10 Health Benefits of Going Barefoot
They say that superheroes only exist in comic books, but that’s not entirely true. Humans can conduct superhuman-like feats thanks to our biology. For example, The design of our feet and legs and our ability to sweat makes us the second fastest long-distance animal on the planet.
And believe it or not, we can actually move faster and more comfortably if we ditch running shoes. There are plenty of other benefits of going barefoot, including the following ten.
1. Improves Posture
Going barefoot helps strengthen the muscles of your feet and ankles, which can improve overall posture. That’s because the nerves in your feet can better communicate with the rest of your body. You may find that your back, shoulders, and legs feel better after taking a barefoot walk.
2. Stimulates Circulation
The continuous flexing of muscles and tendons in your feet that comes with barefoot walking helps stimulate circulation and reduce inflammation in the entire body. While well-fitted shoes won’t necessarily cut off circulation, anything gripping your body can impact blood flow.
3. Increases Flexibility
Barefoot walking increases the flexibility of your feet, ankles, knees, and hips, allowing for a better range of motion for everyday activities. Unless you wear barefoot running shoes exclusively, your feet won’t be able to go through the full range of motion if you wear footwear.
4. Reduces Pain
Going barefoot can help reduce pain from chronic conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, knee, and joint pain, as well as muscle pain in the feet and calves. If you find the ideal running shoes for going barefoot, you can even reduce the possibility of getting stones or glass in your foot.
5. Improves Balance
Without the restriction of shoes, your feet can spread out and grip uneven surfaces, which can help you better balance yourself and make walking easier. If you’re about to fall, running shoes will prevent you from grabbing the ground, which could lead to more walking accidents.
6. Better Immune System
Being barefoot provides your feet with greater stimulation, sending more signals to your body’s immune system, making it stronger. Studies show that walking barefoot decreases red blood cell count and increases white blood cell count, which implies a much stronger immune system.
7. Reduces Stress
Just the act of being outside and feeling the ground beneath your feet can be a great stress reliever. That same study that linked barefoot walking to an increased immune system also showed that walking barefoot can help improve sleep, reduce pain, and lower stress.
8. Stimulates Nerve Endings
By going barefoot, you can experience sensations from your environment first-hand, stimulating nerve endings in your feet that are dormant or “numb” when wearing shoes. It can also feel good to wiggle your toes in the earth or around the house, which is enough of a benefit in itself.
9. Feel Connected to Nature
Going barefoot can help you gain a greater appreciation for the natural world. Feel the ground beneath your feet and the wind on your skin for a greater connection to your environment. Being in nature is good for humans, especially when they have fewer layers constricting their bodies.
10. Better Breathability
The air in your environment can be absorbed through your skin, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach your blood cells and organs. If you have less clothing covering your body, you’ll help it absorb more vitamin D, which is important for our moods and immune systems.
These are just a few of the great health benefits of going barefoot. If you want to try it, make sure you’re always walking on a safe, clean surface like grass, sand, or dirt. Try taking a barefoot walk through a park or in your yard, and enjoy all the amazing health benefits it brings.