Why walking barefoot is so healthy
Walking barefoot is healthy. It also strengthens the muscles, stimulates blood circulation and even trains the senses. Experts advise you not to wear shoes more often.
Barefoot runner with an Olympic record
In 1960, shortly before the Olympic marathon decision in Rome, it turned out that the shoes of an Ethiopian runner had worn out too much. Since he couldn't find a suitable replacement in the Eternal City, Abebe Bikila decided to walk barefoot like in his home country and won gold in record time. Martin Engelhardt, the chief physician of the clinic for orthopedics, trauma and hand surgery at the Osnabrück Clinic, also knows this story. “With barefoot walking, people are faster per se. There are a lot of scientific studies on this finding, ”said the doctor. Nowadays, athletes always run with shoes, but they are very light and have almost no heel elevation, as the expert explained. "So they are completely adapted to the natural foot."
Majority of the population has foot deformities
This cannot be said for many everyday shoes. Engelhardt, who is also President of the German Triathlon Union (DTU), says: "The majority of our population has foot deformities, i.e. kinked, sagging or spreading feet." soft ground like forest paths were on the move, hardly walking barefoot these days. Therefore, doctors recommend occasionally walking around without shoes. By wearing shoes, the many small and large foot muscles would hardly be trained, which would lead to misalignments.
Shoes are too small for children
Patrik Reize, Medical Director of the Clinic for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery at the Stuttgart Clinic, adds: "For children, shoes are often too small shortly after purchase." This causes the foot to be compressed. Walking barefoot helps to counteract the regression of ligaments, tendons and muscles and also promotes a healthy toe position. Reize explained that bare-foot movement in older people is more about restoring the forefoot. For example, the tendon plate in the sole of the foot between the forefoot and the rear foot can be trained, the Achilles tendon supported or the spine relieved. This reduces the risk of back problems and back pain. In addition, the stimulation on the soles of the feet has a positive effect on the internal organs.
Walk on broken glass in the barefoot park
The doctor values barefoot parks because they can help change stuck behaviors. One of the largest of these parks is in Dornstetten in the Black Forest, where around 170,000 visitors a year can walk on surfaces such as gravel, wood and clay or on broken glass. "These fragments have been sanded down and form a closed surface, so there is no need to worry," said Carolin Dircks, head of the Tourism and Culture Office in Dornstetten.
"You notice bumps, but that's a pleasant feeling." For most people it is a so-called "eye-opening experience" when they start to feel again, because the sense of touch has dulled over the years when wearing shoes. "They go out there very relaxed," says Dircks. She says: "A barefoot park is an experience for all the senses." The foot reflex zones are also stimulated by walking barefoot and thus the whole body. In addition, the blood pressure is regulated.
Diabetics have to be careful when walking barefoot
People who have not walked barefoot for a long time should start slowly, because otherwise Engelhardt might experience symptoms of overload. It also helps to walk through the apartment in socks. However, the effect of walking barefoot is limited if deformed bones are the cause of malposition. However, caution is required with certain diseases. This is what stimuli call diabetes and polyneuropathy, a term for diseases that often begin with sensations in the toes.
The sensation of pain is often disturbed in diabetics. Irrigation warned that infections could result if they did not immediately notice the injuries on their feet. Barefoot walking is also recommended for people who have sweaty feet. However, you should generally pay attention to where you walk, especially in some community facilities, there is a risk of athlete's foot. (sb)