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Excuse Buster: Bare your soles – The benefits of barefoot training

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Excuse Buster: Bare your soles – The benefits of barefoot training | The Thaiger

PHUKET: IT’S hard to complain about life when you’re sweating it out with sand between your toes, the tropical sun on your back and the stunning blue of the Andaman ahead of you. It’s a good thing that barefoot training is catching on and becoming more popular with trainers and coaches.

Many people are aware that barefoot running has been gaining in popularity. However, there are many other sports and activities that are prime for barefoot training, including yoga, gymnastics, dance, muaythai, other martial arts and, my favorite, Clean The Beach Boot Camps.

Training – and even walking – barefoot is something simple that we can do to improve the health of our feet, as well as the rest of our bodies.

Being barefoot is natural. Most of us learned to walk barefoot and spent our childhood running around shoeless. Though we quickly become accustomed to shoes, it is an extremely liberating feeling to be without them. Once we get used to the feeling – again – we naturally love it.

What’s strange, though, is that we have developed a mentality, which is finally being rolled back, that wearing shoes is ‘natural’, and that our feet are fragile and not designed to support us properly. This, of course, isn’t the case – and a fairly silly assumption when you think about it. Of all the footed, pawed and hooved species of the world, why would homo sapiens need shoes? Lest we forget that an enormous number of people all over the world spend their entire lives without ever wearing shoes. Many wander savannas and rain forests without the protection or support of shoes. The reward is strong, healthy feet.

In fact, people who have never worn shoes before have very few foot problems.

Think about it:

1) The foot contains the most proprioceptors (sensors) in the body, so why would we want to deafen the messages to the nervous system by minimizing the amount of information received through our feet?

2) The foot contains 26 bones and 25 joints, which means there is a lot of coordination necessary to have your foot working at optimal efficiency. The foot has to move in all three planes, as it deals with gravity, multiplanar movement, proprioception and dynamic stability. This all becomes hard when we have a barrier between its sensors and the world, such as orthotics, heel lifts and so on.

3) The body recognizes movements, not muscles, so the more we can take the foot to the end of its range of function without pain or discomfort, the better it will react, and the more likely it will allow us to activate our abs – even when we are simply walking.

4) Another advantage is simply that without a shoe on it’s easier to diagnose issues starting with the feet that cause other physical issues, such as knee pain, hip dysfunction or sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain.

It’s best to liken wearing shoes to how grains and dairy have become incorporated in our diets – these are things recently introduced into our lives and have many potential pitfalls, including, but not limited to, arch pain, arthritis of the foot, bunions, calluses, heel pain and overlapping toes.

On top of this, there are a slew of indirect issues associated with wearing shoes, especially ones that don’t fit properly. These issues can develop in your ankles, knees or hips. They can also develop in your back.

Fashion has seduced many women into cramming their feet into narrow shoes and staggeringly tall stilettos – take a peek at what women are wearing as they trudge along Soi Bangla. The damage from these shoes is very real. I am constantly reminding my female clients about the dangers of high heels. Yes, ladies, they might look good, but they are a surefire way to fan the flames of future health issues caused by progressively shortening and tightening the calf muscles. This can set in motion a chain of events that will effect other parts of your body, such as your back.

Even though shoes might be a certain kind of evil, you don’t want to just kick them off and immediately start running the streets without a care in the world. There are several things to consider.

Firstly, take in your environment. Outside of the obvious – avoid glass walking – be aware that most gyms won’t let you slip out of your trainers. However, they will allow you to train in barefoot shoes, such as Vibram Five Fingers.

Secondly, don’t forget where you’re coming from. If you have engaged in barefoot practices, such as muaythai, in the past, you will probably adapt to other forms of shoeless training faster than someone who has worn shoes their entire life. The bottom line is to listen to your body and take time to adjust to either barefoot shoes or the real deal.

Basically, use common sense. Phuket can be hot – to put it modestly – so avoid freshly baked pavement and shoot for some grass, or for the tide line on the beach.

If you’re not sure if barefoot training is for you, at least kick off your shoes and give it a go with the Clean The Beach Boot Camp – there is no better introduction.

