Although wearing shoes has become our second nature, humans walked barefoot for millions of years before the shoes were invented. This activity went out of style in the meantime. However, in recent years, more and more people are joining the barefoot movement due to the health benefits it offers.
Since we live in a society where you would still be considered a weirdo if you walked into a shop barefoot, nature is an excellent place to reconnect with the Earth. And here is why you should do it:
- Greater muscle strength – If you do not use any of the muscles in your body, they soon begin to atrophy. Same goes for your feet muscles. Regardless of the quality and shape of your footwear, it limits the movement of your feet and consequently they become ‘lazy’. By going barefoot you awaken these long-dormant muscles and make them stronger. This reflects both on your balance and support.
- Better circulation – Going barefoot awakens your blood vessels as well as your muscles. Increased blood flow to the feet and legs lowers the risk of varicose veins and aches associated with them. If nothing more, you will get warmer feet in the winter.
- Less foot conditions –,As a consequence of the above mentioned benefits, many conditions that are otherwise connected with poor feet health can be prevented or mitigated. Among others, stronger feet reduce your risk of plantar fasciitis, foot neuromas, bunions, hammertoes, and arthritic foot.
- Better posture – We all developed an unhealthy posture from walking in shoes. In order to walk in our shoes without falling over, we have to bend forward at the waist. This unnatural posture puts a lot of stress on our back, hips, knees, shoulders, and neck. It can be reserved once you get out of your shoes. In time, you will develop a posture of a model.
Tips for walking barefoot in nature
If you are interested in adopting this lifestyle, you should know that it may come with certain downsides if you are not careful enough.
Ladies our probably concerned about the cosmetic side of going barefoot. Replace your shoes with barefoot sandals and your feet will still look beautiful.
As you start, your feet will be very sensitive and they will hurt. Make sure to have a pair of shoes at hand in case the discomfort becomes too much to bare. This is another reason to set out into the wild, because earth and grass are much gentler to your feet than concrete.
Next, make sure to always watch your step. Even if you are walking in the woods, where there are less chances of cutting your feet on a sharp metal object, you should still be cautious. If you step on animal droppings, for example, you can pick up certain bacteria, fungal infections and viruses. Always carry an antiseptic with you and wash your feet thoroughly as soon as you get back home.
When was the last time you kicked off your shoes and felt the earth under your feet?