From the fringe to mainstream - it seems to be happening more and more.
Yoga is the best example. 10 years ago the only people that did yoga wore tie-dyed peace t-shirts and lived out the back of Mullumbimby.
Now yoga is as mainstream as McDonalds hamburgers (even if they’re on separate sides of the healthy fence).
Going barefoot and wearing minimalist footwear is another fringe movement that is moving more and more into the mainstream. Nike were pretty fast to catch on with their “nike free” shoes but now there seems to be just as many types of barefoot shoes as there are yoga pants.
As a kid on summer holidays you were lucky to get a pair of shoes on Aaron. It now appears that is the best thing for developing strong feet (among other cool perks). Maybe he was right all along ….
Barefoot - a workout for your feet
There are layers of muscle in the soles of our feet that keep us stable.
Going barefoot helps keep these muscles strong because when we shod our feet with a thick, inflexible sole the foot gets a bit lazy and these muscles don’t get a good workout.
Strong feet means better balance, less foot problems, improved posture, less aches and pains, less varicose veins, and warmer feet and legs in the winter.
But wait, it gets better!
Have you heard of “Earthing”?
“Earthing” means walking barefoot on grass or soil or sand (i.e. a natural surface – no concrete), and there’s scientific evidence to suggest that Earthing may be really good for you.
It all has to do with how we draw electrons from the Earth and its impacts on our health. This deserves its own blog post, but going barefoot has been shown to reduce inflammation, which (according to many studies) is the #1 cause of disease today.
Did you know: Allergies to Alzheimers, arthritis to Autism, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, anemia, lupus, MS, and more are ALL related to inflammation!
Free radicals (those dodgy characters that cause inflammation) are positively charged. Your body needs a way to drain the positive charges, or there will be excess inflammation and cell damage.
This is where Earthing comes in. Earthing allows your body to get rid all the free radicals by discharging, since the earth naturally carries a huge negative charge.
But wait … it’s not all upside
Before you throw all your shoes away, grow dreadlocks and take the barefoot vow there are a few downsides to being barefoot that you should know about (note: dreadlocks are optional - we’re just having a little fun) ;).
Shoes protect your feet. As others may argue, thongs (or flip flops/jandals for our international friends) are not appropriate for mowing the lawn. Shoes stop sharp things sticking into our feet like dreaded bindii and the broken glass after Barry had one to many pints.
If you stand for long periods it is a good idea to keep your shoes on to keep comfortable. If you’re not used to being barefoot or wearing minimalist shoes, standing up all day may lead to fatigued feet, sore back and back and other joint soreness/stiffness.
Going barefoot also increases the chance of dry and cracked heals. Not the best look but more importantly these can get nasty if they start to bleed and get an infection.
So by all means, give barefoot a go, but work up to it and make sure you look after those feet!
Pampering for your Piggies
Whether you’re a shoe-wearer or not, there are other ways you can look after your feet that will have you feeling like a million bucks.
Many alternative health philosophies believe your feet are a link to your inner body. So by taking care of your feet, you’re taking care of your soul.
Who doesn’t go to a special place after 5 seconds of a heavenly foot massage? Total bliss if you ask us.
Here are some very easy and simple ways to make sure you have soft feet AND calm nerves (with Christmas looming, we thought this was very appropriate!!!).
A foot soak
In some cultures, cleaning your feet is a sign of respect and health. It is very easy to do and you can go for a warm soak or cold soak depending on what you need.
- Warm Soak – Is good for deep relaxation and soothing aches and pains.
- Cold Soak – Is good for helping with circulation, sleeplessness, lowering blood pressure and sweaty feet.
There are thousand and one things you can add to pimp up your soak. Adding epsom salts, magnesium flakes, fresh herbs and oils can all add that special touch to a nice soak after a long day.
You may not be a master of Chinese medicine or a reflexology expert but even the simplest of foot rubs can relieve tension and make you feel like a person again.
You can do it yourself but it is always more fun when you have someone who will do it for you. Though you may have to return the favour :)
Exfoliate and moisturise your feet
Exfoliating sloughs away dead skin cells, leaving your feet feeling super soft.
This is where your Happy Skincare goodies really step up. Use the ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ Exfoliating Scrub as your foot exfoliator and with its delicious aroma, we think you’ll be left feeling completely at peace with the world :)
For best results soak your feet first, dry them and then scrub (it might be a little messy until you’re practiced up, so best to pick a spot easy to clean up like the bath or outside).
To make the entire experience complete, moisturise with the 'Pep Me Up' Hand and Foot Cream. It hydrates, protects and the gentle peppermint aroma will lift your mood and feeling of wellbeing.
That sounds so darn good we might go soak our feet right now.
If you think it sounds wonderful as well, it might be worth dropping the Christmas pressie hints around the place.
Both the Spoonful of Sugar and Pep Me Up are in our Happy Christmas Gift Pack. Unfortunately a masseur is not included.