Sunday, May 18, 2014

walk in the footsteps of a stranger

In the past couple of years I've come to a very real, and very unsettling, realization.
I abhor clothing.  Shoes in particular.

Maybe its the feeling of being restricted and trapped, maybe I just hate the feeling of fabrics on my skin.  Either way, I've always been that kid who kicks off her shoes under the table at restaurants or refuses to wear shoes outside.

I decided today to do some research and see what the research is on walking barefoot.
My mother has always told me that walking barefoot exposes you to germs that are bad for you, etc.

She was right to some extent.

You are exposed to germs when you run around barefoot, but your body builds up an immunity to them.  Also, your shoes are breeding grounds for bacteria.  You sweat up to a pint everyday from both of your feet.  And guess where that all goes?  To soak into your shoes.  That is naaasty.  If you just ditch the shoes, there is no funky smell and the sweat just evaporates instantly (unless you sweat a lot) without causing the bacteria stink.

Barefoot walkers (barefooters? barefeeters? barefeets?) are less likely to develop fungus, ingrown toenails, and athlete's foot because, guess what?  We have gotten rid of the breeding ground for all of these issues.  My friend recently had to have two toenails removed due to a fungus and ingrown problem.  She probably could have avoided those medical bills and painful nights by walking around without shoes.

When I was a little kid, I used to hide my shoes from my mom so I didn't have to wear them because they hurt my feet so badly.  My mom always said it was because the shoes had arch support and I have feet flatter than the Greeks thought the earth was back in the day.  There wasn't much I could do but suffer my way through life in restricting shoes.

Shoes mold and restrict our feet from letting them move the way they are supposed to.  Our feet were created to support our bodies and protect us from the terrain the generations before us had to endure.  Our feet do not need support!  Even on concrete!  There are thousands, maybe even millions of people in India and China (and other parts of the world!) who have never worn shoes and they have no complaints about feet pain, but yet there are probably two hundred podiatrists in the state of Colorado alone.

So what are the benefits to walking au natural?  Increased balance, joint swelling is reduced, can cause up to 62% decrease in anxiety and depression, aids in sleep, improved posture, and your feet and ankles become so much stronger!

There is this thing called reflexology (I'll do a post on this later) that says if you massage certain areas on your feet, you can help relieve tension and pain in another area.  When you walk barefoot, you are giving yourself a free reflexology session.

I'm going to go barefoot (24/7) for the next month.  The last week in July is Soles4Souls week when you go barefoot all week.  Let me know if you would try this!  A day, maybe a week, or even a whole month like me!

I'll write a few more posts on things like reflexology and ways to help those who need shoes (though maybe we don't!) and other charities.

I hope you partake in this challange, one way or another!

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