Thank You and Goodbye

Dear Readers,

It’s been an amazing journey these past seven years, and I’ve enjoyed sharing experiences and stories with my fellow barefoot enthusiasts. However, all good things must come to an end, and so, this will be the last post on Beginning Barefoot.

I will be leaving up the archive for a few more months, but no new content will be published going forward.

Thanks to everyone who read, contributed, and commented over the years, it’s been a blast!

Happy Barefooting!

Barefoot Dawsy

Tips on what should you do if you get lost in the outdoors (Guest Post By Harris A. Norman)

This is a guest post by our friend Harris A. Norman from prosurvivalist.com

Have you ever found yourself lost in a forest or in an unfamiliar place, with a compass and maps in your bag pack? If yes, then you certainly know what the feeling was like and you will never forget it. If not, we have prepared some tips on what to do if you get lost. It can be tough, but if you take our advice, we are sure that you will be able to handle it very well.

The simplest and best advice you can follow when you are lost in the outdoor is a positive mental attitude. We all agree that this is not a simple situation, but panicking and loss of hope is something you least need at the moment, so you need to think with a clear mind about further actions. You must always expect the unexpected and plan accordingly. Therefore, do not panic and think soberly. People will start looking for you as soon as someone realizes that you are missing, and this happens fast.

What you need is the right equipment, food, and water. Always bring more than enough food and water, because you never know how much time will you stay there and you want to be fully equipped. Appropriate maps and a compass that you know how to use are also necessary. But perhaps the most key thing to do when you plan on going somewhere far away is: tell someone, give the correct details of where you are going, the path you intended to go to, when you will return and who you are going with. All this is very important in case that you get lost, so someone has to know something about you, the whereabouts and other relevant information.

The next thing you can do after you calm down is to think about how you found yourself in that place. What landmarks should you be able to see? You have to try to figure out what direction you come from and if you can remember the path, even better. Take out the map and see what you can find out. Should you go north or south? If you remember the path that led you to your current place, try to go back, but only in case there is not much to the place you know. This is important because if you continue to walk and you have in mind that you are already lost, it is not good and there is no point in walking. It’s better to wait and think about the next step.

What can also help you are footprints and landmarks, therefore, pay attention. Try to find something you know or what’s left in your memory, and maybe you can solve the mystery of where you are. Remove the compass and determine the sides based on how you stand. The biggest mistake you can make is to walk aimlessly. This step is usually enough to get yourself in the space and to be sure of where you need to go in order to get back on track. Time estimation is also important. Estimate how much time you have left until the dark, because all traces may disappear overnight, and the following day, most of those cannot be seen. Check the weather, so if you see that a storm is coming up, find the shelter. Assess how much water and food you have, so try to consume it accordingly.

After all these steps, evaluations, and thoughts, the next thing you can do is to plan how and what to do. Make a few plans and then act on one of them. Make priorities, your own or the group’s and deal with them in turn. If you are sure which route to go, mark it on the map and try to leave some traces behind. These can be pieces of clothes, broken branches, sticks stuck in the ground or something else. This is good because you can always go back to where you were. If you are not sure of the path, it may be better not to move and let someone find you. If it’s dark, if you’re hurt or tired, do not move anywhere, it can only be worse.

First things first, being able to remain calm and have positive thoughts will help you find your way out. Nothing good can come out of panic and we pull the worst moves when we are afraid. Eventually, everything will be alright.

Healthy living and wellbeing have always been Harris’s main occupation. He’s a certified yoga instructor and in the last ten years, he’s taken up hiking and trekking as a way of taking care of his physical fitness and inner peace. He shares his experiences and advice on http://www.prosurvivalist.com/ as one of its revered writers.

 

 

 

 

HIIT vs LISS: Guest Post By Douglass Hameldon

This is a guest post by Douglass Hameldon of FitnessPurity

Physical exercises is a major priority to any athlete. Also, it has proven to be more useful
even to the regular person. Basically, anyone that wants to stay fit and healthy will be recommended to engage in proper workouts. Speaking of workouts, they are grouped into different categories. Cardio exercises are one of the most popular forms of workouts. They are aimed at increasing the heart rate, which then has an effect on the fat loss.

For an effective workout experience, you should combine calisthenics and cardio. Calisthenics utilizes the body muscles and strength while cardio increases the heart rate. A combination of the two will mean that you’ll burn fat and gain/retain muscles as well.

Cardio exercises are normally categorized into two; High-Intensity Interval Training {HIIT} and Low-Intensity Steady State {LISS}. This article will go deep in these two types of cardio.

Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS)

LISS is a cardio exercise that is aimed at increasing the heart rate by around 50 to 65% of the maximum rate. It is performed for a long time, usually between 30 and 60 minutes, at a pace that allows you to breathe with ease. With LISS, it uses more of the stored body fat instead of the stored glucose {muscle glycogen}.

 

Examples Of LISS Workouts

 

Typically, Low-Intensity Steady State exercises are

 

easy to do. They include swimming, walking, cycling, or when you are jogging at a slow pace. As long as the workout you are doing doesn’t make your heart rate to increase beyond 65%, it is considered a LISS exercise.

The Advantages

 

  • They are easier for overweight and sedentary persons
  • They offer active recovery of the body and muscles
  • They use more fat to generate energy, instead of glycogen
  • They are easy on tendons, ligaments, and joints
  • They are also easy on the muscular and central nervous system
  • They are flexible and easily integrated into the regular workout schedule

 

The Drawbacks

  • Fewer calories are burnt after a workout {they are not too intense}
  • The workouts sessions tend to be long and tiresome {might even be boring at some point}
  • It affects the metabolic rate since the body will be adapted easily to the Low-Intensity Steady State.

High-Intensity Interval Training – HIIT

Contrary to LISS, HIIT is all about engaging in a blend of short, intense workouts that range between 10 to 60 seconds. They aim at increasing the heart rate by about 80% to 95 % of the maximum rate. One major difference between LISS and HIIT is that HIIT combines LISS in its workouts. During the rest periods, you can rest completely or opt for low intensive workouts between the intervals.

 

Examples of HIIT

The High-Intensity Interval Training workouts are not specific or limited to a certain form. It is all about starting light and finishing with a high intense exercise. Remember that it is aimed at boosting your heart rate to almost 95% of the maximum rate. Ideally, you can start by jogging for around three minutes, but not in an overly intense pace. After that, perform intense cycling or sprinting for 20 seconds, followed by a 40-second recovery light jogging. When the heart rate has slowed down, jump right into a three-minute low-intensity workout.

Other forms of HIIT include mountain climbing, jumping jacks, or burpees. Remember not to take brakes in the process.

 

The Advantages

  • It has a better impact on the metabolic system {it increases the metabolic rate}
  • More calories are burnt after a workout
  • The exercises are enjoyable since they are quick and take less than a minute.
  • It promotes anaerobic and aerobic workout capacity
  • Calories are burnt during and after workouts
  • It promotes the preservation of lean muscles

The Drawbacks

  • They have a higher injury risk
  • The muscular system and CNS are overwhelmed
  • The exercises require both physical and psychological efforts
  • They are not suitable for overweight or persons with health issues.
  • These exercises might need some experience and skills

 

The Verdict

Both cardio workouts are ideal for burning the excess fat in the body. Nonetheless, LISS delivers a better fat-burning moment in the end. The good thing about HIIT is that it burns fat during and after the exercises. HIIT also gets the upper hand when it comes to the athletic performance. It helps to promote muscle gain and even retention. The major negative issue about the HIIT workout is that you are more prone to injury than LISS workouts. Bottom line, each cardio workout is effective and suitable at some point. It’s all about considering the time availability, skills, and your workout goals.

 

Source:

 

https://massivejoes.com/articles/the-scoop/hiit-cardio-or-liss-maximising-fat-loss-and-preserving-muscle

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/fitness/workouts/whats-better-hiit-or-liss-training/news-story/cebf7de3d8f038ca3793900b0d80e8aa

https://www.paleofx.com/truth-about-fat-loss/

This was a guest post by Douglass Hameldon. CEO/Editor in Chief of FitnessPurity®.

 

Hi, I’m Doug. My job is to help people reach their fitness goals with easy-to-follow guides, and to overcome any obstacles along the way. Visit my site for more information.

 

Is Barefoot Running for Me? Guest Post by Jessica Hegg

This is a guest post from our friend Jessica Hegg from ViveHealth.com

Interested, but somewhat intimidated by the thought of barefoot running? Comical visions of Fred Flintstone powering his car with his barefeet come to mind, or Frodo Baggins and the image of the large, callused, furry feet of J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits. You may have heard of barefoot running from author Christopher McDougall who wrote the popular book Born to Run which focused a fascinating lens on the “reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons”. This tribe miraculously could run not 10, not 20, not 50, but hundreds of miles in the most rudimentary, flat sandals, and at times, completely barefoot.

No cushioning, no orthotics, no motion control, no ankle stabilization, nothing. How did they do it without tearing up their feet or spraining their ankles or tearing their plantar fascia tissue? Aren’t fancy running shoes a necessity to enhance running technique and performance and to prevent injury?

