Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Health Perks of Going Barefoot

Going without shoes – or barefoot – is usually a hit or miss trend. Either you love it, or you hate it and are sure it’s going to cause all types of sicknesses. But despite your previous allegiance, there are several benefits to be had from going without shoes. No, you still shouldn’t run down the street or venture into the porta potties without foot protection, but in safe, clean environments, you can easily improve your health just by going without shoes.

And if you’re still weary about it, start at home, then venture into the yard. Then try a friend’s house, water park, or any other (clean) public place where a lack of shoes is kosher. Before long, you’ll have developed a newfound freedom that only the shoe-less can enjoy.

What can it do for your health?

Avoiding shoes for an hour or two each day can work to improve your posture, mood, and feet placement. Without a shoe to guide and align the feet, we’re left to figure it out for ourselves. This is like hitting a “reset” button on our posture, letting the legs, back, and feet redefine what’s comfortable and supportive.

Runners are beginning to jog without foot support as well, but this is a more extreme switch. Try it if you dare (with your doctor’s approval), but a few hours around the house each day should also do the trick.

It’s also said that going barefoot can help to improve one’s mood. By connecting directly with the ground, there’s a scientific theory that says it will help reunite you with the earth. This may sound somewhat sketchy, but there is actual data showing that electrons from the ground can be absorbed by one’s body; scientists say this works to rejuvenate energy levels, which often results in a lifted spirit.

Walking outside while barefoot has also been shown to act as an antioxidant, and have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. [Peak Fitness]

Whether or not you believe in self “grounding,” going without shoes can offer a number of benefits. Test it out today to start getting the most out of your time outdoors.