Summer is the best time of year. Well in my opinion anyway. I love the opportunity to be outside more, enjoying the sunshine and quality time with family and friends. With so many hazards in the Australian outdoors, keeping Summer Fun with Live Well Health Essentials is one of my missions.
We live on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and there are so many things we can do quite literally on our doorstep, including but not limited to;
- Swimming and Surfing: The northern beaches are known for their beautiful beaches and great surf spots. Popular beaches include Manly, Dee Why and Collaroy.
- Hiking: There are several hiking trails in the northern beaches area, including the Manly to Spit Bridge walk, Narrabeen to Mona Vale walk and the Warriewood to Palm Beach walk.
- Biking: There are several bike trails in the northern beaches area, including the B-Line cycleway and the Manly to Spit Bridge scenic bikeway.
- Fishing: The northern beaches are a popular spot for fishing, with many beaches and rock platforms providing access to a variety of fish species.
- Kayaking and Canoeing: The northern beaches offer great opportunities for kayaking and canoeing, with several waterways and estuaries to explore, such as Narrabeen Lagoon and Pittwater.
I’m yet to do the kayaking and canoeing, but it’s on my to do list!
Beyond these outdoor adventures locally, we also find ourselves in Summer venturing further afield and also camping.
Camping is a very popular activity in Australia. It's estimated that around 8 million Australians go camping each year, and the numbers are increasing. It’s incredible to see that according to the 2018-19 National Visitor Survey conducted by Tourism Research Australia, around 2.6 million international visitors and around 7.9 million domestic visitors went on camping trips within Australia in the year ending March 2019.
All this time outside and our recent encounters with snakes on our bush walks had me thinking about how do you still have fun outside and be prepared for the hazards and dangers of Australia?
There are so many ways for people to have fun in the outdoors in Australia, depending on their interests and the location:
- Hiking: Australia has a wide variety of hiking trails, from easy coastal walks to more challenging mountain hikes.
- Camping: Australia is home to many beautiful and remote camping spots, from the beach to the outback.
- Fishing: Australia has a diverse range of freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities, from freshwater rivers and creeks to the Great Barrier Reef.
- Swimming: Australia has many beautiful beaches, lakes, and rivers where people can swim and enjoy water activities.
- Surfing: Australia is known for its great surf spots and is a popular destination for surfers of all levels.
- Rock climbing and Abseiling: Australia has many great rock climbing and abseiling locations, both indoor and outdoor.
- Kayaking and Canoeing: There are many places to kayak and canoe in Australia, from calm lakes to fast-flowing rivers.
- Biking: Australia has many beautiful bike trails, from scenic coastal routes to rugged mountain tracks.
- Wildlife and bird watching: Australia is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including kangaroos, koalas, and echidnas, as well as many species of birds.
- Photography: The natural beauty of Australia provides many opportunities for nature and landscape photography.
Whether you're interested in adventure sports or simply enjoying the natural beauty of the country, there is something for everyone; and with so many people (not just my family) enjoying outdoor fun, I see just how important it is that Live Well Health Essentials have products and information to help be prepared.
It’s important to know that there are many ways for a person in Australia to have fun outdoors in the summer while also staying safe. Some ways to prevent injury include:
- Wearing sunscreen to protect against sunburn
- Wearing appropriate clothing and footwear for the activity (e.g. closed-toe shoes for hiking)
- Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Being aware of and avoiding potential hazards, such as snakes or poisonous plants
If you've been staying inside all winter or not getting outside too much because of the rain, it's important to take the time to prepare your body for outdoor activities. Here are some steps you can take to help prevent injury and sore muscles that I’ve learned the hard way that can help not just with being prepared but also enjoying the outdoor activities more too:
- Gradually increase activity level: It's important to start slowly and gradually increase your activity level to prevent injury.
- Strengthen your muscles: Do exercises that target the major muscle groups, such as your legs, core and arms. This will help to prepare your body for the physical demands of outdoor activities.
- Stretch before and after activity: Stretching before and after activity can help to prevent muscle soreness and injury.
- Stay hydrated: Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps and fatigue, so it's important to drink plenty of water.
- Wear appropriate clothing and footwear: Wearing the right clothing and footwear can help to protect your body from the elements and prevent injury.
- Use proper technique: Learn the proper technique for the activity you are doing, whether it's hiking, biking, or swimming.
- Rest and recover: It's important to rest and recover between activities to prevent injury and muscle soreness.
- Listen to your body: If you experience pain or discomfort, stop the activity and rest.
It's also a good idea to consult with your doctor before starting any new physical activity or exercise routine, especially if you have any health concerns or pre-existing conditions.
