Barefoot and Pickled

I saw a headline on MSN about 10 Surprising Fitness Tips. A couple of them jumped out at me and I thought I would share them here:

Drink pickle and pineapple juices.
The salt and vinegar in pickle juice can help muscles recover from sodium loss and decrease cramping. “If you’re training on a hot day or doing intense activities, drink four to eight ounces of pickle juice 45 minutes and eight to 10 ounces of water 30 minutes before your session,” says certified nutritionist and fitness trainer Majid Ali of the Healing Center in Culver City, Calif. “If your stomach can handle it, drink four to six ounces after or during your session to speed recovery.” Pineapple juice can also reduce post-workout inflammation. “The bromelain [an enzyme] in pineapple juice removes lactic acid buildup in the muscles, which causes inflammation,” he says. Ali recommends drinking six to 10 ounces, 30 minutes after training.

Okay, I can understand the logic behind the salt in the pickle juice, but I just can’t see that it would be that easy to introduce this one. I love a good dill pickle, but drinking the juice? That really sounds like it would be tough to swallow (ha ha ha). Perhaps I should try it this summer before my Tuesday night runs with friends in the Vegas evening heat! And then we could have post-run pina coladas to meet the pineapple juice requirements! 😉

The other one:

Run barefoot.
According to proponents of shoeless running, shoes inhibit foot growth, development, and flexibility. David Jenkins, D.P.M., professor at Midwestern University’s Arizona Podiatric Medicine Program, says, “Running barefoot may increase foot flexibility and strengthen intrinsic foot muscles. This can improve toe function, balance, and structural support, but more research is necessary.” Running barefoot could decrease the likelihood of plantar fasciitis, a running epidemic unknown 30 years ago, which is possibly caused by over-controlling shoes and/or orthotic arch supports used on normal feet, says Dr. Jenkins. “A gradual buildup to barefoot sports is imperative,” says Dr. Jenkins. “Barefoot running is an extreme change for people who have worn shoes most of the time.” Of course, be careful to watch for hazards like broken glass and rocks when running shoeless.

I’ve read quite a bit on this idea, even looked online at those Vibram Five Fingers shoes. It sounds like an interesting concept and if someone were to give me a pair of those shoes to try out I would be open to the experience. (I’d even review them here!) But I’m not prepared to drop $75-90 on a pair of them, just out of the “fear” factor. (Not Fear Factor… that was a stupid TV show with Joe Rogan. Totally different.) But when I see the photos on the Runners’ World message boards from people who run barefoot, I can’t want to do that simply because of how nasty-dirty their feet look. And there is always a ton of broken glass on the streets here, so no way would I want to step on that!

Last night I really wasn’t feeling motivated to run. The winds have been absolutely horrible the last few days and it’s kicked all kinds of crap into the air. My nose has been running, my eyes have been watering… I just felt kind of beat up. But I went on my run, mainly because I wanted to see my friends. I actually ended up having a really good run. It was 3.4 miles in 30 minutes and I finished the run once again feeling that runner’s high.

Sunday morning I had a near duplicate of the previous Sunday’s run. Same music, same good feeling… the only negative was the winds. They were quite helpful blowing me AWAY from my house for 2.2 miles, but I had to run straight into them for the 2.2 back home. If I’d had my phone on me, I should have just kept running away from my house and then called my husband to come pick me up and avoided the run into the winds! (Just kidding… a little… maybe…)


    • Thanks Carlee. You’re right, a good run always feels great…. but when it was completely unexpected (or the opposite was anticipated) it really amplifies that good feeling.

  1. I used to drink pickle juice as a kid as well. Actually at one point this summer I craved it. I don’t know if it was my body telling me I needed salt, but I ended up drinking quite a bit of it…

    • I can’t believe I’ve never considered or heard of drinking pickle juice, and yet several other people have done so. That’s interesting that you started craving it… a sodium deficiency could very well be the answer!

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