Let’s walk barefoot!
Sounds strange? Well, it will at first but wait till you reach the end of this article. I am sure once you finish up reading, you’ll hang up your shoes and start walking barefoot.
But Why Should You Be Walking Barefoot?
Well, walking barefoot, also known as “earthing“, has a number of remarkable health advantages, such as increasing antioxidants, reducing inflammation, and improving sleep.
Earthing means walking barefoot on soil, grass or sand. Early studies are showing that the health benefits come from the relationship between our bodies and the electrons in the earth. The planet has its own natural charge, and we seem to do better when we’re in direct contact with it.
Studies & Experiments on Benefits of Walking Barefoot
A review published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health looked at a number of studies that highlight how drawing electrons from the earth improves health. In one, chronic pain patients using grounded carbon fiber mattresses slept better and experienced less pain.
Another study found that earthing changed the electrical activity in the brain, as measured by electroencephalograms. Still, other research found that grounding benefitted skin conductivity, moderated heart rate variability, improved glucose regulation, reduced stress and boosted immunity.
One particularly compelling investigation, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that earthing increases the surface charge of red blood cells. As a result, the cells avoid clumping, which decreases blood viscosity. High viscosity is a significant factor in heart disease, which is why so many people take the blood-thinning aspirin each day to improve their heart health.
The Health Benefits of Walking Barefoot
Greater Balance & Strength
By feeling the ground, people starts waking up the vestibular system (balance system) of the brain that begins to wake up new muscles, both for balance and support.
Going barefoot not only wakes up long-dormant muscles of the feet and legs but gets more blood flow to the feet and legs to get them going. This increased blood flow means less aches and pains, less varicose veins, and warmer feet.
Decreases Blood Pressure
Studies show that by stimulating the nerve endings on the bottom of the feet, we can decrease blood pressure and the parasympathetic (cortisol) fight or flight response of the body.
According to many new studies, inflammation is the number one cause of disease like (from allergies to Alzheimer’s, arthritis to Autism, cardiovascular disease, MS, and more are ALL related to inflammation). Inflammation can be reduced by walking, standing or even sitting barefoot on the ground.
Reflexology is the process of stimulating nerves on the bottom of the feet to stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation & pain, reduce blood pressure, reduce stress and tension, and to stimulate many other healing processes in the body.
Improves Sleep Quality
Our ancestors slept on the earth itself or close to the earth. By being grounded (otherwise known as earthing) it relieves tension and removes positive ions to make way for negative ions. Negative ions are relaxing and help you to improve sleep quality.
Balances Electrons & Influences the Brain
Our bodies are around 70% water and the more grounded we are in nature the more conductive and alive that water is in our entire body. Walking barefoot helps to create an ionic balance within our cells and tissue. When we walk with shoes we don’t “think on our feet” as much because we are somewhat disconnected from our feet.
Improves Your Overall Posture
Our foot muscles are weaker than ever because of shoes and soft surfaces that don’t cause our feet to be flexible and strong like they once were. This leads to bad posture because we become reliant upon other muscles to do the job our feet are responsible for doing. When we begin walking barefoot, run, jog and play with just our feet we begin to strengthen our ankles, feet and toes.
Dos & Don’ts of Walking Barefoot
So, all set to for a little walk outside? Well, hold your horses before you head out. Here’s some Dos and Don’ts of walking barefoot for a healthy and painless session:
Do: Get Hands-On With Your Feet
Wake up your feet by improving their sensory awareness. Touch the tops, bottoms, and tips of the toes, and pay attention to how that feels.
Don’t: Try To Do Too Much At Once
It’s better to practice for 10 minutes a day than an hour once a week. Remember you are not participating in any marathon. Always start with the baby steps else you may end up damaging your feet.
Do: Focus On Your Foundation
Take a walk around and see where you feel the weight land on your foot. Notice where it lands first and how it travels through your foot.
Don’t: Be Afraid Of Germs
Sure, the world is a pretty gross place if you think about it, but as long as you don’t have any broken skin or open wounds, the skin does a pretty good job of protecting us.
Do: Scout For Safe Surfaces
As a beginner, a grassy park or a beach is a great place to start. There is no need to start off by walking across concrete. The softer ground you can find, the better it will feel on your feet.
Don’t: Be Afraid To Land Heel First
According to the barefoot running craze, landing heel first is a no-no, but a healthy walking stride is different from a healthy running stride and a heel-first landing is fine for walkers. This is because runners leave the ground completely, whereas walkers always have one foot on the ground.
Now that you know the benefits of walking barefoot, the Dos and Don’ts, how and what to do, go out and enjoy a little walk outside. Remember to start small and increase gradually.
Still not convinced? Maybe this video will help out to clear your doubts.