5 Tips to Get Active Safely It’s easy to become inspired by all the outdoor activities in the summer months, especially after a long winter of being stuck inside. But if you’re learning a new hobby or beginning an exercise plan, getting started and gaining momentum can be difficult. For example, the heat can pose dangers like dehydration and exhaustion, while untrained bones and muscles can also be more injury prone. PJ Ragone, Director of Sports Medicine for Inspira Health, offers the following tips to get active safely, even as the temperature climbs. Start Slow When you're excited to try a new activity or workout plan, it's easy to get caught up in the moment. However, stress and overuse injuries are some of the most common afflictions in new athletes. Be sure to take the time to test with a qulified professional to learn each new skill before putting your body to the test. Stay Hydrated We've all learned our bodies are 60% water, but do you know how that water is used? Everything from blood circulation to joint repair is regulated by our body's water intake. Staying hydrated is even more important when working out or in the heat when more water is being excreted as sweat. Stretch You might have heard of stretching in the winter months when the temperatures makes our muscles cold, but muscle can be just as "cold" in the warmer months. The temperature of muscles refers to their ability to stretch safely, and the only way to warm them up is with slow deepening movements. Listen to Your Body Listening to your body can be hard, but it will prevent future injuries and keep your progress on the upswing. After you’ve slowly worked on the foundational skills of your new hobby, taken the time to stretch, and enjoyed frequent water breaks, you might be surprised when your body is signaling that it needs a longer break. But this is normal with any new activity. Plus, spending too much time in the sun can mean more than just a little sunburn. Your risk of heat exhaustion is also multiplied when performing physical activities under the sun’s rays. If you begin to feel soreness or cramps that are difficult to manage, it may be in your best interest to take a break until tomorrow. Knowing when to stop or change your form will serve you well as you get more comfortable in your new sport. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your health or for more information about the sports medicine programs available with Inspira Health, call 1-800-INSPIRA .