With the barefoot running craze sweeping the fitness industry its time we talked about how to treat our feet.
First of all, why run barefoot or in minimalist shoes at all? Talk to 99% of regular runners and you will hear about an endless list of injuries and niggles. Sore knees, ankles, hips, lower backs and calves all plague the runner. Now, the most prominent theory to come out as to why the modern day runner suffers so much is to do with our footwear.
To give you the whistle stop tour, cushioned arches and raised heels, as is the norm with modern day running shoes, have changed our natural running style. They have made our arches lazy (the part of the foot designed to absorb the shock when we run) and produced a running gait that results in our heels striking the ground first. Bad news for our knees and hips that feel the shock of impact the most. Not to mention the fact that a heel striking running gait is much less energy efficient because it doesn’t get the most out of our Achilles heels, the ‘spring’ in our step!
Cue the arrival of minimalist running shoes. Minimalist shoes are designed with the aim of allowing the foot to function as though it was barefoot. There’s no arch support or raised heel. The only thing it gives us is protection on our soles against stones, bumps and lumps. That’s it. Read More…
There can be no doubt that the positives of an active lifestyle far outweigh any negatives, but unfortunately with any training and exercise comes a risk of injury. We’ve written articles in the past on combating low energy and motivation levels but there is surely no obstacle more frustrating than injury.
There is never a good time to pick up an injury, but more often than not it strikes you down just as you’ve begun to start enjoying yourself. You’ve found the motivation to get active; you’ve tweaked your schedule to accommodate regular workouts, you are three weeks into your fitness programme and just beginning to see results when crash, you’re icing your knee, making doctors appointments and seeking out the best physiotherapists. There are endless causes of injury but we’re not writing this to talk about preventions or cures. The focus here is on the psychological stress that comes with injury. The often ignored, but ever-present ugly side effect.
Having recently been in a bike accident that ended with me needing surgery on a broken collarbone I feel in the perfect place to talk about this. It comes as no surprise that I spend the majority of my life being active, whether it’s with clients or by myself keeping fit, so it’s fair to say that this has come as a major blow. I regularly find my concentration slip from the task at hand to feeling frustrated that my latest health and fitness goals are slipping further away with each week, or the fact that day to day annoyances and lethargy cant be worked off in the gym or at the park. The only thing that gets regularly exercised at the moment is my will power to avoid overdoing my rehab or pushing my recovery too hard or too fast. Read More…
Steve Mellor and James Osborn of Freedom2train.com are the hottest trainers around and responsible for motivating and building strong, lean and healthy bodies for their clients, as well as being nutritional experts. They have been signed up as the fitness bloggers for Harper’s Bazaar and were recently credited in Vogue as being ‘training perfection’. This month they talk about energy boosting and top training tips:
If there’s one thing that can really damage adherence to an exercise programme it’s deficiencies in energy. That feeling of lethargy we’ve all been familiar with at some point in our lives is a master at turning the best intentions and highest levels of motivation into an evening slumped on the sofa yawning our way through another TV series.
Despite this, very few of us think to address the problem of fatigue and take actions to remedy it, much like we would think to treat the flu or an illness. Instead we ignore it, attributing it to a bad night’s sleep, hard day at work or a late night. Suddenly you’re four weeks down the line, regularly ditching workouts and not seeing the results you should.
The fact is, in the majority of cases, constant fatigue is a condition of lifestyle, much like obesity or type 2 diabetes. Subsequently, just like obesity or type 2 diabetes, low levels of energy can be treated with small changes in the way we live our lives.