We Walk Wrong
Part 2 in: A Trifecta of Poor Biomechanics
Welcome to Polymathic Being, a place to explore counterintuitive insights across multiple domains. These essays take common topics and explore them from different perspectives and disciplines and, in doing so, come up with unique insights and solutions. Fundamentally, a Polymath is a type of thinker who spans diverse specialties and weaves together insights that the domain experts often don’t see.
Today's topic is an exploration of poor biomechanics and tackles the way we walk and run. I’ll admit, I fell victim to the ideas of running promoted by shoe companies and suffered the consequences in my age. We already covered how we breathe wrong and so this essay will explore walking and share my experiences with how I’ve solved it and the benefits that are provided.
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Biomechanics are an interesting topic especially when analyzed against our evolutionary development and their collision with modern technology. What we find as we peel back our generally accepted lifestyles are that there are things we do every day in life that are, by and large, wrong.
Not just wrong but actually quite damaging to our ability to be active, healthy, and well-aged. It might surprise you, but we breathe wrong, and we walk wrong again, mostly thanks to technology.
Walking wrong isn’t a new surprise for me after extensively studying the biomechanics of running when Vibram Five Fingers first hit the market. I bought my first pair in 2008, and never went back.
I quickly realized the benefits of the minimalist style when the degenerating disks in my lumbar, which threatened to stop my running forever, were no longer aggravated by the impact. I vividly remember walking up and down a hallway as an officer in the Army and then, at lunch, I swapped out to my Five Fingers for a workout.
As I walked down the same hallway again, I was shocked at how hard my feet were hitting the ground. But that wasn’t because I was walking heavier, it’s because the boots had been distributing the force and with the minimalist Five Fingers, I was still hitting with as much impact, I was just feeling it focused on my heel.