Get Out And Hike!

From my Healthy Living column in Moncton’s Times & Transcript.

Having lived in a hot and sunny climate before moving to Moncton, I was amazed at the prettiness of snow during my first winter here. Now, that the initial awe has diminished however, I don’t particularly affection the multitude of snowflakes that quickly piles up everywhere– snow poses challenges when one wants to enjoy common summertime recreational activities outdoors. I nevertheless make an effort to learn to enjoy simple winter ”sports”, but I definitely attribute greater value to the last few days of snow-free autumn.

The remaining November weekends may be the last snow-free weekends of the year. Although some avid winter sport fans may excitedly anticipate the arrival of the white stuff, for others like me, the first snowfall indicates that we’ll soon be stepping into an unwelcoming, cold, icy, not-so-wondrous environment every time we open the door.

This weekend is a good opportunity to profit of Moncton’s numerous trails and parks and breathe fresh autumn air. Moncton’s Centennial Park, Irishtown Park, Mapleton Park, and Riverfront Park all offer walking trails of various lengths that are currently in open for use. There is also a slew of biking and walking trails available for use around the province.

If you enjoy hiking and biking and would like to be more active, consider participating in Passport to Wellness, an NB program that encourages Newbrunswickers to use NB trails to get fit. The program requires a minute membership fee of $12 and in turn provides pedometers (a device that tracks the amount of steps taken per day and that usually provides an accurate portrait of physical activity levels) and fitness incentives.

Another pastime that involves spending time roaming the great outdoors is geocaching. Although since it involves using a handheld GPS device to locate caches (small hidden boxes that contain ”treasure” and a logbook) its audience is limited to technology-savvy people and their friends, geocaching is nonetheless worth mentioning because of its growing popularity.

Resources:

http://www.moncton.ca/Residents/Recreation_Parks_and_Culture/Parks/Park_Conditions.htm offers park maps and information about park conditions.

http://www.sentiernbtrail.com/index.php?option=com_sobi2&catid=2&Itemid=12&lang=en# lists the many NB trails.

http://www.passporttowellness.ca/ offers information about Passport to Wellness, a program designed to help Newbrunswickers ”walk (or bike) their way to wellness”.

Originally published in the Times & Transcript on November 13th, 2010.
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