Are you thinking about starting a new running, walking or jogging routine? Or perhaps entering your first 5K, 10K or walking event? Here are some tips to keep you safe as you begin (or continue) your fitness journey.
Talk to Your Doctor
Before beginning any new exercise routine, talk to your doctor to see what they recommend. If you haven’t worked out since high school, for example, they might advise you to start slow with short walks or jogs before you hit the pavement for a 30-minute run. Your doctor will know what’s best for your health, and they’ll help you build up your strength and endurance.
Stretch and Warm Up
Especially for joggers and runners, pre-workout stretches and warm-ups are key. According to the Mayo Clinic, stretching and warming up helps your body prepare for the physical activity ahead. It can help reduce your risk of injury and lessen later muscle soreness.
Just as important is the post-workout cool down. Gradually slowing your running or walking pace for the last few minutes of your workout, rather than stopping abruptly, helps your heart rate and blood pressure ease back to their normal levels.
Avoid Busy Streets
Walk on sidewalks, not in the street. Run on designated paths, trails and tracks. If you need to cross a street at any point in your workout, be completely aware of your surroundings and check all directions before crossing.
Wear clothes and gear that make you visible to cars, bikes and other people. Wear white or brightly-colored clothing. If you run at dawn, dusk or during the night, always wear reflective gear and stay extra aware of your surroundings.
We all love to run with our earbuds in and our music going – but we really shouldn’t. We need to be able to hear what’s going on around us, especially when walking or running near roads. The music can wait for Friday night.
Interested in learning more? Take a look at these links:
- In this article from Carle, read how one avid runner used physical therapy to safely come back from an injury and get back in the race.
- Wondering how to best run, jog or walk while wearing your face mask? Read this article from our partners at OSF HealthCare.
- Are you planning to participate in your first 5K, 10K or walking event? Check out these safety tips from our friends at Memorial Health System.
- Need info on how to stretch safely? Read this article from Reid Health.
- Do you prefer to bike, rather than walk or run? Check out these tips from the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System.