Fresh grass, warm sunlight, and beautiful natural surroundings can make anyone drop their footwear and enjoy walking barefoot. Walking barefoot on grass, also known as “earthing” or “grounding,” has been in the news for some time.
People across the globe enjoy doing it early in the morning before the hustle and bustle of the peak hours set in. The air is at its freshest best, the sunlight is unadulterated, and the surroundings are still quaint and quiet, which provide an ideal setting for a restorative stroll.
Soaking in the sunlight, particularly during winters, helps you keep warm and supplements your body with its necessary fill of vitamin D. Additionally, since the air is still largely devoid of vehicular pollution in these wee hours, you can breathe in fresh oxygen, which improves your body’s overall functioning.
Thus, the ideal way to start your day is to rise early and go for a barefoot walk in the park, in your private lawn, or in any clean stretch of dense grass, which is known to calm your brain and prepare you to take on the rest of the day.
If you are not a morning person, the next best option is to take a leisurely walk in the late afternoon when the air and noise pollution is relatively low.
How Does Earthing Work?
We live in an overwhelmingly digital age that has made us hopelessly dependent on technology, particularly electromagnetic devices. There are gadgets to accomplish the simplest of tasks, and we regularly choose convenience over health by using them excessively.
Try as we may, there’s just no avoiding the constant exposure to electromagnetic radiation emanated by devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers, electric bed heaters, microwave ovens, remote controllers, and wireless devices.
By absorbing these harmful rays, our body becomes susceptible to silent inflammation due to the gradual buildup of positive electrons that form free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for subjecting our body to various degrees of oxidative stress, which lies at the foundation of various diseases and cancer.
When you establish a direct connection to the earth by walking barefoot on it, you open a channel for the negative grounding charge to cancel out the positive electrons toxifying the body.
Given that the earth is full of energies itself, being connected to its frequencies allows you to discharge your negative stress into the ground in exchange for more nourishing vibes that invigorate and replenish your body, mind, and soul.
This process is almost along the lines of resetting the body to its homeostasis state, characterized by an internal equilibrium between all physiological and psychological elements.
Earthing has been shown to reduce acute and chronic inflammation, blood glucose in patients with diabetes, red blood cell (RBC) aggregation, and blood coagulation.
It also has been shown to produce symptomatic improvement in chronic muscle and joint pain, a reduction in overall stress levels and tensions, a boost in positive moods, an improvement in heart rate variability, and an improvement in the immune response.
Another favorable aspect of earthing is that anyone from the young ones to the elderly can enjoy this gentle form of exercise, without breaking a sweat, or a hip.
Are There Any Risks with Walking Barefoot?
For those who have spent their entire life treading in shoes, walking barefoot can be quite grueling at first. Your feet are used to being cocooned within the sweaty confines of shoes and socks, especially when venturing out. Thus, it’s no surprise that it takes time for your feet to build their threshold for walking on coarse terrains sans any protective padding.
Walking shoeless on grassy turfs can make your feet susceptible to getting scraped by sharp objects like thorns and flint. When you are new to this experience, the process can be too discomforting for your fragile feet to bear such that you might only manage a 5-minute tread at best.
Just like breaking in a new pair of shoes can be somewhat painful initially, a little pain and practice will help you break out of them as well.
Try not to let it bog you down. Instead, set short attainable targets and take it a day at a time. Without getting ahead of yourself, start with short 5-minute walks and gradually increase the distance covered.
Earthing: How to Do It Right?
- Walking on damp grass is preferred over dry patches as the water will help conduct the unstable electrons from the body into the ground more effectively.
- Just as the soles of your feet are quick to absorb the earth’s energy, toxins from the ground can also make their way into your system through the same channel. For this reason, avoid walking on grass or soil that is littered with dirt, dog feces, bird droppings, etc. Instead, scout for clean patches of foliage, forest turf, or beach soil to walk on.
- Walking shoeless is not recommended if you happen to have any open wounds on your soles, as the parasites and fungi that your feet pick up on the way can gain free entry through the ruptured skin.
- Once you are back from your stroll, thoroughly wash your feet with soap and water to cleanse them of the soil, detritus, grime, and other substances.
- This form of grounding exercise is especially recommended if you have been on a flight recently. Being airborne is known to disrupt our body’s natural bioelectrical rhythms and grounding helps restore that electrical equilibrium.
Word of Caution: You don’t have to cover a lot of ground to reap the benefits of grounding. A daily stroll lasting anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes should suffice to give you your regular fill of earth energy.
However, before you venture out barefoot in the grass, remember to take the same precautions that you would with any gardening or outdoor activity. Keep yourself protected from adverse side effects such as sunburns, pests, and injuries.
