Spending time outdoors is good for both the mind and body. Whether you’re exercising, relaxing, or participating in a favorite activity, there’s nothing better than breathing in the fresh air and taking in the world around you.
Multiple studies have shown how being outside can boost your mental health. In this stressful world, that’s a necessity! You should be spending more time outside than ever, and encouraging your kids to do the same.
But, how can you make sure you’re all staying completely healthy and safe while spending time outdoors? There are more risks than you might initially think.
No matter what you plan to do outside, there are a few tips and practices you should keep in mind before you open the door. Let’s cover the basics so you can enjoy spending some much-needed time outside without bringing harm to your well-being.
Most people know the importance of wearing sunscreen on a bright day, but that doesn’t mean everyone does it.
If you’re going to be outside for any length of time, sun protection is a must. That should include things like:
- A hat
- Protective clothing
- UV-blocking sunglasses
The signs of a sunburn can show up in as little as 11 minutes. Protecting yourself ahead of time can help you to avoid a lot of discomfort and potential risk. It’s even more important to make sure kids are properly protected, so make sure everyone in your family has the right sun gear.
It’s also important to keep the inside of your body safe and healthy while you’re outside. That starts by making sure it’s actually safe to go out. If you have respiratory issues, be sure to check the air quality before you spend time outdoors. Pollution is a big problem in some states, including Louisiana, Nevada, and Indiana. Poor air quality days can wreak havoc on your system. It’s better to wait for a clearer day than to put yourself and your lungs at risk.
More than 18 million people across the country have mobility issues. Whether that includes you or someone you know, making your outdoor space accessible is important for everyone’s safety. If you’re an avid gardener, for example, that includes accessibility tips that will make it easy to tend the land, including:
- Using raised beds
- Keeping things small
- Trying vertical gardening
Even if you struggle with something like a bad back or weak knees, keeping things around your home accessible will make life easier for you and can prevent any injuries from flaring up. Trying to live more sustainably shouldn’t put your health and wellness at risk!
We’re living in uncertain times.
While the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be waning thanks to vaccines, it’s still very much a threat. No matter what you do outdoors, keeping yourself and your family safe should be a top priority.
Most outside activities are considered safe, but because the pandemic is still lingering, don’t forget to take extra preventative measures when you’re in public areas, including social distancing, mask-wearing when appropriate, and practicing proper hygiene. For now, try to avoid parks and playgrounds that are overly crowded, and only do what makes you feel comfortable.
There are countless ways to stay healthy and safe while spending time outdoors. The most important thing is to regularly remind yourself of these safety measures. When you’re enjoying your time outside (as you should), it’s often easy to forget some potential risk factors. Keep these – and other – health and safety tips in mind every time you step outside, and you’ll be able to enjoy your experience in nature even more.
Image Source: Unsplash.