Remember that it's always best to be prepared and take necessary precautions to avoid any injuries or sore muscles.
While you can’t prepare for everything, it’s good to prepare as much as you can in the activities you plan to do.
Snakes are found throughout most of Australia, with the exception of the far south and some offshore islands. They can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including forests, deserts, grasslands, and wetlands. They can also be found in urban areas, although this is less common. Some of the most commonly found venomous snakes in Australia are:
- Brown snake: Found throughout mainland Australia and considered one of the most venomous snakes in the world.
- Tiger snake: Found in southern and southeastern Australia, particularly in Victoria and South Australia.
- Death adder: Found in many regions of Australia, including the east coast and northern territories.
- Black snake: Found in eastern Australia, including Queensland and New South Wales.
- Copperhead snake: Found in southeastern Australia, particularly in Victoria.
- Red-bellied black snake: Found in eastern Australia, including New South Wales and Queensland.
- Fierce snake or Inland taipan: Found in central and western Australia.
- Blue-ringed octopus: Found in rock pools and tide pools along the southern and eastern coast of Australia.
It is important to note that venomous snakes are found in many regions of Australia, but not all regions have the same venomous species. It's best to check with local authorities or professionals for specific information on the venomous snakes present in the area you plan to visit.
Also, it's worth noting that many people are bitten by snakes that they did not see, so it's best to be aware of the risk and always be cautious in snake-prone areas.
Snakes are found in many regions of Australia, and while they are generally shy and prefer to avoid human contact, it is important to take precautions to avoid getting bitten. Here are some ways to avoid snake bites:
- Stay on designated trails: This can help avoid dangerous animals and poisonous plants.
- Wear protective clothing: Wear long pants and closed-toe shoes to protect your legs and feet.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Keep an eye out for snakes, especially when walking through tall grass or in rocky areas.
- Use a flashlight at night: Snakes are more active at night and a flashlight can help you spot them before you get too close.
- Keep a safe distance: If you spot a snake, give it a wide berth and avoid getting too close.
- Do not provoke a snake: Do not try to catch, kill or touch a snake, as this can provoke it to bite.
- Be cautious around rocky areas and woodpiles: Snakes often hide in these areas.
- Be aware of seasonal changes: Snakes are more active during warm weather, so be extra cautious during the summer months.
- Seek professional advice if you are unsure.
If someone gets bitten by a snake in the bush and is unable to immediately get medical help.
The Australian Red Cross is a great resource for First Aid Basics, here are recommendations according to them:
All snake bites must be treated as potentially life-threatening. If someone is bitten by a snake, get help immediately.
- Keep the person at rest, reassured and under observation.
- Dial 000 (Australia).
- Do not wash venom off the skin or clothes.
- Begin CPR, if necessary. 30 chest compressions per 2 breaths.
- If bitten on a limb, apply a firm bandage on the bite site. Ensure the limb is immobilised and the person remains still.
- Work the bandage from the limb foot or hand upwards, working towards the heart and covering as much as the limb as possible. If you can, apply a splint to keep the limb immobile.
- Keep the person still and reassured until medical attention arrives.
The Live Well Health Essentials Venom Bandage is ideal for packing in your first aid kit or backpack when on outdoor adventures. When the warmer weather hits we aren't the only ones who come out of hibernation and love to be out and about. Snakes love the warmer weather too. It's important to be prepared in case of Snake Bites.
If you've overdone exercise outdoors and are experiencing sore muscles, there are several steps you can take to help alleviate the discomfort:
- Rest: The first step in treating sore muscles is to rest the affected area. Give your body time to recover and avoid activities that may cause further strain.
- Ice: Apply ice to the affected area to help reduce inflammation and pain. Pro Tip: Pop your Live Well Health Essentials Hot & Cold Therapy Bag in the freezer for when you get back home after enjoying time in the great outdoors.
- Compression: Use a compression bandage to help reduce swelling and provide support to the affected muscle.
- Elevation: Keep the affected area elevated, if possible, to help reduce swelling.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Stretching: Gentle stretching can help to increase blood flow to the affected area and promote healing.
- Massage: A gentle massage can help to increase blood flow and reduce muscle tension.
- Hydration: Drink plenty of water to help your body recover and reduce muscle soreness.
It's important to note that if the pain is severe or persistent, it's best to seek medical attention. Also, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking any medications, it's best to consult with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter pain relievers.
Remember that it's always best to listen to your body, take rest when needed and don't push yourself too hard, especially if you're not used to an activity or if you're not feeling well. The outdoors are there to have fun, make the most of it!