Outdoor Walking: Safety Tips to Think About
Taking your walk (or run) outdoors has been shown to improve your mood, lower stress levels, boost vitamin D production and offer a better overall experience than running the same distance indoors on a treadmill for example. I personally prefer to walk at home but it’s nice to get outdoors sometimes too.
However, it’s important to be prepared so you don’t get caught off guard.
Here are some simple outdoor walking safety tips:
Be aware – Anytime you go walking/running outdoors you need to be aware of your surroundings. Unlevel ground, cars passing by, construction, other walkers/runners could all be an obstacle so please don’t assume they can see you. If you plan on listening to music, I recommend keeping only one earbud in so you can hear what’s going on around you.
Dress for the Weather – Depending on the season and weather, you might need a windproof and waterproof jacket, hoodie, gloves, a hat, sunglasses, and be sure to protect your skin with sunscreen. Wear breathable and wicking clothing and socks. If it’s cold out, you might want to think about layering.
Switch Up Your Route – Never spend too much time on the same route. Be sure to switch up the way you take and the places you go. This is so important because there ARE crazy people out there that might be watching your every move. Don’t be paranoid about this, just prepared which leads me to the next tip.
Going It Alone – If you are heading out to walk/run alone, let someone know where you are headed. If you’re driving to a location, park in a well-lit spot. Whatever you do, don’t share where you are on social media at the exact time you are there. Take any pics you want during your walk and share them when you return home safe and sound.
Wearable tech – Always have a cell phone with you. Wear a Road ID identification bracelet too. There are also safety devices like the Wearsafe Tag, a personal safety device. And the Road iD app would be good too. It’s a real-time GPS tracker and safety app. A self-defense set wouldn’t hurt either, with personal safety alarm and pepper spray!
Always bring an ID – You should have an ID/driver’s license/runner id tag, cash, and even your ATM card.
Consider this…you’re outdoors walking while on vacation and you get all turned around and suddenly you’re lost. Or the weather takes a turn for the worse or you fall down and get hurt. Having these items on hand when you’re walking outdoors is very important. You will be prepared to buy bottled water, first aid supplies if needed and get a taxi back to your location (or home!).
Nighttime Walks – I would recommend that you stick to daylight hours when heading outdoors to get your workout. But if you must go walking in the evening or at night, PLEASE go where it’s well lit and make yourself visible. It’s important that others can easily see you. Bright colored clothes and reflective tape will help. These reflective wristbands are cool too. And taking someone with you is your safest bet, safety in numbers right?
So there you have it, some very important outdoor walking safety tips. Please don’t get caught off guard the next time you are out walking or running.
Following the tips above will allow you to get out and enjoy the fresh air and hopefully sunshine wherever you are!
What are your best outdoor walking safety tips?
P.S. Check out my top healthy walking tips too.