Treadmill Barefoot Walking and Running: Yes or No?
Walking or running on a treadmill is an excellent way to stay in shape, but what about doing it barefoot? Walking barefoot on a treadmill may seem like a good idea to some people, but is it safe and effective?
The answer is not as straightforward as you may think. Walking or running barefoot on a treadmill has benefits and drawbacks that you should be aware of before even trying it out.
Published: March 9, 2023.
Is It OK To Walk Or Run Barefoot On A Treadmill?
Walking barefoot on a treadmill can be safe if you take the necessary precautions.
But it's important to note that walking or running barefoot on a treadmill is not recommended for everyone. If you have any foot problems, you should avoid walking barefoot since socks and running shoes provide an additional layer of protection.
Also, if you have never walked or run barefoot, it's best to start gradually and build up your tolerance.
Before even stepping onto the treadmill, you should make sure that the treadmill belt is clean and free from any debris that can cause injury to your feet.
Also, it is important to start walking at a slow pace and gradually increase the speed. This will help you to adjust to the treadmill and decrease the risk of accidents or injuries.
Lastly, be aware of your posture while walking on the treadmill to avoid any strains or sprains.
Benefits of Walking Barefoot On A Treadmill
Walking barefoot on a treadmill has numerous benefits that can enhance your overall health and well-being.
One of the main benefits is that it helps to strengthen the muscles in your legs, especially your feet muscles. This is because walking barefoot engages more muscles in your feet, ankles, and legs than wearing shoes while walking and running.
Walking barefoot on a treadmill can also improve your cardiovascular health. When you walk, your heart pumps blood faster, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen delivered to your body. This increase in oxygen delivery can help to strengthen your heart and lungs, and also boost your stamina.
Another benefit of walking barefoot on a treadmill is that it burns more calories than walking with shoes. This is because walking barefoot requires more effort due to the absence of cushioning and shoe support.
As a result, you end up burning more calories and increasing your overall fitness - the difference is not significant, but it's nice to know.
Cons of Walking Barefoot On A Treadmill
While there are many benefits of walking barefoot on a treadmill, there are also some cons that should be taken into consideration.
One of the cons is the increased risk of injury. Walking or running on a treadmill without shoes can increase the risk of foot injuries, such as blisters, cuts, or even stress fractures.
Another con of walking barefoot on a treadmill is that it can be uncomfortable for some people, especially those not used to it. This is because walking barefoot on a treadmill requires more effort and increases the strain on the sole, which can be uncomfortable for some people.
Lastly, walking barefoot on a treadmill can be challenging if the incline or gradient is too steep. This can put additional strain on your legs, leading to injuries or muscle strains.
Tips For Walking and Running Barefoot On A Treadmill
If you decide to try walking or running barefoot on a treadmill, there are some tips that you should keep in mind to ensure that you stay safe and comfortable.
- First, start slowly and gradually increase your speed and incline. This will help your body to adjust to the new form of exercise and prevent or at least decrease the risk of injuries.
- Second, make sure that the treadmill belt is clean and free from debris. This will help to prevent any foot injuries that can be caused by small particles getting stuck in your skin.
- Lastly, pay attention to your form and posture while walking or running on the treadmill barefoot. Keep your head up, shoulders relaxed, and arms swinging naturally. This will help to prevent any strains or sprains and also improve your overall performance.
Running Barefoot Indoors vs. Outdoors
Running outdoors, especially running on grass, sand, trail running, and similar, provide ever-changing running surfaces, which ensures different load on feet with practically every stride.
However, all those surfaces may hide objects and debris that can cause injuries - for example, if you like running barefoot on a sandy beach, a single small rock under the sand's surface can hurt your foot.
When walking and running on a treadmill's flat belt, every stride is practically the same, increasing the risk of blisters and other injuries.
Thus, if you want to walk or run barefoot on your home treadmill, listen to your body and adjust the pace, incline, and of course, duration.
Few Final Words
Walking barefoot on a treadmill can be a great way to enhance your fitness and overall health.
It provides numerous benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health, increased calorie burning, and stronger leg muscles.
However, it is important to take necessary precautions and be aware of the cons, such as the risk of foot injuries and discomfort.
If you decide to try walking or running barefoot on a treadmill, start slowly and gradually increase your speed and incline.