Wild, Barefoot & Free
It’s summertime and there’s nothing like running barefoot through the grass, hopping river rocks or chillin’ on a sandy beach! Have you ever noticed a revitalizing sensation after spending time barefoot?
Walking barefoot on the earth, is actually a thing—it’s called grounding or earthing and it’s a powerful way to improve your health and wellness. Although it may sound woo-woo, you should be sayin’ woo-hoo! because researchers have found evidence that the act of physically connecting our bodies to the Earth has vital benefits! So kick your shoes off and read on…
Hardwired for Nature
Our bodies are energy. We’re made of water, minerals and atoms, and our cells and nervous system are basically energy—we are akin to a walking, talking, conductive battery. In basic physics we learn our bodies are made up of atoms, which are made up of protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons have a positive charge, neutrons have a neutral charge, and electrons have a negative charge. The switch between one type of charge and the other allows electrons to flow from one atom to another—and since your body relies on these electrical signals, any breakdown in your body’s electrical system is going to cause misfires.
Research shows the impressive benefits of the earth’s electromagnetic surface on the human body including relief of chronic pain, reduced stress and anxiety and improved sleep! The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reports that being physically connected to the earth may be the primary factor in regulating our endocrine and nervous systems. That same study specifically noted that earthing affects blood glucose levels and concentrations of magnesium, iron, and other nutrients in our blood.
Earthing for Anti-inflammatory
The Earth is abundant with anti-inflammatory negative ions. When you’re injured you want negative ions. Negative ions reduce inflammation, improve circulation and work as an anti-depressant. Grounding prevents a buildup of positive ions and encourages our bodies to get back into their most natural electrical state.
Grounding is the natural “electric peddle-assist”, it’s free and it’s everywhere! Practicing regular grounding will help with inflammation, immune response, wound healing and sleep quality—meaning you can recover quicker and charge up and down the trails faster and stronger!
The Tour de France is among the most brutal athletic events in the world. Doctors and trainers in le Tour have recently been using grounding for accelerated recovery and healing from injuries. The severe mental and physical strain from daily competition needs to be discharged from the body while the rider is resting, so the technology they used was earthing. At night the riders would sleep in grounding bags, that are connected directly to the ground. They slept much better. And that’s a big deal in a competition like this where cyclists have a very hard time sleeping and recovering between days.
How to get grounded
As we grow up we tend to lose our wild, barefoot and free attitude, but our bodies crave a healthy connection to nature and the earth. This connection is nurtures us, keeps us healthy and energized. The modern way of life keeps us in synthetic environments and prevents direct contact with the Earth most of the time, so it’s important to make a conscious effort to connect with the Earth daily and utilize the earth’s electrical rhythms and free electrons.
Besides walking barefoot, you can hang out on the grass or on the beach, or kick back on a chair with your feet planted on the ground—while sipping your coffee in the mornin! Swimming is also a great way to soak up some Vitamin N; Salt water, rich in minerals, is the most conductive.