It’s the discovery of the most basic foundational principle of running technique and essentially the evolution of human bipedalism which encapsulates barefoot running. Shod running, or running with shoes, encourages a form of running where initial impact is made with a heel strike to the ground followed by pronation of the midfoot and forefoot then hitting the ground and distributing your weight.

Barefoot running flips this form on its head, engaging the forefoot first with initial impact on the lateral ball of the foot followed by the midfoot and heel striking the ground to distribute the rest of your weight. As this Harvard analysis reveals, barefoot running:

  • Strengthens the foot. With 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your feet, they are the powerhouse of your movement, energy, and strength. Barefoot running helps you discover muscles in your feet you didn’t even know you had, and strengthen them overtime for faster, stronger performance.

  • Is more efficient than shod running, requiring 5% less energy according to this 2014 study. How? Because a forefoot strike when running optimizes on the body’s foot and calf muscle to act like springs which store and release more energy than if you were to heel strike first like runners do when wearing shoes.

  • Feels freeing and good on the feet (after initial transition)

Worried about some of the challenges you may have heard about with starting barefoot running?

Getting started does require somewhat of a learning curve, but it is a release from fear that barefoot running is all about. The whole market of footwear when it comes to running is largely motivated by fear – fear of injury, fear of pain, fear of not being able to run as fast as you should. Barefoot running requires you to let go of this fear, which in turn unlocks stress relief and feelings of positivity. Challenges you might have in mind include:

Time: Transitioning from a heel strike to a forefoot strike takes time, training, and a strong will to hone the proper technique. The thing about shod running, however, is that it hurts like a dickens when you land on your heel barefoot. Your body is almost triggered to strike first with the forefoot after you start barefoot running because of this initial and unseemly pain.

The other thing about time is that you have to build up your barefoot running mileage slowly when you first begin, even starting by simply walking barefoot as much as possible. Aim for a quarter mile to a mile every other day in the beginning and then gradually increase around 10% distance each week.

Pain: Your feet are chock full of nerve endings, about 7,000 per foot, so in the beginning you will feel the ground beneath you in all its glory – sticks, rocks, cracked acorn shells, you name it. Overtime, with a growing awareness of your surroundings and the repeated pounding of the foot to terrain, the pain messages will dilute, calluses might develop as natural cushioning, and you will find that you can cover distance barefoot like your ancient ancestors once did.

That said, like with any sport or activity, improper form, bad posture, or weak technique might result in chronic pain in the knees, hips, ankles, etc. Never run through excruciating pain that should be evaluated by a medical professional. You will only hurt your chances of continuing barefoot running. Off the road or trail, your feet may benefit from aids like a bunion splint or hammer toe crest pad, which support certain bone deformities (bunions, hammer toes) and address arch issues that come from having to wear shoes (to work, etc).

Flexibility: Not only does barefoot running increase your stride length and the number of strides you can take when running, but it engages key muscle groups in the legs and feet that you may never have before. As your foot and leg act like springs when you strike first when running with your forefoot, you’re hamstring and calf muscles and adjacent tendons will act like powerhouses. Make sure to stretch them after runs when they are warm and pliable and even massage to break up scar tissue and stimulate blood flow to aid tissue repair.

Humans have been running for years with bare feet. As McDougall writes, “To date, the only people I’ve found who who refuse to consider the idea that running shoes are a bad idea are the people who sell them.” If you’re feeling the same way and ready to try barefoot running remember to start slow, lock down the forefoot technique, pay acute attention to your surroundings, and free yourself from fear and expectations.

Jessica Hegg is the content manager at ViveHealth.com. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle she works to share valuable information aimed at overcoming obstacles and improving the quality of life for others.

Activity Tracking 2.0 With The Garmin Vivosmart HR+

As I look down at the high-tech device on my wrist, I find it hard to believe that only a few short years ago, this sort of tech was virtually unknown. Now, it houses some pretty cool features that have become seamless to use, lightweight, and stylish. I’m speaking of course about the new Vivosmart HR+ from Garmin.

When I first unboxed the Vivosmart, my first impression was that it looked pretty nice, but no different to the dozens of other fitness trackers on the market that I’d tried in the past. I expected to see the usual: Step counting, sleep tracking, and heart rate monitoring. The Vivosmart has all of these, of course, but hidden in the small form-factor of the device, were crammed a slew of additional features, and some clever app-connected touches as well.

