Walking is certainly easy and accessible. I’ve made the mistake of doing yoga a couple of hours before swimming – my shoulders were horrible in ways I’d never experienced. So trial-and-error 😉
But I did use to do yoga the day before a race, at least 24 hours between yoga and the race. It was really good to do something, but something different and generally low impact. Now into triathlon offseason and cyclocross season, I’m approaching things differently. I have one more rest day, which is good because I’ve been noticing I’m really burnt out… even though I’m doing less.
Walk into any drug store, and you’ll find an aisle dedicated to foot problems: inserts, insoles, foam, orthotics, toe spacers, heel liners, arch relief, arthritis relief, blister protection.
They’re supposed to relieve and prevent pain so you can comfortably wear your shoes. But we wouldn’t need the majority of these remedies if it weren’t for shoes in the first place, according to Martin Rooney, P.T., C.S.C.S., chief operating officer of the Parisi Speed School and founder of Training for Warriors.
If you are worried about actually being barefoot in the gym for dead lifts *and* running afoul of gym rules (pushups and lunges you can do anywhere barefoot), you can try wearing shoes like Vibram Five Finger shoes. This is anecdotal, but I have them, and they work great for that purpose.
If you do a lot of dead lifts, you know it’s generally not something you do after you ran/jumped rope/played basketball and got your feet all sweaty. It’s probably the first thing you did, with your freshly put-on gym clothes. Taking your shoes off for the 15 minutes you spend on that exercise will hurt nothing, except your potentially once-clean socks.
This is an article pointing out something very small for secondary benefits to commonly done exercises. It’s a nice, quick post; however, not worth getting your socks in a knot over it. It’s optional.
I’ve been to gyms where going barefoot is totally acceptable, so it’s not a no-no everywhere. Those who think foot germs are somehow worse than regular dirt and sweat germs are welcome to choose a different gym (or just keep their shoes on, themselves, and refrain from licking the floor).