Barefoot Running Prevents Aging?
Barefoot running can be easily understood as a way to improve upon your current running technique or a way to reduce running injuries, however, not many people would ever consider barefoot running as an anti-aging strategy.
Probably the most well-known theory on anti-aging is the concept of free radicals and how free radicals can cause cumulative damage to your body and tissues over time.
Free radicals, or positively charged electrons, are released inside your body anytime there is an injury to your body or some kind of inflammation, whether it’s a headache, arthritic pain or simply just day-to-day stress. Free radicals can occur even from the act of breathing or eating and drinking.
Antioxidants on the other hand are negatively charged electrons and will automatically neutralize free radicals and the two opposite charges will cancel each other out.
Some free radicals are good and it’s not necessary to eliminate all of them, however, you want to reduce excessive free radical accumulation and keep a healthy balance of antioxidants running through your system at all times. Barefoot runningor walking can help accomplish this delicate balance.
Three Important Aging Factors
There are at least three different aging factors in our bodies that are affected by excessive free radical formation:
1. DNA damage and mutation due to free radical damage
2. Mitochondrial damage in our cells and tissues. Free radicals are a byproduct of mitochondria oxidative metabolism and eventually the mitochondria wear out or self-destruct due to excess free radical formation.
3. Protein cross linking explains why you get wrinkles in your skin. Excessive free radical formation causes these proteins to stick to each other, reducing the efficiency of enzymes.
According to Dr. James Oschman, an expert in the field of energy medicine the human body is designed with a kind of semi-conductive material that runs throughout the body and connects everything together including inside of the cells.
This living “matrix” according to Dr. Oschman carries electrons that enter from the soles of our feet and can go anywhere throughout the body. Wherever free radicals show up inside the body, negatively charged electrons will be nearby to neutralize them.
This neutralization that occurs as a result helps to prevent damage to cell tissue and helps preserve the three aging factors discussed above: DNA damage, mitochondrial damage and protein cross-linking.
So basically this conductive material that runs throughout our body is an antioxidant defense system that protects us against the ravages of free radicals. Our connective tissue which keeps everything together has a gel material called “ground substance” that stores electrons.
When you go barefoot you pick up electrons from the Earth where the body will store them. These electrons will be reserved for any time there is an injury, inflammation, pain or any other reason that would create free radicals in the body.
How Barefoot Running can Help Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
A very interesting point recently discovered is how barefoot running can help reduce blood pressure. Barefoot running or “grounding” actually helps to reduce the thickness of your blood allowing the blood flow to your heart and all your vital organs throughout your body to become much easier.
This can have a profound effect on people suffering from cardiovascular disease and other blood pressure related conditions as practically all types of heart disease or blood pressure related diseases like hypertension, anxiety, among others has been linked to proper blood flow throughout the system.
Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a well known cardiologist and proponent of alternative medicine worked with Dr. Oschman’s team on researching a method called zeta potential which measures the potential for thickness of blood based on how fast your red blood cells migrate in an electrical field.
It turns out that your zeta potential rises when you are grounded to the earth, like when you are barefoot on natural surfaces.
This increase in zeta potential causes your red blood cells to have more charge on their surface, forcing them apart from each other causing your blood to thin and flow easier resulting in a lower blood pressure.
By the sheer fact that your red blood cells are repelling each other, they are less inclined to stick together and form a clot.
A blood clot of even the smallest size could be enough to cause a heart attack so barefoot running or grounding can have enormous implications on reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease or heart attack.
Barefoot running or grounding and the associated increase in zeta potential not only has the potential to decrease your risk of heart disease but also could reduce your risk of dementia, (loss of brain tissue due to micro-clotting in the brain) as well as many other blood pressure related diseases. Learn more about about how going barefoot can help here at minimalist running shoes reviews