Performance Advantages of Barefoot Running

People run or jog for many different reasons. Whether you are running because you simply love getting your heart rate up or you are training for a half marathon, you want to get the most out of your training. Barefoot running has taken the cardio world by storm and that’s due to its potential health benefits and natural performance advantages. If you are trying to shave a few seconds off your 10k time, go that extra kilometre on your morning jog or increase your sprinting time, barefoot running could help you get there.

Barefoot running isn’t an inherent performance enhancer but rather a promoter. You won’t put the Running trainers on and suddenly run the fastest 10k of your life but overtime the benefits will show through.

Researchers have found that heel strikes when running are a result on padding on modern shoes and landing on the back of the foot slows you down with every stride. Research from a 2009 study and Podiatrist, Kevin Kirby stated in Runner’s World has found that Trainers, regardless of shape or weight will reduce performance because of the weight and elastic energy absorbed by the Running shoes.

Barefoot running forces you to land on the forefoot rather than the heel so that you get the gains back on the front of your foot rather the heel. This does not mean that you will be running your next marathon in ballet flats and on your toes but rather the time your foot spends on the ground is shortened resulting in quicker strides when combined with good posture.

Barefoot running is relatively new and while there is a need for more studies and research on the benefits of barefoot running, there is substantial data that offers lending support that runners should use forefoot strike parents to reduce ground reaction forces, step length, lowered muscular effort and ground contact time.

Many running enthusiast have turned to barefoot running to improve their performance and have a safer and more natural running experience.  If you decide to start training au-natural then it’s important for every individual to slowly introduce barefoot running into training. Partially because you want to build up the exterior skin and condition your feet for barefoot running. Additionally, modern Trail running shoes have elevated heels, which can shorten the calves up to 2cm, and it’s important to gradually introduce the shortened calf to function with a longer muscle.

Runners who are looking for instant improvement can risk injury so take the time to make the transition to barefoot running to truly reap the benefits.

Futures Contracts on the Derivatives Market

In stark contrast to the previous post, I want to talk about the Derivatives Market (see! I take an interest in everything) and some of the things it encompasses (like Interest Rate Derivatives). Have you ever seen one of those documentaries that follow the food from the cultivation to your plate? Have you ever wondered the financial route that food and other commodities take? Well, I have. Economics and commerce make our world go around but what makes them go around? One of those notions is the futures trading through Interest Rate Swap Claims and the engines are clearing houses.

The futures market is a centralized marketplace for both sellers and buyers around the world to meet and enter into futures contracts. As you probably have guessed, the futures contact is an agreement to sell or buy an asset in the future. These contracts will state the price and date of delivery.

The best way to understand this is through a simple and relatable example. Imagine that you decided to subscribe to Internet. As the buyer, you have entered an agreement with the Internet provider to receive a specific speed for a certain price every month for 1 year. This contract is similar to the futures contract that help the global trading economy. You have secured a price and service for the next year, even if the prices were to rise over that duration. By entering into the contract with the Internet provider, you have reduced the risk of your payments increasing.

You simply apply that same concept to the futures contract just with commodities on large scales. Rather than an Internet provider, a producer of peaches may want to secure a selling price for the upcoming seasons crop, while a marmalade producer may be trying to secure a buying price to determine quantity and profit. The marmalade producer and peach famer may enter into a futures contract which requires the delivery of 8,000 peaches to the buyer in July at a price of £4 per dozen. By entering into this contract, the farmer and the marmalade producer secure a price that they believe is fair for the duration of the contract.

The two primary benefits of futures contracts are:

  • Price discovery- Futures markets are an important tool that helps determines prices based on today and tomorrow’s speculative prices based on supply and demand.
  • Reduce risk – Futures markets help people reduce risk when making purchases because it ensures minimal risk that the manufactures (sellers) will increase prices to make up for losses from other markets.

However, there is still risk that one party might not hold up their end of the deal and entrepreneurs must be innately cautious. Clearing houses help minimize the risk to both parties (the seller and the buyer) by acting as the third party to the Interest Rate Swap or any other financial derivative. A clearinghouse will offer margins, thorough financial background checks of their members, default budgets, etc. This way, both the buyer and seller can conduct their business but the clearing house will assume the role as the safety net to guarantee that they are safe in the event one of the parties defaults.

The futures market has become a vital financial tool to hedge against risk and for price discovery. The simple concept of paying your Internet provider for a yearly contract is applied to multinational operations that help keep goods, services and foods moving smoothly.

Osteopathy for Golfers Elbow and Tennis Elbow

You don’t have to be a golfer or a tennis play to develop regular elbow pain. In fact it’s most common in those with sedentary jobs but also those with jobs or leisure activities that have repetitive actions such as sewing, using hand tools, carpentry, sports, bricklaying, retail, gardening and more.

Tennis Elbow is pain felt near the outer elbow and Golfers Elbow is on the inner region of the elbow. Both are Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) and have similar treatment patterns and symptoms.

It is caused by repetitive contraction of the muscles that insert into the elbow. The repetitive movement creates strain, which leads to tears in the tendon close to the elbow, and this leads to inflammation and irritation. According to a physiotherapist, they can also be caused by poor posture or improper biomechanics in the arm, shoulder or neck. People with Tennis or Golfers elbow experience a range of symptoms including:

o   Moderate to severe pain that comes on gradually

o   Pain while doing daily tasks (such as gripping a cup or opening a car door)

o   Pain that radiate up the arm

o   Occasional or constant aches that disturb sleep

o   Tender to touch

How an Osteopath Treats RSI

Unlike a chiropodist who would only be concerned with one area such as the foot, an osteopath takes a holistic approach to diagnosis your symptoms. After they take a full medical history and physical analysis they will create a treatment plan for your golfers or tennis elbow. It’s important to note that elbow in your pain not be from RSI but rather from soft tissue injuries, joint stiffness, rounded shoulders, age, and more. Your treatment plan will be specialised to your specific conditions and cause of the pain. Initially the chiropractor will try to reduce inflammation and irritation through ice or heat in the first 24-48 hours. Additional treatments might include:

  • Soft tissue stretches
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Muscle strengthening
  • Counterforce bracing
  • Cortisone injections
  • Electrotherapeutic methods (lasers, ultrasounds, or high-voltage galvanic stimulation)

Whether your elbow pain is a true Golfers or Tennis Elbow or the pain is caused by tight forearm muscles, stiffness in the musculoskeletal, old age, or something else, an osteopath can safely diagnose and treat the underlying causes through exercises, mobilisation, and in some cases by using braces. Finally, an osteopath will offer advice to reduce the chance of the injury reoccurring.