The Power Of Barefoot Grounding For Health & Recovery
What is “grounding” – and is it a legit healthy lifestyle practice or just a fad?
Health and fitness have come a long way since the “no pain no gain” era. Today’s healthy lifestyle practices are rounded and holistic, with a focus on longevity. The healthiest routine is one you enjoy and can do consistently – and one which nurtures your mind, body, and soul.
“Grounding” (also known as earthing or barefoot grounding) falls into the wellness category. But what is it good for, and is there any science behind it?
What is grounding?
Grounding is simply the act of standing or walking barefoot on natural material – grass, dirt, sand or stones. We all know how nice it feels to take off your shoes and allow your freed feet to enjoy the cool grass or warm sand. But do the benefits of grounding stop at it feeling nice? Or are there some proven benefits?
Is earthing the same as grounding?
Yes, earthing, grounding, and barefoot grounding are interchangeable terms used to describe the act of walking or standing barefoot on natural surfaces.
The science of barefoot grounding
Fans of grounding claim it can make you feel calm, help you manage stress, and even help you get more creative. And we definitely know that simply being in nature can have a range of physical benefits, including reduced anxiety, lower heart rate, and even shorter hospital stays. This comprehensive review, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health details the many physical and mental benefits of spending more time in nature. (1)
Scientific research into the barefoot grounding suggests that this is a way to access the earth’s surface electrons, which could bring about significant physiological changes. (2)
Daily grounding is thought to support the central nervous system, decrease stress and improve sleep (3) Some studies even suggest it can reduce pain and improve quality of life (4). Not bad for a few minutes of barefoot activity every day!
5 benefits of grounding
Less anxiety and chronic stress
Lower levels of stress hormones
Increased levels of dopamine and serotonin
Improved sleep duration and quality
Faster recovery times
Why practice grounding as healthy lifestyle
More people are exploring grounding as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes training, recovery, and sports performance. Whilst walking around barefoot outside might not immediately improve your training performance, the benefits are part of a more holistic lifestyle.
Grounding can decrease feelings of anxiety and help you manage daily stress – which has obvious implications for your sleep, recovery, mood and willingness to train.
Grounding gives you a practical way to slow down, be in nature, and connect with your body in a different way. This could help you spend more time doing recovery work that will improve your training sessions.
And grounding has even been linked to faster wound healing and reduced time in hospital, so it’s definitely worth a try for speeding up training recovery and coping with DOMS.
How to get started with grounding
The great thing about grounding is that it’s easy to do. Simply take off your shoes and socks and walk, stand, or sit with the soles of your feet on the ground. It doesn’t matter if you use grass, soil, sand or stones for grounding.
Die-hard fans of grounding suggest you connect with the earth in this way for at least 20 minutes a day. But – like most things relating to health and wellness – the best routine is one you can do. Don’t overcomplicate it. Find a patch of ground and a pocket of time that works for you. Connect with the nearest bit of nature you can access and tap into the power of grounding. Let us know how it goes!