Warm weather is here and the official start of the summer season is just a few days away! Now is the time when many head out and indulge in some fun in the sun. Swimming, waterskiing, backpacking, hiking, and volleyball are just a few sports and activities that quench your winter-long thirst for the outdoors. Of course, with every sport or physical activity, injuries are a possibility. To ensure an enjoyable summer, it is important to prepare your body for outdoor activity:
- Hydrate. During the summer our body works overtime to keep our system cool. It is important to hydrate with water before, during and after whatever exercise or activity you are involved in to prevent dehydration or heat stroke.
- Warm-Up. Increased range of motion and a true “stretch” cannot be achieved until after a warm-up is completed, which will increase your level of health.
- Use Proper Equipment. When performing activities such as hiking, boating, or waterskiing, it is important to have equipment that suits your needs. Also, when waterskiing or boating, wear a life jacket that fits properly to prevent serious injury.
- Listen to your body. Most often your body will tell you when you have had enough of an activity. Pushing yourself too far during an event can result in serious injuries such as tears and sprains.
- Rest. While all of these activities are great for your health, it is important to note that too much of anything can bring on unwanted problems. Most chronic injuries and pain is a result of overuse, or improperly performing a function.
- Protect Your Skin. Your skin is your first layer of defense. Be sure to wear proper, waterproof sunscreen during outdoor activity with continuous applications throughout the day. Remember, the sun’s ultraviolet rays are strongest between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Don’t forget the bug spray if you’re out in the woods as well.
If over the course of the summer you find yourself taking part in outdoor activities be sure to follow these steps and you will find yourself healthier and fitter than ever.