Outdoor Exercising: Safety First

It’s easy to prepare for exercise outdoors, but something often overlooked are the precautions needed for your safety. Many people run or walk alone, so it is essential to prepare yourself to avoid accidents and not be an easy target for an attack. Here are a few safety tips:

On the road

  1. Run or walk against traffic so you can see what’s coming toward you.
  2. Share the road with bikers and runners. They should alert you when approaching from behind, so listen for their cues (“passing on the left!”) and give them room to pass.
  3. Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and overgrown trails.
  4. Use the sidewalk if there’s one available.

Are you prepared?

  1. Take a cell phone. You never know when you may need help.
  2. Wear reflective material if running or walking before dawn or after dark.
  3. Listening to music? Keep the volume low so you can hear noises or alerts around you.
  4. Always carry identification.

Protect yourself

  1. If you can, run or walk with a buddy or pet.
  2. Alter your route. This makes you harder to track and keeps you more alert.
  3. Carry mace or pepper spray if it is legal in your state.

Helpful tips

For information about how to stay safe during a winter workout, check out the Mayo Clinic’s Safety Guide.

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