8 Surprisingly Healthy Reasons To Hike Barefoot
Grounding, also known as earthing, refers to the practice of connecting your body to the Earth’s natural electric charge by walking barefoot or sitting/lying on the ground.
Here are some reasons why grounding via bare feet is important for humans:
Grounding helps to neutralize the positively charged free radicals in our bodies, which are responsible for inflammation. By connecting to the negatively charged Earth, we can reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Grounding has been shown to improve the quality and duration of sleep. This is likely due to the fact that grounding can help regulate cortisol levels and promote a sense of relaxation and calmness.
Boosts mood and reduces stress
Grounding has been shown to increase the production of endorphins and reduce the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. This can lead to an overall boost in mood and a reduction in stress and anxiety.
Enhances physical performance
Grounding has also been shown to enhance physical performance by improving blood flow, reducing muscle soreness and fatigue, and improving balance and coordination.
Grounding via bare feet can have a number of positive effects on our physical and mental health, making it an important practice to consider incorporating into our daily lives.
From the moment I wake until the moment I sleep at night, my actions revolved around maximizing energy output and overall life productivity.
This means I am constantly indulging in activities that promote blood flow, increase metabolism, and ultimately wake me up.
It all starts with waking up at the same time each day and immediately going on a walk or a hike.
This walk is often times barefoot, which absolutely starts my day off on the right foot… (pun intended?)
Walking barefoot, also known as earthing, has gone from being a hippy trend, to a scientifically researched practice with a number of remarkable health advantages, such as increasing antioxidants, reducing inflammation, and improving sleep to name a few.
Earthing literally means, walking barefoot on soil, grass or sand – any of earths natural surfaces.
Modern rubber-soled shoes are basically electrical insulators and block an extremely beneficial flow of electrons from the earth to your body.
Studies have shown that earthing or grounding improves blood viscosity, heart rate variability, inflammation, cortisol dynamics, sleep, autonomic nervous system (ANS) balance, and reduces effects of stress.
Earthing also decreases the effects of potentially disruptive electromagnetic fields that are all around us.
A Body Voltage Meter can determine how much electricity is induced when lying in bed or sitting in a chair, and how much the electrical charge is reduced by grounding.
The planet has it’s own natural charge and we do better when we’re in direct contact with it.
I came across an interesting study that found earthing actually changes electrical activity in the brain, as measured by electroencephalograms.
Other research found that grounding benefits skin conductivity, moderated heart rate variability, improve glucose regulation, reduced stress and boosted immunity.
Stepping outside and spending 10 to 15 minutes in the sun on a barefoot hike will also get you some vitamin D which can help boost your mood and mental performance.
Spending time in the sun on top of earthing boosts levels of serotonin, which is the body’s natural happy hormone.
That’s why we tend to feel happier and more energetic when when the sun shines.
I came across a particularly interesting study published in the journal of alternative and complementary medicine, which found earthing increases the surface chard of red blood cells and helps avoid clumping which decreases blood viscosity.
Another study in the same journal found that earthing might help regulate both the endocrine and nervous systems…
I absolutely love going on barefoot hikes and feel totally grounded and blissful.
Hiking barefoot can be a unique and beneficial way to connect with nature and experience the outdoors.
Here are three surprisingly healthy reasons to hike barefoot:
Improves balance and stability
Hiking barefoot forces you to be more aware of your footing and the terrain under your feet, which can help improve your balance and stability.
As you adapt to the changing terrain, your foot muscles and tendons become stronger, which can enhance your overall athletic performance and reduce your risk of injury.
Provides natural foot therapy
Walking barefoot allows your feet to move and flex more naturally, stimulating the nerve endings in your feet and providing natural foot therapy.
This can help improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain in your feet and lower legs.
Hiking barefoot can also help you become more mindful of your surroundings, as you pay closer attention to the ground beneath your feet and the sensations in your body.
This can lead to a deeper appreciation of nature and a greater sense of calm and relaxation.
MORE ADVENTURE RELATED READING:
8 Of the Best Places for Outdoor Family Adventure
Top 3 Reasons You Should Do More Hiking
Day Hiking Checklist – Everything You’ll Need For Most Hikes
15 Best Trail Towns In The United States
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To your next adventure!