As I led the latest group through my 30-day challenge, I noticed they were distracted as I showed slides and gave my talk. They were excited to get outdoors. I clapped my hands and led them outside. We adventured briskly to a nearby park, did a few core exercises, some balance work…and then at the end, we tried something new. I had them sat down in the dirt to meditate.
That’s right, in the dirt. I had brought nice cushy mats and we didn’t use them. I’m sure some folks were thinking, “Why are we barefoot in the dirt where there’s dried grass, thorns, even dog poop. Yuk! Are you a hippie now, Coach?”
Nope, I’m just telling you to take off your shoes and touch your bare feet to the earth. Of all the fitness habits you can take on, this one is so easy, no effort at all. And simply grounding yourself is being proven to have profound health benefits. Studies show that earthing the human body significantly influences physiology, including increasing the activity of catabolic processes and may be “the primary factor regulating endocrine and nervous systems.”
It’s not so crazy when you think about it. “For most of our evolutionary history, humans have had continuous contact with the earth. It is only recently that substances such as asphalt, wood, rugs, and plastics have separated us from this contact.” Those sweet Nikes may be comfortable, but they’re keeping you from connecting with nature, and it’s a connection that’s more than just spiritual, it’s electrical, too.
A pilot study on the electrodynamics of red blood cells (zeta potential) has revealed that earthing significantly reduces blood viscosity, an important but neglected parameter in cardiovascular diseases and diabetes , and circulation in general. Thinning the blood may allow for more oxygen delivery to tissues and further support the reduction of inflammation.
A few benefits of grounding:
Exposes us to negatively-charged ions
Increases our cellular energy. (Reduced cellular energy equals disease.)
Improves mitochondrial functioning, which can help with migraines.
Improves sleep through normalization of cortisol circadian rhythm
How to do it:
Simply spend 10 minutes a day barefoot on soil, sand, or the grass in a park. When you do wear shoes, choose natural materials vs. man-made—a pair of sandals or shoes with leather or cork soles.
Earthing might sound real ‘out there’, but it’s real science! Try it and let me know what your experience is.
 Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth's Surface Electrons https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/
 Pilot Study on the Effect of Grounding on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3116537/
Chevalier G, Mori K, Oschman JL. The effect of Earthing (grounding) on human physiology. European Biology and Bioelectromagnetics. 2006;2(1):600–621.
Chevalier G, Sinatra S. Emotional stress, heart rate variability, grounding, and improved autonomic tone: clinical applications. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal. 2011;10(3)
Chevalier G. Changes in pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygenation, perfusion index, skin conductance, and their variability induced during and after grounding human subjects for 40 minutes. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2010;16(1):1–7.
Ober C. Grounding the human body to neutralize bioelectrical stress from static electricity and EMFs. ESD Journal, http://www.esdjournal.com/articles/cober/ground.htm, January 2000.