How to Safely Explore the Outdoors and Avoid Injury This Fall
As summer gives way to fall, we must also adjust the way we spend time outside. Nightfall can creep up on us faster than we assume, and suddenly our light sweaters just don’t cut it anymore. If you enjoy spending time outdoors, whether it’s camping, hiking, jogging, or walking, take care this fall to dress appropriately, stay safe, and stretch your muscles.
Wear Bright or Reflective Clothing
Sometimes, autumn days are brighter and clearer than the hottest day of summer. Paired with the beautiful changing fall colours, it’s no wonder you’d want to spend the entire day outside. The city of Burnaby is surrounded by fall scenery that is almost too beautiful to even fathom. If you’re out on a nature trail this October, wear bright or reflective clothing in case it gets dark before you can return home or to your car. The days are getting shorter and shorter every day, so even if you think you’ll be back before the sun sets, you might be surprised by how quickly light can fade. To protect yourself from oncoming traffic, be sure to wear bright or reflective clothing. If your outer clothes aren’t reflective, you can easily purchase reflective patches or LED armbands that flash to increase your visibility.
Wardrobe-wise, fall can be really frustrating. You leave for work in the morning all bundled in a jacket, scarf, and hat, and you arrive at the office sweating and in serious need of water. Temperatures in the autumn months can fluctuate significantly, so if you’re planning a big day hike, we suggest wearing layers as it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be feeling the two extremes at some point in the day. Having layers gives you the flexibility of adjusting with the conditions and staying comfortable. It’s important to make sure you have enough warm clothes because as soon as the sun disappears over the horizon, it takes the warm temperature with it. Another important reason to wear layers is that keeping your muscles warm will prevent joint and muscle stiffness, allowing you to move better without hurting yourself.
Speaking of muscle stiffness, it’s important to warm up and stretch before and after your outdoor workout. As you walk, you can stretch your arms around your body, perform slow high knees and torso twists. A proper warm-up improves circulation and prepares the muscles for physical activity. When you’re home after your long day of outdoor exercise, don’t forget to stretch. It might not have felt like a workout because you were outside enjoying the fresh air and the changing leaves, but your muscles might be screaming at you the next day. Stretching after a workout relieves tension, prevents stiffness, and stops your muscles from pulling on your joints. Just remember not to bounce your stretches, otherwise you may injure a muscle! Stretch every major muscle group for 30 to 60 seconds. And don’t forget to hydrate!
Visit Your Local Sports Therapy Clinic
Pacific Health and Sports Therapy is dedicated to providing the Burnaby community with total health services, such as chiropractic and massage therapy, custom orthotics, and innovative sports therapies. If you’re experiencing pain, tenderness or discomfort in your joints and muscles, book an appointment today or contact us to learn more about our chiropractic and massage therapy services.