Conscious Walking

Conscious Walking

By LeighAnn Clark

The foot is a very complex, important structure. It is our foundation. It is our only point of contact with the ground. If something is wrong at our foundation, everything above it is affected. As a house will crumble if it’s foundation is comprised, so will our bodies.

The bottom of our foot is covered in receptors. These receptors read information every time we take a step; the texture of the ground, how hard or soft the surface, etc. When we put shoes on, we block these receptors and therefore block off a part of our nervous system.

Every time your foot hits the ground, there is a vibration sent through the ground that travels up your leg and through your entire body. When we walk barefoot we can learn to anticipate the ground reaction forces and prepare our body for impact. As soon as we put on shoes, we block the receptors and can no longer prepare our body for impact.

To counteract this vibration, what we need to do is learn how to walk consciously and how to contract our leg muscles properly. The problem is that most people chose the wrong remedy; extra cushioned shoes. When we hit the ground, the vibration still happens, but with these extra cushioned shoes, we’ve allowed the cushion to absorb these vibrations. That means our body can no longer sense how hard we are actually striking the ground. So then we strike the ground harder. This is what can lead to stress fractures, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, IT Band syndrome, etc. What we need to learn to do is isometrically contract the muscles in the leg and learn how to walk consciously.

To learn how to walk properly and learn how to correctly anticipate the ground reaction force every time your foot hits the ground, watch my video!