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FINALLY the weather has warmed up! When it did, we inevitably felt it in our bones. Our own personal thaw has begun and winter’s hibernation starts winding down. We start to feel more alive!

This past weekend, we took our dogs for a walk on Cobourg’s West Beach.

Photo: Jay Robinson via Cobourg Tourism Facebook

All winter and early this spring we have been walking on the board walk at West Beach. There was just too much snow and ice to maneuver the beach!

On Sunday that all changed. It was glorious! All of us, including the dogs, felt the need to have the warm sand between squish through our toes. We joyfully kicked off our shoes and languished in reconnecting with nature!

Throughout human history, we lived closely to the land. It’s only in the recent centuries that we’ve barricaded ourselves inside doing our best to keep nature out as if it wasn’t an inherent part of who we really are.

We lose something when we do this … a piece of ourselves that needs to connect with the natural world … and it’s evident in our national health crises both physical and mental. The more we distance ourselves from the earth, the more we move away from our selves too.

The surprising health benefits of going barefoot. … also known as ‘earthing’ has become a scientifically-researched practice with a number of remarkable health advantages, such as increasing antioxidants, reducing inflammation, and improving sleep.

‘Earthing’ means walking barefoot on soil, grass or sand … any natural surface. So sidewalks and boardwalks don’t work. Studies are showing that the health benefits come from the relationship between our bodies and the electrons in the earth. The planet has its own natural charge, and we appear to do better when we’re in direct contact with it.

Studies have also found that ‘earthing’ changed the electrical activity in the brain, as measured by electroencephalograms. Other research found that ‘earthing’ benefitted skin conductivity, moderated heart rate variability, improved glucose regulation, stabilized daily cortisol rhythm, reduced stress, and boosted immunity.

How to Best ‘Bare Your Sole’

  • To be effective, ‘earthing’ needs to be practised regularly to disseminate the electric charge that accumulates throughout the day.
  • Stand barefoot on soft, damp surfaces such as sand or grass. Slowly work up to standing and walking on moist dirt, sand or grass. You will gradually grow to love the feeling … not to mention the health benefits!

Since Canadians never really know what weather is just around the corner, take advantage of these few beautiful days to kick your shoes off and do some ‘earthing’.

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