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Singapore: Walking on Rocks
In modernized sections of Singapore, as well as Malaysia, and Taiwan, it's common to see mosaic pebble paths winding through parks, spas, and condo complexes. Architects didn't create them to be contemplated like some Zen koan— the purpose was to encourage barefoot walking. The paths were designed using the concept of reflexology, where a therapist applies pressure to points in the foot that are supposed to correspond with organs and zones of the body. But the reflexology paths have other proven benefits. A study published in the journal Journal of American Geriatrics Society found that regular walking on cobblestones can reduce blood pressure and improve balance (it also gives your feet and calves an amazing stretch). You can get similar benefits by walking—not running—barefoot for 20 minutes over river, beach, or garden rocks (it may feel uncomfortable the first time, but your feet will adapt).