‘Wellness Walk and Talk’ held at Northwest Park
By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Wed., Jul. 24, 2013
Windsor’s Northwest Park was the site of a “Wellness Walk and Talk” on July 13. Park manager Ford Parker and University of Connecticut Health Center physician assistant Brad Biskup put their heads together and created this event to combine an acknowledgement of the beauty of Northwest Park with the benefits of exercise.
“Exercise is continuous muscle movement,” said Biskup. “People think that the harder you work out, the better the benefit. In fact, all you have to do is take baby steps and just keep moving. Maybe park a little further out in the parking lot or take the stairs instead of the elevator.” Biskup highly recommends using a pedometer throughout the day. “You will see that the steps really add up,” said Biskup. “Just keep the blood pumping to clear out all the sludge that will accumulate over time.”
Parker talked about important precautions to take when going on a nature hike. “I will be demonstrating what a typical survival pack looks like. You have to tailor it to the type of walk that you are going on and the conditions that you will be expecting, but you should be prepared for the unexpected as well,” said Parker. “I have been on several search and rescues. Most of them could have been prevented with something as simple as a compass. People need to use their heads and take nature seriously, while also enjoying all that it has to offer.”
Parker recommends taking a fanny pack or back pack with you when you are hiking or even just going for a walk in the park. “Hydration is very important. You should have a bottle of water with you, as well as a first aid kit. You never know what you may need, and it is better safe than sorry,” said Parker. In the pack that he demonstrated before the walk, there were such necessary items as a bottle of water, insect repellent, a first aid kit, batteries and steel wool to be able to start a fire, a signal mirror, a whistle, a magnesium block called “metal match,” and, of course, the very important compass.
Biskup conveyed the power of walking. He explained that by walking, not only does your body get the physical benefits, but your stress level will drop, and that gives way to a healthier psychological outlook on life. He recommended to all the walkers that they stop and enjoy the beautiful gardens and listen to the sounds that nature provides.
Along the walk, Biskup talked about healthy food choices and wild teas that had health benefits. “Eating well will help keep cholesterol down and give other health benefits, while relaxation can lover health risks as well,” Biskup explained. “Nature is there for us, so we should take time out to enjoy it.”