Everyone enjoys walking barefoot every once in a while – and that’s perfectly fine when done in a controlled environment. However, it’s also risky if a person does it in public places. So while it may offer several health benefits, it can also be hazardous to your health. This post explores the advantages and disadvantages of walking barefoot in Saratoga Springs.
Many people across Asia and the Middle East walk barefoot at home. However, some podiatrists don’t recommend barefoot walking at home. This is because it’s easy to track outside germs and grime into the house. There is also the concern that walking barefoot around the house exposes your feet to various injuries. After all, our feet are designed for walking on soft surfaces like grass, sand, and soil.
Traipsing barefoot on hard surfaces puts pressure on the feet and causes the arches to collapse. This alters the distribution of weight and pressure across the foot muscles. The imbalance exposes you to a greater risk of foot deformities and painful conditions like Achilles tendonitis, arch and heel pain, posterior tibial tendonitis, and shin splints.
Walking barefoot at home is particularly not advisable for older people. After the age of 50, many women lose the fat in the ball of the feet. This reduces cushioning and hurts one’s ability to protect the lower back, knees, and hips. Moreover, a recent study found that barefoot walking around the house contributed to increased falls among the elderly.
Wearing shoes at home is the best way you can protect your feet. Invest in a good pair of indoor shoes or flip-flops with ample arch support, especially if you already have an existing condition like bunions or weak arches.
There are several health benefits of walking barefoot in nature. Some studies have shown that walking with your feet directly touching the feet allows the body to absorb negative ions. This helps balance the positive ions in the body, which improves your well-being in many ways. The alleged health benefits of negative ions from the earth include improved sleep, reduced inflammation, and chronic pain.
Barefoot walking is also good for the immune system, especially for children who love going barefoot when playing. It stimulates the nerves and strengthens the immune system, making one less susceptible to disease. It also helps improve circulation, which is good for blood pressure and heart health.
Scientific studies suggest that walking without shoes more closely restores your gait. It strengthens the foot muscles and makes them more flexible. You also have better control over the foot position when it strikes the ground. Both of these factors play a crucial role in improving your overall posture.
While walking barefoot is relatively safe and offers numerous wellness benefits, it also exposes you to certain risks that can prove dangerous. If you walk barefoot on a hard surface, you could stub your toe or step on something sharp and puncture the skin. People with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy should consult a physician before going barefoot as they may get a painful foot injury without even knowing it.
People who don’t have strong feet risk poor walking mechanics and injuries. This is particularly true for people who have spent most of their lives in shoes. It’s best to start slowly and go through the foot exercise protocols as advised by your podiatrist before wearing minimalist shoes or walking barefoot.
You also need to consider the type of environment you walk barefoot in. Aside from injuries due to rough or wet terrain, you can expose your feet to bacterial and fungal infections like drug-resistant staph infection and athlete’s foot.
The athlete’s foot is one of the most common infections you can get from going barefoot. It is a fungal infection that affects the skin of your feet or toes. This condition occurs when you walk barefoot on any surface harboring fungal spores, including the gym, public bathrooms, college dorms, swimming pools, and spas.
Cutaneous larvae springs are a parasitic infection that you can pick up if you walk barefoot on sand or soil where hookworm-infested pets have left feces. It causes linear raised tracks under the skin, itching, swelling, and pain when walking.
Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus is a staph bacteria that doesn’t respond to many antibiotics. Most people get it after walking barefoot in locker rooms or gyms. It starts as a small lesion on the skin that quickly gets worse and can be life-threatening if you don’t get immediate treatment.
Before running barefoot, be aware that doing so can cause illnesses. This is because your feet aren’t protected when you don’t wear shoes. The impact of a sharp rock, rusty nail, or broken glass on bare feet will puncture the skin. Punctured skin is susceptible to infections.
Even without breaking the skin, the cracks on dry skin allow infections in. People who like walking barefoot have to worry about picking up illnesses like athlete’s foot, plantar warts, and foot skin issues. And while you can treat most of these infections with topical creams or antibiotics, they can quickly become chronic if left untreated.
People who have pre-existing conditions or exercise injuries like a sprain or stress fracture can worsen by not wearing the right shoes. You could experience pain on other parts of the body, including the back, especially if you have a misaligned gait or bowed ankles.
We aren’t saying you can’t go without shoes around the house or feel the grass between your toes. You stand to gain a whole lot of health benefits by doing so. However, you should exercise caution any time your feet are exposed. And if you experience any of the above problems, be sure to request an appointment with the best foot doctors in Saratoga Springs, UT.