Over a week ago I took the plunge, and joined the Orange County Hiking Club.
It is something I'd been meaning to do for a couple of years, but put off because I was never sure when, or if, I'd be able to join a group hike, or do a solo jaunt.
Over the years I HAVE blogged about the 2 group hikes, and one solo hike, I've gone on (All with pictures), plus about walking in general, here - Take a Hike!
An article by Suki Reed, Club President, changed my mind.
It was a simple article in the local paper, giving a few exercise tips, and encouraging people to check out 2 very short walks near Kaiser Hospitals in Anaheim, and Irvine.
With a couple of days off, this week, I knew I could find time to check out one of them.
Locally, Kaiser Permanente Lakeview in Anaheim has built a path from its parking lot to a local outdoor nature area. The two-mile trail known as the Thrive Path is used by people to walk, exercise and de-stress. It starts on the Kaiser campus and goes to the Imperial Woods Trail.
The path is being used by its members, their families, Kaiser employees and the public. There is a similar trail at the Kaiser Permanente Sand Canyon complex in Irvine – just follow the arrows in the parking lot.
Nothing could be easier right? Yes, and no. ;-D
The Thrive Path, in Anaheim, is short, and easy, and most of it is in a small park west of the hospital, but trying to follow the map, exactly, is a waste of time.
All you need to really know is that you walk around the block, from the map, along the sidewalk, on Lakeview, then Riverdale, once around the park, and then back to the map.
The map seemed to indicate that one had to walk through Kaiser, from Riverdale, just before getting to the park, and enter the park through an opening between them, but the only time I saw a sign indicating this was when, walking in the park, I saw Docs, & Interns, on break, walking from the hospital to the picnic tables in the park.
I walked west, over a mile, to Tustin Ave., where I caught a bus.
Along the way I enjoyed seeing 3, um, waterfalls (This pic is of the 1st one, looking east from just outside the park.)...
Smelled the many flowers along the trail, and...
...Did some rock climbing. ;-D
I look forward to joining club hikes in the weeks, and months to come.
My current favorites, for 2 years now, are the rugged Itasca Lakewood.
The shoestrings can be a chore to keep tied, from time to time, but the shoes have always felt comfortable.
Another plus is that I can always get these $40 shoes for half, or less, at Big 5. ;-D
These, and similiar brands before them, are the shoes I wear everyday, whether it's for a walk to the store, around the mall or, now, on a hike.
Are they the best for hiking, and long walks? I don't know, but they are what I can afford. ;-D
Many people have more trouble finding the right shoes than I do so I count myself lucky.
My friend Randy Eady, of Ko-Sha-Rey Rhythms, is all about Therapeutic Walking, among other interesting things.
You can learn more by reading about our recent meeting in San Clemente. ;-D
Anyway, he's giving a presentation, on May 8th, at the Florida Naturopathic Physicians Annual Meeting, in Delray Beach, FL., and it's about how "Soft/Round Sole Shoes = Healthy Development" of ones feet. ;-D
Are You Dealing with High Heel Hangover and/or a Tipped Pelvis That's Causing Problems? Check out the 9:00am, May 8th Seat and Feet Presentation at the Florida Naturopathic Physicians Annual Mtg at the Red Tent in Delray to discover the right shoes and walking tips.
He sent me a copy of the handout he will give to attendees at the event, and it's very interesting reading for anyone concerned about their toes, and footsies. ;-D
Bottom-line (pun intended): Shoes should be designed specifically for
natural movement- with flexible, ample-wide, soft soles and breathable,
natural materials. Balance, strength and flexibility are maximized when
feet are allowed to develop naturally. When you or your child can't go
barefoot, a soft sole that mimics barefoot conditions is ideal. Soft soled
shoes are critical for healthy feet.
He says kids, and adults, love these for their comfortable feel.
He plans to talk about how bad shoe choices for toddlers can influence bone developement, and balance.
I had no idea that the 26 bones in our feet are not fully hardened until age 18!
He plans to talk about some Healthy Footwear Tips as well.
Basically these topics will be:
1. Barefoot is best for healthy foot development.
2. Allow plenty of room for toes to wiggle and reflexively respond-spread.
3. When buying for children - find shoes designed specifically for toddlers and young children.
4. Soling material for outdoor shoes on hard surfaces such as sidewalks should be slip resistant, shock absorbing and flexible.
5. Upper materials should be made of breathable material such as leather or cloth ( Children's feet sweat more than adults. ).
Randy is a firm believer that "Healthy foot development is at the core of any Seat and Feet discussion!"
For anyone who can attend his presentation it should be an interesting, and informative, experience. ;-D