Sounds like another April Fool's joke, but it's not: TOMS One Day Without Shoes, which kicks off today, is about going barefoot to heighten awareness of the difference a pair of shoes can make in a child's life. On last year's One Day Without Shoes, over 250,000 people kicked (off) the habit...some for an hour, others for the day! Community events will take place around the globe...check them out to join a group near you. And if you think you need your sneakers for a workout (other than yoga), think again. "Going barefoot during cardio is ideal for several reasons," says Ellen Barrett, creator of the Barefoot Cardio DVD. Among them:
Get an authentic balance (and core) challenge. "Our sneakers often give us a faux platform that assists with balance," says Barrett. "This means the core doesn't activate as much as it could. Take off the shoes, and problem solved!"
Evenly work the feet to prevent imbalance. "When we wear sneakers, parts of the foot remain dormant, so the feet don't get stronger or more flexible."
Complete a fuller range of motion during pointing and flexing. "With sneakers, you often don't get the fullest expression of the foot."
Run free! "There's no lacing up, no lugging sneakers in your bag, no 'dead weight' at the end of your legs," says Barrett. "It's a form of 'naked fitness' where you feel light and free."
Need more inspiration to go barefoot? Get a pedicure or foot massage, take a walk on grass, dip your toes in a stream, or play footsie with your favorite guy.