For some of us, running or walking is our form of regular exercise. Whether it be an early morning, before work type of ritual, or an end-of-the-day tradition, running or walking is a liberating activity that gets rid of stress and helps clear the mind. Plus you get the added bonus of getting a good form of cardio exercise that’s literally free to do.
However there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you happen to be one who braves the streets or maybe even the off-beaten path. Here are 6 important tips for runners and walkers you should be mindful of to help keep you safe and hopefully injury-free.
6 Important Tips For Runners or Walkers
1) Wear Reflective or Bright Clothing
It should go without saying that visibility is crucial when you are out running or walking the streets especially if there’s traffic close to where you’ll be. If you plan on doing this activity off-road it can still be a good idea to wear something that’s reflective or has bright neon just to be on the safe side. You can even find items that have battery operated lights that can either blink or stay on constantly to really increase your visibility. You can also find reflective arm bands, vests, and even headbands so let Google do the work for you and find something that will make you more visible when you’re out running or walking.
2) If It’s Night or Pre-Dawn Bring A Flashlight
Let’s face it, some of us hit the road for an early morning run at 5am and unfortunately it’s pretty dark at that time. There’s nothing wrong with bringing a mini-flashlight with you keeping it either in hand or in your pocket. Turn it on whenever it’s really dark because you don’t want to twist an ankle or fall on account of lack of visibility. This can be especially helpful if the surface you’re running on is not smooth.
3) Keep An Eye On The Road or Path
Running outdoors provides ever-changing scenery where it’s easy to get distracted, especially if you are amiss a sunrise, sunset, or other eye-appealing attraction. The last thing you want to happen is to injure yourself while you are trying to exercise. You don’t want to twist an ankle because you were distracted looking at ducks swimming on the lake you were running around. Always remember safety first and keep those eyes on the path.
4) Be Leary of Your Surroundings
Even though you are in exercise-mode doesn’t mean everyone else around you is. Always be concerned about your safety and security. If some path or place does not look safe, don’t run there. It’s just not worth it to take a chance running or walking somewhere that makes you feel uncomfortable or give off a bad vibe. Better to play it safe than sorry.
5) Take Your Phone With You
Whenever I run, I always take my phone with me. Not only is it used with headphones for music, but it’s also there in case of an emergency. It can be used to dial 911 (or call the local police) if something happens, and also used as a camera to either take pictures or video if evidence is needed. If you have a smartphone, you can also install a flashlight app so you can have that ready at all times if you ever need light instead of carrying a flashlight.
6) Carry A Small Pepper Spray
Another item I always take with me is pepper spray. This is not necessary for fear of other people but just in case there’s a rapid/stray dog that might be tempted to attack me or my dog – I always run with my dog. Hopefully I will never have to use it but it’s best to have it handy just in case. And since pepper spray is available in really small sizes and with arm bands, it’s easier than every to keep one handy while running or walking.
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