Ten Reasons to Spend Time Walking Barefoot
Bare Feet are Happy Feet
It's Spring! The weather is finally warm enough to wear sandals. But why not take that a step further?
There are many long-term health benefits to throwing off your shoes and sinking your feet into grass, mud or beach sand.
Often referred to as "Earthing" or "Grounding," walking barefoot has grown in popularity. More people are taking off their shoes to walk closer to the earth. Scientists have noticed and have conducted research to confirm the health benefits to growing a personal relationship with the earth's energy. Below are some of the ways that humans are nurtured by Mother Earth.
Tiptoe among the wildflowers
1. Strengthens Your Skeleton
Your skeleton benefits from time spent without wearing any shoes. Your feet move and flex differently when they are bare than when they are encased in footwear. The contact that your feet have with the earth when you are barefoot supports the skeletal system and keeps it aligned properly. Your body is strong when your skeleton is strong, so throw off those shoes and give your bones a boost!
Walk Barefoot among the Flowers
2. Breathes in Fresh Air
Another benefit for taking a walk barefoot is that the walking itself boosts the respiratory system. But we don't just breathe through our mouths and noses. We absorb oxygen through the pores of our skin. Reflexologists know that the soles of the feet are the source of greater health if they are stimulated in healthy ways. The best thing that we can do for our soles is to let them breathe in the elements directly. Walking among trees and gardens is one way to breathe in the sweetness of flora at the same time your feet are feasting on the delights of the dewy green grass.
Many paths there are....
3. Blood Vessels Expand
In addition to benefits for your skeletal and respiratory system, walking barefoot enhances the flow of blood in your body. The energy from direct contact with the earth wakes up your blood and expands your arteries, capillaries and veins. Your blood begins to move through your heart and vessels more effectively. Your blood pressure is lowered and your arteries remain clear of plaque.
4. Sleep Quality Improves
After an extended period of time walking barefoot on the earth your body will begin to enjoy better rest when you sleep. Your sleep will become more restorative and you will wake up with more energy than you've had in the past. You may even begin to remember your dreams more, and those dreams may be sweeter and more vivid than before.
5. Gives a Boost to your Metabolism ~
Walking is exercise and exercise boosts your metabolism. Walking barefoot could become so habit-forming that you may not notice how your body is beginning to shed those excess ounces, even pounds. All of the chemicals in the body become balanced and you become less susceptible to diseases, especially type 2 diabetes.
Walk a wooded labyrinth...
6. Offers Freedom from Stress ~
In addition to all of the systemic benefits to your body brought about by walking barefoot, there is another benefit that is physical and psychological, perhaps even spiritual. Walking barefoot on the earth releases stress. Your mind and spirit expand along with your blood vessels. You keep more of your natural energy because walking barefoot gives you the energy you need to accomplish what you intend to without depleting your personal resources. This release from stress happens more quickly when your feet absorb the energy of the earth directly than when you are wearing footwear while you walk. The basic enjoyment derived from walking barefoot enhances your feeling of well-being, which keeps you free from stress.
7. Increases your Immunity
Walking barefoot boosts all of your bodily systems and builds healthy cells over every inch of you, inside and out. At the very basic cellular level your body benefits from walking barefoot. As a result, your immunity is boosted at that same basic cellular level. You become and remain healthier than if you walked with your feet kept in footwear. Your body's ability to fight off a variety of germs is enhanced and you feel good more days of the year.
Miles of Smiles
Feet touch the earth as hearts touch each other ~
A book-length list of the many reasons in favor of walking barefoot more often. It may be more fun to involve the entire family.
8. Extra Joy in Parenting
There are no people on this earth more closely in touch with the benefits of walking, running, and playing barefoot than children. My daughter runs out our front door without wearing shoes on a daily basis. Not only that, she invites me to do the same.
A Mother-Daughter Adventure
This past Mother's Day my husband, daughter, and I visited our local botanical garden. My daughter took off her sneakers in favor of walking in the grassy puddles and mud that were left behind by heavy rains the day before. She asked me if I would join her and I agreed. I walked a good half mile that way with her before it was time to put our shoes back on to walk to the car. She eagerly described her wonder at the sensual delights of walking barefoot in wet grass and mud. She also shared some of her thoughts and the games she was creating in her head as we walked. Our mother-daughter bond was strengthened, as it is every time I join her in her favorite forms of play.
Sense of Renewal
When I did put my sandals on, my feet felt like they were humming with joy from their frolic close to the earth. They feel that way after I walk our community's wooded labyrinth barefoot, too. There seems to be a vibration that shimmers across the soles of my feet and I feel more grounded then.
9. Improved Relationships
Both familial bonds and our bonds of friendship with people outside our immediate families are strengthened by walking together in beautiful places. We cannot help but relax and give in to the playful side of our human nature when we are barefoot. Sharing such moments with others we are drawn to keeps us healthy in body, mind, and spirit. Spending time together keeps our bonds with others strong.
Gardens of delight to walk through barefoot ~
More reasons to Free your Feet
- The Surprising Health Benefits Of Going Barefoot
Remember the guy in college who went barefoot everywhere? He may have seemed eccentric, but it turns out he was on to something....
- Barefoot Benefits | runbare.com
Extra information on the benefits of walking or running barefoot.
- Why walking barefoot is good for your health
Experts say that going barefoot, also known as Earthing, can help stabilize your natural rhythms, promote better sleep and reduce disease-causing inflammation.
10. Financial Health is Strengthened
Finally, there is another aspect of our lives that becomes healthier as a result of our time spent walking barefoot in nature. Such experiences are free! There is no membership fee charged by Mother Earth for the blessings she gives those who gratefully receive them. Think about how much money we can save if our habits toward healthy activities increase and our trips to the mall decrease. What would you do with all of that extra money saved, including the credit card interest avoided?
The Benefits of Beauty
Our annual family membership to Tower Hill Botanical Garden is $70. The garden is located only 15 driving minutes away from our home. But those are 15 quality minutes of driving a very beautifully scenic route. The tension and stress melt away before we even arrive. If we visit once a month, the cost of admission is $2/person. The daily cost of admission for non-members is $12 per adult and $8 per child. We visit very often.
See you at the playground, park, or garden!
Happy Feet Loving the Earth
Are you ready to kick off those shoes?
How much time to you spend walking barefoot in a week?
© 2014 Karen Szklany Gault