Fitness Tip by Lana Pacheco
Safety Tips for the Great Outdoors!
Enjoying the great outdoors is one of the many perks of living in “the most beautiful place on earth” - Sonoma County! Hiking, cycling, mountain biking, and water sports are fabulous ways to stay in shape and enjoy all our amazing county has to offer. We often think nothing about taking a hike or going for a quick swim or short bike ride, but are we set up for a safe workout?
Here are a few tips to assure that we are!
THE SUN - Here’s the skinny on sun protection: Sunblock protects your skin by absorbing and/or reflecting UVA and UVB radiation. All of these products have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating, which indicates how long these products will be effective on your skin. Determine the level of SPF you need by multiplying the SPF factor by the length of time it takes you to get a sun burn without sunscreen. Really! That is the formula! For instance, if you know that you will get sunburned within 10 minutes without sunscreen, then a sunscreen with SPF rating of 15 will give you 150 minutes of being in the sun before you get sunburn. That is 10 minutes times the SPF rating of 15. Personally, I would use the highest amount of SPF protection and forget the burn!
WHAT TO WEAR - Having the right clothing makes all the difference! Don’t forget to dress in layers even if it’s 90 degrees outside - when the fog rolls in, the temperature could drop by 30 degrees or even more. You don’t want to overheat, be overexposed to sun, or get chilled while you’re working out. And don’t forget your hat!!!
EATING and DRINKING - Have some energy bars or GU energy gel so that you can keep going if you’re out longer than you planned or misjudge how far away you’ll be from food. And, of course, water! Staying hydrated is the most important of all. Remember that you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day regardless of how much you exercise.
PLAN FOR EMERGENCIES – Next is a snake bite kit - yes, really! This is new to the list and it doesn’t happen very often, but it could save a life if you’re out in snake country. Kits fit easily into your pocket. Then last, but not least, always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back (remember the movie 127 Hours? Learn the lesson second-hand). Thanks to cell phones it is now much easier to stay in touch. So always take your cell phone even if you’ll be out of a service area, because you just never know.
Let us know what your favorite outdoor activity, hiking or biking spot is and let us know what you think is most important to bring on an outdoor excursion. Post your comments on our Facebook page.