Running and Dogs: Barefoot and Paws

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by jtclough on May 30, 2010

Running with your dog is a great way to get out and get fit.  It encourages not only a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your dog but a way to train that is motivating and fun.

As part of Project Happiness:  Dog As Training Partner I’ve taken on something new in my running world and as it turns out is something that I could have learned from the dog as well.  Barefoot running.

Actually I haven’t gone that hardcore (complete bare foot) but started using the FiveFingers Sprint – Women’s Taupe/Putty/Clay 35 by Vibram USA
So cool.  One actually does feel as though you are completely without shoes and yet you can walk over pebbles, rocks and rough surfaces with no pain at all.

Barefoot Running and Your Dog

How could my dog have taught me about barefoot running?  Well, the concept is one in which you actually strike on the ball of your foot before you land on your heel.  Have you ever noticed how agile and effortless your dog is while running?  Guess what?  You dog doesn’t land on a heel but on the ball or paw pad of the foot.

Your dog also runs on a bent leg, never extending the knee all the way.  It is a very relaxed form and allows a dog to be swift and go far.

The concept is incredible and quite in depth. (More articles to come… subscribe to the fitness dog blog wag report.)  Running barefoot is how we were intended to move.  The shoes we have become accustomed to are the reason for many injuries.  We’ve taken away movement instead of encouraged it over the years.

Running With Your Dog and Your Own Project Happiness

Studies show that people who learn new concepts, take on new ways of doing things or pick up a new sport are generally happier.  Studies also show that the majority of people do not actively try to learn a new sport or new way of doing things after age 30.

Even if you already run or walk with your dog trying something new can be the catalyst to more motivation and fun with fitness.  Try barefoot running with the Five Finger shoes and you’ll find yourself wanting to move in a quiet relaxed way along with your dog.  You’ll want to get out and enjoy a new way of feeling things.

If you are one who has needed some motivation to get out and train with your dog in the first place, getting into a complete new concept can be just the thing you need to start you and your dog on the right fitness paw… or barefoot.

What new things have you done with your dog lately?  Let us know in the comments section.  If you have tried to the Vibram Five Finger shoes put your comments below and if you have questions about them it’s also a good place to write it, I’m happy to get back to you.  I’ve been studying it, using them all the time…. walking, running, hiking, shopping… you name it.

Get ready for a 5K with your new shoes by signing up for the 5K Running Guide:  Training with Dog and subscribe to the fitness dog blog to stay up on dog friendly news, events, and cool ways to stay fit…..  And if you liked this article please retweet using the green button at the top.

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{ 1 comment }

1 Deb May 30, 2010 at 11:49 am

Great article! Been wanting to check out the vibram 5 finger shoes for a while. Everyone I’ve talked to who has them, loves them. Changed my running form to the “pose” method a while back to relieve joint stress. Now all I need is the shoes.
.-= Deb´s last blog ..10 Summer Shape Up Ideas =-.

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