National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is a great time to spread the word about the benefits of getting active. Regular physical activity is good for everyone's health, and people of all ages and body types can be physically active.The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that nearly eighty percent of adults and seventy-five percent of adolescents do not get the daily recommended amount of physical activity. Here are just a few benefits of physical activity:
- Children and adolescents – Physical activity can improve muscular fitness, bone health, and heart health.
- Adults – Physical activity can lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
- Older adults – Physical activity can lower the risk of falls and improve cognitive functioning (like learning and judgment skills).
In Colorado, outdoor recreation is more common than not. Hiking, trekking, backpacking, camping, climbing, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, rafting, and skiing, are just a few of the outdoor activities that Coloradoans partake in regularly, but when you consider injuries for these sports, they are high. Always be prepared. Here is a list of injury prevention recommendations for outdoor sports, whether they be recreational or competitive:
- Be prepared. The Boy Scouts (and Girl Scouts) have it right. There is no substitute for preparedness. Adherence to this basic rule will prevent or ease the majority of mishaps that occur in the wild. Proper education prior to situations of risk allows you to cope in a purposeful fashion, rather than in a state of fear and panic.
- Prior to starting your trip, find out how far from medical assistance you will be. In the case of a medical emergency, you always want to be prepared and close to medical assistance, if necessary.
- Use common sense. Many accidents occur because people ignore warning signs or don’t anticipate problems.
- Pay heed to rangers, posted warnings, weather reports, and the experience of seasoned guides. For instance, in hot and dry weather, know the specific fire risks, and take no chances.
- Prepare for situations of risk by developing your skills in less challenging conditions.
- Wear recommended personal safety equipment, such as a flotation jacket, safety harness, or climbing helmet.
- Do not tolerate horseplay in dangerous settings.
- Many health hazards of wilderness travel, such as falls, can be avoided by a reasonable degree of strength and endurance, which can only be acquired by conditioning.
- Other health hazards, such as temperature extremes and high-altitude disorders, can in certain circumstances be avoided by acclimatization to the environment. Acclimatization is a physiological adaptation that is often different from, and may be unrelated to, physical fitness.
- Be prepared for foul-weather conditions. Always assume that you will be forced to spend an unexpected night outdoors. Carry warm clothing and waterproof rain gear.
- Prepare a trip plan (itinerary) and record it in a location (trailhead, ranger station, marina, or the like) where someone will recognize when a person or party is overdue and potentially lost or in trouble.
- Make sure that children wear an item of bright clothing and carry a whistle that they know to blow if they are frightened or lost. If you carry a radio, know how to tune in to a weather information channel.
- All wilderness travelers should carry maps, be proficient with compass routing, understand how to signal for help, and know in advance where they intend to explore.
- People with specific medical disabilities, such as chronic severe lung disease, may be advised by a physician to avoid certain stressful environments, such as high altitude.
- Anyone who undertakes vigorous physical activity should consume adequate calories in a well-balanced diet.
- To avoid dehydration and exhaustion, take adequate time to eat, drink, and rest. Most adult males require 3,000 to 5,000 food calories each day in order to sustain heavy physical exertion. Women require 2,000 to 3,500 calories. A nutritious diet can easily be maintained with proper planning. Don’t plan to live off the land unless you are a survival expert.
- Fluid requirements have been well worked out for all levels of exercise. Most people underestimate their fluid requirements. Encourage frequent rest stops and water breaks. If natural sources of drinkable water (springs, wells, ice-melt runoff) will not be encountered, you should carry at least a 48-hour supply. Carry supplies for water disinfection.
- Use the buddy system. Don't enter a remote area without a companion, or better, a few companions.
It’s the time of year where New Year’s Resolutions have been made, but now it’s time to make them happen. For many losing weight, eating healthy and exercising regularly are common resolutions. But the real question is, how do you realistically find success with your resolution. The following tips can help
Be realistic with yourself and your resolution.
The best way to reach a goal is to make that goal an attainable goal. For example, instead of making a resolution to never eat your favorite food again, set your resolution ot only eating that food once per month so you aren’t setting yourself up for failure. Make attainable goals that are tough, but you know you can realistically reach.
Outline a Resolution Plan.
Decide in advance how you will deal when tempted to skip your workout or eat that giant chocolate bar put in front of you. Decide in advance how to handle resolution breakers when put in front of you and practices positive thinking to keep you on the right track.
Talk About Your Resolution.
If you tell enough people, it will not only keep you on track personally, but those that you tell will be there to support your resolution. And even better they may have the same resolution so you can motivate one another along your path.
Track Your Progress.
Keep track of what you are eating, how much exercise you are getting, and how much you are sleeping, etc. Accomplishments can keep you motivated to stay on track with your goals.
If you attain one of your goals, reward yourself with something you like that does not contradict your resolution. For example if your resolution is to lose 5 lbs and you hit that goal, reward yourself with new fitness clothing to keep you on the right track to attaining your next goal.
Keep Trying and Stick to It.
Studies have shown it take approximately 21 days for a new activity to become a habit. Stick to it and once you achieve your goals, make another goal to keep going and continue with your resolution to better yourself and your health.
Talk to us today to help you make your health and fitness resolution a reality. We are here to help.