6 tips to enjoy outdoor activities and stay safe

With days getting longer and warmer, we can't help but get excited about the possibility of spending more time outdoors. Winter is over, a new season has begun, and we too are ready to enjoy the fresh air and get more active.
While the urge to dust off the bikes, hit the trails, and switch to lighter clothes may be strong, it's also important to keep a cool head and put safety first. The risk of overestimating your abilities after a long winter break or getting injured is high in the first weeks of spring.

Wearing a safety helmet significantly reduces the risk of getting serious injuries

Therefore, we've put together a list of handy tips to keep in mind, so that you return to outdoor activities in good spirits and health.

1. Check your gear

Eager to take your bike for the first spin of the year? Before jumping back in the saddle, it's best to take your two-wheel friend to a bike shop and test if it's ready to go. A regular inspection is necessary to ensure the brakes, wheels, and handlebars all work in perfect agreement.

The same goes for any mobile means of transportation, be it rollerblades, skateboards, or even electric scooters. Check their condition and make sure they're safe before taking them out for the first ride. Perhaps there are issues you forgot about or didn't manage to fix last year.

Finally, full riding gear also includes a safety helmet and knee pads (for rollerblading and skateboarding). If you don't have any of that yet, it's time to change that. Wearing a safety helmet significantly reduces the risk of getting serious injuries especially if you're riding on rough terrain or through crowded spaces.

2. Start slow and steady

When the warm and sunny weather replaces the white and cold winter, we often tend to rush into doing all types of outdoor activities as much as we can. A smarter approach here, however, is to start with caution and estimate our abilities objectively.

On one hand, some surfaces may still be slippery or muddy, which makes them more dangerous and harder to navigate with a bike or even when walking. Therefore, it's essential to keep a low or moderate speed and take breaks when needed.

On the other hand, many of us are less active during the wintertime and may feel stiffer and less coordinated when resuming physical activities. That is why it's essential to warm up well, start with a slower pace, and increase the workload gradually to avoid any falls, strains, or injuries.

3. Be attentive to others

With spring approaching, we're not the only ones wishing to enjoy the more pleasant weather. Streets in general may get busier as more people switch from having a chill day at home to more social and physical activities outside the house.

With that in mind, it's important to be more patient and respect other traffic participants. That applies to drivers and those opting for micromobility.

It takes time to get used to riding through crowded areas, and some riders, rollerbladers, or even walkers may not feel that confident to maintain a stable and fast pace the first time after the winter break. Also, it may be useful to recall the main traffic rules and etiquette to avoid unwanted accidents.

4. Wear sunscreen

there's nothing wrong with spending the whole day in the sun as long as you wear a sunscreen.

It's tempting to spend the whole day in the sun when the sky is finally bright and clear. And there's nothing wrong with that as long as you wear a sunscreen.

The UV radiation is almost at its peak even on chilly and windy spring days, and it's easy to get a sunburn if you don't have any protection. Of course, you may wear long sleeves and pants, but that may not be enough.

Put on sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 even if you're planning to spend just half an hour in direct sunlight, and try to hide in the shadow at least every 2 hours. Also, don't forget to wear sunglasses and a hat or helmet which will protect you from bugs and heat headaches.

5. Drink plenty of water

We're usually not used to drinking a lot of water in winter, but the warm spring weather demands the opposite. That combined with physical activities will significantly increase your hydration demands.

A good practice is to always bring a water bottle with you and sip a little before you start feeling really thirsty. If you're sweating, you'll have to replenish an even greater amount of lost fluids.

Water will not only help you avoid dehydration and related fatigue but will also regulate your body temperature and keep it functioning normally. During high-intensity activities, consider drinking mineral water instead to restore the electrolytes lost in sweat and maintain an optimal balance.

6. Bring extra clothes with you

The spring weather can get rather tricky. It may be hot when you're doing something in direct sunlight and can get very cold as soon as you move in the shadow. It's also usually a lot chillier in the morning than during the day.

So, if you're planning to engage in outdoor activities for several hours, consider bringing extra clothes with you. It could be a lighter jacket if you're starting in the morning, or a warm sweater if your activities are going to extend until late evening.

It's also wise to pack an extra pair of socks in case your feet get wet during a spring hike or you simply get cold. Overall, opt for breathable and waterproof clothes for a more comfortable, safer, and more enjoyable time outdoors.

If Accident insurance – helping you stay active and safe

The beautiful springtime weather may sometimes get into our heads and make us act a lot more carelessly.  When the unexpected happens, it's good to know  that If accident insurance is there for you.

The beautiful springtime weather may sometimes get into our heads and make us act a lot more carelessly. In most cases, we'll only get an adrenaline rush, but sometimes the consequences may be more dire – you might suffer a sprain, fracture, or an infectious bug bite.

When the unexpected happens, it's good to know you don't have to deal with it on your own. With If Accident insurance, you won't have to worry about covering extreme medical bills or losses related to your physical limitations.

The expenses and accidents covered will depend on the type of insurance package you choose. Regardless if you want to insure a child, an adult, or a senior, If will cover you. You can easily submit a claim within the If self-service profile or mobile app If Mobile Baltics.