Girl with her dog standing next to a lake in spring

Summer is just around the corner. That means we’ll have more opportunities to get outside, soak up some vitamin D and stay active. Follow these tips to stay safe, healthy and make the most of your Colorado summer. 


General outdoor tips

  • Maintain social distancing (6+ feet) between you and others. Try to avoid high traffic areas and times to ensure the safety of everyone on the trail. If you find yourself in a congested area, move to the side of the trail to let others pass.
  • Wear a cloth face mask whenever out in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Apply sunscreen (SPF 30+) 30 minutes before heading outside. Remember to reapply every couple of hours to avoid burns.
  • Know the signs of dehydration, and always bring and drink plenty of water. If you’re taking a pet out on the trails with you, be sure you’re carrying enough water for them, too!

Outdoor exposure

Soak up some sun by staying active or relaxing outside! Just be careful. 300 days of sunshine combined with high altitudes make Colorado a great spot to get a sunburn, even on a cloudy day. Minimize your risk of a serious sunburn by following these guidelines:

  • Wear protective clothing like sunglasses, hats and long-sleeved shirts if you’re planning to be out in the sun for extended periods of time. 
  • Try to stay in the shade, or go in the early mornings and evenings when temperatures are lower and the sun isn't directly above you.
  • If you choose to bring your dog on the trails, remember to bag their waste and pack it out with you. Avoid leaving it on the side of trails or paths. 
  • Invest in mosquito and other bug repellants if you'll be hiking, biking, camping or spending time in wooded areas.

CU Boulder Rec is also hosting a free virtual Trail Running Competition through May 11. Register through IM Sports to join the fun!


Biking

With plenty of designated lanes and trails, Boulder is the perfect place to log some miles on your bike. Whether you’re taking a ride around town or mountain biking, keep these tips in mind:

  • You already know that helmets greatly reduce the risk of brain injury—so wear yours with pride!
  • If you'll be riding at night, make sure you’re riding with your lights on. You’ll also want to invest in reflectors for your bike and your clothes.
  • Know the laws and follow them. Ride with the flow of traffic, stay in your lane and use hand signals. It’s illegal to ride with headphones in, so unplug before you pedal.
  • Biking is subject to the same DUI laws as driving in Colorado. So, if you've been drinking, it’s better to stay off the bike and call for alternative transportation.

Camping

Campgrounds are currently closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of camping at home. Set up your tent in your living room, on your deck or in the backyard. Follow these suggestions to make the most of your at-home camping experience:

  • Create a view by setting your tent up outside or near a window. If possible, avoid using the rain fly so you’ll be able to enjoy the sunlight and night sky. You can also use a TV or laptop to stream nature by pulling up videos or images of campfires, forests and other scenic views. Want to bring a national park into your home? Broadcast one of the National Parks Service nature cams!
  • Turn off your phone or notifications to get the full effect of being in the backcountry and out of service. Instead, take this time to decompress from social media and enjoy screen-free activities like reading a book or magazine, playing board games, doing crossword puzzles or enjoying some peace and quiet.
  • Invite your furry friends to join. Dogs and cats make great indoor camping companions, but they may hog the tent (nothing new there).
  • Get crafty by hanging string lights around your tent poles for some ambiance or lining up your houseplants near the entrance of your tent for additional greenery.
  • Cook a meal worthy of glamping. Whether you choose to make a pre-packaged backpacking meal or whip up something on the indoor stove, don’t forget the s’mores. You can follow this sure fire, no fire recipe for the perfect campfire-free s’mores.
  • Remember to only enjoy at-home camping with people who are a part of your immediate household.

If you have any questions about summer health, make an appointment with CU Boulder Medical Services by calling 303-492-5432.

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