Summer's here, and that means warm weather, long days, and plenty of opportunities to hit the road on a bike. While there's something to be said for getting out and forgetting the worries of everyday life, you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you spent more time preparing for your mid-ride lunch stop than ensuring your safety while out on the road!
Luckily, saving money on some simple purchases to improve your cycling experience is easier than ever. And you can pay for them through an unexpected source - your flexible spending account (FSA) funds! Here are a few great FSA-eligible items that could make your ride safer and more comfortable.
If you don't plan ahead for your ride with the right sun protection, you may end up with an epic burn instead. Last year's sunscreen may have a limited shelf life, so make sure that you're prepared for the new season with the most effective sun care regimen. Sunscreen with broad spectrum protection against ultraviolet rays and SPF 15 or above is eligible for FSA reimbursement, so make sure you and your loved ones avoid sunburn wherever you're headed.
With the constant flow of wind in your face while biking, which may result in chapped lips for days afterward. While not all lip balm is FSA-eligible, those that are, follow the same eligibility requirements as sunscreen. As long as lip balm is SPF 15+ and offers broad spectrum protection, it is FSA-eligible!
Being in the great outdoors comes with its own set of challenges, not the least of which are high pollen counts that could trigger your allergic symptoms. Allergy medication can help you breathe a little easier when you're out on the road, and over-the-counter medicines are eligible for FSA reimbursement with a prescription from a doctor.
Whether you're an avid cyclist or a total newbie, a long ride can leave your muscles sore for days after physical activity, but your FSA can help tackle that as well! Hot and cold packs are eligible over-the-counter products that can administer targeted heat and cold therapy to soothe sore muscles, curb swelling and reduce pain so you can get back on the road faster.
Last but not least, we never want to think about it when we're out on the road or on the trail, but falling off your bike in an emergency can lead to a serious injury that could be worsened without the right preparation. Every cyclist should keep a crash pack handy, and your FSA can help cover an extensive selection of bandages, braces, first aid kits and—worst-case scenario—crutches.
No matter where you're headed this summer, make FSAstore.com a part of your plans! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to keep you and your loved ones healthy year-round.
With UVA/UVB and broad spectrum protection, avoid nasty sunburns with FSA-eligible sunscreens.
If you have a green thumb, the summer weather affords you the opportunity to take all the steps necessary to get your garden ready for the warm weather months. As you spend a long day standing, kneeling, and crouching over your flower beds, you may be surprised to find yourself waking up the next day with aching muscles and the need to take some days off away from your favorite activity.
Pain after gardening can be a sign of the aging process, but it may also be a clear sign that you are experiencing unnecessary strain based on how you perform various gardening tasks. Through changes in your behavior and the use of FSA-eligible wellness products, you can re-discover your favorite hobby without contending with discomfort. Here are a few ways to get started!
Gardening is strenuous work, so you should treat it like any other form of physical activity and make an effort to stretch first, suggests Spine-Health.com. Light stretching and a short walk can be a good means of warming up before gardening, and if you experience lower back pain from gardening, a back flexion exercise may be a good option. Start by lying down on your back, and slowly bring your knees to your chest and lift your head slightly to stretch your lower back muscles.
Braces & Elastic Supports
If you have joint or back issues, gardening can put major strain on these trouble areas. If you have a flexible spending account (FSA), your benefit will cover a huge range of over-the-counter braces & elastic supports like knee braces, elastic bandages, lower back braces and more that can provide additional stability and prevent awkward movements that could cause additional strain.
A full watering can or a heavy pot can be far heavier than you might realize, which can lead to sudden injuries if you are not lifting in the correct fashion. According to The Mayo Clinic, the correct way to lift is to bend your knees, grasp the object with both arms and slowly straightening out your legs as you lift. Additionally, it may be wise to use wagons or dollies to carry large items from place to place.
Take frequent breaks
It can be easy to lose track of time when planning out your garden beds and beautifying your yard, which is why it's important to take frequent breaks, suggests Prevention magazine. In addition, it's important to avoid performing one job for an extended period of time to prevent overworking one muscle group. For instance, if you're weeding a flower bed, switch to a job like pruning for another hour and come back to weeding so you don't overwork specific areas.
Raised garden beds
As you plan out your gardening projects for the year, raised garden beds may be the perfect solution to avoid joint and back strain. Vertical wall gardens, raised planters and tabletop arrangements may be better options than ground-level beds to help you avoid gardening pain while still practicing your favorite hobby.
For everything you and your loved ones need to stay healthy this summer and beyond, rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your employee benefits!
Cramer Diamond Knee Stabilizer Brace
Stabilize your knees so you can bend down with ease while gardening.
ACE Elastic Bandage
Provide support and compression where you need it most.