By Kevin Park
The more time we spend indoors and in shoes, the more important it becomes to make time in each day to get outside and get grounded. This growing health practice is called Earthing, and there are a whole host of benefits you can get for free.
Earthing is the practice of literally grounding out your body to the electrical field of The Earth. Beneficial free electrons can transfer from The Earth’s electrical field into your body. It sounds a little scientific…but don’t worry it’s actually quite simple!
Our ancient ancestors didn’t wear thick soled rubber shoes that insulated us from this energy, nor did they spend all day indoors up off of the ground, or on concrete surfaces. They also weren’t exposed to nearly as much EMF’s (electro-magnetic frequencies) as we are today. Earthing is essential for human health and the optimal function of our bodies
It’s so easy do. All you have to do is take off your shoes and socks, go outside, and find a patch of grass or dirt to walk or stand on with your bare feet. It doesn’t take long but ideally you want to spend at least 15 minutes a day grounded, however you can receive the benefits from spending even just a few minutes a day barefoot on the ground.
In addition to Earthing, there are other reasons to go barefoot each day as well. I’ve included them in these 7 reasons to go barefoot every day:
1. Reduce Inflammation
Earthing has been shown to drastically reduce inflammation in our bodies, or to put it another way, the lack of daily earthing increases inflammation. With so many inflammatory diseases that we are plagued with today (asthma, IBS, arthritis etc.) earthing could be a really quick, easy, zero cost, and side effect free way of managing symptoms by reducing inflammation in the body.
2. Stronger Feet and Ankles
Walking around without shoes on strengthens our feet and ankles because it allows them to move unrestricted, and in a natural way. Shoes can bind out feet, causing them to weaken, and our muscles to atrophy. When the muscles in your feet and ankles are activated on a regular basis, you will develop a stronger connection between your brain and your feet, giving you better overall strength, balance, and body awareness, as well as making you more resistant to injuries.
3. Reduce Free Radicals
The free electrons you receive from the earth when grounded reduce free radicals. Free radicals are damaging to healthy cells in your body, and cause accelerated aging. Eating a diet high in anti-oxidants, and daily earthing are the best way to defend against free radical damage.
4. Improve Posture
Going barefoot helps put your body back into proper alignment. Your feet are designed to sit flat on the ground. Most shoes have a raised heel for extra cushioning or fashion and can really distort your posture and inhibit your natural movement when walking, running, or standing. Wearing high heels is one of the worst things you can do for your posture. As a trainer, one of the first things I do is get my clients to take their shoes off before working out. Their posture and form improves right away! Better posture can also help eliminate aches and pains that are caused by poor posture.
5. Stimulate Reflexology Points
You have over 7000 nerve endings on each foot, and according to the ancient therapy of reflexology these points correlate to different organs and bodily systems. When your feet spend all day bound up in shoes they aren’t getting stimulated. Taking your shoes off and walking on uneven surfaces puts pressure on these points and can improve your overall state of health.
Have you ever gone swimming in a lake, river or the ocean? Do you ever notice how energized you feel afterwards? This is due in part to the grounding effect of being in a natural body of water. You can get this same boost in energy by earthing with your bare feet on the ground. If you feel tired or groggy mid-day then spending a few minutes earthing can really help you re-energize without having to turn to stimulating drinks like coffee that can tax your adrenals and make you feel even more tired in the long run.
7. Connect to Nature
The practice of earthing helps enhance our connection to the natural world. We come from the earth, we eat from the earth, and we are made of the earth, and going barefoot can act as a simple reminder of this. It re-calibrates are senses so that we get more information from the environment, giving us a heightened sense of awareness in nature. Being barefoot in nature can make you feel more wild and free again…reducing stress levels and balancing out our busy modern-day lives.
What if you can’t get outside?
Getting outside and touching your bare feet to the ground on a daily basis is ideal, but we often just can’t help but spend long periods of time indoors i.e. at home, in bed sleeping, at work, in the office etc.
There are some good indoor earthing solutions out there to help you get the grounding benefits of earthing but without having to go barefoot outside.
There are special conductive mats, bed sheets, and other devices that you can plug into the ground plug-in any electrical outlet (don’t worry, you can’t get electrocuted), or by plugging a provided metal ground stake directly into the ground with a wire running to the device.
Your whole household electrical system is grounded into the earth this way, and your electricity wouldn’t work properly without it. Grounding is essential for electricity…and our bodies. Using these earthing devices is a good way to negate the harmful effects of indoor EMFs from computers, appliances, cell phones, televisions etc.
For indoor earthing solutions check out earthing.com
If you want to get the benefits of going barefoot outside while still wearing something on your feet check out Earthrunners conductive earthing sandals.
Founder at ReWild Your Body
Kevin is the founder of rewildyourbody.com and the creator of The Wild Body Program. He's passionate about teaching natural movement, natural nutrition, and living a more nature connected lifestyle.