Walking after dark has two safety problems. First, you need to be seen by cars. Second, you need to see where you are going. Relay events require both a reflective vest and a light for nighttime participants, and you should take that same advice for any walk you do after sunset and before sunrise.
Black Diamond NightRay Headlamp
My top choice for lighting the way ahead of you is this LED headlamp. You can wear it over a hat, helmet, or on your bare head. It is fully adjustable for fit and weighs little. It uses three AAA batteries in a battery pack that sits at the back of your head and lasts for 70 hours. You won’t have to worry about your batteries dying in mid-walk. Best of all, the angle of the light is adjustable, and it is easy to adjust the headlamp to spotlight your path. You also have a choice of how much light it shines, as the five LED lights can be illuminated in several modes. The bulbs themselves will last through a lifetime of use.
The Head-Lite Cap has a single LED bulb in the front of the cap. You push the bulb in to turn it on and off. The cap also has a reflective strip around the headband for additional visibility. The Hood-to-Coast Relay sold a logo version of the hat in 2006. The problem I found with this cap was that the angle of the light is not adjustable other than shifting the cap up or down on your head. The fixed angle didn’t work for me if I walked with good walking form, with my head up and chin parallel to the ground. With that posture, the light hit the horizon rather than the ground ahead of me. The hat worked great for wandering around parking lots and other dimly lit areas. The hat is washable, but you need to remove the light and battery per the instructions provided with the hat.
Panther Vision Lighted Hat
This Panther Vision cap puts the LED light in the bill of the hat rather than in the forehead area, and the standard version has two LED bulbs powered by lightweight disk batteries. This provides better illumination than the Head-Lite Cap, but I had the same problem with not being able to adjust the angle of where the light hits, unless I pulled it down practically over my eyes or walked with poor posture. Panther Vision is developing other versions for walkers and joggers that include more lights and flashers, powered by AAA batteries.
Nathan Clip-On L.E.D. Safety Strobe
This clip-on strobe has several modes: steady on, slow flash, or rapid flash. You can clip it to your hat, fanny pack, backpack, etc. It will last 150 hours on a replaceable battery. It won’t illuminate your path, but it will help you be seen and noticed.
Healthy Pets Northwest Opens in Multnomah Village
When you’re walking about in Multnomah Village stop in at the new Healthy Pets Northwest store. Healthy Pets Northwest offers a great selection of natural pet foods, supplies, toys, and gear for dogs and cats.
Healthy Pets Northwest provides customers with solutions for pet health that include natural products and avoid the use of toxic chemicals often found in pet foods and other supplies. Being an owner-operated store,
Healthy Pets Northwest strives for the highest level of customer service so people can make informed decisions concerning the pets they love.
Healthy Pets Northwest products include all natural foods, raw food diets, dietary supplements, natural remedies, holistic pet supplies, educational books, the Bach Flower line, and other all-natural pet products.
On the first Friday of every month, the store is open later for Yappy Hour from 6-9 pm with special events for pets, like an animal massage therapist, and wine and snacks for their people.
Healthy Pets Northwest in Multonomah Village is located at 7642 Capitol Highway, Portland, OR. For more information call 971-222-2686 or visit www.healthypetsnw.com.
More Than Fun
The Hula Hoop™ still remains a great source of exercise. Even if your Hula Hoop™ constantly landed at your ankles, these new, handmade hoops from Hooperville are so easy that anyone can be successful. These hoops are bigger, so they move more slowly around your body, giving you time to compensate when the hoop starts to slip down. They are also heavier, making it easier to find your rhythm. Once you are in the groove, you will find that the extra weight of these hoops causes you to work harder. With a smile on your face, you will build strength in your core muscles while also getting a great cardio workout doing this fun activity.
Even off of your body, these hoops can be used as a tool for stretching or giving a boost to your arm muscles. Ten to fifteen minutes with one of these special hoops can be a great addition to your walking regimen. They can be used as a mini-workout in the middle of your day or when you cannot take the extra time to workout like usual. A wonderful way to get the blood flowin’ in the morning or to clear your mind and calm yourself at the end of a busy day, these hoops are so colorful and fun you’ll forget that you’re really working out. To find out more about Hooperville please call 941-705-0264 or visit www.visithooperville.com.
Can you practice yoga, Pilates, and T’ai Chi during a daily walk? You can if it’s Chiwalking, and you can learn how it’s done in Chiwalking: The Five Mindful Steps for Lifelong Health and Energy.
Authors Danny and Katherine Dryer have developed a new walking program that blends the healthy benefits of walking with the core principles of T’ai Chi.
Chiwalking, the authors claim, will help anyone, regardless of age or athletic ability, transform walking into a practice that enhances mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Similar to yoga, Pilates, and T’ai Chi, the method emphasizes body alignment, core strength, and relaxation of the muscles so that walking relieves tension.
The technique also provides aerobic benefits and increased cardiovascular health, tones muscles, and improves flexibility.
Chiwalking: The Five Mindful Steps for Lifelong Health and Energy is published by Fireside Books/Simon & Schuster Trade Paperback, 2006; $14.95; ISBN: 0-7432-6720-6.