Saturday 10 December 2016

Walking barefoot has put a real spring back in my step

'Grounding' is a scientifically researched practice with a number of remarkable health advantages, such as improving sleep

Victoria Mary Clarke

Published 20/11/2016 | 02:30

HAPPY FEET — WALKING BACK TO HAPPINESS: Victoria Mary Clarke braves the cold Irish weather and strolls barefoot in scenic Herbert Park, Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys
HAPPY FEET — WALKING BACK TO HAPPINESS: Victoria Mary Clarke braves the cold Irish weather and strolls barefoot in scenic Herbert Park, Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

I am not a person who likes the cold. Far from it. People laugh openly when I put on ski pants in November just to walk to the shops and if it rains I always have plastic trousers. So the idea of barefoot walking did not immediately appeal to me, especially when it is freezing outside. But as with anything in life, when the benefits outweigh the pain, you will do pretty much anything.

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I have a yoga teacher friend called Louise Horgan who is very hot, and I kind of want to look like her, so when she started banging on about barefoot 'grounding' I was curious. And I went on a barefoot herb foraging trip in Bavaria, but that was in warm weather, and it is starting to get pretty cold here in Ireland.

The idea really took hold when I interviewed the health guru Patrick Holford for this newspaper and I noticed how ridiculously energetic and enthusiastic he seemed. Anything legal that gives me energy I am interested in. And when I heard that a schoolteacher called Eamonn Keaveney from Mayo had set a new Guinness World Record by walking 2000km barefoot around Ireland to raise money for Pieta House, I figured I can surely do 10 minutes a day.

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