The Features

To keep things simple and easy to digest, here is a list of the features found in the Vivosmart HR+. Some are self-explanatory, and others I will expand on below.

  • Pedometer
  • Touch screen/swipable interface
  • Sunlight-readable display
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Sleep tracking
  • GPS(!)
  • More running metrics
  • Move IQ
  • Phone tethering for smart notifications
  • Companion Apps, which include:
    • Historical tracking
    • Run mapping
    • Activity & Health statistics
    • Workout details

And these are just the major features. Once connected to the Garmin Connect app, you have access to a heap of functionality, collaborations and sharing options, course creation, and more.

The Vivosmart HR+ really highlights the fact the Garmin have been doing activity tracking, and doing it well, since the start. The features are well thought out, the layout of the device UI is intuitive and minimal, yet informative,

The companion app (Garmin Connect) is used across the Garmin range, and can be used to set goals, and compete against friends and family.

Usability

With all these features, one can imagine that they would need a degree to operate the device. Honestly, it does take a bit of time to really delve into the details, but the nice thing is that you don’t really need to obsess over the metrics to get a lot out of the Vivosmart.

What makes this possible is the Move IQ feature. This feature is used to automatically work out when you’re performing different activities, from walking to running, cycling or using gym equipment. Other devices need you to manually specify a change in activity, but not the Vivosmart HR+.

Alongside the activity swapping feature, there is also a neat side-bar called the Move bar. Over the weeks that I tested the device, I developed a love/hate relationship with the Move bar. Basically, it’s just a line that creeps up the device face when it detects that you are standing still. Once it reaches a certain height, the device vibrates, and displays the word MOVE! on the screen.

At first, the Move bar was a bit annoying, but after a few days, it turned out to be a really handy reminder to get up and move around. As an office worker, this feature is really helpful for reducing the damaged caused by endless hours of physical inactivity.

Conclusion

The Vivosmart HR+ was a pleasant surprise, packed full of useful features and automation that set it apart as a true next-generation tracking device. It’s well designed, intuitive, and stylish. If this is the sort of device that we can expect to see from Garmin in the coming years, then I see a lot more people taking them up, or making the switch from competitors’ devices.

Written by Barefoot Dawsy

BeginningBarefoot.com would like to thank Garmin Australia for loaning us a sample device for testing. Vivosmart HR+ and other devices are available in sporting retail stores across Australia and the world

How to Find Time for Running as a Single Mother – Guest Post by Theresa Brawner

This is a guest post from our friend Theresa Brawner of www.diet.st fame:

When you’re a single parent, you’re constantly being both a mother and a father, and that is one of the greatest challenges anyone can face. This is why finding any time for yourself is very close to mission impossible when you’ve got your kids, your house and your job to worry about, not to mention all the responsibilities that come along the way. For single moms it’s very difficult to find time to breathe normally without worrying about this or that, which is why so many of them neglect their need for physical activity that doesn’t include scrambling around at the supermarket. Today we’ll look into what you can do to fit running into your busy schedule and hopefully we’ll give you some boost to get to it.

Don’t Do Everything Alone

Of course you’re a strong independent woman, but when you just don’t have enough time to manage everything, asking for help is completely ok. We all strive to be crazy productive super parents, but it doesn’t always work out and you still need to find time for yourself, so that you can be a better parent for your little ones. Chances are that you know other parents that live in the neighborhood, so why not establish a plan where you take care after each other’s children from time to time, so that you all have some time to just be? For you, this means spending a couple of hours alone with your thoughts, going for a long run and enjoying it without worrying, and your kids get to play with their friends, it’s a win-win situation. There is nothing wrong with asking for assistance when you need some, and you’ll probably be surprised at how willing other parents are to help you out, as you will be there for them when they need it too.

Wake up Earlier

This is an option that isn’t really a favorite among moms that are usually under slept and under constant pressure to get things done from the moment they open their eyes, but it works. Starting your day an hour earlier gives you some leeway to do things just for you and that can be anything, running included. You don’t have worry about your kids tearing down the house while you’re doing your laps, as they’re still sleeping and you’ll still get back in time to get a quick shower and prepare a healthy breakfast for both you and your little ones. You will actually be pleasantly surprised at how much you can accomplish just by waking a bit earlier, as there are no distractions on the way, and you can organize your time as you please.

Find a Running Partner

This is a great tip because you get someone to motivate you to find time for running even when you don’t feel like it. If at all possible, you can join a running group or create one if you know that more parents from the neighborhood would be interested to join. Having someone run with you will cut the excuses for not doing it at the root, plus you will have a great time bonding with new friends, with whom you share many things in common. Besides, being close to your neighbors is always a good idea, you will always have someone to turn to if push comes to a shove and you need help with babysitting or any other life situation.