Krix Luther is a fully qualified personal trainer with nearly a decade of experience specializing in strength and conditioning. For more information about Krix and his services, visit krixluther.com

— Krix Luther

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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News

Grieving husband on a mission to take his wife’s ashes to all the places she longed to see

May Taylor

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Grieving husband on a mission to take his wife’s ashes to all the places she longed to see | The Thaiger

Every day, Sakchai Suphanthamat can be seen pushing his cart along the highway, in the company of three dogs, two of whom he has picked up along the way.

Sakchai carries his wife’s ashes, on a pilgrimage to take her to all the places she longed to see while she was alive.

The Bangkok Post reports that the bereaved man started his journey three years ago. He left from Trang, the province where he married his wife, who died of tetanus in 2016.

She had always wanted to see Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s tallest mountain, and so Sakchai decided to head there first. The journey of more than 1,500 kilometres took him over a year.

Sakchai, 40 years old and from Udon Thani, says his wife had also wanted to see the sea in Trat, south-east Thailand, and he decided to take her ashes there too.

The Bangkok Post reports that Sakchai has been left heartbroken. He says being left with nothing to look forward to after his wife’s passing led to the decision to embark on this epic journey with her ashes.

“I am determined to take her bones around the country. She liked the sea and wanted to stay close to it. She used to tell me that she wanted to visit the sea in Trat province in the East. During my journey I stop every three kilometres or so, so the dogs can have a rest.”

Sakchai and the dogs sleep under mosquito nets at night and local people who’ve heard about his journey bring food for him and the dogs. As Sakchai sleeps, his wife’s ashes are always by his side.

“I still love her and have vivid memories of our time together, even though she left me three years and four days ago.’’

See previous story HERE

SOURCE: bangkokpost.com

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Business

Out of 37 countries, Thailand has the worst pension system, says Bloomberg

May Taylor

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Out of 37 countries, Thailand has the worst pension system, says Bloomberg | The Thaiger

Thai Residents reports that on Sunday, Bloomberg published an article on the world’s best pension systems, using information gathered from the 2019 Melbourne Mercer Global Pensions Index.

The survey looked at the pension systems of 37 countries with metrics including employee rights, savings, the number of homeowners, growth of assets, and growth of the economy. The purpose of the analysis was to determine what was needed to improve state pension systems and to gauge the level of confidence citizens had in their state pension system.

The Netherlands and Denmark were found to have the world’s best state pensions, with Australia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, and Chile next. Out of all 37 countries, Thailand finished last, with what the report described as an extremely ineffective and ambiguous system.

“Thailand was in the bottom slot and should introduce a minimum level of mandatory retirement savings and increase support for the poorest.”

Out of 37 countries, Thailand has the worst pension system, says Bloomberg | News by The Thaiger

Photo: WorkpointNews

Thai Residents states that only those employed within the government system in Thailand are eligible for a pension based on salary. For most Thai citizens, pension amounts vary from 600 baht to 1,000 baht a month, depending on the recipient’s age.

A report carried out by The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) advises Thai citizens to have at least 4 million baht saved by the time they retire, but Thai Residents reports that 60% of Thai retirees have less than 1 million baht in savings, with one in three citizens who have reached retirement age are forced to continue working in order to survive.

SOURCE: thairesidents.com

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Bangkok

Tax on salt content being considered

Greeley Pulitzer

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Tax on salt content being considered | The Thaiger

The Excise Department is considering imposing a tax on the salt content of food to encourage food producers to reduce the sodium content of snacks, instant noodles and seasoning cubes.

The director of the Office of Tax Planning said that the department is discussing a limit on the amount of sodium food can contain, in line with the standard set by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is 2,000 milligrams of salt per day.

In reality, Thai people consume an average of 1,000 milligrams per meal, making their daily intake well above WHO guidelines, according to the director.

He said any tax imposed would be at a level which would encourage food producers to reduce the sodium in their processed food without being punitive, adding that the proposal isn’t intended to generate more tax revenue, but to help protect the health of consumers. Excessive sodium in the diet can lead to high blood pressure and kidney disease.

Fish sauce, soy sauce and salt would not be taxed.

SOURCE: thaipbsworld.com

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