First Light Healthcare

These feet are made for walking – Bush walking Part 2

Cape Byron Specialist Centre Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr Danielle Wadley shares expert advice on walking with feet and ankle vulnerabilities.

By now you are in the swing of things. You will be experiencing the many benefits of regular walking. Don’t stop there! Read on and move on to the next level.

Now you’re walking

Once you have recovered out of the acute stage of inflammation or injury and you have participated in adequate rehabilitation, short walks on the sand, or longer walks with many stairs or hills, can then be reintroduced.

  • initially start on hard packed dirt with shoes on
  • Work up to short periods in the softer dirt or trails with loose dirt and small rocks
  • Remember: walk before you run!

A suitable walk for this group is the Victoria Park Boardwalk an easy 0.4km loop that is accessible for all. Meander through the sub-tropical rainforest and seek shade under the canopy of wild bushland. Spot the local wildlife and birdwatch as you picnic in this idyllic spot.

In the Gold Coast region, try out the Burleigh Head National Park, for spectacular water views, and in the right season, whale watching. This walk is about 2.5km with some hills included. Or try the Burleigh Headland Rainforest Circuit for a 2km hike rated as easy.

Walk toward the light!

Once you are well recovered, you have minimal or no pain and your strength and endurance are improving, it’s time to increase the length and difficulty. At this stage, depending on your overall fitness, any persisting foot problems or enjoyment level, you could:

  • Increase to longer walks including combination of pathway and beach
  • Then longer walks on the beach
  • Eventually you will be ready for bush hiking again

A suitable walk for this group is the Lennox Head Boardwalk. Lennox Boardwalk The pleasant walking track has easy boardwalks for all of the family to enjoy. The gentle walk runs from town, along the oceanfront and climbs the headland.

If you are in the Gold Coast, there are many options. Lamington National Park suggestions include O’Reilly’s Rainforest Walk, a 5-10 km walk graded easy to moderate. A longer and harder option is the Toolona Creek Circuit, 17km and rated as a hard hike. Be sure to ready and well recovered for this one! The Green Mountains Section has all options from easy to hard, short and long. Tamborine National Park has many hikes to choose from such as the Witches Fall Circuit, a 3km hike rated as moderate.

If you are experiencing foot or ankle problems, please call 1300 10 54 64 or email [email protected]