Festival activities will keep you moving

Activities at the July 19-21 Wellness Festival in Ashcroft will get you moving in a fun way.

Ashcroft Treating donated the lumber for the new benches and bridges for the Inukshuk Trail

Ashcroft Treating donated the lumber for the new benches and bridges for the Inukshuk Trail

How you wish to move at the upcoming Ashcroft Wellness Festival will be entirely up to you, but move you will! Festival goers will have plenty of opportunities to participate in or just to observe the variety of activities being offered at the Wellness Festival.

If hiking is an activity that you would like to participate in, there are two guided hikes planned. Many locals have heard of the Inukshuk Trail that meanders along the base of the hills above the Mesa. It is a hike with a moderate degree of difficulty so is very do-able for almost everyone.  Thank you to Ashcroft Treating who made a wonderful donation of lumber so additional bridges and new benches could be added along the trail to make it even more user friendly. This hike will be wonderful for all ages and will take place early on the Saturday morning.

A more challenging hike will take place on Sunday morning and will head up the Three Meadows Trail. This hike is for moderate to advanced hikers and involves some steep climbs.  The challenge is worth it though as you will get some incredible views high up above the valley and on top will look across the meadows towards the IG Granule Plant.

For those who wish a less energetic type of exercise that benefits mind, body and soul  there will be a one hour yoga session on both Saturday and Sunday morning. If you don’t already practice yoga but would like to find out more and give it a try, here is your opportunity.

Are you interested in self-defense, karate or tai chi? All will have demonstrations that you can watch and, if interested, can find out more about them.

If you like music and movement, you will probably like Zumba. It is dance fitness and involves various dance moves that include both fast and slow rhythms. A terrific and fun way to get exercise, it is typically one hour long and is guaranteed to get you moving! Come out to watch or join in the adult or children’s class.

There are also at least two  walking “tours” of the downtown area on Saturday: Museum curator Kathy Paulos will lead a historic Ashcroft Walk and there will also be a Photography Walk for camera buffs with Journal editor Wendy Coomber.

And the children’s triathlon is being held on Saturday, starting at the swimming pool park. Contact co-ordinator Wayne Little if you wish to take part in it.

We are very excited to have the “pole lady” coming from Kelowna to put on demos on Nordic Pole walking. What is this you ask? Pole walking is using specially designed walking poles to add to your exercise regime. Pole walking not only makes walking more beneficial but they actually take less effort to use and are easier on our bodies.

Typically, we use less than half of our major muscles when we walk.  When we use fitness walking poles using the correct technique, we use over 90 per cent. In doing so, weight is spread out, helping to lessen the load with which we hit the ground, making a big difference for those people who have back, hip, knee, ankle or feet problems. Walking with poles naturally aligns the spine and strengthens the core with each step helping us to stand and sit taller. You don’t have to go as far or work as hard when using walking poles and you increase your cardio by 20 per cent and calorie burn by up to 48 per cent without any more effort! Thirty  minutes of pole walking is equal to 50 minutes of regular walking. It’s one of the most beneficial and rewarding activities you’ll ever do!

Andrea Walker