segunda-feira, 4 de fevereiro de 2013

Barefoot Running

I do barefoot running since 1987, when by requirement of the Medical Department of my company, that I worked was induced me to practice aerobic sports. Until then, I was 30-year-old and had an essentially bohemian and sedentary lifestyle, weighed about 12 pounds more than today and had high blood pressure and high glucose level.

However, because some professional violent stresses for which spent me during the first six months of that year, causing me serious and troubling symptoms, including something with relation to neurological, the doctors had imposed me a severe regimen of aerobic physical activity. It was when I took taste for racing!

Initially I use sneakers for convenience; to avoid having to wash them daily, since the soccer field where I practiced my racing was unpaved and very dusty. Over the years have preserved the habit because I found that my barefoot performance is about 15 more, both in terms of strength and speed. Today tennis eventually use only when I run on solar-heated track or with loose boulders. But, despite criticism (which led me to do research that will show below), I prefer to run with my feet on the ground.

So, despite all the controversy about this practice, my point of view, that was the exception, but that, fortunately, today finds many supporters, is that the normal condition, both for running and walking, is barefoot; so the biological mechanisms that make up our system of locomotion can work naturally, free of interference from artificial accessories.

The orthopaedic and functional structure of our system of locomotion have developed and perfected over millions of years and, of course, formed a perfect mechanical Assembly! It would be a lot of chutzpah to think that industry, by more technologically advanced it is, could have developed products capable of competing, improve or, much less, to overcome the perfection of that system.

The shoes, which are necessary and convenient to the protection of the feet in the present day, do not cease to be artificial accessories that somehow interfere in the form of stepped and natural dimensions of each person and, for obvious, since there are an integral part of our original locomotor engine, eventually interceded negatively throughout the system, is in the muscles, or other structures of the body, especially in the spine, which is the master of all this column structure.

Therefore, that manufacturers develop specialized tennis and try to sell the idea that their products diminish the impact, increase the boost, etc, etc, in fact they're just chasing after the injury, seeking to mitigate the damages imposed by the use of this footwear.

For these and other reasons, doctors and other professionals of the conventional Orthotics defend the opposite, I don't see any risk in running or walking barefoot, with the exception of the rare risk of accidents with sharp objects, sharp stones or paving very heated by the Sun, which may well be avoided without much effort.

I understand that common sense, according to which the use of tennis is indispensable, especially in sports, is the result of a marketing activity very intense and long lasting that produced a convincing public opinion and consolidated in the medical community and that currently holds a billionaire market around the world.

However, I see no reasons for concern about the adverse effects arising from the practice of running barefoot. Contrary to what one preaches, I would hazard to suggest that any problem of column can be, at least, softened, not only by strengthening and conditioning of the muscles that help support the body's bone structure, but also by the fact that such activities impose no extra effort of adaptation to compensate for the use of accessories.

However, those who always ran from tennis and does not have the habit of walking barefoot, should start slowly, because the skin on the soles of the feet do not yet have the necessary strength and conditioning. It is therefore appropriate to begin on amorphous surfaces, such as grass, sand or ground without loose boulders. Then start practicing also in cement or asphalt runs smooth, evolving little by little to rough asphalt and, thus, certainly will not cause any detrimental effect to the feet, not even in terms of aesthetics. Obviously, cleaning will become a little more cumbersome, but the thicker skin, though, will remain smooth and soft to the touch.

It is also important to note that the wet slopes leave the skin on the sole of the feet is weakened because the moisture softens and makes the fabric more flaccid and more vulnerable. So, even when it is run after spending a long period of time with foot shoes and sweaty, it's best to take a break to dry the soles of the feet.


I-Tennis: Research and development in the years 90.

In the years 90 Nike and Adidas, the two largest world manufacturers of sneakers simultaneously sought to develop the best tennis to race. But both have adopted divergent approaches in their projects:

1. Nike gambled on the thesis that tennis should exercise an active function in relation to the performance of the athlete. So, invested in devices that absorbed the impact of the foot to touch the floor and then offered a supplemental propulsion to passed, boosting the athlete's body.

2. on the other hand, Adidas engineers believed tennis should offer only the necessary security and protection to the soles of the feet and, above all, comfort and, accordingly, sought to develop a sneaker that erode less interference possible in the natural functioning of the foot and the joints, allowing the athlete to refer exclusively to natural effects arising from the original anatomical body design.

Both companies have invested millions of dollars and recruited the best professionals from several areas, among them renowned products engineers, material engineers, doctors, physiotherapists, among others, all dedicated to technological research, tested their products following the evolution and behavior of dozens of athletes around the world, over several years.

According to the report of the Discovery Channel that documented the polls, taken to the air at that time, the performance differences between athletes who wore Nikes and who wore Adidas shoes, measured over three consecutive Olympics, was insignificant. However, overall medals, there was little advantage of athletes sponsored by Adidas, which bet on the second thesis.

This result supports a logical deduction, according to which, for more technology that can present, tennis does not offer any practical advantage to the performance of the athlete. Therefore, in choosing the ideal tennis template, search for just one that offers good protection to the feet, with comfort. At most, look for models that offer an adaptation to anatomical peculiarities of the trampled.

II-athletics: related facts:

1) Abebe Bikila, recognized as the greatest marathoner of all time, the Avenger Ethiopian, won the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, running barefoot as always did. Hired by sponsors and manufacturers of sporting goods started to train using tennis and, despite winning in Tokyo four years later, becoming the first athlete in history to win both marathons, had compromised performance, from then on, due to wear on the joints and cracks in his right leg that many theorists associate to late attempt to adapt to tennis. In its third Olympic participation, (México1968), was forced to abandon the race on the kilometer 17, because of damage in the joints.

2) Seraphim Malik, caparicano athlete (Costa da Caparica), was Olympic champion in 1913 and, that same year, he won at the velodrome of Palhavã proofs of 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. The following year, won the marathon of 42,800 ft, in Lisbon. Despite insistent calls from sponsors held any such evidence running barefoot.

III-Phrases and theses:

"We're not telling people to go barefoot. What I mean is that no special controls the sole impact because there are smart as the sole of the foot."
(Alberto Carlos Amadio, postdoctoral fellow and Lecturer in Biomechanics and physical education University, after completing research in which he studied the four main brands of sneakers (Nike, Asics, and Queen Topper) and does not identify any advantage in relation to the performance of the athlete, nor the health of the foot).

"The foot is anatomically adapted to walking and running barefoot. Tennis, as well as any other accessory, or even prosthesis requires adaptation to be used without prejudice to health."
(Dr. Mariana Ferreira, researcher, author of studies on the anatomy and foot health (State University of Santa Catarina).

"Many of these advertisements are misleading. Some brands come to announce simultaneously the maximum shock absorption and propulsion. It turns out that physical concepts are antagonistic, that is, if the absorption maximum no propulsion."
(Julius About Serrão, lab researcher and professor at the school of physical education and sports, University, on the advertising of tennis. See also: challenge your Limits and CNPq).

"The increased height of the heels and soles of the feet (resulting from the use of shoes) causes instability and changes in the normal pattern of walking."
(H. h. Marrifield, Texas Tech University, after research conducted in 1971).

See story on the subject published by the magazine ISTO É: Clique AQUI.
Visit the page of B
arefootrunners - Capítulo Brasil.
Curta BarefootBrasil no Facebook.
Márcio Almeida (

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