Is Going Barefoot The Secret To Less Stress And Better Health?

Kick your shoes off!

Image: iStock

It’s no secret that walking barefoot along the beach is a great way to instantly boost your mood. While the sun on your face, salt in your hair and soothing sound of the lapping waves are partly responsible for those good vibes, new studies suggest that something a little more scientific could be at play.

Confirming what nature lovers have always suspected, new research shows earthing (having direct contact with the earth’s surface) can have a significant impact on your overall wellbeing. The wellness practice is based on the idea that the earth is like a massive battery. When you walk barefoot in sand or on the grass, you absorb some of its earth’s negative charge. This is thought to neutralise some of the positively-charged electrons (also known as free radicals) soaked up through things like technology, stress, pollution, chemicals and stress — and therefore, ward off its negative, inflammatory effects.

While it might all sound a little airy fairy, a summary of research published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health showed that earthing can significantly reduce pain and stress, improve sleep and speed up healing processes. Other studies link the practice to quicker recovery from exercise, improved blood pressure and increased creativity.

When it comes to the anti-inflammatory effects of earthing, researchers have so far only scratched the surface. But considering it’s easy, free and already has heaps of proven benefits, it’s definitely something worth adding to your daily routine. Experts recommend earthing on damp surfaces such as wet sand and grass for at least half an hour each day to maximize benefits. However, even just moving your yoga practice to your backyard, going for a walk on the beach or kicking off your shoes to have lunch in the park will do the trick!

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Emma Norris
A true believer in balance, Emma is just as passionate about pizza as she is about pull-ups. When she’s not writing, she loves strength training, visiting new cafes and trying out new fitness classes. Having lived in Ireland and Canada, Emma was bitten by the travel bug at a young age. She loves nothing more than visiting new destinations and experiencing different cultures. Emma grew up (and currently lives) near the beautiful Coogee Beach and is happiest when she’s near a body of water. She started her career in magazines and has recently made the exciting transition to the digital world.