By: LaDawn Wolfe PTA, ATC
As the temperatures turn colder and the days shorter, many of us feel the need to curl up in our homes and wait out the weather until spring. So, when the idea of another hour spent hoarded up in sweats, vegging out on the couch, picking popcorn out of the couch cushions and watching yet another series on Netflix does not appeal to you grab your coat, cap and gear and let me make some suggestions of various activities that will appease the outdoor enthusiasts in you! Knoxville and the East Tennessee region has lots of options to help fight the winter blahs (and pounds!) as well as feed your inner adventurer. As a self-proclaimed outdoor enthusiast and adventurer, I prefer to be on-the- go or at least to have options all year around and in all weather conditions.
Here are my top picks and just some of the activities, both indoor and outdoor, that will get your blood pumping, work off some Trail Mix and quite possibly energize your soul.
1. For the hiking and climbing minimalist who only needs a pair of shoes and a day pack:
House Mountain, Urban Wilderness and Mead's Quarry have scenic trails and rocky walls that beg to be ascended and are just minutes from downtown Knoxville.
2. For the kayaker, paddler and the open-boater:
Chota Canoe Club - The Chota Canoe Club hosts an indoor roll practice at theUniversity of Tennessee's Aquatic Center on Friday nights, ranging $5-15 depending on Club and ACA membership. Work on your roll, loops or bow-stale, while discussing weekend options for free flow. Family-friendly, but bring your own gear. For more information visit their website www.paddlerchota.org.
3. For the cyclist of the mountain variety:
Sharps Ridge Memorial Park - It has multiple tracks that loop together to enable you to customize your ride based on time availability and the trails generally stay drier when others are a muddy mess.
Greenway - for those that want a more leisurely pedal, the Greenway offers a great option that meanders through parts of Knoxville that are much more moderate in regard to terrain and is family friendly!
4. And last, but certainly not least in my opinion, for the fitness classes’ lover:
Check with the local gyms, health and fitness centers and community centers for lists of classes they offer during the cold winter months. Over the last several years, I have signed up for a class that kept me moving, off the couch and introduced me to some really incredible people. From hula hoop and belly dancing to kickboxing. I have wiggled, swiveled, spun and jabbed my way through the cold winter months to a happier and healthier version of myself.
Whether you decide to go to Urban Wilderness, a Spinning Class or the Chota Canoe Club make sure that you stretch before doing any activities and bring plenty of water. We want you to be able to enjoy this Winter Season so If you are having aches and pains that are keeping you from doing the things that you love, including my list of top picks, contact us to schedule your FREE Pain and Injury Screening and we can help you get on your way to a pain free winter 865-573- 6458.
*For more information about myself and the Foothills Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Team, visit our website at www.foothillspt.us. *