I have written time and again about the benefits of exercising and doing it outdoors. When I visit a a health club I feel like a prisoner. Of course, I live on the shores of Lake Michigan with the wonderful Chicago lakefront outside my door. So, in that regard, the outdoors is an integral part of my life. But, for those of you who are in town, or in the burbs, there is some preparation necessary to enjoy nature in a safe way.
If you’re heading for the great outdoors, be sure to bring along some common sense.
That’s the best way to reduce the chances that a bite, sting, cut, scrape, burn, blister, rash, sprain, strain, more serious injury or other mishap will spoil your outdoor adventure.
“Knowing your limits, not trying to do too much, knowing where you’re going and what you might encounter there and being aware of the environment you’re in are the best ways to avoid problems outdoors,” said Henderson McGinnis, M.D., an associate professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, medical director of its AirCare emergency transport service, a recognized expert in wilderness medicine and an experienced outdoorsman.
“Doing a little preparation before you go and being sensible while you’re out there can make all the difference.”
That advice applies to veteran hikers, bikers, campers, climbers and paddlers, but it’s essential for people with no or limited outdoors experience. And there are lots of them these days.
That’s because Americans in general and children in particular simply don’t spend as much time outside as they once did. Consequently, overall familiarity with nature just ain’t what it used to be.
This byproduct of our high-tech, indoor-oriented society even has a name: nature-deficit disorder. Continue reading