Day 19 – Go Barefoot Walking

This is Day 19 of Live a Healthier Life in 21 Days Challenge.

This time of the year, it’s impossible for me to do this task, without running the risk of frostbite. I can’t even walk barefoot indoor, let along outdoor.

I probably have to wait 6 months before I can try this. We have accumulated so much snow, some snow banks are as tall as I am or taller than I am, it will take a long time to melt.

I rarely walk barefoot indoor or outdoor.

Inside the house, I wear socks and winter slippers when it’s cold. Since my feet always feel cold, I like to wear socks to bed as well.   

In summer, I wear slippers in the house most of the time, because the floor feels cold to me.

We always take shoes off at the door and change to slippers that are used indoor only.

A lot of things we do in daily life are just habits.

Occasionally when I walk barefoot in the house or outside on the grass in my yard in summer, I do feel more alive with sensations, more connection with the ground and with the nature.

I will try to walk barefoot more this summer.

The following is from the 21DHL Forum.


Day 19: Go Barefoot Walking

[Image: barefootrunning.jpg]

Today’s task is about barefoot walking. I wrote about Barefoot Running/Walking and 10 benefits of doing so in May last year. In the article, I shared the experience of my first barefoot walk:

First thing I felt when I stepped out of my house was how cooling and smooth the surface of the pavements were. I never realized this since I always wore shoes going out. I felt present and connected with every step as I walked over to the lift, stood around in the lobby and took the lift down to the ground level.

As I walked to the park, I walked on different surfaces, including concrete pavements, roads (asphalt concrete) and cemented ground. It was interesting feeling the different textures and temperatures of the grounds – definitely something I had not paid attention to with shoes on. Concrete pavements felt very cooling and smooth – as if you can just slide on them. Roads felt rough and grainy.. somewhat prickly too. Cemented grounds felt like an in-between of concrete and roads.

It was just 2 minutes walking to the path, and I already felt more mindful and present than my normal self when walking with shoes. I was aware of every step I take, how it felt and my connection with the ground whenever my foot touched base with it.

The thing about barefoot walking/running is that it has helped me feel more connected and more aware of the whole walking/running process. In the past when I run, I would just feel the cool air and soak in the sights of the sky/trees/stars while running. Walking/Running barefoot has added a new dimension – I feel a whole level of connectedness to the ground, and the universe itself. Every step I take, I’m aware. Every time my foot touches the ground, I can feel both the ground and my foot. During my walk/run, I am present, of myself, my posture, my surroundings, my environment.

Not only that, barefoot walking/running gives you stronger feet. Shoe wearing over the years has made our feet weak and soft. In fact, some of us wear poor-fitted shoes that cramp our toes/feet. Here’s an interesting excerpt from an article “Go Barefoot to Get Stronger“:

Quote:Through years of wearing shoes, our feet lose their tactile capacity, which is bad enough. But they also fail to develop to their proper size and shape. Tendons and ligaments shorten, muscles weaken, and the risk for foot and ankle injuries increases.

If it sounds like the ancient Chinese tradition of binding the feet, it kinda is. “It’s identical, but to a lesser degree,” Rooney says. “Shoes crush the foot into abnormal positions and you don’t get the movement the foot is designed for.”

Today, I’d like to invite you to barefoot walking. Not go to work barefoot (unless your office is cool with this sort of thing), but to just get outside for 10, 15 minutes today and walk without footwear. Do it during morning or evening when the ground is cool. You can do it while you’re out doing grocery shopping or simply walking/strolling around your neighborhood. If you run/jog, try running barefoot during your runs!

If there’s snow in your area (like for Matt and Xina), then don’t try the task just yet! You can do so when the snow clears up and winter is over.

4 Responses

  1. Lianne

    An interesting article, we also take our shoes off at the door and put our slippers on. We like to go barefoot with our slippers all year round even though it’s cold in winter. The house is kept warm in winter and we also have warm winter slippers. As we live in a city going barefoot outside is not an option. We also ask our guests to take off their shoes as well.

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