With the weather getting warmer, and more people exercising outdoors, it is important to remember to take safety precautions. Just this afternoon as we were skating around Lake Murray, a man on either inline skates or a bicycle, wrecked and fractured his arm. I wasn’t present when the accident actually happened, so I can’t say whether it could have been prevented, but my point is to stress to you the importance of taking safety precautions so that when the unavoidable happens, you are as prepared as possible.

Obviously, different sports require different types of safety equipment, and I highly recommend you take the time to purchase the equipment, and then maintain it in order to keep it in good working order. Weather your chosen activity is inline skating, which offers a helmet, wrist, knee, and elbow pads for protection; or mountain biking, which offers a helmet, gloves, and specialized downhill equipment, each sport has it’s own line of safety equipment. But a common thread running through each of these sports, is planning. Take precautions, and prepare.

By prepare, I mean to take the time to learn your chosen sport and become adequate at it before taking on a challenge beyond your skill level. For example, if you snowboard and you are just a beginner, take the time to pick up a helmet rather than go without protection. Take it from me, about a month ago I was up in Big Bear with a friend who pushed me to do a lot of jumping (which I hadn’t planned on), and while I was making good progress, near the end I wiped out and almost knocked myself unconscious. So the next time I made sure I used a helmet. I don’t always make the smartest of decisions and am known somewhat as a daredevil by my friends. I like to try things that challenge me, and since I’ve gotten older I’m starting to notice it hurts a little more to wipe out than it did a few years back.

Another example is hiking. Around San Diego County there are plenty of trails to explore, and thus it is a very popular activity. As fun as it is, it can quickly lose it’s appeal if you break an ankle because of the type of shoe you are wearing. While many people hike in gym shoes, a good hiking boot (not a work boot) should be worn. This will provide you the stability you need to support the ankle joint during steep ascents and descents.

Equally as important as good safety equipment is water. Plan ahead and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. It’s easy to find yourself in a bad situation and then it’s often times too late. This is especially true for pets, which often accompany us on walks and hikes. I can tell you that many dogs have died of heat stroke on Cowles Mountain because their owners went prepared. Often it doesn’t seem as hot when starting out as it will feel after 45 minutes of constant sun and no shade. So just be prepared.

With summer almost here and the great weather were having, everyone should be out enjoying the weather. Just remember to practice good safety measures, prepare, and plan ahead, rather than find yourself in a bad situation. Now get out there and get active!

Author's Bio: 

Melissa Allen, CPT, BS, CES is a certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist and health coach, as well as the owner of Optimum Condition—Mobile Personal Training & Exercise Therapy. Melissa offers customized online fitness plans for people all over the U.S. as well as free coaching for the Medifast/ Take Shape for Life weight loss program. Please contact her with any questions or comments by visiting her website at http://www.OptimumCondition.com.