I coined the phrase "Barefoot Walk for Proprioception" for a good reason.
Long ago, when our son started walking, our family nurse wanted him to start walking barefoot as it would help him perceive and be aware of the position and movement of his body with constant feedback. Later I found that this is called "proprioception" in the medical literature. This piece of interesting knowledge construct got stuck with me for years.
I love walking barefoot around the beach in the sand and on green grasses in parks and our garden. We maintain a clean and well-trimmed green grass in our backyard. Apart from looking appealing to the eye, our garden is my daily therapeutic tool for proprioception and other benefits as follows.
Each time I walked on sand or grass barefoot, I felt some pleasantness in my body, so remarkable that, as if the stress was melting away and replacing with joyful feelings.
Therefore I made barefoot walk as one of my daily rituals; at least 10 minutes in our garden during the day or night. Nowadays, one of my favourite activity is to walk barefoot under the sunlight removing my shirt for 15 minutes to further activate more uplifting neurotransmitters for my brain and gain hormonal balance for my body. As a side benefit, this activity helped me to keep my Vitamin D at an optimal level.
To continue my story, one day, I was curious whether other people performed this fascinating activity and started reading about the barefoot walk on various health forums. With a pleasant surprise, I noticed that there is a massive trend for barefoot walking in various health communities globally.
I was not the only one who was practising in so-called "bizarre activity" as one of our elderly neighbour shared her concerning thoughts on my unusual behaviour as a neighbourly secret with my wife!
It was amazing to discover that there were hundreds of anecdotes from people feeling good about barefoot walking, especially on sand and grass. There were convincing testimonials on the benefits of walking barefoot on sand and grass, especially for reducing stress. Seeing those uplifting pictures and videos kept me motivated and validated one of my successful life hacks.
Interestingly, I came across medical studies on barefoot walking. These studies were claiming stress reduction quantitatively, such as over 60%.
The most convincing argument for the benefit of walking on the sand or grass was related to electrons which can be transferred from our bodies. It was found out that negatively charged electrons from our body can be absorbed or neutralised by the earth.
This argument was convincing to me because I experienced the feeling by walking barefoot on grass and sand but also a piece of earthing equipment which I bought from the eBay. Then I replicated this hack multiple times on other earthing products such as mats and bed-sheets.
There was one caveat, though; those products, even though they made some changes in terms of good feelings, were not as effective as actual walks on natural settings such as sand or grass. Therefore, I made them supplementary sources of my earthing regimen on cold and rainy days when it was impossible to walk outside.
This earthing effect of barefoot had a remarkable effect on my sleep. On those days, I walked around the beach and on the grass, I fell asleep quickly at night and stayed asleep longer. As mentioned in my sleep recording hacks, checking my sleep patterns was empirical proof of the benefits of barefoot walking for maintaining good quality sleep.
My usual walking on sand or grass is around ten thousand steps a day. It has been very beneficial for my health from multiple angles, such as maintain a healthy weight, reserving lean muscles, and staying in a good mood. Slow walking around 90 minutes (ten thousand steps) is a habit that I developed over a decade and truly enjoyed every day. My smartwatch keeps me motivated to get the benefit of this good habit. I came to the conclusion that walking is an extra pleasure and more beneficial when done barefoot in nature.
I have been interested in heart rate variability since it was discovered. Another monitoring device in my smartphone is an app to measure my heart rate variability. When I read the claims that earthing improves heart rate variability, I tested it over six months and noticed a substantial improvement in my heart rate variability.
Interestingly, one of our corporate clients announced a barefoot day in the office. I never forget that day as we all had a lot of fun, chuckles, and more friendly conversations. Everyone seemed to re-live their childhood. Remarkably, there were no stress signs on the employees who participated in this barefoot challenge. Perhaps, this can be used as an entrepreneurial hack to keep the employees productive at work by reducing their stress to an optimal level.
Besides these validated benefits, I read some testimonials and speculations such as improvement in cardiovascular health, autonomic nervous system balance, improvements in blood viscosity, and even boosting brainpower. They sound like excellent benefits, but I did not have a chance to validate them in my life yet. I am open-minded and looking forward to seeing convincing studies on these promising benefits.
Do you walk barefoot on the beach or grass? If you experienced benefits, I'd love to read your story as I am still researching this topic to explore my personal transformation goals further.
Thank you for reading my perspectives.
I'd like to share my top 10 stories related to health and mental health topics on Vocal. These stories reflect my decades of sensible biohacking experience. I hope you may enjoy reading them and find them beneficial.
Simple & Powerful Life-Transforming Bio-Hacks by Dr Mehmet Yildiz
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About the Creator
I'm a writer and published author with four decades of content development experience in business, technology, leadership, and health. I work as a postdoctoral researcher and consultant. My background is at https://digitalmehmet.com.