Saturday, July 19, 2008

Go Barefoot

My kids have always really liked going barefoot. I'm glad I never forced them to wear shoes constantly! This is from
One of the classic works on the topic of going barefoot is Take Off Your Shoes and Walk by Simon J. Wikler D.S.C. In it he explains that improperly shaped shoes -- including high heels and pointed toes -- are responsible for modern-day foot troubles. In fact, the book describes a study from the late 1950s that found children who were allowed to go barefoot had:
-Greater agility
-Denser muscles on the bottom of their feet
-Less deformed toes
-Greater flexor strength
-More ability to spread the toes
-More flexibility of the gluteal and hamstring muscles
Meanwhile, an article last year suggested that shoes lead to what's called "cow-walk." Cow-walk puts tremendous pressure on your joints. Starting with the squeezing of your foot inside the shoe, jarring the knees as they're locked straight upon the pole-driving impact of the heel, which then travels straight up your spine, all the way up your neck.In contrast, "fox-walking" is the walk of the natural hunter-gatherer -- the graceful flow of your body in total synchronization. Your knees are bent, rather than locked, the ball of your foot touches the ground first, followed by your heel, in a virtually soundless step motion. If you've ever seen a baby walking barefoot, they actually display the correct walking technique that we adults have lost touch with.
Should You Go Barefoot? Bunions are non-existent in barefoot populations of the world, but from a practical perspective, going barefoot all the time is just not an option for most people. But you can certainly do so inside of your home or backyard -- and you may even feel some benefits, particularly from walking on a natural surface.If you decide to go barefoot, do it slowly, progressing to more and more time spent without shoes.
There have been some very compelling studies suggesting that when you are "grounded" free electrons can easily come up from the earth and essentially nullify free radicals in your body. So walking barefoot -- on clean, natural surfaces -- could be an easy way to contribute to your overall health.

No comments: