After a long winter, we greet the first days of warm weather with a flurry of activity. Neighborhood streets are filled with children on bikes, dog walkers, and couples out for an evening stroll.We all look forward to shaking off the winter blues - and shedding off the winter pounds – with the promise of warmer days ahead.
But this time of year can also be tough on our bodies.Here are ten ways to stay active and safe this spring.
Protection from the Sun
As we head outside for fresh air and a dose of vitamin D, it’s easy to forget to apply sunscreen. But it is critically important. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that is water resistant and protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Stretch and Warm Up
Warmer weather and longer days inspire most of us to get out of the house and do more physical activity. You may have been able to run 5 or 7 miles at a time last summer. But after several months of limited winter running on a treadmill, don’t make the mistake of trying to beat your personal best the first time outside.Instead, remember to spend at least ten minutes stretching before you run and start slow.Building up to your preferred mileage will keep you injury-free. Add time for a cool down at the end of your workout to keep your muscles in top shape.
Splash Around Safely
A sure sign that summer is on the way is your first dip in the pool. Though practicing your cannonball can be the quintessential summer experience, safety has to come before fun.According to the CDC, there are over 3,500 unintentional drownings every year. This doesn’t include injuries that occur around the pool, either.
Stay active and safe with simple steps like erecting fencing around the pool, using non-slip materials in and around the pool and preforming maintenance on the drains.Whether you are swimming indoors or outdoors, taking some basic pool safety precautions before and during your swim will ensure that everyone is happy as a clam.
Use your Head
Or rather, don’t use your head to break your fall! Head injuries are scary, but they are also avoidable.Wear a helmet when biking or skateboarding, and make sure the little people in your family are doing the same.
Dehydration can lead to headaches, nausea and worse. Hard core athletes may want to consider a drink like Gatorade or Powerade, but for most of us, good old H2O will do.Be sure to drink before, during and after exercise to stay sufficiently hydrated.
Put Down the Smart Phone
Have you ever seen some of those YouTube videos of people walking into inanimate objects because they couldn’t be bothered to look up from their phones? Don’t be like that.Heck, this person almost walked into a bear because they were distracted on their phone. It’s not safe, and texting doesn’t burn any calories. Leave the phone at home to stay safe and active.
Check Your Equipment
If it’s been a year since you rode your bike or took out your kayak, you’ve got to do a little maintenance to make sure everything is in good working order. Skipping this (boring) step can cost you injury or maintenance fees later in the summer.
Signing the kids up for summer camp. Planning summer vacation for your entire extended family.Figuring out how to finish your upcoming work projects while still taking time with friends and family. There are plenty of stressors that come with getting ready for the summer.
And this fretfulness is the enemy of staying active and safe this spring.Why? Anxiety can lead to a lack of focus, headaches, overeating, a lack of sleep, chest pain and a host of other health problems.Fend off your stress by staying organized, fitting some physical activity into your schedule and prioritizing your tasks.
There is a two pronged approached to living a healthy lifestyle: exercise and eating well.Finding the right foods to fuel your physical activity, like lean proteins, leafy green vegetables and fruits high in fiber, will benefit body and help you to stay on track.
Listen to your Body
Do you treat your body like your most prized possession? You should! When you feel fatigued or achy, take a rest. Take time for self-reflection to ask “how did I get here?” Maybe you forget to hydrate, or maybe you overdid it at the gym.If you have more energy than ever, ask yourself “To what can I attribute this success?” Finding out what works for you is the best way to ensure an active and healthy spring.
As the weather warms and the days get longer, our instinct is to kick our bodies into high gear. But these ten tips can help you prepare and stay active so that your spring and summer are the best yet.
About the Author
Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.