When I was a kid I LOVED being barefoot in the summer…truth be told, I STILL LOVE being barefoot in the summer! Problem is I don’t do it as often since I don’t get all afternoon to play in my backyard running through sprinklers, making mud pies, etc. as I did when I was a kid. When I get to roam a little out at our cabin, our property is an old landing site for a logging operation, so I’m always worried about what I might step on and cut my foot with.

What I didn’t realize, is my love for being barefoot can have health benefits.. WHO KNEW??? As it is now, every chance I get I kick off my shoes and go barefoot. Since I am “baring” it all, I can tell you all a little secret: I tend to wear lots of slip on sandals, shoes and even boots so when I go out to dinner, I can slip them off and sit at the table cross-legged! Yes, more than likely, unless I’m wearing a dress, you can find me at just about any restaurant, from a greasy spoon to a swanky ristorante, with my shoes on the floor under the table, but my feet aren’t in them! When I sit at the computer at the gym (and in my former government and real estate careers), I am either sitting cross-legged in my chair or have one foot on the seat. Don’t tell Mr. Highway Patrol, but I also kick off my shoes on long distance drives.

What I didn’t know about my love for being barefoot, is there is a name for it, well actually two: “Grounding” or “Earthing”. After spending an overnight at the cabin cutting our “grass”…well, it’s green and it grows so we have to mow it, it made me long to be barefoot again. I think this week, I’ll sit out in my yard on my lawn chair with my bare feet planted firmly on the ground to soak up the health benefits. Here is a great article I found on The Seven Health Benefits of Going Barefoot Outside from the MindBodyGreen.com website:

Even though we’ve come to think of them as a vital part of our lives, only 20 percent of the world’s population today wears shoes. Although in western society, shoes are necessary in certain situations, now that spring is here, and summer is on its way, there’s nothing stopping you from finding a park or beach, taking your shoes off and going for a barefoot stroll. The benefits might surprise you.

1. Clear Your Mind
It’s hard not to pay attention to every step when you’re walking barefoot. You have to be on the look out for sharp rocks and thorns. Awareness of what’s in front of you in this moment quiets your inner chatter and clears your mind and helps you focus on the here and now.
2. It’s Free Foot Yoga
Walking barefoot strengthens and stretches the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your feet, ankles and calves. This helps prevent injury, knee strain and back problems. Not only that, but because it works muscles not used when you’re wearing shoes, it strengthens and stretches your core, helping keep your posture upright, and your balance spot on.
3. It’s a Free Reflexology Session.
There are reflex points to every part of your body in your feet. Every little bump and rock in the road helps to stimulate all these little reflex points. If it hurts at first – especially in specific areas, this means your feet need the stimulation they’re getting by being barefoot. Over time, these sensitivities will go away, and the areas the tenderness corresponds to will be rejuvenated, helping decrease the symptoms of whatever it is that ails you. (Click here for the full article)

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