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Benefits of Walking Barefoot

Bare feet covered in sand
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Why your bare feet may keep you grounded

I grew up running and playing mostly barefooted. As children we ran and played with abandon and no shoes during the vacations from school and on weekends.

Whenever we could, like on our way home from school, we would remove our shoes for added freedom and fun! Who invented those restrictive items anyway?

During the rainy season, the children had a grand time just wading in the water playing and kicking it around. We would hold our dresses up or roll our pant legs out of harms way and just be young.

A favorite pastime was playing what we called ‘duck duck goose’, a game where you grabbed the flattest stone you could find and let it skim the top of the water before going under. The one whose stone stayed afloat the longest won.

Those were fun days and I would not change my childhood for anything.

As I grew older however I was drawn to science and that knowledge caused me to pull away from my norm in favor of always wearing shoes, at least outdoors.

I never wear any type of foot covering indoors (unless it’s really cold), as I love the feel of my feet on the natural floors. I use my bare feet to also let me know how many times I need to clean my floors. I hate the feel of debris and grime underfoot. Walking bare-footed has become a lost art, so I began to wonder why…

The art of walking barefoot on grass or earth is known as grounding or earthing and offers many health benefits.

 

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Our bodies and our relationship to the earth.

Emerging scientific research has been unearthing, so to speak, a symbiotic relationship between living things and their environment. Scientists are seeking answers as to some of the ways in which our environment may influence our health.

According to science, direct physical contact with the earth allows us access to the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the earth. Our modern lifestyle and use of foot coverings separates humans from such contact and that the disconnect may well be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and in physical and mental health.

Grounding or earthing

Direct connection with the earth’s electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and scientific reports of well-being. This grounding or earthing refers to direct contact with the earth’s surface. The skin-earth contact allows for the earth’s electrons to enter and flow through our bodies promoting good health.

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Benefits of walking bare feet

  1. Better sleep by improving the circadian rhythm

  2. Reduced pain / increased healing time

  3. Reduced inflammation

  4. Reduce blood viscosity

  5. Increased wound healing

  6. Decreased stress

  7. Improves balance and is our natural walking pattern

  8. Build strength and increased mobility

  9. Better able to maintain homeostasis

 

Risks of walking bare feet

Photo by Stephan Seeber on Unsplash

Of course walking bare feet is not without risks;

  1. be mindful if you are diabetic and have peripheral neuropathy of any kind as you may not feel injury to your foot.

  2. If you have any type of decreased sensation you have to be very aware of where your feet are at all times.

  3. Note your surroundings for situations that may cause physical or parasitic infections.

  4. Consider the surface and the impact of your feet against said surface.

  5. Assess each day for injuries.

Final thoughts

Science is playing catch-up to the health benefits of bare-feet walking. Emerging links show we are our best selves when we make direct contact with the earth and benefit from its electrical pulses that influences our health and mental wellness in positive ways.

We are better able to care for our joints when we are not outfitted with shoes that may be ill-fitting causing more discomfort than they offer protection.

Walking without shoes strengthens leg and lower back muscles and allows for transfer the earth’s electrons from the ground into the body.


So take good care of your feet and avoid the pitfalls below … 😊

Photo by Tania Melnyczuk on Unsplash

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc
  2. https://www.livescience.com/