Posted by: gypsytales | May 14, 2011

Beach walking challenges receptors in your feet

We went for a walk on the beach this morning to boost our proprioceptors.  

What’s that you ask?  

Proprioceptors in the feet and ankles are sensory receptors that help to orientate where your foot is in a given space.  If we didn’t have them we wouldn’t be able to look ahead while walking.  We would need to watch every step we took.  Walking on uneven surfaces, like a stony pathway or the beach challenges your proprioception.  Weakened proprioception results in injuries because the foot cannot adjust to uneven terrain as easily.

We lived in an Inka village in Peru for three months.  All the pedestrian streets are made from pebbles.  When we arrived we found the unevenness of the alleyways very annoying.  So did many of the guests who came to stay at the lodge where we volunteered.  But it surprised us to see how quickly we adjusted to the irregularities in the terrain.  I can only imagine how well-oiled our proprioceptors were. 

Fortunately the beach isn’t quite as demanding to walk on in comparison to those old Inka roads. 

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