Get Ready for The Outdoors - Breakaway Physical Therapy
Shaina Clemons Health Tips

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Get Ready for The Outdoors


With the beautiful weather quickly approaching, it’s time to think about getting outside in the fresh air! I know my kids are ready to head to the woods for some camping trips and fishing adventures!

One of the things that we have noticed lately is how out of shape our kids are from not being as active in the Winter months and less sports. They are happy to hang around inside, read a book or play on a device…but we want them to get outside more!!

They say that they want to be able to spend time fishing, hiking, roasting smores over the campfire and more! This got me to thinking about what are some things that you can do as a family to get ready for all the spring things that will be popping up soon (like the flowers)?!

Get out for a family walk a few times per week

  • It does not have to be long- 10 minutes in the fresh air and bundle up if it’s still a chilly day
  • Take your dogs with you to get some exercise
  • Make the walk fun- search for squirrels, different types of birds, look for any spring flowers that are popping out of the ground and more
    > Have the kids collect sticks or leaves for projects or campfires
  • If your kids are bigger, let them ride their bike sometimes to switch things up OR try rollerblading
    > My kids love to scooter, but when they use an electric scooter, it defeats the purpose of the exercise😊

Start a routine where the kids have an exercise program 3 times per week that is fit for THEM:

  • 10 jumping jacks
  • 10 squats
  • 10 arm circles
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 times moving their head towards their shoulder
  • 10 jumps - up and down
  • Practice how long they can stand on one leg and challenge their siblings or friends to see who can do it the longest
  • Jump rope- see how long the kids can go without needing to stop and take a break
    > Have them try to beat their record the next time😊
  • Make a chart to track their activity so that your kids can see their progress and put stickers or mark their chart
    > Make sure to plan your trip on the calendar so that everyone knows the exciting adventures (rewards) to come
  • If you are looking for more specific tips on a new exercise program, check this out

Spend some time each evening in the back yard or head to the park

  • It may be dark outside, but you can still get some fresh air for 15-30 minutes
  • Playing on the swing set never gets old, even for adults
  • Playing tag in the backyard, frisbee or a quick soccer game to get your legs moving

Plan your workouts, set your alarm and stick to them

Workout with a friend or your kids for better accountability

Consistency is key and keeping up with your program will help ensure success!

Start small and then increase- start with 3 times per week of a workout and keep with that for a couple weeks before you change it

  • Let your body adjust to the new workouts before you change them (don’t overdo it or start too strong and then stop)

You don’t need any major equipment to be strong in your workouts

  • Resistance bands
  • Small exercise ball
  • Stretch out strap
  • Foam roller
    > Check out our online store for more ideas
  • Make sure you do an active warm up before you start your workout
    > Cool downs with stretching is the best time to get more length out of your muscles because they will be nice and warm from your workout

Make sure you hydrate- water, water, water

  • Everyone should be drinking half of their body weight in ounces
  • Yes that is a LOT of water, but start slowly if you are nowhere near your ideal ounces
  • Our bodies need this amount of water to properly function, so don’t deprive it of a necessity and coffee does NOT count in your water intake

Think about sleep- your body will not be able to recover from your change in activity level without a good night’s sleep

  • Your body will flourish when you give it the rest that it deserves
  • Let your mind and body rest so that you can tackle the next day
  • Your body and muscles need time to recuperate before we stress it again
  • Spend the end of each night relaxing with a good book, some music or whatever helps your body to relax
  • Leave your cell phone downstairs and NOT next to your bed (even the vibration from your phone can disturb your restful sleep)
  • If you are looking for the BEST pillow to support your spine in bed, check out Pillowise Pillows for your best nights sleep for your neck, spine and more

Plan out your trips giving your family time to prep!

Write down your packing list for the woods or even hiking days

  • Camping chairs for around the campfire
  • A tarp to put under your tent and over top (most tents come with an over the top cover)
    > I promise you this one you will never forget after you show up to the woods, it starts pouring rain and you put your tent down to wake up the next morning with everything soaked (that was a fun trip!)
  • A small shovel and toilet paper if you are going primitive camping
  • A lantern so that if you need to get up in the late night or early hours you have some light
  • Spare towel to put on the inside and another on the outside of your tent to wipe off your feet before getting into your sleeping bag
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste- no one wants to make it through the day without brushing their teeth and having fresh breath
  • Small first aid kit (Band-Aids, Neosporin and any other necessities from your house)
  • A speaker for some music as you relax by the fire
  • Campfire essentials- any tools to start your fire and a multi-tool

Bring some easy and simple games

  • UNO cards are a favorite in our house, monopoly deal or a deck of cards for many other games
  • Coloring book with some crayons if you have some little ones to entertain

Pull out your tent and sleeping bags checking to make sure they are ready for the season

 "mine have probably been in the attic for too long!)"

Plan your food- pack your lunch or meals if you are staying overnight in the woods

  • Make simple meals, bring a cooler, bring lots of water
  • Bring simple snacks that you can throw in a backpack for hiking trips and exploring the campgrounds (Larabars, fruit, trail mix and more)
    > Don’t forget the supplies to make smores- a must for my kids when we go camping

Make sure that your cell phone is charged in case of an emergency, but when you are in the woods one of the best things to do is unplug and disconnect

  • Your brain and body will enjoy your experience that much more when you take a break from your phone and just live in the moment
  • Take pictures of your kids with your mind- don’t stress about documenting every moment of the trip
  • Try bringing a real camera instead of stressing about taking pictures with your phone
  • BE PRESENT with your family and in your life, whatever activity you are doing!

Make sure you have the right gear for your activities

  • Hiking or tennis shoes are essential for the outdoors
  • Dressing in layers to be ready for any weather changes
  • Make sure you have a hat and sunglasses to protect your skin
    > Sunscreen is needed to protect your skin from the strong rays even if you are in a wooded area
    > Bug spray or any natural repellants as there are tons of bugs in the woods
  • Rain jacket as you never know what the weather will do during your trip
  • More than one pair of socks and tennis shoes in case one pair gets soaked
  • Bring a backpack for ease of carrying things for your adventure
  • Fishing vest for all your fishing lures and tools needed
  • Don’t forget your fishing license if you plan to try and catch some fish

If you start an exercise program and you are having a lot of muscle soreness, if things are not working out the way that you thought they would…give us a call to help! As physical therapists, we are movement experts and love to help our patients with being more active and getting back to regular exercise.

We are happy to spend some time with you to be able to figure out what is going on with your body, why things are not working and HOW we can help to get you to where you want to be. If you want to be able to camp, hike, fish or even more this Spring, do not let your body hold you back!

Today is the day to make a change in your health and become more active so that you can enjoy the outdoors with your family and friends. Call us at 410-721-6333

Shaina Clemons

Shaina Clemons

Shaina is the founder and owner of Breakaway Physical Therapy.  She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Maryland Baltimore, along with a Bachelor's degree from Towson University.   Shaina is an Ironman triathlete, with a love of all sports. Exercise is her passion, which plays an important role in both her personal and professional life.  In her free time, Shaina enjoys spending time with her husband and three young children.  Shaina's love of snowboarding led her to her career choice many years ago. 
Shaina Clemons

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