The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and everyone is emerging from their wintery hiberations. Suddenly, empty neighborhoods are full of life as people get out and get active again.
It’s time to put your skis away and get ready for summertime sports. Surfing, hiking, camping, kayaking, swimming — the possibilities are endless. But as much as you may want to hit the ground running, it’s important to take the time to outfit yourself correctly after a long winter. Worn out gear that’s been sitting in your closet for the past six months isn’t going to cut it. To have a worry-free, fun-filled summer, you’re going to have to do a little preparation before getting out in the sun.
Whether you’re excited to get on the trails or go swimming in the nearby lake, take some time to assess the state of the gear you already have. Does your swimsuit still fit? How are your hiking boots looking? Did you leave any trail snacks from last summer in your day pack? Clean up what you can, and ditch what you can’t.
Keep in mind that you will still need to replace some gear at one point or another. If you spend a lot of time surfing or swimming in cold water, you’ll have to get a new wetsuit every four to ten years. Both synthetic and down sleeping bags lose their heat rating over time, so if you were cold on your last camping trip, it may time for a new one. Even running shoes need to be replaced every few months. Get everything you need now, so you have the entire season to enjoy it.
Regardless of what sports you plan to do this summer, you can find an exciting piece of fitness tech to enhance the experience. From wearable technology that tracks all of your health stats to apps that help motivate you, there’s something out there for everyone. There are also plenty of waterproof options available for swimmers, kayakers, and other water sport enthusiasts.
Before you splurge on anything, think about what you want this tech to do for you. If you want to push yourself harder than ever before, a Fitbit or something similar will help track your progress. If you want to see what others are doing to inspire a little friendly competition, download an app like Strava to your smartphone to compete against other runners, bikers, and hikers. If you need exercise to be more fun, don’t be afraid to make it a game. Whatever you need, do it. Sports technology is meant to enhance the experience you want to have, so make it work for you.
Summertime weather means an abundance of sunshine and warmth, which are great for outdoor exercise, but they can also be damaging to your health and workout if you aren’t careful. You may be in the habit of always applying sunscreen before heading out, but if you’ll be outside for more than a few hours, bring it along for another application later. Sunglasses or a hat can also help protect your eyes and scalp from the brightness and heat of the sun.
Working out in the heat puts more stress than usual on your body, so it’s even more important to stay hydrated. Bring an extra water bottle or two. If you’re planning a particularly intense workout, consider a sports drink like Gatorade instead of water. It will help replenish sodium and potassium lost from sweating.
Regardless of what sports you plan to do, take some time to get ready first. You’ll be setting yourself up for success. With the proper gear, you’ll be doing what you love all summer long.