People weren’t born wearing shoes. Well, actually they weren’t born wearing anything but that’s another topic…LOL. The fact of the matter is that being barefoot is a natural way of being. We learn how to walk barefoot and spend lots of time as a child barefoot running around in the lawn, tearing off down the street or trekking through a nearby stream.
However, shoes are demanded in life…remember “no shoes, no shirt, no service”….and we become quite accustomed to wearing them and genuinely think they are required for health, safety, support and sanitation. But with just the slightest measure of abandon, the feeling of liberation is quickly rediscovered. Think about how great it feels to come home, kick off those shoes…think about how “Ahhhhh!” that feeling is.
It is just a natural state of being and once embraced, there is a new connection to the world, to the body and its environment that truly is profound, relaxing, comfortable and authentic.
So why just leave it for after work when in the privacy of the home? Why not make and take more opportunities to BE barefoot and connected?
Training, walking and standing barefoot is something simple that truly improves the health of the feet as well as the whole body.
So…what are the real benefits of being and training barefoot?
Most think shoes are beneficial because they give stability and support but in truth that just makes the foot and ankle lazy. Barefoot strengthens the stabilizing muscles of the feet thereby improving balance and overall athletic performance and function of movement.
Being barefoot brings connection and feeling within the occupied environment which in turn helps develop natural movements. In other words, your feet respond to the surfaces of the environment which in turn leads to natural responses throughout the body.
A surprising fact that many don’t know is that almost 30% of the joints in the body are in the feet. Feet are therefore the base of support for the entire body. And artificial support from shoes actually places unnatural pressure on the knees, spine and even neck.
Going barefoot also improves muscle alignment. Different muscle fibers are used when barefoot than when in shoes and that means more natural muscle patterns are recruited and strengthened.
Also, going barefoot improves and strengthens the neuromuscular pathways of the foot and leg. These mold the muscle firing sequences and affect the way you move in normal daily functions.
Wearing shoes artificially raises the arches and directly removes the responsibility from the arch muscles. This can cause arch muscles to become weak from not being used properly which can lead to a life of orthopedic problems.
Going barefoot increases flexibility and mobility of the foot and gives a much wider range of motion.
Training and being barefoot can relieve many common foot ailments caused by shoes such as bunions, corns, athlete’s foot, hammer toes and ingrown toe nails. People who spend time barefoot do not experience any of these and generally do not even get any callouses.
Going barefoot improves Chi (Qi). What does that mean? The feet are the part of you in the most contact with the ground and this is where all of the energy and force that accumulates throughout the body is released. Going barefoot, thereby, helps energy to flow smoothly through the body.
The feet are vital elements of health…often ones most neglected and taken for granted. Few realize the true impact foot health has on everything from posture, to stability and mobility all the way to hip and knee health.
So, go natural…go barefoot in training and in leisure! It will be a decision of great benefit and value. Happy feet are a happy body!
Carl Mason-Liebenberg, is a Wellness and Weight Loss Specialist, Author, Fitness Coach, and a Leader in Creating a Lifestyle of Wellness. His passion is for those who suffer from poor nutrition, related illnesses, addictions and overweight conditions. He has recently launched an online program, 360XBT to help you reach your weight loss, fitness and health goals.
- Published: 06 June 2014
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