Researchers find running barefoot is better for your body - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/29/10

Researchers find running barefoot is better for your body

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By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – It's hard to believe you may not need those fancy new running shoes you got for Christmas, but after studying barefoot runners in Kenya, the Harvard study found the body actually responds better to jogging without shoes.

Researchers compared the running habits of long-time barefoot runners, to those who always wear running shoes and to third group that recently switched from shoes to a shoeless jog.  They found the no shoe runners were mostly "heel strikers," meaning they land on their heels first, something which drops three times your body weight on the heel of the foot. That's compared to barefoot runners, who are more likely to extend their toes when they land, so instead of heel pounding, they have a lighter, springier step. 

Of course, it would be a major adjustment to switch to barefoot running, but researchers say even if you just use minimal shoes, that would help activate different muscles.

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