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Once upon a time, we humans spent much of our time outdoors. We tilled the earth, searched for prey and simply enjoyed all that nature offers. But today, we live in cities, spend our time in front of screens and usually just take off our shoes when we’re watching TV or sleeping. This means we are missing out on the surprising health benefits of walking barefoot. Read on to learn from the wellness experts at The Lodge at Woodloch why you should treat your tootsies to a barefoot walk in the world.

Tiptoe Through the Tulips
Go ahead, take your shoes off. While it might seem like something you relate to childhood, there is good scientific research to support that walking barefoot in nature (get off the sidewalk) in soil, grass or sand has health benefits. The earth has its own natural “charge” and we do better when we have direct contact with it.

The texture on your feet helps you to be more in the moment than a typical walk. Whether grass, sand or soil, there is a direct correlation of what you feel and what you are thinking about which helps to ground you in the moment, like the feeling of sand between your toes at the beach.

While walking barefoot is great, walking, in general, is amazing. Walking helps to synchronize the breath with movement in a way that sitting or running does not.

One study shows that earthing or grounding (walking barefoot in nature) helps one get a better night’s sleep. The contact with the earth helps to stabilize and resent the natural circadian rhythms in the body. Another study showed that walking barefoot can help strengthen the immune system. White blood cells seemed to go down while red blood cells seemed to increase which hints to better immunity.

Whatever the reason, if you can remember back to childhood…it actually just feels good. So, go ahead, tiptoe through the tulips.