John and Deborah Martin moved to Fairfield Glade in 2016 after much exploration their first four years of retirement in Maryland.
They lived in apartments while exploring Nashville and Chattanooga while they were looking for the right community to build a home and grow roots. Their passion for hiking led them to the Cumberland Plateau. The couple has traveled internationally and hiked Machu Picchu in Peru, the Camino in Spain, the Kerry Way in Ireland, the West Highland Way in Scotland, and both the South and North Islands in New Zealand.
In addition to hiking, they also enjoy kayaking and playing golf, so Fairfield Glade was the perfect fit for them. In addition to all the hiking opportunities, they also have found another treasure here locally.
“We really enjoy the people of Tennessee. Having come from the hipper active East Coast, the people’s laid attitude on the plateau makes living here refreshing,” John shares.
As avid hikers, they sought out hiking organizations to join and were quickly introduced to the Friends of the Trails where they helped build trails. Then, they moved into the Tennessee Trails Association where they help handle publicity for the Plateau Chapter, where they produce a quarterly newsletter.
In support of improving the overall quality of health of the residents of the Cumberland Plateau, Cumberland Medical Center will host a Hike for Health series. It is a free guided hiking opportunity comprised of 13 weekly one-mile hikes starting at 10:30 a.m. on Mondays. Those who are interested are welcome to join in the hiking series at any time.
Taking a hike (or a walk) is good medicine for improving quality of life, preventing comorbidities, and relieving stress and anxiety. Those who make time to incorporate this activity into their life, are glad to share why they enjoy it.
“First, hiking is good exercise. Second, you get to exercise in nature’s playground. Finally, the peace and quiet as you move down the trail tends to clear the mind and produce a sense of inner-peace,” said John Martin, who is a Fairfield Glade resident with Friends of the Trails.
John and his wife Deborah have helped develop the third annual Hike for Health walks, a concept originated by Naiad Kuhlman in 2019 to help cancer patients and survivors exercise. Since its inception, it has opened to welcoming anyone who would like to improve their health and move more.
“I enjoy hiking with my friends. Exercise is the best medicine for me,” says CMC Volunteer Naiad Kuhlman. “The Hike for Health will help both the new and the experienced hikers accomplish a half marathon distance in just 13 weeks. I am looking forward to it.”
Hike for Health will have leaders at the front and in the back of group to provide support for others who are slowly building their physical endurance and gaining socialization with others.
The American Heart Association recommends fitting in at least 150 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity each week. Being physically active is important to prevent heart disease and stroke, which are the nation’s top causes of death. Exercise is also helpful to prevent comorbidities like diabetes.
The series will begin Monday, April 5 at 10:30 a.m. at Woodlawn Loop in Crossville.
When hiking, it’s important to be prepared. Look to the weather forecast and dress accordingly with comfortable clothing and shoes, take water and a light snack, and wear sunscreen. One may also want to wear insect repellent.
The one-mile Hike for Health series starts at 10:30 a.m. on Mondays at the following locations:
April 5 at Woodlawn Loop in Crossville
April 12 at Centennial Park in Crossville
April 19 at Central Trail in Fairfield Glade
April 26 at Obed River Park Trail in Crossville
May 3 at Downtown Trail in Crossville
May 10 at Meditation Trail in Crossville
May 17 at Americans with Disabilities (Paved)Trail, Cumberland Mountain State Park
May 24 at Glastowbury Trail in Fairfield Glade
May 31 at Woodlawn Loop in Crossville
June 7 at Meditation Trail in Crossville
June 14 at Glastowbury Trail in Fairfield Glade
June 21 at Centennial Park in Crossville
June 28 at Americans with Disabilities (Paved)Trail, Cumberland Mountain State Park
For more information that includes maps of trail locations and routes visit www.crossvilletrails.com/health-walks or call (931) 459-7019.
DOWNLOAD: 2021 Hike for Health Flyer
Pictured left to right are Deborah Martin, Naiad Kuhlman, and John Martin who have collaborated with Friends of the Trails to make Hike for Health 2021 possible.