Fall is upon us, but there is still time for numerous adventures and sites to explore. For those recovering from injury or suffering from pain, it can be hard to find a hike that fits your fitness capabilities. The last thing you need is to get there and realize that this outing is doing more harm then good. Fortunately for Missoulians, we have access to a wide variety of trails ranging from short trails with minimal inclines to long steep hikes up nearby mountains. Here are a few trails to check out.
Bolle Birdwatching Trail – Greenough Park
This is the prefect trail for those who are recovering from injury and need a hike with very little elevation gain. This trail is located in the Rattlesnake area and is a loop design. Since this trail is only one mile, it takes about 30 min to do.
Blue Mountain Saddle to Blue Mountain Lookout
This trail is a there-and-back hike with a 660 foot elevation gain over the 2.2 miles. Thus, it is an easy hike for those who want to ease into hiking. The full hike takes about 1.5 hours, but due to its design you can turn back at anytime to make the trial fit your time requirement.
Main Rattlesnake Trail
This is another great trail in the Rattlesnake area. This trail has a little elevation change, so it’s a good hike if you are looking for a longer hike. This one is a there-and-back hike of up to 4.8 miles. So you can make it as long as you’d like.
Hiking is a great way to get in your daily exercise while exploring the outdoors. Capitalize on the great weather by exploring some of these easier trails. They are great for beginners and those faced with the challenges of knee and back pain.
I recently had the privilege to finally attend the Master Instructor Training for CoreAlign at Balanced Body headquarters in Sacramento. I am grateful for an amazing 4 days of learning and interacting with other instructors, Master trainers and the opportunity to visit the Balanced Body facility.
No matter how much you know, there is always more to learn. I started my CoreAlign journey back in 2012, first as a participant, then a teacher and now a trainer of teachers. I continue to appreciate the nuance of the repertoire and the ingenuity of the design of the CoreAlign unit itself, mostly as a conduit to allow movement assessment and exploration. Novel experiences and movement sequences can be powerful on the CoreAlign, and can provide "a-ha" moments for both the practitioner and client alike. It's not about mastering "exercises", but providing a unique and different platform to provide a movement experience that will translate into meaningful and functional tasks.
Movement transcends language. Out of 8 Master Instructor students, half were international instructors, speaking little English. It was both challenging and inspiring to bridge the language barrier with shared movement experiences. Non verbal communications, demonstrations, and tactile cueing were necessary when language was not available. I feel that this made me a better communicator when I had to choose other mediums for communication. Laughter and pantomime bridged the gap, and reinforced the concept that sometimes, less=more.
I look forward to bringing more CoreAlign content and explorations to the Alpine and Missoula community. - Lisa Hamilton, DPT
Brent Dodge is the founding owner of Alpine Physical Therapy and is a board certified orthopedic specialist. He holds additional certifications in Functional Dry Needling, Manual Physical Therapy, and Strength and Conditioning.
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