exerciseReduced exercise after the age of 65 is the major cause of loss of vitality and strength in seniors. While exercise doesn’t have to be overly intense to reap the rewards, it’s important to have the proper equipment for your favorite outdoor activities to increase your safety as well as your enjoyment. And while technology like Fitbits and Garmin watches are great products, many seem to have forgotten the basics for staying safe while participating in outdoor activities. Here are the products you need to have to be safe during outdoor activities.

Protect Your Eyes

Taking your eye health seriously is extremely important. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light leads to a number of eye disorders and diseases, including cancer and cataracts. The sun can also burn your corneas. Wearing glasses with high-quality lenses is the best way to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. You’ll want glasses that offer full protection from both UVA and UVB rays. You should also consider military-grade ballistic lenses. These types of lenses, which were made for shooting glasses, will protect your eyes from rocks and other debris while you are on the go.

Remain Hydrated

Hydration is extremely important. However, thirst level doesn’t always correlate with hydration or dehydration. Urine color is the best way to tell hydration level. Lighter urine is a good sign that you are adequately hydrated; dark colored urine means you are dehydrated. Since dehydration is dangerous, it is a good move to always have fluids on hand while you are outdoors. CamelBak hydration packs, similar to the ones issued to the U.S. military, are good for hikers, bikers and walkers. They come in many styles and provide a place to stow gear during exercise. Keep one close by during the summer, even while you are not outdoors, to make sure you have access to water at all times.

When talking about hydration, it is important to mention that it is possible to overhydrate. Hyponatremia (water intoxication) occurs when sodium levels are diluted to dangerous levels. While many people have died from hyponatremia, simply alternating between water and sports drinks as you exercise is usually enough to keep your sodium levels where they need to be.

Protect Your Skin

Sunscreen, while important, is rookie league skin protection. Nowadays, even fishermen keep completely covered in sun protecting garments. Aside from sweat-wicking, UV-blocking shirts and pants, fishermen are wearing sun sleeves, sun gloves and masks while out in the sun. Keep yourself safe from the sun by dressing like a fisherman and try to stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the sun’s peak hours.

Walk Safe, Hike Safe

There are many benefits to using trekking poles during outdoor activities. Aside from helping you keep your balance, the poles provide a better workout. Walking with trekking poles, which is often called Nordic walking, improves posture, takes some of the load away from your back and helps you burn more calories. Look for rigid walking poles that are the proper size, or get fitted at a hiking store.

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