Going barefoot and getting back to the most natural way of walking isn’t just for hippies, it’s something all of us should be doing. The only time you will see me with a pair of shoes on is when I have to go to a store where shoes are required and even then – they usually get kicked off the minute I’m in the car! There are numerous benefits of going barefoot in case you didn’t know, and we’re going to look at them below.
Top Health Benefits of Going Barefoot
By being able to feel the ground, people start to waken their vestibular (or balance system) of the brain, which stimulates new neural connections and remaps their minds for better balance. This is critical for seniors, since just one hip fracture or fall and can result in a person’s health declining gradually over time. Look at this piece for more info.
When you go barefoot it starts to wake new muscles up, both for support and balance. Also, if you take a look at the legs on a super-model, there is a good chance that she has been walking on the beach barefoot, and in the process is toning all her leg muscles.
Your body works on the principle of use it or lose it. So when you use something, you keep it, but if you don’t, it starts to atrophy. When people start to go barefoot their feet begin to reawaken and start getting strong once again.
Fewer Foot Conditions is the Corollary to All of This
As the feet grow strong, bunions start to dissipate, foot neuromas vanish, plantar fascitis is reduced and hammertoes and other foot conditions start to go away. Arthritic feet even start to heal themselves slowly as they develop greater blood flow, flexibility and strength.
Going barefoot helps to get more blood flowing to the legs and feet to help get them going in addition to waking up muscles that have long been dormant in the legs and feet. Increased blood flow results in warmer legs and feet in the winter, fewer varicose veins and reduced aches and pains.
If you are looking for the support that being barefoot gives you and also to improve circulation but need to cover your feet, then Earthies could be a good middle point. These shoes provide a progressive approach to footwear and are contoured to provide support and also encourage healthy feet. They may not be just as good for you as being barefoot, but are the next best thing.
All of us have picked up the unhealthy habit or having pelvic-tilt from wearing traditional shoes all our lives. The typical walking or running shoe isn’t simply a shoe, it is a 1-2 inch (or more) high-heel shoe. To prevent ourselves from falling over, we are forced to bend forward from the waist with our butts back, which strains the neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back and hamstrings. In addition, it puts a great deal of force on our feet, knees and hips when we are running. We can start to reverse this once we aren’t wearing shoes. When our feet feel the ground it results in the nerve endings on the soles of our feet starting to inform us that we are tilting or leaning forward, or that we are bending forward from the waist. With some practice we can walk, run and have better posture while standing, more like a model or dancer. We not only get taller and look better, but we significantly reduce all of the strain and stress on our bodies without having to do any extra work!
Children Become Healthier
With the prevalence of childhood obesity and diabetes, kids health has reached an all-time low. Health starts with our feet. When a person has strong feet they can bike, run, walk and more. However, there is no desire to get any exercise when you have weak and painful feet. The American Podiatric Medical Association is now recommending that children be kept out of shoes as long as possible, since shoes deform and weaken feet. Kids stay health when they are kept out of shoes. Also, when they can feel the ground, it helps to remap the brain and strengthen their senses. Dr. Merzenich, who is one the leading neuroplasticians in the country, states that barefoot stimulation helps to improve overall intelligence, concentration, focus and memory.
Lower Blood Pressure
According to studies, when the nerve endings located on the bottom of the feet are stimulated, it decreases blood pressure along with the body’s parasympathetic (cortisol) or flight or fight response. Therefore, inflammation and stress is decreased throughout the whole body.
So there you have it! Tell your friends, your neighbors, your family that not only is going barefoot deliciously carefree, it has a host of health benefits as well! Do you enjoy going barefoot? Let us know in the comments below!