The Extraordinary Health Benefits Of Barefoot Gardening
Barefoot gardening provides benefits to the whole body. And there is a safe and enjoyable way to garden without shoes!
Simply plant “steppable” plants designed for foot traffic and using sole-friendly landscaping materials, you can get a daily foot workout and massage.
By doing so, you will strengthen your feet and ankles, restore your natural gait, improve balance and posture, prevent common injuries, and increase your general well-being.
The benefits of walking barefoot
The small muscles in our feet communicate with larger muscles in our legs and core through a feedback loop. However, that communication is largely disconnected when we wear shoes.
What we wear on our feet affects the health not only of our feet and lower body but on how we move every body part too.
When we walk barefoot we have more control on our feet, meaning more control on our entire body and posture. So, walking barefoot will definitely strengthen your feet and ankles, restore your natural gait, improve balance and posture, prevent common injuries and improve overall health.
When we walk outdoors with bare feet, we are connecting with the earth, and this connection improves sleep, normalizes levels of the stress hormone cortisol, reduces pain, reduces stress, increases heart rate variability (a sign of heart health), decreases inflammation, and speeds wound healing.
DESIGNING A BAREFOOT GARDEN
Europeans have more than a dozen public barefoot parks where people come to walk without shoes on various terrains and get “the opportunity to enjoy barefoot life.”
The easiest way to make your yard barefoot-friendly is to consider your feet when choosing landscaping materials. Also, consider durable plants that tolerate foot traffic, such as creeping perennials, creeping groundcovers, and Irish moss.
Avoid materials that make shoes more appealing, such as sharp gravel and splintery fir bark mulch.
RELAXING WITH REFLEXOLOGY
Chinese people have developed reflexology centuries ago. This is the practice where a massage therapist stimulates pressure points on the feet to improve health. Paths intended for barefoot walking are common features in parks, resorts, and private gardens.
DEVELOPING FOOT SENSE
Barefoot gardens are not for everyone. For example, if you live in rattlesnake country, you probably want to wear shoes outdoors.
And, of course if you decide to try and lead a barefoot garden style, it won’t be easy at first, so it’s best to transition gradually. If your feet are accustomed to being exclusively in shoes during waking hours, expect some pain at first while your soles and brain adjust to new sensations.
Slowly introduce new sensations and pay attention to your surroundings and your body’s cues.
In no time, you will start experiencing the many benefits barefoot gardening brings!
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