I spend a lot of my day barefoot. I’m so blessed that in my life, I’m able to do that – but I know many people can’t just wander around shoeless for hours.
But with the weather still generally warm and dry why not challenge yourself to make it a new habit? Here’s why…
We get so used to wearing shoes, sandals, boots or even slippers that we often forget to reconnect with the ground beneath our feet.
In fact, studies suggest we get a real health benefit by connecting with the electrons in the earth – which is why a movement has sprung up, encouraging us to walk barefoot on soil, grass or sand.
Followers of ‘earthing’, as it’s known, believe we can improve sleep, moderate heart rate, regulate blood sugar, reduce stress and boost immunity by connecting with the planet’s natural charge.
A whole industry has sprung up around the earthing movement, with a book of the same name by Clint Ober seen as the main authority on the subject. If you’re keen to find out more, do a quick YouTube search.
But the great news is, you don’t need all the gadgets and gizmos. What’s more, anyone can grab the health benefits of barefoot. All you have to do is go outside and kick off your shoes.
Remember, barefoot or not, regular walking is great exercise. Just half an hour a day can help your cardiovascular health, regulate your weight and prevent diabetes. It’s great for circulation too – and walking in nature is proven to bring mental health benefits.
Unlike going to the gym, walking outside helps us to live in the moment, enjoy the scenery and free our thoughts – and it’s free!
If you’re on holiday near the sea, take time to feel the sand beneath your feet, improving your balance and muscle tone by connecting with this shifting, uneven surface.
Less pain, more gain
Our feet, cosseted in cushioned shoes and boots, are weaker than they once were – and that can lead to bad posture and associated back, neck and knee pain.
Whatever surface you’re walking on, being barefoot really connects you to it. You become more alert and aware of the present, purely because you have to watch where you’re walking. In turn, you get a heightened awareness of the feeling of pebbles, grass, wood or sand – and those surfaces stimulate the nerves and pressure points on the bottom of your feet.
It really is a win/win. So my summer challenge to you is think on your feet – get outside, barefoot, at least twice a week. And remember to get in touch on social media and let me know how you get on!