What Are the Benefits of Walking Barefoot on Grass?
Take off your shoes and spend some time treading the earth on your bare feet. This form of rustic therapy helps restore your body and brain function to its optimal best. Earthing has cathartic value for your entire being and is definitely worth a try.
If you are still not convinced, the following health benefits of walking barefoot on grass daily will help you get on board.
1. Reduction in Pain and Inflammation
Grounding is an easy and all-natural way to bring down swelling and inflammation caused by injuries. It is often on account of the pressure exerted on inflamed nerve tissue that we experience pain.
Walking barefoot on grass and dirt stimulates almost an immediate catharsis to reduce overall pain levels by reducing the inflammation and thereby allowing oxygenated blood to flow more freely and efficiently throughout the body.
With improved circulation, the blood carries the health-restorative nutrients to the farthest and minutest corner and promotes faster recovery.
According to scientists, this healing effect can be directly attributed to the earth’s electrons that come in direct with the body through the grounding process and help nurture it back to health.
2. Improved Sleep Cycles
Recent studies have demonstrated the positive effect of walking barefoot on grass on sleep. A bit of earthing can help stabilize your body clock by making your circadian rhythms more consistent, which essentially means that it helps sync your sleep-wake cycle with the day-night cycle.
Moreover, this activity is also known to induce a deep and restful sleep. Physical with the earth’s surface helps reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which explains the efficacy of earthing for the promotion of sound sleep.
3. Improves Eyesight
Your feet have many reflexology zones that correspond to various organs of your body, including the eyes. When you walk barefoot, you put maximum pressure on the first, second, and third toes – the main reflexology pressure points for the eyes. Stimulating these points helps improve eyesight. It also helps the entire body stay healthy.
In addition, looking at the green color of the grass soothes the eyes. The morning dew on the grass is also beneficial for eye health.
4. Keeps Feet Healthy
Walking barefoot is a great exercise for your feet. It strengthens and stretches the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your feet, ankles, and calves. This helps prevent injury, knee strain, and back problems. It also improves flexor strength and is beneficial for people who have flat feet.
Moreover, it helps keep your posture upright and reduces the risk of developing calluses, strains, and stiffness in the soles of your feet.
5. Relieves Stress
Walking barefoot on grass, especially in the morning, helps rejuvenate your senses and calm your mind. The combination of fresh air, warm sunlight, green surroundings, and the peaceful morning atmosphere helps in many ways.
Fresh oxygen is good for your body’s organs, sunlight activates vitamin D synthesis, and the calm atmosphere helps relax your entire body and mind. These, in turn, help you feel relaxed and relieve stress.
In addition, starting your day walking barefoot on grass for 30 minutes will help you handle your day-to-day activities easily and in a relaxed manner. In the evening, 30 minutes of walking barefoot will help you unwind your mind.
6. Provides Vitamin D
When you are outside walking barefoot on grass, the sun’s rays help nourish the body by activating the production of vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D keeps your bones healthy and prevents osteoarthritis and other bone- and joint-related diseases.
Low levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain cancers.
Vitamin D is also very important for pregnant women. Moreover, sunlight is full of healing energies that provide vitality.
For maximum benefit, enjoy walking in the early morning or late afternoon when the sunrays are not that harsh.
7. Neutralizes Electrical Energies
Free radical stress from exposure to radiation, trans fats, cigarettes, insecticides, pesticides, and other harmful elements continually deplete your body of electrons, and the earth is a good source of free radical-busting electrons.
These electrons have antioxidant effects that help fight oxidative stress, which is associated with inflammation and diseases.
Being out in nature is a great way to start your morning as well as end your evening. So, take off your shoes and be with nature.
8. Benefits the Circadian Rhythms and Nervous System
Walking barefoot on the earth’s surface can also work to the benefit of our autonomic nervous system and circadian rhythms.
Circadian rhythm refers to any internal biological process that follows a 24-hour cycle, including body temperature, hormone secretion, digestion, and blood pressure, among other things.
Grounding can help effectively synchronize our circadian rhythms with the day-night cycle, thereby preventing a number of health problems linked with the disruption of your internal body clocks, as in the case of shift workers.
The key mechanism at play here is the positive impact of earthing on the largest nerve of the autonomic nervous system, the vagus nerve. It extends from the brain to the colon and plays a vital role in heart, lung, and digestive functions.
The variation in your heart rate when you breathe in and out is measured to assess the strength of your vagal tone. A strong vagal tone allows you to relax faster after experiencing stress, whereas a weak vagal tone is associated with chronic inflammation.
Inflammation is the precipitating factor for a wide array of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
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