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Make the Most of Your Summer

Summer is a wonderful time for getting outside, enjoying the warmth and being active.

Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, gardening or relaxing at the beach, these activities are great ways to benefit your physical fitness and mental wellbeing. While just getting outside feels great, getting in some exercise for stress reduction may even be a useful way to improve overall health at the same time.

Since fitness and preparation go hand in hand, it is worth remembering the benefits and precautions of such activities.

Choose an Activity that is Right for You
Everyone’s personal fitness will allow for different levels of activity, so make sure that you are not exceeding your limits. Walking and hiking are safe low-strain activities that almost anyone can enjoy, while the no-impact nature of swimming, rowing and biking may be better for individuals with joint pain. You may not even need to go much further than your doorstep to take advantage of what summer has to offer. This is a great time of year to do some landscaping or gardening. Not only do you get outside, but you get to enjoy the benefits of a beautiful yard or fresh vegetables.

Reap the Rewards
As we become more engrossed in gadgets and the ease of being entertained indoors, it is important to be aware of the risks imposed by this lack of activity. A sedentary lifestyle carries risks of heart disease, diabetes and physical stress. Getting outside also allows your body to naturally produce vitamin D. Deficiencies of this essential vitamin are linked to increased joint pain, depression and reduced immune function. These deficiencies are becoming more popular, but getting outside is a quick and simple way to meet your vitamin D needs naturally. Is there any limit to the health benefits of getting outside?

Remember Summer Safety
While enjoying your summertime activities, remember to stay hydrated and protect yourself from sunlight. Every activity carries risks, which you can reduce by first being prepared. Remember the old warning about having too much of a good thing. Try to schedule time indoors or in the shade between noon and 3pm.  This is when the heat and sunlight are at their strongest. Getting outside in summer is great, but make sure to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen. Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke if left untreated, and, although you may want a nice tan, too much sun can lead to sunburns and a higher risk of skin cancer later in life. 

With all that summer has to offer, everyone can find something to enjoy. Whether you find yourself hiking in the woods or tending to your garden, summer is full of opportunities for having fun and improving your overall health. If you need assistance in finding out which activities are right for you, one of our Physical Therapists would be happy to assess your current situation and help you make the most of the season.

We have also recently added a new patient guide on Claw Toes and Hammer Toes to our website!