The summertime is a great time for outdoor activities. The sun is bright and shining, the weather is warm and inviting, and nature is calling us to explore. Outdoor activities are extremely beneficial, which is just another reason to enjoy them!
These types of activities are great for your mind. They are known to reduce stress, improve your self-esteem and confidence, bring about spiritual growth, and give you an increased sense of excitement and exhilaration, as well as inserting adventure and some change into your normal routine. However, outdoor activities are not just good for your mind-they are good for your body, too! Getting active outside increases your cardiovascular, aerobic, and muscular fitness as well as improves your immune system. Outdoor activities don’t just benefit you: they benefit your community as well as your environment. People who enjoy outdoor activities together with people from their community grow closer and bond, creating a closer-knit community and neighborhood, as well as increasing environmental awareness by doing so. The benefits of outdoor activities are enormous. However, even with all of these benefits, there are some precautions you must take to be safe outdoors.
One of the biggest dangers to being outdoors is heat exhaustion. You must be aware of the potential for heat exhaustion if you have a job that requires you to work outside. If you work outside in the heat, there are a few precautions you should take to stay safe. First, make sure you drink lots of water and always keep your body hydrated. As you are in the heat and sweating profusely, you are losing large amounts of water from your body and therefore must continue to replenish the supplies. Our bodies are 60 percent water. Water is essential for our bodies to function. Second, take well-timed breaks in shaded areas to get out of the sun for a little bit and let your body cool down. Try to take these breaks during the hottest times of the day so that you are not working during these times. Wear lightweight clothing and avoid dark clothing, since darker colors will absorb the heat. Try to wear lighter colors, such as white or light grey. Third, wear sunscreen to protect your skin from burning.
Sunscreen is a common product in our world today and is very important in protecting our skin from the rays of the sun. However, many people are not aware of how to apply SPF appropriately. Therefore, this is something that needs to be talked about. First, you want to choose a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or above, is water resistant, and has broad spectrum coverage. Next, apply your sunscreen before you go outside. Sunscreen takes fifteen minutes to kick into action. If you apply sunscreen when you are already in the sun, then you are leaving yourself vulnerable to be burnt. Make sure you use enough (about an ounce for most adults), rub it thoroughly into your skin, and apply it all over your bare skin. Reapply after two hours, or after swimming or sweating profusely.
Traveling is very common during the summertime and also a time when it is very important to know how to stay both safe and healthy. If you are traveling outside of the United States, make sure you are up to date on any vaccines that you might need to travel to the country you are going to. Also, you need to take any medicine to keep you safe while you are there. Find out if the water and food in that country is safe to drink and eat. Do some homework about the country you are visiting. If you take any medication or prescriptions, make sure you have enough with you, as it can be hard to get medication in other countries at times. You could also pack a first aid kit containing things such as bandages, Neosporin or something like it, Benadryl, Imodium (your solution for diarrhea), and hydrocortisone cream (which provides relief for poison ivy, oak, and stinging nettles).
On the opposite side of the spectrum, trying to stay healthy with your food choices can be hard on vacation. Here are some quick tips to help you. Instead of pancakes and waffles for breakfast, try some oatmeal with fresh fruit. It’ll taste just as good and is much better for you. Think about your beverages; they have calories too. Drink green tea during the day, as it speeds up your metabolism, and red wine at night, as it has less calories than some other alcoholic drinks. Also, try not to snack late at night, since that gives your body less time to process the food, which makes it more likely to turn into fat. Make sure that you find time to exercise. Exercise is important, and there is always something you can do to exercise even while traveling. Check out a yoga class or bring your own mat from home, go running on the beach or through the city, or whatever fits your fancy.
Hiking is a common outdoor activity and a great one at that. However, injuries can be very common if you don’t prepare yourself properly beforehand so that you can hike safely. First, dress properly. Check the weather of the area you are planning on hiking in and see what kind of clothing corresponds with that weather. Make sure you have the right footwear. Strong, supportive footwear is very important for hiking, since you will be walking up difficult terrain at times as well as on your feet most of the time. Also, quality socks are important to protect against blisters. Sunglasses are important in protecting your eyes, and a wide-brimmed hat is very helpful in protecting your face and neck from being burnt. Make sure that you are hiking a trail that is in correlation to your fitness level or experience level. Don’t hike a trail that is only for advanced hikers if this is the first time you have ever gone hiking. Always be aware of your surroundings and watch your footsteps to make sure you are putting your feet down on as even grounding as possible to make sure you do not roll or twist an ankle Have a map of your trail, know the basics to hiking, and make sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. If you get lost, there are a couple of things you can do, but first and foremost, stay calm. Next, make sure beforehand that you let someone know your hiking plan and give them a copy of the trail you are taking and when you are planning on returning. Pack extra food, water, clothing, and a whistle, just in case. Pay attention as you hike, as these details will be important later if you get lost. Now, once you know you are lost, here is what you should do. STOP. Stop, Think, Observe, and Plan. Think about your surroundings and use your compass. Think about what made you realize you were lost. Observe your surroundings, compare it to the landmarks on your map, and see if there are any overlaps. Plan out your potential next steps and consider all of the possibilities.
Finally, staying safe and healthy is very important in all outdoor activities so that you may enjoy the benefits they have to offer. Whether you work outside, travel for pleasure, hike for sport, garden for greens, or any of the many other great outdoor activities, it is important to be aware of how to stay safe and healthy while doing them.