Weekly Stroller Hikes E-newlsetter: Heat and wellness (1)

Heat and Wellness

Hello all!

I’m working for Stanford this summer, helping with a summer internship program for first-generation college-bound students out of some “high needs” areas, primarily East Palo Alto and Redwood City. Students intern in labs or at the hospital all summer, and on Mondays they come together to share their experiences, learn some new skills, and get a broader picture of what it is like to have a variety of science, math, and technology careers or study such fields. Last Monday, Professor Dennis Grahn presented to us about a CoreControl, a new device being developed to lower body temperature, and consequently improve treatments and reduce symptoms in a variety of illnesses, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, and heat stroke (see http://www.avacore.com/default.html). The treatment works similarly to running the palms of your hands under or splashing your face with room temperature water (not ice water!).

The take-home message for me was that while ice-cold water would seem to cool us down faster, in fact, room-temperature water, just slightly cooler than body temperature, is far more effective – blood vessels constrict in response to extreme temperatures. If you or one of your loved ones seems to be under stress from the heat, you can keep this in mind. Don’t forget to consult your physician as well. Symptoms of heat shock include disorientation, moodiness, erratic sweating, and overall discomfort.

Looking for somewhere to go to beat the heat? Keep a swimming pool in mind – most pools, with unheated water, will cool you down quickly, as well. For other water play ideas, click on the Spash graphic at the top of the Stroller Hikes homepage at www.strollerhikes.com. For some other ideas for beating the heat, see one of our old newsletters at http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/StrollerHikes/message/18.

Also keep in mind that with this heat wave, plenty of plant matter becomes dehydrated and might become perfect fuel for a fire, becoming “preheated” according to fire science (I used to be a Wildlands Fire Fighter). With July 4th on the horizon, it’s important to be hyper-cautious about lighting firecrackers near outside flammable areas, leaving BBQ pits unattended, and not extinguishing cigarettes. If you plan to light firecrackers (which is illegal in most cities in the Bay Area), do so in a non-plant, non-wood area with a fire extinguisher and bucket of water at the ready. We’ll be lighting ours at the beach in Oregon. Happy 4th!

Here are this week’s events:

Monday, June 29th at 10 am we’ll meet at John W Christian Greenbelt. Amy L. and little Adelina will lead a speed walk / jog along the lovely wide, paved greenbelt in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. Dogs allowed but be sure they can manage on a faster-paced walk/run. We’ll take a break around the halfway point for the trip, to play at the large playground for toddlers, along the greenbelt. Meet at the pedestrian bridge on Ahwanee Avenue and San Junipero Drive (the bridge is just NW of San Junipero Dr.). Here is a Mapquest Map of the Starting Location (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/Ahwanee+Ave+and+San+Junipero+Dr+Sunnyvale+CA/). For more information about the trail, see the John W Christian Greenbelt Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/GreenbeltSunnyvale/GreenbeltSunnyvale.html). If you’re running late, call Amy at 650-207-6556.

Tuesday, June 30th at 8:30 am Loren and little Angelo will lead a mellow stroller jog around Almaden Lake and down Los Alamitos Trail. Meet at the water dragon by the big playground near the bathrooms and swimming beach in the main parking lot near the intersection of Coleman Avenue and Almaden Expressway. No dogs allowed! Jogging strollers are best, but this is an entirely paved trail, so smaller-wheeled strollers are also OK. Walkers always welcome! For more information about the area or directions, see The Los Alamitos Creek Trail Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/LosAlamitos/LosAlamitos.html). If you’re running late, call Loren at 831-227-6737.

Tuesday, June 30th at 2 pm Amy B. and little James and Sadie will lead a hike at Crystal Springs along the Sawyer Camp Trail, West of San Mateo and Burlingame. This is an entirely paved trail (well, I doubt it if we’ll make it to the short gravel section connecting to San Andreas Trail near mile 6) so all strollers work fine. Plenty of benches and port-o-potties along the way, and a nice picnic area with water near the 3.5 mile mark (if we make it that far). For information about the hike or directions, see Crystal Springs Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/CrystalSprings/CrystalSprings.html). Meet at the benches just inside the gate at Crystal Springs Rd and Syline Blvd. If you’re running late, call Amy at 408-368-7161.

Wednesday, July 1st at 9:45 am we’ll hike at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino/Los Altos Hills. We’ll do an almost entirely paved, flat path going to the farm, and possibly go past it. The road is perfect for trikes or bikes, if toddlers or young children want to ride. Any baby transport will work. Meet at the main lower parking lot at the water fountain in front of the bathrooms(just past the entrance, turn right, then follow the road until it ends). For more information or directions, see the Rancho San Antonio Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/RanchoSanAntonio/ranchoSanAntonio.html). Sorry, dogs not allowed. This hike is at least half shaded. Lisa and little Samuel will lead this hike. If you’re running late, call Lisa at 650-892-8678.

No Toddler Trek is scheduled for this Thursday, but they will resume next week.

Stay cool and have a safe Independence Day!

-Debbie and little Max

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