Health Benefits of Hiking and 6 Best Hiking Tips… Featuring Wisconsin’s Terrell’s Island!

Greeting’s! This week we are excited to be featuring one of  our favorite places in the Oshkosh, Wisconsin area, Terrell’s Island! Terrell’s Island is somewhat of a hidden gem. It is often uncrowded with a comfortable walking distance and beautiful view of the lake. Below are some scenes you can experience first hand if you decide to travel out for a fun day. Terrell’s Island is just outside of Oshkosh, Wisconsin – placed on Shubert Road – just take 21 West towards Omro and turn North on Rivermoor Road and follow the road down to the park. There are a lot of resting places where you could even pack a meal and picnic part way in.  It is open from spring to fall, hours are from sunrise to sunset. It is a loop consisting of 3.8 miles – with the option to go part way and head back if you are not up to the entire journey.

 

Hiking has many health benefits and is great for people who are just starting out on their fitness journey, or feel like they are not up to lifting weights or a more intense workout. According to Web MD Hiking can “Lower your risk of heart disease. Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Boost bone density, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise. Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs.

Here are 6 tips you want to consider for your health and well-being before adventuring out onto any trail!

1) Footwear: You will want a closed toe shoe that is lightweight, flexible, but also have support, especially around the ankles – this can help you avoid rolling your ankle if you happen to take a misstep. The shoes should be a good fit to you that you have tested out and broken in, you do not want to be battling blisters in the middle of your blissful hike.

2) Wool socks: These are great for whisking away moisture which helps maintain your body temperature as you start to sweat – regardless of if it is hot or cold out. Wool socks also to absorb any impact of your walk so that your knees and legs do not have to take the brunt of the walk. Make sure your socks are taller than your boots, preferably above ankle height to avoid blisters from your shoes and scratches from the trail.

3) Plan your Hike: Plan out the length of the trail with a map ahead of time to avoid fatigue, make sure that you are able to comfortably walk the distance before – you should pick a distance shorter than you are use to walking on a normal, paved surface. Tip: using a paper map is always best as it doesn’t have batteries attached to it.

4) Drink water: Even if the day does not seem overly hot you can still experience dehydration – it is best to take short stops and drink a little bit of water at each stop versus trying to drink an entire bottle all at once. A good rule of thumb is to carry 1 liter of water per person for every 2 hours you expect to be out on the trail.

5) Dress in Layers: You want to dress in long layers to avoid any scrapes from the trail and getting bug bites, and a hat to avoid any sun damage – especially when you out in the middle of the day (You should also be applying sunscreen!).

6) Understand the terrain: As mentioned earlier, Terrell’s Island is a flat terrain – perfect for beginners but make sure to do your research on any place before you walk it, you want to make sure that your body is up to task of any hills and gullies – if you are unsure if your body can handle this type of walking due to a recent injury it is best to consult with a Physical Therapist! They will be able to assess any previous injuries you are concerned about and give you advice and tips on how to prevent injury out on the trail.

If you find yourself missing out on hiking or your other favorite outdoor activities due to an injury and want to know what the next steps to getting out and enjoying nature are without the expensive and risk of surgery, medications, and injections, click HERE to fill out a request for a FREE Discovery Visit. A Discovery Visit is a FREE 30 minute consultation with one of our Physical Therapist’s here at Physical Achievement Center focused on helping you discover the cause and SOLUTION to your pain.

About the Author

Eric Koehler

Eric Koehler - PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, Certified Dry Needling


Dr. Eric Koehler has been working as a Physical Therapist for over 25 years in the Oshkosh, Wisconsin and Fox Valley area. He has a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and has completed his Fellowship in Orthopedic Manual Therapy in 2017. This level of clinic training is only attained by 1% of all Physical Therapists. Eric's mission is to provide non-surgical, non-drug approaches to help individuals overcome pain and weakness to help them get back to enjoying their life.