Running barefoot has shown to have both physical and spiritual benefits. I am not a runner or a jogger, but yesterday I felt the need to take off my shoes and go for a run in the sand. Before I hit the beach, I decided to research the advantages and possible disadvantages of running barefoot.
On a spiritual level, being in nature has always been said to be beneficial for your personal well-being. The act of standing barefoot on grass or sand is likened to a metaphysical action called grounding, which has organic healing effects. An experience of enhanced awareness is also an added element involved when running shoeless. There isn’t time to dwell on the problems of the day when you’re barefoot and dealing with uneven surfaces.
The physical benefits of running barefoot on grass or sand clearly outweigh the drawbacks. This type of running will equate to improved balance and an increase in calories burned especially when exercising on sand. It will help to strengthen your feet, legs, back and abs, developing muscles seldom used when wearing shoes. For those who suffer from joint pain the softer surfaces will help cushion knees and ankles from repetitive impact. This issue of joint relief seems to be the only aspect debated by experts, who report a possible increase risk of knee injuries.
Despite some possible drawbacks, running barefoot on grass or sand seems to help improve your mood, give you more energy, and relieve many stress related symptoms affecting your mind and body. Next time you go for a run try leaving the shoes at home, and see how your body reacts to the change.