Updated: Oct 19
No matter how well you design and build a house, if it has a bad foundation it won't stand for very long. The human body can be looked at in a similar way, our feet are a foundation for our bodies, and basic movements and posture serve as a foundation for the more complicated things you may want to do with your body, like trail running, playing sports or the occasional backflip to show off in front of your mates. Let’s bring it back to basics and revisit the foundational skills we all tend to overlook - particularly when barefoot.
1. Standing posture
So simple yet so overlooked. The body not being aligned correctly leads to back issues and down the line can affect the way we move, walk and run. Training ourselves to hold a good posture is a great habit to get into. According to a study by Harvard Business School, your posture can even affect hormone production and will lead to feeling better and more confident if aligned in the correct way.
Here are a few tips that will help you achieve a better posture:
Try to keep your shoulders back and extend your head upwards (imagine a string pulling the top of your head towards the sky) - but keep your chin tucked in. Avoid tilting your head forward, backward or sideways.
Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands hanging naturally down by your sides.
You can quickly check your posture by standing flat against a wall with your shoulders back. The rear of your head should lightly touch the wall - this is the position we’re going for.
Frequently tell yourself to “stand up tall” - your mind not only controls your body but it’s also where your habits reside. Telling yourself to “stand up tall” and using that as a simple mantra will help you remember as well as aid in building a positive habit that will eventually become subconscious.
Most of all stay relaxed, balanced and comfortable, being overly rigid won’t do much good for your posture either!
2. Walking and transitioning to barefoot shoes
Walking is the crucial part of transitioning into barefoot shoes and a subject we get a lot of questions about. The trouble is that cushioned shoes have changed our gait, which is different when walking barefoot or in barefoot shoes. Because we likely have been in conventional shoes for so long, many of us have trained ourselves to walk heavy and overemphasise the heel strike - reassured by the cushioning of padded shoes - and it has become yet another hard habit to get out of.