With the rise of technology and continuous popularity of social media, more and more people have their heads stuck on screens. More often than not we find ourselves staying in or in our usual whereabouts rather than going out into the wild.
It can be said that the media has played a role in the portrayal of the outdoors and nature as the dangerous unknown. Angus Egan from Earth Calling explained how “wild places for a long time got bad press. Dark places were where dodgy men hung out. Or the opposite, if you were into trees and nature you were a hippie, or an avid tree hugger.”
“Nowadays a lot of people are out of touch with nature” – Angus Egan, Earth Calling
Earth Calling teaches children about their local wildlife and helps enhance and create new green spaces in their school grounds. “Nowadays a lot of people, especially young people, are out of touch with nature”, Angus stated. “People before had to be connected, whether it was hunting for wild fruits or looking for food to survive. They knew what all the wild foods were. Now that is no longer the case” he added.
Rushing in our daily lives has us often forgetting to stop, kick back and feel the ground beneath us – a process that became its own movement in 2014 known as earthing. Angus explained “the concept of physicalness of earthing is the connection you make with the ground by walking barefoot.”
Earthing is the simple act of being conscious and aware of what is around you, taking the time to appreciate where we live and to give ourselves a break. “When you are barefoot, you are more aware of what is around you. Not only your feet toughen up, but you also see more of what is in front of you” Angus affirmed.
Colin McPhail, barefoot researcher and director at Footworks, an online barefoot style footwear store, stated; “we live in a world of radioactive fields so it seem only sensible to discharge that energy on a daily basis in the form of earthing.”
“Going barefoot is the way to learn how to place your feet on this planet” – Colin McPhail, The Scottish Barefoot Run
After an injury that had him lose proprioception in his right ankle, Colin discovered that by going barefoot his foot had to land wholly on the ground as opposed to just the heel, helping him regain stability and mobility in his foot.
“The sooner we eliminate cushions from footwear the sooner we can educate the human in the correct function of the foot. We have suitably dys-evolved to become used to footwear which supports our feet” Colin stated.
Colin is also the founder the the Scottish Barefoot Run, held twice a week in Gowanhill Farm in the outskirts of the Edinburgh. As a barefoot researcher he strongly believes that going barefoot is the way to learn how to place your feet on this planet. There is no denying the bliss of walking through freshly cut grass or silky soft sand…
Most of us spend our days walking from one place to the next. Some of us even rush and run to get on time. Whether you walk, run, bike, or take public transport, our feet go through a lot in a day. According to LiveScience, the first shoes worn by humans was over 40,000 years ago. Shoes have since changed the way we walk and how we distribute out weight. So how do we know if we are buying the right shoes for our feet?
A recent article in The Telegraph helps you find the perfect running shoes. In the article, Toren Hirshfield from Profeet, specialists in custom fitted footwear and soles, explained how “generally the cheaper shoes don’t work. There is a real benefit to buying from at least the middle of the manufacturers’ rangers.”
It only seems logical to invest in supporting and protecting the mechanism that helps us move, our feet. You could also give earthing a try and go barefoot. Give yourself a deserved break from all electrical devices, disconnect from the virtual world and reconnect with the ground and its natural electric charges. Charge yourself for a change.
We went to green spaces in Edinburgh to ask the public: would you walk barefoot?
Want to go for a barefoot run? To get in touch with Colin and join the Scottish Barefoot run visit www.thescottishbarefootrun.org.
If you are interested in learning more about the environment around you or get your children playing safely in the woods, go visit www.earthcalling.org.
Here some photos of the fun your kids (and you) could be having with Earth Calling: