FREE WALKING GROUPS IN JULY
The CEO Challenge begins July 1
The CEO Challenge is a competition designed to get the working people of Bonner County outside and moving, for both their own health and the health of local companies and the local economy.
Studies have shown that placing an increased focus on physical activity and taking time outdoors during the workday has a significant positive impact on the heath and productivity of individuals and companies. Studies have shown that simply taking a 20-minute outdoor walk has been shown to dramatically increase productivity (Environment & Behavior, 1991; Journal of Environmental Psychology, 1995). Furthermore, employees who work at companies that encourage them to get physical exercise in the outdoors report higher levels of job satisfaction, which also translates to increased productivity and less employee turnover. (“From Evidence to Practice: Workplace Wellness That Works” De La Torre, Hector, and Ron Goetzel).
The CEO Challenge will take place July 1-31; each business will compete to earn the most points per employee (total points divided by number of employees). Participants will earn 1 point for individual activities, 2 points for participating in sponsored activities and 3 points for participating in special events occurring during National Parks and Recreation Month; a final list of these activities will be provided to participating companies the week before the challenge begins. Any physical activity session of more than 20 minutes is valid for points, and we encourage participants to try new activities. Companies will be divided into 3 groups: Public Sector, Private Companies with less than 25 employees and Private Companies with more than 25 employees. The winning company in each division will be awarded a trophy and bragging rights for the next year, individual prizes will also be awarded.
Is walking a good pregnancy exercise?
Walking is a great, safe exercise for mums-to-be. It’s an ideal way to make sure that you’re getting the exercise you need in pregnancy.
Brisk walking works your heart and lungs (ACPWH 2010, Nascimento et al 2012, NHS Choices 2013), without jarring your knees and ankles. It’s also a free activity that you can easily incorporate into your daily life, so you’ll be more likely to keep it up (Nascimento et al 2012).
For extra motivation, go for walks with friends or join a walking group. This can help to pass the time and encourage you to walk for longer stretches.
How can I prepare for walking in pregnancy?
If you walked regularly before being pregnant, keep doing it (ACPWH 2010). If you’re new to walking, start with a short, 15-minute comfortable stroll, three times a week (Nascimento et al 2012).
Once you’ve got into the habit of walking regularly, you can build up to faster, 30-minute walking sessions, four or more times a week (Nascimento et al 2012, NHS Choices 2013, Wright 2010). If you have a high fitness level, you can walk for longer than that. Just be sure to slow down or stop if you feel overtired, unwell, or feel any pain. Your body will generally be able to tell you when it’s time to stop.
If you’re short on time, incorporate walking into your daily routine. So walk short distances rather than drive, take the bus only part of the way, or use your lunch break to get outside and stretch your legs.
How long should I walk for?
NHS guidelines recommend walking for 150 minutes a week in pregnancy, which is a 30-minute walk, five times a week (Start 4 life nd). If you only walk now and then, you won’t get the benefits of regular exercise.
Try to be active every day. But if you really can’t manage that, any walking will still be of some benefit to you.
Click here to read the full article.
This article was first posted by: The Baby Center
SUMMER 2017 WALKING SCHEDULE
Walking your dog is good for your health and your dogs health
Dogs love to go for walks. And unless it’s pouring rain and blowing a gale, so do their owners. But there’s much more to this daily routine than you might think. In fact, it’s actually a complex process of negotiation, which reveals a great deal about our relationship with man’s best friend.
In many ways, the walk reflects the historical social order of human domination and animal submission. But research suggests that it also allows humans and dogs to negotiate their power within the relationship. In fact, our recent study found that the daily dog walk involves complex negotiation at almost every stage.
The UK, like many countries, is a nation of pet lovers – 40% of UK households are home to a domestic animal. And for dog owners (24% of UK households) that means a lot of walking. Dog “owners” walk 23,739 miles during an average dog’s lifetime of 12.8 years and reportedly get more exercise from walking their dogs than the average gym goer. Despite this, we actually know very little about how walking and the spaces in which we walk help forge our relationships with dogs.
The wonder of walking
Walking is necessarily a mode of transport for getting to school or work, but it is far more than movement alone – it’s not “just” walking. Walking with a dog is beneficial for mental and physical well-being, but the process of walking with an animal also involves detailed interactions. Dogs, like other animals, are sentient beings that think, feel and have their own personalities – and we need to “listen” to and negotiate with them about how the walk is experienced. The walk is a shared experience, after all.
While clearly acknowledging the health benefits, humans also walk their dogs because they take great pleasure in seeing their dogs have fun. Indeed, our study showed that there is a widespread belief among dog walkers that dogs are happiest when out in the open, and it is here that they are able to best demonstrate their “doggyness”. (It is important to note here that while not all dog owners walk their dogs, our participants shared an enthusiasm for getting out and about with their pets.)
But dog owners also adapt the timing, length and location of the walks depending on the perceived personality of the dog and what they think the dogs like and dislike the most. One respondent felt that as her dog had been rescued she had a “right” to a good life and giving her a long walk daily was part of this care-giving. There was also the sense that people knewwhere their dogs liked to walk and walkers spoke of “their stomping ground” and “favorite park”, suggesting that over time, dogs and their companions find spaces that work for them as a partnership or team.
But there are other factors at play, too – not least, how the owner’s own feelings influence the walk. For example, we found that some walkers – especially those with larger breeds – experience anxiety in certain situations, such as encounters with small children, and that these anxieties influence walking patterns.
To lead, or be led?
Indeed, we found that whether dogs were permitted to walk off-lead was highly constrained by their human companion’s interpretation of the dangers. For example, a number of the participants spoke of feeling worried if their dog went off sniffing out of sight. However, this “rummaging and exploring” was viewed as “the dog’s time” (as a human might talk of “me-time”) and seen as an important for allowing their pet freedom. As a consequence, many owners allowed it, despite their anxieties.
On the other hand, one participant walked a greyhound, a breed that might have a natural instinct to chase smaller animals. There was a tension that had to be managed between letting the greyhound run, which brought the owner joy, alongside an anxiety that she may chase and kill a small animal.
These different factors mean that the imperative for dogs to be exercised and have fun is sometimes in conflict with the preferences of their human companion(s) to keep their dog safe or to heed their natural instincts. A healthy balance is only made possible through the two-way relationship between the dog and their human companion. This is something which is developed over time and through experience – a shared look, say, between human and dog which is implicitly understood.
Third parties also influence the nature of the walk. A popular image of dog walkers sees them out and about, chatting with other walkers, their dogs engaging in similar “conversations”. But the social nature of the walk is certainly not a given. Many people simply do not want to socialize with other humans (or their dogs); and some believe their walk would be easier and less stressful if their route was human and dog-free. Participants who had busy lives wanted to get the walk done without distraction. Another respondent, who walked a large pack of dogs, recognised that this would be intimidating for others, so preferred to find quiet places for walks to allow the dogs the freedom to run uninterrupted.
And so a successful walk is based on a mutual understanding between the human and the dog. But it is also greatly influenced by those “others” they meet. Some they are happy to engage with, others they are not. For example, we found that a culture of judgement exists among dog walkers towards those who are seen as “fair-weather” or “weekend” walkers – those who were not out every day come rain or shine or walkers that the regulars did not recognize.
Regular dog walkers identify those who are seen as not showing the same commitment to their companions and these “others” are routinely alienated from the community and excluded from the “dog chat”. Regular walkers also knew each other to stop and chat, too – even if they only knew the name of the other walker’s dog. The overwhelming focus of all participants, however, was on their dogs.
In its most mundane form, dog walking is about humans enhancing a dog’s (and also their own) quality of life. Understanding how humans attempt to fulfil the needs and wants of their dogs is, therefore, vital. Despite the routine nature of walking, when accompanied by a dog, it becomes anything but ordinary and reveals something quite special about our relationship with some animals.
Bonner County Practitioners are giving out Prescriptions to get outside for better health
“Researchers are increasingly discovering what weekend hikers and lunchtime park-walkers intrinsically understand: spending time in nature is restorative and calming, of benefit to both our physical and mental well being”.
The benefits of nature, which start with physical exercise and mental restoration and cascade out to financial and societal betterment, are useful for all participants but may hold extra value for particular populations dealing with depression or other chronic diseases.
Literature from disciplines as diverse as ecology and psychology brim with evidence of the positive side effects of green space on adult health. In particular, time spent in nature has been documented to improve mood, attention, and self-discipline and can reduce stress, anxiety, and aggression.
ParkRx for Bonner County Idaho residents offers independent walking maps, group walks and outside programming for youth 6-18 years of age.
PARK AND TRAIL DESCRIPTIONS, AND LINKS TO MAPS (in order of difficulty)
Click here for level explanations and park locations
DOVER CITY PARK – LEVEL 1 – Comprised of 3,300 feet of public use waterfront, the park is located west of the marina and City Hall, on a sandy stretch of land next to Brown’s Bay Inlet. Along with the swimming beach, the park offers picnic tables, BBQ areas, playground equipment, public restrooms, native plant gardens with interpretative signs, and plenty of grassy areas for your enjoyment.
The park is open every day of the year, beginning one-half hour before sunrise and closing a half-hour after sunset. During the winter months, the trails will not be maintained and the public restrooms are closed. The parking lot adjacent to the park will be cleared.
Dogs must be on a leash when in the area and no alcoholic beverages are allowed on any City property and/or park areas.
SANDPOINT CITY BEACH AND LOOP – LEVEL 1.
This scenic walk will captivate your senses as you will take in the beauty of Lake Ponderay, surrounded by majestic peaks and abundant water fowl. This short walk is designated for our Level 1’s as the walk begins at the west side where there is handicapped parking less than 100 feet from the start of the paved path. There are also benches to relax on, bathrooms (open only in summer) and large shade trees for those hot summer months. No DOGS are allowed at this location Map
SAND CREEK PATH – LEVEL 1 AND 2 – Sand Creek Path is a paved easy access walk that will take you along the restored Sand Creek. This path is paved and rated for Level 1 and 2’s as there are many of the requirements for a Level 1 path, benches, parking, pavement. However, Level 1’s need to take note that the beauty of this path will lure you farther down the path (approximatly 1/8 mile) where you will encounter slight changes in grade as well as longer distances between resting areas. Dogs are welcomed on this beautiful walkway but they need to be on leash. There is free two-hour parking directly across from the start of the path or free parking at City Beach. Map
TRAVERS PARK – LEVEL 1 AND 2 – Travers Park, located on Pine Street, boasts 24.5 acres and has a wide variety of amenities, including three full-size softball diamonds, a medium size baseball diamond, soccer fields, football fields, and four tennis courts. The children play area includes a slide, swing sets, and youth climbing apparatus. Level 1 walkers and walking groups can enjoy the many benifits of this park in the early morning hours 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. during summer but may feel more comfortable moving to other locations once soccer season begins. No DOGS are allowed in the Travers Park Complex Map
SANDPOINT-DOVER COMMUNITY TRAIL – LEVEL 2 – Sandpoint-Dover Community Trail connects the communities of Dover and Sandpoint along a 3.3-mile, paved, flat rail trail, providing outdoor access year-round.
Paralleling U.S. Hwy 2, the trail extends approximately three-quarters of a mile from Dover, where it connects with the Sandpoint trail at Chuck’s Slough and Creed’s Crossing, a revamped railroad trestle bridge passing over the slough. Continue to the trail’s terminus at Larch and Boyer and connect with multiple routes around the area, or access other Sandpoint sites and routes from the trail. This is a wonderful trail for Level 1 groups or Level 2+ Walkers just remember to wear good supportive shoes and have water with you. Map
PEND d’OREILLE BAY TRAIL – LEVEL 3 – This waterfront trail grants access to the Pend d’Oreille Bay, part of the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Site. Along the route, there are opportunities to educate the public about the history of this particular region. Two historic sites, the Humbird Mill site and the Panhandle Smelting and Refining Company site provide visitors with the opportunity to gain a glimpse of the life of mill workers during the early 1900s when Ponderay was considered a “Company Town.” The trail also provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to learn about native plants and wildlife located in this unique landscape. This is a great trail for Level 2 groups or Level 3 ParkRx walking prescriptions. Please remember to wear supportive shoes and bring water for your beautiful walk. Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be on a leash. Pleae remember to bring a MuttMitt and pick up after your pet. Map
GOLD HILL TRAIL No. 3 – LEVEL 4 – The lower trailhead is on Bottle Bay Road, with parking and an outhouse. The trail ascends steeply up the north face of Gold Hill, switching back and forth through deep timber for the first mile and a half before leveling off and trending south and west through a basin full of birch, aspen, cedar and Douglas fir.
