The benefits of barefoot walking aren’t realized in the middle of winter here in Turkey. However, tomorrow I’m heading to Australia where it’s the middle of summer.
I will spend most of my time there in my mum’s garden doing odd jobs. It’s a fantastic opportunity to reap the benefits of barefoot walking.
A Brief List Of Benefits Of Barefoot Walking
- “Neutralizing” your charge with the Earth’s energy (particularly on grass)
- Strengthening stabilizing foot muscles and natural foot arch
- Naturalizing walking gate which can help with ankle, knee and hip-joint function
- Improving general balance and proprioception
- Building stronger skin
- Increasing awareness in the present moment as you look out for bindies or sharp objects
- Reducing stress and inflammation
- Improving sleep rhythms
- Moderating heart-rate variability
All of these benefits of barefoot walking fall under the umbrella of an even cooler effect – getting back to our primal roots.
We are apes after all — cavemen and women in cloth.
Barefoot walking taps into a deep part of us.
How To Start Barefoot Walking
Find a park or peaceful place with luscious green grass.
Take your shoes off and walk slowly and aimlessly for 5 minutes.
Focus on the feeling – it will be good!
It will be so good that, once you start, you’ll want to continue past the 5 minutes. But if you’re pressed for time because of work, family, whatever, at least give yourself 5 minutes.
Do that 3 times a week.
Then slowly increase the time and regularity of your mindful walking.
Extending The Benefits Of Barefoot Walking
I have walked barefoot in capital cities around the world, from…
As you might be able to guess, walking barefoot in populated places like these gets you stare after stare after stare.
But if you want to experience the full benefits of barefoot walking then you have to own it…
You shouldn’t do it timidly or while worrying what others think.
This, in itself, is another benefit – to cultivate indifference about the opinions of others.
Extreme Benefits of Barefoot Walking
There are even some “maniacs” who run ultra-marathons barefoot.
The people who do this swear by the approach:
- They build up callouses on the bottoms of their feet.
- They eliminate joint pain & inflammation.
- They push past previous endurance levels.
- And, of course, they are like cool cavemen & women.
You can read more about the original gangsters of barefoot runners in Born To Run, by Christoper McDougall.
Transitioning To Barefoot Walking
If all of this is too much for you or your situation in any way doesn’t allow for it then…
Checkout some minimalist shoes which have similar – albeit reduced – benefits.