Transitioning To Barefoot Running – What You Need

Transitioning-To-Barefoot-Running-What-You-Need

Barefoot running or minimalist running is not something new. It’s new for us in this modern age, after we stepped into our amazing modern world. However, we must understand that we have inherited a stone age body, and have placed it in a modern environment (Daniel Lieberman – The Story Of The Human Body). Thus, many of the aches, pains and some of the diseases we suffer from today come from this discrepancy between what our body needs and what our brain gives it.

When I transitioned to barefoot running or minimalist running (this means running in minimalist shoes, for those who are not familiar with the term), I was coached by Obstacle Course Race Coach Michael Cohen. And how lucky I felt and feel learning such skills from a coach like him.

Throughout coaching and then my own exploration of bare foot running I reached the following conclusions about what a runner needs to safely transition to bare foot of minimalist running:

 

1. Running technique

You might be an amazing running, a very experienced one, but going from normal running shoes to barefoot or minimalist running is a great leap. It’s a great leap for your body from a mechanical point.

When wearing shoes some muscles grow weaker, as they are not challenged. For example with bare foot running the foot muscles, knee muscles, calves, core, glutes (buttocks) are some of the muscles which are more challenged when running barefoot or with minimalist shoes.

Thus, you must ensure you practice correct running technique, go slow and have patience.

I wrote articles on running technique leave a comment below and I will send it to you.

 

2. Patience

No matter how much you wish to hurry the process, your muscles, tendons, ligaments and skeletal system will gradually adapt to support each other, as each develops.

Force your body at the wrong time and you risk long term injuries.

Even if you are a marathon runner you must start with 5-10 min slow running barefoot or in minimalist shoes, and build from there.

 

3. Coaching

Yes, I do believe that if you want to achieve something at a good level coaching is necessary? Why? How can you see the frame if you are in the frame?

You can’t, there has to be someone outside to see your technique and correct you. To make you aware of what’s happening. What might seem correct to you might be incorrect.

 

In conclusion here are a few points to remember when transitioning to barefoot or minimalist running:

  1. Start slow: wear the shoes in the house, then walking outdoors, then running 5 min, 10 and so on
  2. Build gradually
  3. Understand the basics of running technique such as malingered body and short strides (there are more elements)
  4. Transitioning can take anywhere from 3-6 months to 12 months, depending on how your body adapts and responds to training
  5. Get a coach, to ensure you are doing it right from the beginning; correct movements that are already ingrained in you will be much more difficult

 

That’s all folks. If you have questions do book a free consultation with me and I will do my best to help you on the spot. Book here

How To Activate Or Engage Your Core Muscles

How to activate or engage your core muscles.

Your core, the core of your body, the trunk, is formed of the abdominal muscles, sides of the abdomen, back, pelvis and diaphragm.

Understanding how to activate, or rather control, the core of your body is one of the most important steps in your development. THIS is the foundation of your body.

Why? Because movement comes from your core, thus controlling the core means you will have better control over your body.

It will be easier to think about tensing the abdominal muscles when you think about activating your core, it’s easier to visualise, feel and control. After a while you will be able to control other muscles of your core.

Once you manage to connect with your core and focusing on building strength in that area you will experience:

1. Power.

Core strength is the foundation for powerful, explosive movements such as jumping, sprinting, or throwing.

 

2. Back health.

It is estimated that four out of every five adults (80%) will experience back pain at some stage in their life.  Many of the back pain cases are mechanical, meaning they change with posture and level of activity. A strong core is essential to a healthy back that will carry your body throughout your life with little or no pain.

 

3. Balance

If you ever find yourself in a situation when your balance or stability is compromise a strong core will come to the rescue.

 

4. Reduce risk of injuries

Back pain, compromised stability, lifting, carrying, throwing, and catching, are all movements we do throughout our lives. A strong core will give you better chances of less injuries and living with less pain.

 

There is no doubt that having a strong core will enable you to build the lasting foundations required for a fit, healthy, strong and powerful body, but how do we work with it? How do we actively, or intentionally engage our core and jut wait for it to happen?

There are a few ways one can explain what “engaging your core” or “activate your core” means and how to achieve it.

 

  1. Breathing

Learning how to breathe, pulling your stomach muscles in is the first step towards learning how to activate your core muscles. As you breathe out your abdominal muscles pull in and the whole core activates, or tenses.

