Staying Active OutdoorsThe Weather in Charlotte, North Carolina and Indian Land, South Carolina is getting warmer. It's time to get outside and get our bodies moving again!

Ah, those first warm breezes of spring! Soon even the most devout winter couch potato’s dreams turn from football on television to those long-harbored visions of a major landscaping project or exterior home refresh. It's not just baseball where spring hopes spring eternal!

But sudden activity shifts need to be approached cautiously. "Weekend warrior syndrome" is real — and painful — as discovered every year by sedentary individuals whose New Year's resolutions cause them to leap full-tilt into gym workouts.

And who knew that weekend warrior syndrome can also be seasonal? Thousands of injuries are suffered every spring when formerly sedentary folks begin gardening, climbing ladders, using lawn equipment such as mowers, and, in the process, breathing fumes from chemicals.

Your Trusted Choice® independent agent, Kirk Klaas with The Coleman Agency, understands the emerging warriors of spring, and we would like to offer some simple advice that may help prevent your dreams of gain from all-too-quickly sinking into the depths of pain:

  • Warm up before working out. If it's right for the gym, it's right for the yard. Those winter muscles need to be loosened up before easing into harder tasks. Just watch baseball teams at spring training — they do plenty of exercise and run many laps before picking up those gloves, balls and bats. This point if for my friends and families that are part of WCWAA and Waxhaw Athletic Association
  • Wear proper clothing. You want to be comfortable, but protected from the sun, and your clothing should not be so loose it risks catching on lawnmowers, hedgers, trimmers, or other outdoor equipment.
  • Use proper sunscreen. That spring sun can be hotter than it feels, so remember to reapply the lotion at regular intervals.
  • Use protective gear. If you are performing tasks involving flying debris, paint, chemical sprays, or contact with potentially harmful plants and thorns, always wear proper eye, hand, head and other protective gear.
  • Pace yourself. "No pain, no gain" may be a motivating mantra for top athletes, but it's terrible advice for us regular folks. Pain is your body’s way of telling you to ease off before things get worse. Especially with sharp or repetitive pains, take the hint and take a break. That tree or walkway has waited all winter. It can wait till tomorrow.

Bottom Line: Enjoy the weather but allow yourself a chance to ease back into exercise and certain activities. Girls on the Run has an upcoming event on May 4th in Indian Trail. Lancaster, South Carolina has an upcoming charity race May 18th, so you have time to prepare and get your legs back into running shape.

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