Have you looked down at your feet lately? And really admired them? They are the most powerful piece of fitness equipment you will ever own. Barefoot training is hitting movement studios around the globe.
Throwing your shoes to the wind has a long list of benefits… but here are some of the main reasons we recommend embracing your bare feet (and come visit us!):
- Improved muscle strength
Believe it or not, a quarter of the bones in your body are found in your feet – who would have thought! These bones, and their associated muscles, are vital to your overall body movement and nerve activation. Sadly, shoes prevent increased activation of intrinsic foot muscles, meaning that when you’re wearing them, the muscles in your feet aren’t working very hard to keep you balanced. This is the opposite of what we need!
Barefoot training forces your feet to work harder to keep you balanced, making you stronger and fitter. It’s not just about your foot muscles though, it’s your legs too. When barefoot, they are able to move more freely and your Achilles tendons are able to stretch, lengthen, and loosen – which will help reduce all of those annoying niggles and injuries!
So really, how could you possibly stress and obsess over having the latest trainers when the benefits of being barefoot are that clear!
- Posture and balance
Something you may not know is that when you train barefoot, the neuromuscular connections between your brain and feet are heightened. This leads to quicker brain-muscle response times, and the activation of more muscles along the way.
It helps your muscles and joints work more effectively in order to reduce chronic pain and injuries, and will help increase your flexibility and improve your breathing also – bonus!
When we think of the ancient art of reflexology, all of the acupuncture points and meridian lines sit in the soles of our feet… So, no offence to the eyes, but it seems like feet might just be the true windows to the soul. Without your shoes, you are able to activate smaller muscles in your feet, ankles, legs and hips – which all work together to help improve your posture and balance.
- Feel grounded
Take a deep breath and imagine you’re at the beach, peacefully digging your feet into the sand on a warm summer’s day… Barefoot training can make every day feel as relaxing as a vacation, by helping to keep you grounded and connected with the environment around you.
Research shows that bare feet gives you an immediate sensory response from the ground. With no distortion from wearing shoes, this sensory information is as natural and pure as it can be.
Having your feet connected to the ground will improve your body’s inflammatory response and will balance the electrical charges… which you will be happy to know calms the nerves, reduces blood pressure and stimulates the healing process throughout the body.
So as strange as it may feel to part with the security of your fave trainers, pedicure or not try kicking off your shoes to give your body the best chance at health and wellness. Are you with us?