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Yes I’m back after the Summer hols and the inevitable mind-bogglingly expensive school shoe shopping  that defines the end of August. I own few pairs of shoes. To be honest I’d rather buy a book or a plant.  Most of my time at home  is spent barefoot. And whilst I wouldn’t dig the plot or lay a brick path without my trusty workboots I’m more than happy sowing and potting on in my bare feet.

I’ve heard my style of gardening – organic, permaculture, treading lightly – frequently referred to  as *barefoot gardening*. But recently, whilst researching an article about Nature Deficit Syndrome and the health benefits  of physical contact with the soil, I  came across several references to going barefoot in the garden literally. So if you’ve enjoyed a barefoot stroll along the beach recently, here’s why …….along with several good reasons to kick off your shoes outside on a more regular basis. Just watch out for the slugs!

  • walking barefoot increases your levels of feel-good endorphins and can lower feelings of anxiety and depression
  • ancient peoples believed barefoot walking in the grass cured insomnia. A barefoot stroll around the garden at bedtime should set you up nicely. Jetlag also seems to be eased by a barefoot stroll too. Try it.
  • going barefoot makes you aware of the world around you as you watch out for potential injuries. It helps you focus on the here and now and live in the moment – something many of us are not so good at.
  • It works certain less well-used muscles, strengthens your core and improves posture. It’s good for the knees and for the back.
  •  walking outdoors without shoes and socks stimulates those areas of your feet that need it most. A free refloxology session with none of the embarrassment of removing smelly socks in front of a therapist. What’s not to like?
  • Here’s the hippy bit! Barefoot walking keeps you grounded or connected to the earth’s negative ions especially if it’s in water.  You’ll feel calmer, more relaxed, in tune and downright brimming with health.

So there you have it.  Several reasons to avoid too many trips to the shoe shop. As for me I’m moving onto the next stage ……………a spot of barefoot firewalking, obviously.