7 Reasons Why I LOVE Exercising Barefoot
7 Reasons Why I LOVE Exercising BAREFOOT
You may wonder if I always exercise barefoot and the answer is generally yes, unless I’m walking or running on a road or thorny rural pathway. Below are 7 reasons why I love exercising with no shoes and socks:
The main reason I do it is because since a child, I love walking around with nothing on my feet. I simply love the feel of the grass and different surfaces on the soles of my feet. I nearly always train barefoot and spend most days shoeless and sockless around the house and garden.
2. Barefoot exercises strengthen the ankles and feet
A few years ago, I tore the ligaments around the outside of my right ankle and it was standing on one leg, barefoot, with my eyes closed that helped with the final healing process because going barefoot strengthens the stabilising muscles of the feet and ankles.
3. Walking barefoot is grounding
Probably more importantly though are the benefits of walking barefoot which helps energy flow through our bodies more effectively. When our feet are as nature intended on the earth we absorb negative electrons which help to balance out the overload of positive electrons we are surrounded with on a daily basis.
Bad-boy positive electrons come from wi-fi, microwave ovens, satellite dishes, radio frequencies, electro-magnetic fields to name but a few (never sleep with your mobile phone near to your body and ideally turn it off and leave it in another room). Positive electrons build up within our bodies, compromise our immune systems and increase free-radical damage. By spending time barefoot on grass, dirt or natural surfaces, we help to rectify the balance of electrons in our bodies which makes us happier, less stressy and just generally feel more chilled and at peace with the world.
4. Strengthen your posture by going barefoot
Not wearing shoes also helps our postural alignment. When we wear shoes, we tend to have our heels lifted off the floor, even if the shoes are relatively flat, such as trainers. The body gets used to standing in that position, which can cause undue stress on the neck, spine, back, hips and knees. Reverting to barefoot is what nature intended and is what our anatomy is designed to cope with.
5. Barefoot exercises improves your pro-prioception
Our proprioception is improved when we go without shoes. Essentially, proprioception is our subconscious understanding of where we are physically in time and space. Going barefoot helps you to balance, to move more efficiently and adapt to your surroundings more easily.
“You learn a lot when you’re barefoot. The first thing is every step you take is different.” Michael Franti
As a test, close your eyes and stand on one leg – that’s your pro-prioceptive awareness. When you practice this regularly, you’ll strengthen your ankles and feet and become more lithe and able to adapt to different terrain.
6. Barefoot athletes tend to have fewer injuries
Athletes who are used to training without shoes (remember Zola Budd?) tend to have lower injury rates than those who train in shoes.
7. Barefoot pinkies don’t pong!
And even better! Barefoot babes tend not to have stinky feet. When we wrap up our feet in socks and shoes, they can’t breathe. Let the air get around those pinkies and focus on just how good it feels!
Let me know if you’re part of the barefoot tribe!