What Happens To Your Body When You Start Walking Barefoot 5 Minutes Every Day
With five minutes a day of walking barefoot – Earthing, as the politically correct might say – your entire body will feel the changes this creates. One of the most important things to understand when you consider the benefits of walking barefoot is just how much of our body’s natural energies run through our feet. Everything from PMS to hypertension to sleep apnea is connected to specific points along our feet.
Our feet are designed to be walked on. There are over 200,000 nerve endings in a human foot, and so they are built to be as sensitive as our hands. As a result, even five to ten minutes of walking outside barefoot will stimulate the senses as thoroughly as if you had spent an entire lifetime wearing gloves, then took those gloves off and finally could learn what those things truly felt like.
Ever since we gave up walking on all fours, our legs and feet have evolved to meet our needs. Consider the difference between walking barefoot and walking with shoes. When you have shoes on, the padded heels strike the ground and then the foot comes down flat before the leg lifts the foot up again. It is rough and unnatural. Take off the shoes and your feet will come down more gently, with your knee bent, until the balls of your feet are splayed, gripping the ground, before pushing off again. It is a subtle difference which drastically changes the mechanics of our body’s motion.
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That difference also causes many injuries, which can be reduced once you liberate your feet from constantly walking in shoes. When our feet know they are striking the ground, a series of biomechanical relays immediately act to soften the blows echoing up the leg and reduce the amount of pressure put on knees and joints. Shoes, especially insulated or athletic shoes, have the opposite effect. By padding down the foot and exaggerating the heel, we prevent that natural absorption from ever taking place and researchers have found padded shoes can create up to 12 times the amount of stress on our bodies.
Another benefit of walking barefoot each day is the extra energies we can pick up from the surface of the Earth itself. Since the sixties, we have been walking with rubber or plastic soled shoes, literally insulating ourselves from the natural electrons flowing along the Earth’s surface.
Those electrons have immense health benefits as they are absorbed into our bodies in a process called grounding. The most potent is their ability to neutralize the free radicals, which reduces chronic pain, muscle fatigue and signs of aging. So running or walking barefoot for five to ten minutes a day may not just psychologically feel younger, it also physically reduces the effects of aging too.
Grounding your feet for five or more minutes a day can also positively impact your heart and nervous system. It raises the surface charge of your body’s red blood cells, which keeps them from clumping and triggering heart issues. Grounding also helps regulate the endocrine and nervous systems.
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Children and older adults will see the many direct benefits to walking (or running) without shoes. Falls are a common concern, especially as we age and our bodies do not have the reflexes they once knew. Yet by walking barefoot for a short time every day, our feet will stay stronger and healthier and that in turn improves our balance, reducing the chances of a serious fall. Children’s growing bodies are often a paragon of clumsiness too, but spending extra time running and playing outside without any shoes on will help their muscles develop properly.
Shoes have thrown off the human body’s natural biomechanics but by taking five minutes a day to walk outside and readjust our feet to their natural state, we can reclaim the many health benefits that have been lost to us by wearing shoes.