Do you have the Breathing Mastery chapter I share for free? If you don’t, click here to download it. It will explain everything in detail.

 

  1. Punching

Not really punching, but imagining someone is trying to punch you in the stomach. What would you do? How would you react if you had to “receive” the punch?

You’d brace for the punch, trying to withstand the blow. You’d also notice when you brace for the punch you breath our slightly.

 

  1. Sucking the stomach in

Sucking the stomach in is another way to describe the core activation process. However I am personally not happy with this description.

When you suck your stomach in you don’t necessarily tense your abdominal muscles, maybe just a little, but not enough.

Thus this is one way to do it, but not a way I’d do it.

 

  1. Lying on the ground

Lie on the ground – preferably a hard, straight surface – face up, with your knee bent and feet flat on the ground.

Notice the natural curve in your lower back.

Now try to flatten your low back, touching the ground with that portion of your spine. You will notice that to do that you need to tense your abdominal muscles.

 

Four ways to activate or engage your core muscles. Every time you workout, lift your kids, your bag, carry groceries, remember to activate your core muscles.

Contact me for a free consultation. 

How To Lose Weight If You Have A Sedentary Job

How-To-Lose-Weight-If-You-Have-A-Sedentary-Job

I was asked by one of my readers to write about how they can lose weight when they have a 10 hour job where they sit most of the time.

There are 2 main, important areas you have to look at

  1. Physical activity
  2. Nutrition

Basically to lose weight you have to use more energy than you take it. There is much more to that, it’s not that simple, but for most people who don’t have any health complications, this works to begin with. Let’s keep it simple shall we? So use more energy than you take it, or burn more calories than you eat.

 

Physical activity

Ok, but you are working in the corporate sector, sit 90% of the time at your desk and in meetings, the only time you move around is to go to the printer across the room and to the meeting rooms. So how can you possibly do any physical activity when you are trapped between 4 walls?

Don’t panic, the answer is: incorporate movement in your work! and burn calories.  I’ll tell you how:

1. Get off the tube or bus 1-2, even 3, stops earlier and walk

2. Park your car far from your office so you walk more

3. Always take the stairs, especially when you are in a rush. You know why.4

4. Go for a walk in your lunch break. If you have showers at the office, go for a run. If you have a gym in the building go for a workout. This can be 10 min, 15, 30 min. It doesn’t matter, move more.

5. Stand when you talk to your colleagues, sometimes with you type at your computer, when you read papers, drink your tea/coffee or water

 

Try these over the next week and let me know how it goes.

 

Nutrition

Weight loss is 85% diet. However, a diet is not something you go on, a diet is a series of habits you change and improve. So let’s begin shall we?

1. Water. Your brain, internal organs, you whole body is make of water. Together with food it is the fuel for your body. Around 80%, some say more up to 90%. Regardless of the percentage it’s undeniable that you are made of water. If you want to function at your peak performance and lose weight drink pure water, not water with strawberry taste, not coffee or tea. Pure water, the element you and this Earth are made of. Drink about 8 glasses of water daily. more if you are very active. You will know, you will need it

2. Snacks. The amount of time we are active vs sedentary, does NOT justify the amount of calories we put into our bodies. While, in general, I’d say have snacks, if you are sedentary 8-10 hours a day, cut down on them until you eliminate them out of your diet. If you are used to snacking this may take a while. DO NOT jump off snacking all of a sudden. It may work for some people, but other can relapse. You must see what works for you.

3. Cooked food. Have meals for lunch. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. Lunch must be a meal. Why? Because you need more energy for the day than you need after you have dinner. Give you body food.

4. Unprocessed. Eat food that is as close to their natural state as possible. Processed food, that has be tampered with by humans, is not good. Cook your food home. Weight loss happens in the kitchen.

5. Fat Free? There are 2 main ingredients that makes something taste very good and addictive: fats and sugars. If it’s less of one, it’s more of the other. No more fat free stuff. You will also feel more satisfied, faster and for longer, thus eating less in the process, and losing weight.

 

What I gave you here might not do miracles, but implementing some, if not all, over the next 4-6 weeks will place you on the right track to being healthier and losing weight.

I can give you lots more ideas, but start with these. What’s the point in giving you 20 ideas and action none. Take one step at a time, your mind is busy enough.

 

Do you need more personalised advice? Contact me to book a free, no obligation consultation and I will help you set up.