to try this new feature.
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