While working out on the stationary bike a few weeks ago, I had the incredible urge to take off my shoes. I don't know exactly how to explain it except to say that my feet felt disconnected with the rest of my body. Kicking off my shoes worked like a charm; my feet felt engaged, and I felt more grounded to the bike. I've been doing it ever since — whenever I work out at home to one of my fitness DVDs, I do it without shoes on. I was apprehensive at first and had the usual worries about support, stability, and shock absorbency, but I've had much better workouts this way. In fact, I'm performing many of the exercises with more control and balance, and my feet and leg muscles feel like they are getting a better workout because the muscles are more engaged.
Barefoot and fancy free? Think again. Dermatologist Judith Hellman explained recently to the New York Times about the dangers lurking in the grass. Check out these reasons for you to keep your flip-flops on when out at the park lounging on the lawn.
- Sharp blades of grass can cut the soles of your feet, creating an entryway for germs and bacteria.
- Plantar warts and athlete's foot can live on grass so you can pick them up at the park, not just the pool.
- Hookworm larvae can live in animal feces (read dog poo) and can cause an infection.
- The soil-based bacterium, Nocardia, can cause an infection, which can lead to lumps, abscesses, and ulcerations.
- Stepping on rusty metal, like nails, can cause tetanus – when was the last time you had your tetanus shot?
Think twice before going barefoot and fancy free.
Recently I had the chance to taste Barefoot's new Bubbly Chardonnay. Like a classic Chardonnay, it has a fresh fruit aroma, citrus apple flavor, and golden straw color. The body is refreshing and buoyant and the finish is crisp and light. The best thing about this bubbly is the incredible price; I've spotted it at Trader Joe's for only $4.99!
If you plan on hosting a Mother's Day brunch or shower and need to stock up on a good, affordable sparkling wine, I highly recommend you try Barefoot's Bubbly Chardonnay. It also makes a perfect bubbly for cocktails like a mimosa or bellini.
I love when the weather gets warmer and I can finally wear flip flops and let the wind blow through my toes. Feeing the cool grass beneath my feet is what spring is all about.
Other people have taken it to the next level and run barefoot. Some athletes train and compete shoeless, like South African runner Zola Budd, a former Olympic track and field competitor.
So why do they do it? To prove they can withstand pain? To show how tough they are? Have they lost their sneakers?
Some barefoot runners like the way the ground feels on the soles of their feet, like the grounding sensation that allows you to balance in a yoga pose. Plus shoes can be constricting, and when your feet are bare, you can really spread your toes out and grip the ground.
When you run barefoot, your muscles are in control instead of your shoe, so some feel it makes their feet stronger, which improves their performance. Shoes also add weight to your feet, so running barefoot could improve your speed.
Want to know some other reasons why people run barefoot? Then read more