While sandals, stilettos and even sneakers are summer’s most preferable footwear, recent research suggests that the best thing for your feet is going bare. Whether you’re spending your summer at the beach, in the park or even your backyard, the health benefits of barefoot walking provides not only your feet, but your entire body with a host of health benefits.
If you’re on the fence and need some convincing to forgo your flip-flops, here are six reasons why you should start going barefoot.
Health Benefits of Walking Barefoot
Better Overall Strength
When we walk barefoot – instead of in a restrictive shoe – we end up using more and different muscles. This helps to provide balance and stability. As these muscles don’t get used when our feet are trapped in shoes, going barefoot will put them to use, increasing overall strength and muscle tone.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Due to recent research, it has been discovered that walking barefoot on earth, grass and sand helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. As our feet make immediate contact with the ground, our bodies absorb the electrons from the earth. These electrons help red blood cells go through a “de-clumping” phenomenon, which makes blood less viscous. As the blood can flow more freely, the risk of heart disease is greatly reduced.
Believe it or not, walking barefoot will actually improve the health of your feet. While there are some shoes that offer feet more cushion and support, most shoes are constricting and force your feet to stay in unnatural and painful positions. While out of a restrictive shoe, your foot can take a more natural position when you stand, walk and run. This neutral position helps to eliminate the friction that feet feel in shoes, helping to reduce bunions, hammertoes and even the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
As the saying goes, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” That’s exactly the case with bodily balance. When walking with shoes on, oftentimes, the footwear does all of the balancing. However, walking barefoot forces the body to use its stabilizing muscles, along with the nerves on the bottom of our feet to determine our balance. Walking barefoot more often, especially on uneven surfaces like sand or unpaved land, will help to naturally boost balance.
As inflammation is almost always the root of all diseases, reducing bodily inflammation can contribute to overall health. While living well, exercising and eating healthy meals can help to keep the body working at its best. Walking barefoot can also help to fight disease. Walking barefoot on grass, sand and soil transmits electrons from the earth to the body. These electrons work to naturally drain the body of free radicals, reducing inflammation. This can then help contribute to reducing symptoms of asthma, arthritis, autism, cancer, diabetes and countless other diseases.
Standing and walking in shoes forces the body to situate itself in an unnatural way. Due to the higher heel of most shoes – stilettos and sneakers alike – the pelvis is forced to tilt in order to remain balanced, leading to poor posture and alignment from the feet up. Standing and walking without shoes will force the body to take its natural stance, helping to improve overall posture almost effortlessly.
According to recent research, our boots weren’t actually made for walking and the only soles that should be touching the ground are those of our own bare feet. This summer – and every season for that matter – ditch the flip-flops and choose to reap the benefits of going barefoot. With all of the natural health benefits that come with going shoeless, from fighting disease to improving posture and even eliminating foot problems, there’s no reason to coup your feet up any longer. So untie those laces, shed your uncomfortable shoes and just go bare.