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Paleo Diet Primal Grounding Earthing Barefoot Health Nature Connect-min

Grounding: When Did You Last Connect?

Have you heard of grounding, or earthing? Perhaps you already do it – maybe without even realising? It might sound a bit new age and made up, but the more I’ve read about it – and tried it – the more sense it makes.

Earthing is where you allow you your body to be in direct contact with the Earth. You can do this by walking around barefoot, sitting outside outside on the lawn or the sand, or sleeping under the stars (in direct contact with the Earth). Advocates of grounding recommended you do it for at least 30 minutes a day for optimal benefits.

So many people wake up in a high rise house, put their shoes on, drive to work, sit at a desk all day in an insulated office block, drive home – and repeat. Even exercise is often exclusively done indoors in a gym. How many people go weeks without any direct contact to the Earth? Our ancestors walked barefoot and slept on the ground – very different.

The idea behind grounding, is that the Earth has a negative charge. When a person, with an excessive negative charge, walks around in contact with the Earth, the excess of electrons will supposedly be absorbed by the Earth’s surface. By balancing out your body chemistry using the earth, the idea is that you will feel more relaxed and at ease – and with improved sleep.

There are (of course!) lots of companies who have jumped on the grounding/ earthing bandwagon to produce artificial products to mimic the effects of earthing. You can get a grounding mat to put under your desk at work, or earthing sheets, to have the same effect as sleeping on the ground. However, with it being so easy to connect to the Earth naturally, why fake it? The only exception to man made products, that I would put in this category is barefoot shoes. Barefoot shoes like Vibram Five Fingers (VFF’s) are a great way to safely walk around, without worrying about stepping in something you shouldn’t.

Paleo Diet Primal Grounding Earthing Barefoot Health Nature Connect-min

It doesn’t have to be a huge thing to schedule in your day. Find ways to incorporate earthing with what you already do in your daily life. If you enjoy walking, then walk along the beach barefoot. If you write on a daily basis or read, then just change your environment and enjoy doing those activities while sitting on grass. If you just want some time to relax in your day go outside and enjoy nature for a while.

Whether or not you agree with the science behind earthing – you have to agree walking around barefooted in cool grass feels great?

There are several benefits of earthing/grounding that you won’t discover until you get outdoors and take your shoes off!

Do you regularly connect with the Earth? Does it make you feel better? Please share your experiences in the comments below!

Vibrams and Evening Gowns VFF Five Fingers Dressed up smart paleo-min

Vibrams and Evening Gowns

Well, I’ve never considered wearing mine with an evening dress – but it’s great to see Shailene Woodley wearing Vibrams at a high profiled event!

How do you wear yours?

Vibrams and Evening Gowns VFF Five Fingers Dressed up smart paleo-min

A Royal Vibram Fan VFF barefoot running five fingers paleo diet natural fitness-min

A Royal Vibram Fan?

Apparently Prince Harry has just bought some Vibram Five Fingers in California!

It’s great to see the increase in popularity of the VFF’s.  I can’t wait for the day they become more mainstream.  I still get so many funny looks wearing my Vibrams around Sydney.  Some people even comment about how they must be damaging my feet, which is especially amusing, as I have the exact same thought about their feet in the cushioned, padded, arched trainers they insist on wearing.

My Vibrams

Do you think in a few years time EVERYONE will be wearing vibrams?

A Royal Vibram Fan VFF barefoot running five fingers paleo diet natural fitness-min

How to get cheap vibrams vff five fingers barefoot shoes running sydney australia-min

How to Get Cheap Vibrams

As I explained in my previous post, I love running barefoot, in VFFs.

My Vibrams

My Vibrams – I’ve got a pair of pink Treksports and black Classics. So far.

When I was in America for PrimalCon & the AHS this year, I was so shocked to see how cheap Vibrams were, compared to here in Australia.  I bought two pairs, the Treksport in pink from a big outdoors store in Texas and a pair of Classics in black from another store in San Francisco.  Each pair worked out at well under $100 AUD, including taxes.  Not only were they cheaper, but the stores stocked so many different models, colours and sizes.  I should have bought more.  It takes going overseas to realise how expensive things are in this part of the world.

