Remember hot summer days as a kid, running around the neighborhood with all your friends? We played in the dirt, made up our own backyard rules, + rode the swingsets dreaming that *maybe* one day we might actually fly. You might have come home with a few grass stains + a shoe or two missing, but it was a small price to pay for a day spent having endless fun.
As we’ve gotten older, we might have forgotten what it’s like to simply exist in the moment of each day — This summer, challenge yourself to let go + live freely. Kick off your shoes [literally], + connect with the world around you by walking barefoot + reaping these health benefits along the way —
1] GREATER STRENGTH + BALANCE
Walking on unsteady surfaces stimulates neural connections in the brain, + you’ll begin to wake up with a better sense of your spatial surroundings. Similarly, going barefoot wakes up muscles in the feet + legs that you may not be used to using, strengthening all at once.
2] IMPROVED SLEEP QUALITY
Science has shown that we may benefit from earth’s natural electric charge. Being in physical contact with the ground on a more frequent basis may relieve tension by removing positive ions in our bodies + replacing them with negative ones. Think of it as the tired, relaxed feeling you get after swimming in the ocean or lying outside all day — After a few hours with your toes in the sand you’ll feel [+ sleep] waaaay better.
3] COGNITIVE ABILITY
Over time, the nerves in our feet age just like the rest of our bodies do. Years of wearing cushioned footwear can cause us to lack important nervous system stimulation that sends information from the feet all the way up to our brains. Without it, our minds become less sharp — not so great when you’ve got a creative project or important presentation that deserves your full attention. If walking barefoot outside isn’t possible where you live [think: urban // city areas], try minimal sneakers or a thinner yoga mat to get those soles workin’.
Ultimately, walking barefoot is more than just another form of exercise — it’s your body [+ mind’s] way of healing. When we’re busy rushing from one project to the next, it’s even more important to remind ourselves to slow down + let go. The next time you find yourself at a backyard barbecue or within walking distance of the beach, ditch the flip-flops + connect to the earth below you. <3
+Alyssa [amatts_inchaarg] // UConn CHAARG