This is the way nature intended us to be, on our feet. Do you think cavemen were running around in leather shoes and high heels? Do you think the fastest runners in Africa and Ethiopia are running in Adidas or Nike shoes? I think not.
In fact, when we are barefoot we are utilizing every muscle in our feet, thus allowing our bodies to work that much harder. You expend more energy and work more muscles in your body, while strengthening, toning, and improving circulation.
Whether you are going for a walk barefoot on sand, water, or grass—all of which allow your feet to connect directly with nature—you will feel an immense difference charging through your body.
When raising your kids, get them outside and using their bodies as much as possible. Try to avoid putting shoes on their feet if they are just playing in the grass and only use recommended resources (listed below) when appropriate. This will help them to build strength and mobility in all the joints and tissues in their feet. It will also help with posture and natural growth of bones. It really does make a difference. Kids raised in cultures that are completely barefoot, such as Africa, have an extremely strong musculoskeletal foundation. Individuals wearing barefoot shoes learn overall just how to use their body better and avoid injury both short- and long-term.
Still not convinced? Check out this new, ground-breaking research!
When I wear my “funny” five finger shoes, as most people refer to them, I am more connected to my workouts and to nature. They are incredible for hiking, walking, swimming, etc. Even when I am walking on rocky, sandy roads, these shoes are perfect. It’s like reflexology in every step. I also use them for indoor training in the gym—as you can’t get more supported than wearing barefoot shoes. For all those fit people out there: you’ll notice such a difference and discover muscles you’ve never felt before!
Your body weight is distributed more evenly and you will just feel more supported overall. The good news is that for everyday use, there are other barefoot shoe technologies that “look” more appropriate for day to day activities, from slip-on shoes to tie up shoes. Sometimes you need a bit of a sole, as the commercial roads and concrete are not safe, or even warm enough for that matter (in Canada), to go barefoot on all the time. That being said, there are so many styles of shoes to choose from for those times in between that shoes are required and appropriate. (See the resources below.)
When you can’t connect to Mother Nature—a patch of grass or sand—get yourself some grounding devices that help you reconnect. Earthing offers foot pads, bed sheets, and mouse pads that insert into the grounding outlet of your plug so that you are getting a charge that is natural. When I sit here at my desk, my feet are on my foot pad and my hand is on my mouse-pad. When I am sleeping at night, I'm on my sheet. It allows for a more restful and peaceful sleep.
Benefits of going barefoot:
More work for your body—meaning burning more energy and working more muscles. More connection to the earth—giving you more energy and vitality and a boost to your immune system. Your body feels stronger, more uplifted. Saves you money—you don’t need as many shoes. You have an excuse to play like a kid.Learn more about Marni Wasserman(originally published January 24, 2012)