Treadmill as Plan B

There will be days when you just can’t find the time to get out of house and go for a run and in this case, it’s wise to have a treadmill at hand. It doesn’t have to anything fancy, just a solid piece of equipment that will allow you to stay in shape even when you can’t do your running outside. Treadmill is a practical solution for when you have to stay in the house and keep an eye on everything that’s going on and it gives you space to do something for yourself even when the odds are against you. – Theresa Brawner

 

Theresa Brawner is a 28-year-old fitness instructor from Boston, MA, who writes articles for www.diet.st in her free time. When she isn’t helping new moms get back in shape, you can find her in the kitchen, working on new recipes.

 

Starting from Zero: How to Get Motivated to Workout (Guest Post By Charlie Alf)

The following is a guest post written by Charlie Alf from backpackhack.com

How long ago was it when you stood in front of the mirror in your bathroom or bedroom and said, “Today is the day I am going to start getting fit!” Seems like forever, I bet. Every person who has started their journey towards a healthier, fitter body has been in your shoes. Not knowing anything about nutrition, working out, or even calories, you hop on the crash diet train and derail over and over.

Fortunately, by the end of this article, you are going to know exactly how to first find the right motivation and how to get in shape. For real this time.

Get Your Act Together

You know what that means. If you are going to make the chance, you need to be in this completely, heart and soul. No doubts. No regrets. In order to do that, more thought has to go into your motivation than just wanting to look good. You need a thorough reason, a goal, that is going to drive you further and further until you not only crush that goal, you succeed repeatedly from here on out.

It might sound inconceivable right now, but once you consider these reasons to get fit, nothing will feel more dire:

  • Exercise decreases hypertension which is positively correlated to high-fat, high-sugar diets and sedentary lifestyles.
  • You lower your risk of diabetes and obesity, both of which shave valuable years off your life. Plus, you increase lean body mass while reducing body fat. When these two factors are more balanced, you are much healthier, and your system is more balanced.
  • Exercise keeps the bones strong. Sedentary lifestyles can induce brittle bones, so keep moving to save your body from literally breaking down.
  • Feeling tired? Exercise more. Laying around doing nothing and eating nutritionally devoid foods is actually more draining than bouts of exercise.
  • In fact, you will not only have more energy from working out, you will be in a better mood. And I am not only talking happiness over depression but being in the mood more often. Yes, exercise means better sex.
  • Moderate walking has been proven to boost the brain’s memory center, lowers the stress-induced hormone, cortisol, and makes you happier.

The list could go on and on, but for brevity, it is going to be cut off here. Yet, by these tidbits alone, you can see that your health is linked to how active you are. Humans are born movers.

But if being able to extend your life and the quality of it is not enough to get you off the couch, perhaps there is another way to get you motivated.

Figure Out Your “Why”

Though you may be tempted to jump in headfirst, think about this first. How badly do you want this?

Formulate a real life goal. For example:

  • “I want to be able to play with the kids or grandkids one day,”
  • “I want to be independent when I’m older,”
  • “I want to be able to climb Mt. Everest,”
  • “I want to complete a charity marathon and honor someone dear to me,”
  • “I want to recover or holistically treat a mental or physical disorder or disease.”

Write it down. Use it as a mantra. Hang it up on the refrigerator, bedroom wall, and anywhere else you will be reminded of your goal.

Choose Activities That Are Fun

Something that gets you involved both physically and mentally is going to feel a lot more rewarding than schlepping through an internet search generated workout.

Choose what makes you smile. Hiking, dancing, biking, swimming, tai chi, and kickboxing are all valid forms of exercise. As long as you are having fun, you will stick with it. Also, do not fret about “going hard or going home.” If you cannot do much yet, simply walking around for 30 minutes a day is the perfect way to getting started.

Remember:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), alongside internationally known fitness associations like NASM, ACSM, and ACE, have all declared that adults should get at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This does not have to be done all in one shot, so never say you do not have time. 10 minute bursts of activity throughout the day actually burn more calories than an extended, steady state workout while boosting productivity and creativity.

Once you have started, keep the momentum going by investing time in physical activities that you enjoy. Motivate yourself by knowing the importance of your health and how working out will reshape you and your life for the better. Stay strong. You got this.

Charlie Alf is a avid hiker and loves nature and is always on the lookout for the next adventure, when his not hiking he likes to woodwork and fix things.If you liked this article, be sure to check out his other great articles on backpackhack.com