There’s a bench at the one-mile mark that provides a panorama of Kootenai and Oden bays and the Cabinet Mountains, west of Pack River. From there the track continues through forest another three miles to a wide-open vista on a rock point looking down the Pend Oreille River and northwest toward Sandpoint and the Selkirk Mountains. Continue on from there another quarter of a mile to a bench on the hillside, and just past that, to Contest Mountain Road No. 2642 and the upper trailhead.
Gold Hill has a relatively steady grade interspersed with easy-walking sections. A strong hiker can make it to the rocky point in just over an hour. Mountain bikers use this trail extensively and can access it from Road No. 2642, which is not necessarily an easy climb, but it’s easier than pumping up the single-track. The Gold Hill Trail is a good trail for kids who are ready for something a bit more adventurous, and because of its shady north-facing terrain, it’s great on a summer day. Map
SHERWOOD FOREST TRAILS – LEVEL 4 – Also known as “Syringa Trails” by the locals, Sherwood Forest offers year-round access to hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing throughout this 143-acre conservation easement. In addition to offering an exceptional outdoor recreation, this area is an important habitat for whitetail deer wintering, and glimpses of moose and elk are not uncommon.
The trails twist and turn, climb up and over, offer forested sections and spectacular views of the Pend Oreille River and beyond. If you look real carefully, you will find art treasures along the trails, donated by a local sculptor.
To access Sherwood Forest, travel west on Pine Street, 1.5 miles from the N. Division Street/Pine Street intersection. The dirt trailhead parking is located directly in front of you, at the sharp right hand corner. Map
MICKINNICK TRAIL HEAD – LEVEL 5 – Mickinnick Trail is a 3.5 mile trail (one-way) that “switchbacks” through 160 acres of huge rock outcroppings, grassy meadows, and old growth timber. It is also graced with spectacular vistas of Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint, the Cabinet Mountains and the Pend Oreille River. The top boasts an elevation of 4,300 feet for a total elevation gain of 2,150 feet.
Directions: From Sandpoint point your car north on Boyer, turn left on Baldy Mountain Road, turn right on Great Northern, turn left on Woodland Drive, cross the tracks, and the trail head is just up the road on your left.
The parking lot and outhouse are a little more than three miles from town on Woodland Drive. From trailhead to trail’s end is four miles, and it is no pushover. A quarter-mile from the parking lot, it begins up and keeps climbing, rising more than 2,000 feet in its length; roughly 500 feet per mile of trail. That’s a workout, especially on a warm summer day. The east-facing aspect of the trail makes it more user-friendly in the afternoon.
The trail leads through open forest on a rocky hillside with big ponderosa pine, larch and Douglas fir trees and shady groves of cedar and white pine interspersed along rock benches where water gathers. There is a viewpoint with benches at the half-mile point, a good goal for folks with small kids or cardiovascular challenges. Beyond this, the trail dips briefly into a dark swale before beginning an unrelenting climb.
Halfway to the top is Cougar Rock, offering a tremendous view of the Purcell Trench, the lake and the Cabinets. From there, the trail trends along a magnificent rock bench full of big timber before beginning up through one shelf after another to the ridge with filtered views of the ridgetops at Schweitzer. Then, it trends southwest through deeper forest and a little swamp before ending on a rocky knob commanding a view of Sandpoint, the Long Bridge, the lake and a long arm of river stretching off toward Washington. Map
SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN RESORT TRAIL SYSTEM – LEVEL 5 Map
More than 20 miles of trails line the slopes at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, from family-friendly hikes to expert mountain bike trails. From the top of the mountain, there are 360-degree views that reach into British Columbia, Canada and sweeping views of Lake Pend Oreille.