Summer is one of the best times of year to spend time in nature. Plants are growing quickly and flowers bloom, which not only gives us lovely scenery but provides more shade to protect us from the sun. Animals are more active, so we can see them in action. The benefits of spending time in nature are proven, so do everything you can to enjoy your outdoor time in the summer safely.
In a previous blog, we discussed some ways to spend time outdoors in the winter. You can do some of the same activities in the summer, but there are some warm-weather things you can do as well.
Many people love to go to the beach, a lake, or a river in the summer to enjoy the water by swimming, boating, fishing, or just soaking up the warmth in the sand. Hiking is also a great option, especially if you take advantage of nature trails and boardwalks in the forest so you can take advantage of the shade. You can also spend time playing sports like baseball, volleyball, and anything else that gets you outdoors.
One thing to remember in the summer is that it’s important to stay as cool as possible. Outdoor time can be ruined by too much physical exertion, which can lead to heat exhaustion or other problems. If you can, plan your day so that you can be in the shade or rest during the hottest part of the day, which is usually 10:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. If you’re playing or working outside, try to do most of your strenuous activity in the early morning or evening.
Whether you’re playing hard or resting, the outdoor heat means that your body loses water more quickly. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. The extra water helps your body regulate its temperature so you stay cooler. Remember that caffeine and alcohol can lead to dehydration more quickly, so water is the best way to stay hydrated and healthy in warm weather.
One danger anytime you’re in the sun for a long period of time is sun exposure. Whether you sunburn often or not, the sun’s rays can damage your skin or make you hotter. The best way to protect your skin from the sun is to stay indoors, but that’s nearly impossible when you want to work or play outside!
As mentioned before, stay in the shade as much as possible, and always use sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends that everyone use sunscreen that not only provides protection against UVA and UVB rays but has an SPF of 30 or higher. They also remind us to use water-resistant sunscreen, especially on the beach or anywhere else that you might be in the water.
Protect the Environment
It’s important to protect yourself when playing outdoors in the summer, but it’s just as important to protect the environment. Wherever you are, remember to clean up after yourself and dispose of trash properly.
When you’re hiking or riding in the woods, beach, or any area, be sure to use trails if they’re available. It is especially important to use boardwalk pathways as much as possible in ecologically sensitive areas. These trails help you avoid plant and animal life that could be negatively affected otherwise. Boardwalk builders design these pedestrian bridges in a way that has the least impact on the environment so you can feel even better about your outdoor time.
Nature Bridges staff is specially trained in boardwalk construction. We carefully avoid any unnecessary damage to trees, grass, dune plants, and other natural features so that everyone can feel better about getting that valuable time in the sun.