Hunting season may be a good time to check in with your doctor to make sure your body is ready for the increased activity. Here are some tips on being healthy for the hunt.
Doctor Jonathan Olson with Avera Aberdeen Family Physicians says people often forget to prepare their bodies for hunting season. He says for people who aren’t active during the year, the physical activity that comes with the hunt can be stressful, causing medical problems.
“I’ve had people who go out walking and came in with chest pain and pressure and end up having a heart attack,” Olson says. “I’ve seen people who are walking around this area and don’t pay attention and they step in a badger hole or something and break an ankle or a leg. When I trained out in the Hills I saw people who came in super short of breath. There were some diabetics who didn’t plan appropriately.”
Olson says everyone should see their doctor at least once a year. He recommends exercising for 30 minutes a day, three to four times per week.
“If you’re going to be doing strenuous activity you should gradually work up to activities similar to what you’re going to be doing with hunting,” Olson says. “Walking cornfields and that, you could just walk around town, stuff like that. But people who are planning on doing any hunting in the Hills, or in west river where it’s more up and terrain should ideally be on some sort of program where they’re getting their legs and their body used to walking up and down the incline.”
Olson says hunters should know where the local medical support is located, along with contact information. He also says they should remember to bring all of their medicines while hunting, dress in layers, and stay hydrated.
He says it’s also important to know heart attack warning signs such as chest pressure, or pain in the left arm.