I’m partnering with Texas Department of State Health Services to share 6 ways I like to get active outdoors and protect myself from mosquito-borne diseases. Beyond your physical health, there are other things to keep in mind when getting outdoors in Texas. As a born and raised Dallas girl, I do everything I can to get outside before the heats get unbearably hot. Even during the hottest days, you can find Dallasites hitting the trails in the early morning or late at night, just to get outside for a bit.
In addition to drinking plenty of water and slathering on sunscreen to protect from dehydration and sun damage, one thing that can be easy to forget is the pesky mosquito season in Texas. Texas has a long mosquito season and if you’re like me, I’m usually one of the first to get bit the second I walk outside. It makes going outdoors or even hanging out on a patio a little miserable.
But before we get into that, let’s talk about the fun stuff. Here are a few active outdoor activities you should consider the next time you’re itching to get outside. No pun intended.
Rollerblading is one of my favorite full body exercises I like to do as active recovery. Takes a minute to get used to, but it is definitely like riding a bike. Pop in some great jams and glide! I personally like hitting the Katy Trail with some friends.
Sprinting is a great way workout for fat burning and conditioning. It requires quicks bursts of energy and I’m all about keeping it short and sweet. There are a handful of great tracks in Dallas. Germany Park is where I like to train.
On days when I need a break from my usual fitness routine or just to step away from the stress of work, I take walks or will go on a short run. They do absolute wonders to reset your mind and decrease stress. There are so many benefits from just going outside and soaking in a bit of sun. You can run or walk on trails such as Katy Trail, Turtle Creek Trail, Arbor Hills, White Rock, Ron Kirk Bridge by Trinity Groves, Cedar Ridge Preserve, and more.
I’m competitive and grew up playing recreational sports. I’ve played football, soccer and sand volleyball. With warmer temps ahead, the local rec sports are active again and my buddies and I like to get together for a pick up game or a few hours of sand volleyball and happy hour.
Dallas does offer a handful of water sports options. You can find kayaking, paddle boarding and even SUP Yoga if you look hard enough. Don’t knock it till you try it – it’s definitely a full body workout too. Be prepared to get wet and have fun.
Believe it or not, there’s a pretty rad acro yoga community here in Dallas. There are classes available throughout Dallas for beginners to learn how to base and fly. No experience needed. Just show up with a friend or partner and they’ll guide you through it. Most classes take place in a studio or even outdoors where there are soft grassy areas. I’ve had the best time trying this and highly recommend searching a nearby class.
Things to know:
Bringing along bug spray and/or bug bite ointment isn’t the usual item most active people grab when heading out the door to enjoy some sunshine. In my gym bag, you’ll find water, hair ties, sunscreen, snacks, and now, bug spray.
For whatever reasons, mosquitoes love me. I’m just glad I’m not highly allergic to their bites, however that’s not the only thing you should worry about. With Dallas having such a long mosquito season, they also carry such as Zika and West Nile. Here are a few things to keep in mind and how you can Declare W.A.R. on Mosquitoes:
WEAR the right clothes: Create barriers between your skin and mosquitoes. You can wear light, moisture wicking clothes like long sleeves, long pants, or socks.
APPLY EPA approved insect repellent: Long sleeves aren’t always conducive in this heat. As you can see, I’m opting for shorts and tanks in almost all of my activities because I want to stay cool. The best alternative for me is to apply insect repellent and/or have it handy.
REMOVE standing water: With all the rain we’ve been getting, make it a point to remove any standing water around your home. It’s where mosquitoes like to breed. I remember one summer where I felt like I was getting eaten alive in my sleep because these suckers would make it into my home. Miseryyyy.
Additionally, there are active/sweat proof insect repellents for those of you that spend a lot of time outside. It’s important to make it part of your check list. The annoyance of the bites is one thing, the risk of disease is a whole other matter we should take more seriously. And remember to apply your repellent after you apply your sunblock.
I hope you enjoyed this friendly reminder. Thanks so much for reading. Get outside, have fun, and take care of your health – inside and out.
This blog post is sponsored by the Texas Department of State Health Services. All opinions are my own.