Monday, November 28, 2011

Vibrams Five Fingers Educational Site

Vibram has launched an educational series on their main site.  Link Here.  This is a great thing, educate those that think their feet aren't atrophied after years of being overly supported.



Create a Personal Plan for Success

Before you start running in Vibram FiveFingers®, we encourage you to read the important information in How To Get Started and Get To Know Your Feet. Once you follow our recommended program, you’ll probably notice some significant improvements in the strength and flexibility of your feet. Now you’re ready for a test session to explore the light and joyful feeling of barefoot running!
In order to make this as easy as possible, we’ve broken down the process into 4 parts:  choosing a surface, barefoot technique, measurable distances, and a sample training plan. Please remember, the information and advice we are about to share is based on scientific research, anecdotal evidence, and personal experience. There is no single training and transition program that is suitable for everyone. You should try to discover what works for your body in order to make this transition safe and successful.
One of the reasons barefoot running has become so popular is that it is synonymous with freedom and exploration. Give yourself the gift of time and patience as you explore this “new” way of running and moving. Forget about splits, time, distance and PRs for a little while and focus on running for the pure joy of connecting to your body, and your environment in a new way. Your patience will pay off in the long run as you emerge from this experience with a refreshed outlook on running.

How Agriculture Made Our Mouths Too Small for our Teeth

I have discussions frequently with people who swear that humans were vegetarians and meat eating is a relatively new thing.  If that were the case we'd have much smaller jaws by now.  According to the article below, teeth crowding is a by product of eating more grains. 

How Agriculture Made Our Mouths Too Small for our Teeth

The rise of agriculture allowed for the development of complex societies and technologies that likely wouldn't have been possible otherwise. It also wreaked havoc on human health. And we can add a new downside to the list: our misshapen mouths.
That's the finding of University of Kent researcher Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel, who examined 295 human jaws from various museum specimens around the world. She found that, even adjusting for climate, geographic, and genetic variation, a consistent pattern emerged: people from agricultural societies have significantly smaller mouths that their counterparts in hunter-gatherer societies.
In itself, that wouldn't be such a bad thing, but the problem is that we all have exactly the same number of teeth. Von Cramon-Taubadel speculates that agricultural societies tend to produce people with smaller jaws because the ground grains and processed animal products we eat are softer than the wild plants and animals eaten by hunter-gatherers. In animal experiments, subjects fed a softer food diet developed smaller jaws than those fed tougher foods. This could well explain why dental crowding is so widespread, and why so many people end up needing to wear braces.
This isn't really a case of evolution or selection - instead, it's that generations of agricultural humans have all tended to develop similar, smaller jaws because they were all raised on the same soft diets. This would be the first clear instance in which widespread anatomical differences in humans on this sort of scale are the result of lifestyle factors, as opposed to simple genetic variation. To be sure, this doesn't represent a definitively proven link, but anyone who has ever worn braces is well within their rights to feel angry with the whole concept of agriculture right now.