Any time you spend outdoors can result in fun, exercise, and improved mental health. Of course, there are some activities that will benefit your health more than others, and there are some that should involve safety precautions so that everyone can maximize their time spent outdoors. We share three tips for being active outdoors below, so that you can improve your overall wellness and be safe at the same time this spring.
- Stay Hydrated
When the weather turns warm or humid, you should be sure to take plenty of water outside with you to stay hydrated. Avoid drinking alcohol or sugary drinks that lack the hydration benefits of clean water. Make sure your water containers are insulated to keep your water cool and refreshing.
If you plan to exercise outside or play hard, take breaks when the temperatures are high. It’s also a good idea to exercise less vigorously or for a shorter time when it is hot, and you should avoid excessive physical activity during the hottest part of the day. Stay in the shade as much as you can and wear lightweight, breathable clothing. If you feel nauseous or dizzy, get a headache, or experience cramps, stop doing your activity, find a cool area, and drink fluids.
- Take Snacks with You When You Hike
Water isn’t the only thing you should remember to carry with you when you are active in the outdoors. When you go for a hike, you will expend a great deal of energy climbing over rocks, walking up inclines, and exploring the great outdoors. You always should include a healthy snack in your pack to replenish some of your energy and so you have something to eat should an emergency arise.
Trail mix is an ideal snack for a hike because it is simple to make and carry with you. It’s better to make your own trail mix than purchase prepared mixes at the store because you will be able to control the amount of salt and sugar in your snack. Try mixing equal parts whole almonds, unsalted peanuts, dried cranberries, and chopped dates with a handful of dark chocolate for your next hiking snack. You’ll benefit from the potassium protein, healthy fat, fiber, and vitamins E and C in your mix.
It’s important to note that good nutrition is important year-round so you can stay active both indoors and outdoors. Avoiding heavily processed foods and those that are full of fat, sugar, and caffeine will help you perform and feel your best. And, if you are a recovering addict who is working on improving your overall health and well-being, good nutrition will aid you in your journey because it flushes your system of toxins and helps your body absorb the nutrients it needs. Good nutrition also boosts serotonin levels and improves your mood and feelings of wellness.
- Stay Active with a Friend
Whether you are kayaking, canoeing, hiking, camping, or doing another fun activity outside, you should not do so alone. Staying active with at least one friend will help you stay motivated and enjoy yourself even more, but it also helps to ensure safety. If you are doing an outdoor activity in a local area, one buddy should be enough; if you are hiking or doing physical activity in a remote area, your group should include at least four people.
Should one of you get hurt or lost, someone can stay with the injured person while the others go for help. Everyone in your group should have a copy of your itinerary, full names of the companions, emergency contact numbers, your license plate number, and other information that will be useful in the event of an emergency.
Being active outdoors is an ideal way to improve your mental and physical health and improve your overall well-being, but that is the case only when you take the necessary safety precautions. Be sure to remain hydrated, take snacks with you, and stay active with at least one buddy to remain safe while you get healthy.
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