WHY BAREFOOT BOOT CAMPS? BORN TO MOVE

“A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – stairs or pills.” – Joan Welsh

When was the last time you climbed a tree?

Got down on the floor and crawled on you hands and knees? 

Skipped?

Ran across the grass – just for fun?

Balanced on one foot?

Climbed under a fence?

Hung by your hands?

Reached up as high as you could on your tiptoes?

Jumped?

From a physiological point of view we are on this earth to move.  We are designed to move when we work and when we play.  The body is a motion machine.  We may have a higher purpose, but physical movement, hand over hand, one foot in front of the other, is how we are designed to accomplish it.  Why after three million years would we suddenly need to manage muscle-bone movement? Why now do we need built up heels on our padded soles and arch support to walk and run? Many shoe manufacturers are using state-of-the –art technology to create shoes that accommodate their customers’ dysfunctional feet, ankles, and hips.  But with every step they take in their engineered shoes, their dysfunction grows worse.  They come to rely on their shoes for balancing, walking, running, jumping and turning.  In the process, the healthy musculoskeletal functions recede ever further into the background.  No shoes or orthotics, no matter the price or the brand, will cure foot problems.  At best (and worst), they camouflage the dysfunction.  A hidden problem only gets worse over time.

So what to do?  Spend some time everyday without shoes.  At FitMania we do our boot camps barefoot on a mat.  This allows lost strength in the foot and ankle to regenerate which increases strength and balance.  The next time you buy athletic shoes consider buying some low profile shoes or “barefoot” shoes.  Break them in slow.   The calves and foot muscles will need some time to adjust.

“Sickness is the vengeance of nature for the violation of her laws.” – Charles Simmons

(My thanks and much credit to Pete Egoscue and his book Pain Free which I have borrowed from and cannot recommend highly enough.)

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