The bigger sports shops in Sydney seem to carry just a few models, and you can forget about getting them in exciting colours.  The bigger Rebel Performance stores sell a small selection, for upwards of $169.99 AUD, which is a lot of extra money to pay, especially for a small selection.

cheap_vibrams_vffs

Vibrams can be expensive in Australia

I bought my first pair of Vibrams on Ebay last year.  I carefully researched the model and tried an equivalent pair on in the city, to make sure I ordered exactly the right size.  I still paid about $100, so not that much of a bargain.  They arrived and I was instantly disappointed with Vibrams in general.  The toes were all the same length – meaning only my big toe would fit properly.  The top of my other toes didn’t even reach the bottom of toe section!  I initially assumed this was just how they made them, perhaps I had freaky toes, as they weren’t all the same length?  On close inspection it became apparent that the box and literature in the box was quite odd too.  It was upside down and back to front.  I think I probably spent my hard earned cash on a pair of fake Vibrams.  So my word of warning is be really careful where you buy them from.  If you buy them online, be sure they are genuine!

Luckily I wasn’t put off and after meeting so many VFF owners at PrimalCon I soon realised how they were supposed to fit and behave.  I bought my next two pairs earlier this year.  The difference is incredible!  They are an amazing fit.  Wearing them feels as close to barefoot as I’m realistically likely to get in the city centre.

Prices generally do seem to be coming down in Australia.  I found a sale today at the Adventure Mega Store in Sydney CBD selling VFF’s starting at $99, which seems to be a great deal (but I’d love to find a better price in this country).  They had by far the largest range I’ve seen in Sydney.  I also saw an indoor yoga style for the first time (with 40% discount) which looked perfect for dancing, though I’d need to see how they would compare to my existing dance footwear.  I don’t have the “Sprint” model, and think this might be a good choice for my next pair, I’m very tempted.

cheap vibrams VFF

I found a good sale on Vibrams in Sydney today…

If your toes do happen to all be exactly the same length, I could do you a great deal on a second hand pair of VFF’s.  Unworn…

Have you found any good deals on Vibrams in Australia and New Zealand?  Have you found a great stockist with lots of choice?  Have you managed to get any “real” ones shipped here at a good price?  I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below.

How to get cheap vibrams vff five fingers barefoot shoes running sydney australia-min

The problem with shoes barefoot running vff vibrams paleo feet walking running-min

The Problem With Shoes

I used to wear heels every day, and bigger heels at weekends.  When I wasn’t in heels I’d be wearing my supportive, shock absorbing, high-tech trainers.  After a lot of running I ended up with shin splints, apparently cause by incorrect over pronation.  My physio had some impressive equipment & software which took measurements of my running and feet, to create a pair of orthotics to put in my shoes.  These forced my feet into the correct pronation.

Since I’ve been leading a Primal lifestyle, I became very interested in barefoot running.

The problem with shoes barefoot running vff vibrams paleo feet walking running-min

At PrimalCon earlier this year I was fortunate enough to have a lesson with Barefoot Ted, which was an amazing experience.  I’d never given much thought to running style before, so it was very eye opening.  When you try to heel strike with barefeet it is not easy to do – yet when you wear trainers with lots of cushioning, it’s easy – and lots of runners do heel strike.  Running in shoes constricts the natural movement that your feet would otherwise take.  Our ancestors had to hunt for their food and walk and run considerably more than then average office worker today.  So it makes no sense that we now need to wear expensive high-tech shoes, in order to be able to run safely.

I now wear very soft soled ballet style shoes every day, and of course vibrams as often as I can the rest of the time.  Since doing this I’ve noticed that my footprint has changed – indicating that I have managed to improve my pronation.  I’ve had no leg or feet related injuries – despite now walking (with the occasional sprint) my daily 5km commute to and from work.

Vibrams are  great practical way to go barefoot around the city.  Tomorrow I’ll share my tips about buying a reasonably priced pair in Australia.