The Surprising Benefits (and Risks) of Walking Barefoot Even on the Streets

If you love walking barefoot, but people look at you like you’re out of your mind, here are some reasons why you probably want to keep doing it.

Gabriela Castillo

Walking barefoot, also known as “earthing” or “grounding,” has become a popular trend in recent years. There are numerous benefits associated with this practice, ranging from improved circulation and balance to reduced stress and inflammation.

One of the benefits of walking barefoot is improved circulation. When you walk barefoot, the muscles and tissues in your feet are stimulated, which helps to increase blood flow throughout the body. This improved circulation can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, improve heart health, and even boost your immune system.

Another benefit of walking barefoot is improved balance and coordination. When you walk without shoes, your feet are forced to work harder to maintain balance and stability, which can help to strengthen the muscles in your feet, ankles, and legs. Over time, this increased strength can lead to improved overall balance and coordination, which can be especially beneficial for older adults or those with mobility issues.

Walking barefoot can also help to reduce stress and anxiety. The act of connecting with the earth and feeling the ground beneath your feet can have a calming effect on the mind and body. Additionally, walking barefoot in natural environments, such as on grass or in the sand, can help to reduce cortisol levels in the body, which is the hormone associated with stress.

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It can also help reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to tackle an injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can contribute to a variety of health problems, including arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. Studies have shown that walking barefoot on natural surfaces can help to reduce inflammation in the body by improving circulation and promoting the release of antioxidants.

According to experts, walking barefoot can also be beneficial for those with foot problems, such as plantar fasciitis or flat feet. When you wear shoes, the arches of your feet are supported, which can lead to a weakening of the muscles in your feet over time. Walking barefoot allows your feet to move more naturally, which can help to strengthen the muscles and improve overall foot health.

In addition to these physical benefits, walking barefoot can also have psychological benefits. The act of walking barefoot can be a meditative practice, helping to clear the mind and promote relaxation. Additionally, walking barefoot can help to reconnect you with nature and promote a sense of mindfulness and gratitude.

Walking Barefoot… on the Streets? The Risks of Earthing

Yes, walking barefoot comes with a lot of benefits for your overall health. However, it is important to note there are potential risks associated with walking barefoot, such as the risk of injury or infection. It is important to be cautious when walking barefoot in public areas, especially in areas with sharp or rough surfaces, and to always clean and inspect your feet afterward.

Walking barefoot can offer numerous benefits for both the mind and body. From improved circulation and balance to reduced stress and inflammation, there are many reasons to give this practice a try. Whether you choose to walk barefoot in your backyard or on a sandy beach, taking a few minutes each day to connect with the earth and feel the ground beneath your feet can be a simple but powerful way to improve your overall health and well-being.