Staying safe during spring activities

Apr 14, 2023, 5:20 PM | Updated: 6:07 pm

UTAH COUNTY, Utah — After months of snow, most of us are ready to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Whether you’re playing a sport or hitting the trails – Intermountain Health says it’s important to ease into it.

There’s something about the long overdue sunshine and getting outside that Deb Yokshas and her friends love.

“Getting the sun, getting fresh air, seeing nature, it’s just really healthy for me,” Yokshas said.

But as she and her friends made their way on the trail, they also took a lot of precautions which they know are important, as each of them is a member of the Utah County Sheriff Search and Rescue team.

“Be aware that it might be summer down here but it’s still very much winter in the mountains,” team member Scott Bergendorf said.

They checked the avalanche forecast before the hike and then prepared for the elements. They also prepared by bringing the right shoes, layers, a headlamp, a first aid kit, hiking poles, and water.

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“A lot of people will carry their water in their backpack but if you have it accessible and drink it as you go you are going to feel better as you are hiking,” Yokshas said.

Dr. Stessie Zimmerman, a pediatric sports medicine physician with Intermountain Health said it’s important to not get too adventurous too fast.

“We can get a little overzealous so that’s when we tend to see some muscular strains or tendon issues because we try to go too hard too fast,” Zimmerman said.

Not only is a gradual increase important but so is keeping in mind the long winter we’ve had which can lead to different trail conditions.

“Keep your dogs on a leash, keep your kids away from the rivers. They are going to be higher and even though we have been on these hikes a hundred times it’s going to be different,” Kristin Riggs, another team member recommended.

Riggs said no matter what the elements are, if you are prepared, get outside.

“If it’s cold dress warm, if it’s hot take a lot of water and find shade, but always get out,” Riggs said.

The Trails Foundation of Northern Utah said that it’s important to check if the trail is too muddy. If it is, they say not only are you are higher risk of injury but also you are damaging the trail.

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Staying safe during spring activities