Some of our favorite active activities during the summer months include hiking and biking. They are a lot of fun, get you out in the fresh air and nature, and they are easily adaptable to almost any age and fitness level.

Hiking and biking are both great ways to get the entire family out there, doing something together. I encourage you to give it a try. Start slow and small and see how things are going.

As your fitness levels improve and everyone gets more comfortable hiking and biking, you can start to tackle longer or more difficult trips.

Safety First! It’s an important motto to live by as you go out exploring. Make sure your equipment is in good shape. Dress appropriately and wear shoes with good grip and ankle support for your hikes.

When biking, helmets are a must. Make sure you can easily be seen if you’re sharing the road with vehicles. A safety vest and reflectors on your bike are always a good idea.

Give all bicycles a good once-over before you hit the road, path or trail. Know where you’re going. Know your route well and take a map with you if needed. It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you’re going. This is particularly important when you’re hitting a trail in a park, nature reserve, or the back country.

Before you head out with the kids, make sure they are aware of all important safety rules. Make it clear that they should stop and wait for you before the path crosses a road for example. On a hiking path, encourage them to stay fairly close to you and not wander of the path.

Sunburns and dehydration can become serious issues during the hot summer months. Bring plenty of water and apply sunscreen before you head out.

Be prepared is another good piece of advice to follow. When you’re hiking and biking that means knowing your route well. It also means checking on the weather before you hit the trail. You don’t want to be caught in a thunderstorm.

It also means having plenty of water on hand, rain gear if the weather might turn on you, a way to communicate should you get in trouble (make sure your cell phone will work), basic tools and supplies to make repairs as needed, band aids and other basic first aid stuff should you get a blister or scrape a knee.

If you’re headed out for more than an hour or two, pack a little snack to keep up your energy.

Above all, have fun and enjoy the hike or ride. Take pictures, explore nature and come back to do it again and again.