Why going barefoot can be beneficial to your health

Walking around my home barefoot is a must for me as soon as I get home. Once I take my shoes off I feel a lot more relaxed and less constrained. I was barefoot as a child quite a lot and remember running on grass or playing in the house without shoes, so I suppose it evokes this carefree memory.

Whenever I visit a beach there is an overwhelming sense to dip my feet in the water barefoot and again I believe this is to do with human instinct. When we were cavemen we would have had to follow footsteps, follow paths back to our caves and feel the earth for water.

According to Mind Body Green, walking barefoot, also known as “earthing,” has gone from being a bit of a trend, to a scientifically-researched practice with a number of remarkable health advantages, such as increasing antioxidants, reducing inflammation, and improving sleep. 

Earthing means walking barefoot on soil, grass or sand (meaning: any natural surface).  Earlystudies are showing that there are definitely health benefits and these 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.

Live Science say that For most of human’s 200,000-year existence, we walked barefoot. The oldest footwear dates to about 8,000 years ago, although there is indirect evidence of sandals and moccasins tens of thousands of years before this, the researchers said. Cushioned shoes are even more recent – only about 300 years old.

Barefoot walking is really good for us because grounding has science behind it. The Washington Post article says research has shown barefoot contact with the earth can produce nearly instant changes in a variety of physiological measures, helping improve sleep, reduce pain, decrease muscle tension and lower stress.

One reason direct physical contact with the ground might have beneficial physiological effects is the earth’s surface has a negative charge and is constantly generating electrons that could neutralize free radicals, acting as antioxidants.

You may think of antioxidants as coming from food, and indeed a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and other foods that provide beta-carotene, selenium, lutein, lycopene and vitamins A, C and E helps prevent cellular damage from free radicals. Still, it is interesting that we may be able to get them directly from the earth, too.

Run Bare. com believe that walking barefoot can stimulate reflexology in your feet.

Reflexology, which is the process of stimulating nerves on the bottom of the feet to stimulate the immune system, reduces inflammation & pain, reduces blood pressure, reduces stress and tension, and stimulates many other healing processes in the body.

Studies have shown great reflexology benefits to going barefoot and stimulating the soles of the feet. 

Power Of Positivity website say that walking barefoot can actually reduce pain and inflammation.

In this study, twelve people slept on a conductive mattress pad that mimicked the effects of sleeping directly on the Earth for eight weeks straight. All the participants complained of pain, stress, and trouble sleeping. After the test period, scientists discovered a considerable reduction in their cortisol levels, and all subjects reported that their pain, stress, and sleep troubles had either been greatly reduced or disappeared entirely.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine also reported that people who had been exposed to grounding had a better night’s sleep compared with those who did not walk barefoot regularly. Earthing is believed to stabilize circadian rhythms, which explains why many people experience a better night’s sleep.

So there we go, there is science behind walking barefoot actually being beneficial to your health and helping you to sleep better, reduce inflammation, reduces stress and tension and increases antioxidants in the body. Next time I am outside I am defiantly going to walk in the grass, sand and earth to destress and stabilize my circadian rhythm! (Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. They respond primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment), hence a better night’s sleep.

Do you walk barefoot whenever you can or do you physically feel better as soon as you are barefoot? Let us know in the comments.

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