Surprising Health Benefits of Walking Barefoot
Many of us may very well not think of this, but there are in fact amazing benefits to kicking off your shoes and sinking your feet into the grass. While shoes do provide excellent protection and comfort for general use, it can be great for your health to let your feet go naked from time to time.
Our patients who undergo bariatric surgery in Tijuana, Mexico such as gastric sleeve and gastric bypass do a lot of walking. And going barefoot can, in fact, help your feet, knees, hips, and back become free of pain which enables them to be much more active.
Let’s cover other health benefits of walking barefoot:
1 – Greater Balance
When your feet become entirely in contact with the ground without the support of a shoe, your vestibular system (inner balance system of the brain) wakes up, and new neural connections are stimulated. This process causes the brain to develop stronger balance, which is especially beneficial to the elderly who are more fragile.
Alongside the neural connections, your muscles that support balance also become stronger and more toned.
2 – Healthy Feet
When you spend too much time walking in shoes, your feet become atrophied. By going barefoot now and then, you allow the muscles in your feet to be once again stimulated and for your feat to become healthier.
You also reduce the risk of foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, foot neuromas, bunions, and other conditions such as hammertoes and arthritis as it develops greater blood flow, flexibility, and strength.
3 – Improved Posture
The human body was not designed to wear shoes. By wearing shoes, we, in fact, force our body to develop poor posture over time. By walking barefoot, you can develop proper posture as you develop a stronger sense of the ground below you and can balance more appropriately. By allowing the nerve endings in your feet to activate and enable you to best respond to the terrain, you enable your body to relax and regain its natural posture. Strain from areas such as the hips, back, and neck begins to release, leaving you with less pain as well.
4 – Improved Health in Children
Research has also found that allowing children to go barefoot as much as possible greatly improves their health. The fact that children’s feet are growing makes this especially important as it enables their feet to properly grow and develop. When their feet are in shoes too often, it causes weakness and soreness, leaving them with little or no desire to exercise.
5 – Improved Brain Activity
It has been stated by Dr. Merzenich, one of the nations leading neuroplasticians, that barefoot walking also helps improve memory, focus, concentration and intelligence level in children and adults.
6 – Blood Pressure & Inflammation Decreases
It has been found through studies that as we stimulate the nerve endings in our feet, we can decrease blood pressure and cortisol (the fight of flight response).
More importantly, walking around barefoot helps to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is the number one cause of diseases in the 21st century such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
According to study results, the reason for this is that free radicals which cause inflammation carry a positive charge. The Earth, however, carries a high negative charge which allows for the discharge of free radicals from the body.