Top 5 safety tips for outdoor activities

by | Apr 5, 2024 | Health and Wellness

Whether it’s hiking, cycling or playing sports with your pals, many of us flock outside when the weather permits. While nature offers plenty of opportunities to get active, it’s not without some health and safety risks. These five core safety tips will help you enjoy all nature has to offer throughout the season.

Make a plan – and share it
Even if you’re the spontaneous type, stick with a schedule or game plan for your outdoor activities. Do your research so you know what you’re getting into and avoid walking into potentially dangerous situations unawares. You don’t want to discover a key road on your bike route is washed out when you’re halfway through the ride or forget to account for hiking back down the trail after you reach the lookout.

Always share your itinerary with a close friend or family member who’s not participating in the activity. That way they know to sound the alarm promptly if you’re not back according to schedule and can direct responders to your approximate location.

Dress for success
Crucial for a good day outdoors is to wear appropriate clothing. Lightweight, breathable layers are typically your best bet, allowing you to cool off as you work up a sweat and layer back up to avoid a chill.

Check the weather forecast before you head out and don’t compromise on appropriate footwear either. Not only will your feet be aching without unsupportive shoes, but you’ll also be at greater risk for slips, trips and falls.

Inspect your gear
If it’s an activity you do a lot, you might want to make a plan, grab your gear – be it your bike, climbing harness or hiking boots – and go. But taking a minute to give your equipment a thorough once-over can prevent any unforeseen accidents or injuries – allowing you to focus on having fun.

Respect your limits
When you’re passionate about your hobby, it can be tempting to push yourself beyond what’s safe. Don’t be too proud to change your plans if continuing would risk your health and safety. Stay hydrated, stop for breaks and regularly check in on how you and anyone with you are with are doing.

Watch out for ticks
Lyme disease is a potentially serious illness you can get from the bite of an infected black-legged tick. These little bugs in the spider family can be found across Ontario, and they can be hard to spot. Ontario Public Health recommends wearing long sleeves, closed-toed shoes and long pants tucked into your socks. They also suggest you check your body for ticks after returning home too, including your underarms and behind your knees.

If you do discover you’ve been bitten by a tick, you can visit your local pharmacy, like your nearest Rexall, for treatment. In Ontario, pharmacists can diagnose and treat 19 minor illnesses, including tick bites. They can also provide post-exposure treatment to help prevent Lyme disease.

Ultimately, a few simple steps can help you continue to enjoy your time in the great outdoors this spring.

Find more information about getting treatment from a pharmacist at rexall.ca/prescribing

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