Have you ever been barefoot at a park or on the beach, and just felt right? Just felt at home, connected in some form or fashion with the natural world? It’s a feeling that is so innately human, yet is forgotten so quickly upon returning the doldrums and monotony of the shoe-wearing concrete ridden western world. Have you ever wondered where this connection, this oneness, is coming from? You aren’t just some loony hippie spouting sounds about being one with mother earth (okay, maybe you are), there is actual evidence for this phenomenon! I found an article on the benefits of going barefoot, and after you hear some of this information you are going to find every excuse in the world to leave your shoes at home! As we all know, in the West it is a seemingly vital part of life to wear shoes to be respected and successful, however did you know that only 20% of the world’s population wears shoes? It’s true. It may be winter now, but spring is just around the corner, and some of these benefits will surprise you!
It’s hard not to pay attention to every step when you’re walking barefoot. You have to be on the look out for sharp rocks and thorns. Awareness of what’s in front of you in this moment quiets your inner chatter and clears your mind and helps you focus on the here and now. As we all have been hearing a lot lately I’m sure, being we are in the midst of an awakening, living in the moment is a key component to happiness and health for the mind, body and spirit! If you haven’t heard this, but would like to know more, just contact me and we can talk!
2. It’s Free Foot Yoga
Walking barefoot strengthens and stretches the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your feet, ankles and calves. This helps prevent injury, knee strain and back problems. Not only that, but because it works muscles not used when you’re wearing shoes, it strengthens and stretches your core, helping keep your posture upright, and your balance spot on.
3. It’s a Free Reflexology Session.
There are reflex points to every part of your body in your feet. Every little bump and rock in the road helps to stimulate all these little reflex points. If it hurts at first – especially in specific areas, this means your feet need the stimulation they’re getting by being barefoot. Over time, these sensitivities will go away, and the areas the tenderness corresponds to will be rejuvenated, helping decrease the symptoms of whatever it is that ails you.
4. Decrease Anxiety & Depression.
Walking barefoot in the grass can help decrease anxiety and depression by 62 percent, and increases the levels of those feel good endorphins. Awesome!
5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep.
The ancients believed that walking barefoot in the grass was the best cure for insomnia, and many people still swear by it today.
6. It’s Grounding. Literally.
The human body is made up of about 60% water, meaning we are excellent conductors for electricity. The earth naturally has a negative ionic charge. Negative Ions have been proven to detoxify, calm, reduce inflammation, synchronize your internal clocks, hormonal cycles and physiological rhythms. Additionally, negative ions neutralize pollutants! Going barefoot on our wonderful planet earth grounds our bodies to that charge. The best places to get some negative ions through your feet are by the water. This means that the ideal location to be barefoot and receive maximum benefits would be the beach! However, you can still reap the benefits from just walking on the grass in your backyard, so don’t fret if you do not live near a beach!
7. Get Back to What Matters.
To be barefoot outside doesn’t just involve your feet – the rest of you has to be outside too. You get to connect with Mother Nature all around. Feel the sunshine on your face; hear the wind in the trees. It’s easier to connect to a higher power when you’re in touch with Nature; it’s easier to put things into perspective.
Who knew something as simple as a barefoot walk could be so good for you – mind, body and soul.