Since you could walk you’ve been told about the miasma of benefits that come from working out. Being in shape equates to both physical and mental strength, which carry over to positively affect other areas of our lives, i.e. you’re less stressed and more likely to eat healthier. But unless you’re referring to yoga, when you think of working out you’re most likely thinking about doing so in your typical gym “uniform”— tank top, sports bra, shorts or leggings and sneakers.
But what if you’ve been missing out on additional workout benefits just because you’ve been wearing shoes?
World-renowned podiatrist Dr. Emily Splichal gave me the scoop on why targeting your nervous system during a workout with bare feet will give you the #gains you’ve been looking for all along.
“If you can do a barefoot practice twice a week then you’re going to be getting prolonged benefits from your practice,” Dr. Emily explains to me after leading a short vinyasa at Pure Yoga on her new Naboso Barefoot Technology yoga mat. “To really reap the benefits you need to be working out on the right surface. Both hardwood floor and a special mat will stimulate your feet, unlike carpet or thick cushioned yoga mats.”
The Naboso mat is different than other yoga mats, because it is slightly bumpy so that it can target the nervous system through your feet, hands and even forehead while you’re resting in child’s pose. Clearly practicing what she preaches, Dr. Emily explains (with perfect posture) that “Working out barefoot is very much helping your posture. You’re not depending on other surfaces to find your balance, it’s up to you to find it in your core.”
And of course, what comes along with strengthening the core is strengthening the pelvic floor. “The pelvic floor is your sex muscle and strengthening it can help your sex life. It’s not a kegel but it connects to your glutes,” Dr. Emily adds, “but don’t hold your breath or push your stomach down and pelvic floor out. Make sure your practice goes smoothly and that you’re holding a straight posture the entire time.”
The Naboso Barefoot Technology mat retails for $110 and can be purchased on Amazon. It’s pricier than a normal mat, but it’s the same price as a new pair of sneakers… which you’ll no longer be needing. 😉
Stay Classy! xx