Safety First: Tips for Runners, Joggers and Walkers

Are you thinking about entering that 5K you’ve had your eyes on? Or starting a new running routine? Or maybe simply committing to daily walks with your family? Here are some tips to stay safe as you get the exercise you need.

Talk to your doctor.

Before starting your new exercise routine, speak with your doctor to see what they recommend. For example – if you haven’t worked out since high school, you’ll probably need to start slow and build up your strength and endurance. Or if you have certain health conditions or past injuries, you might need help finding exercises that are safe for your body. Your doctor will know what’s best for your health and they’ll help you find a workout that works out for you.

Be sure to stretch and warm up.

Pre-workout stretches and warmups are key – especially for joggers and runners. According to Mayo Clinic, stretching and warming up helps your body get ready for the physical activity ahead. It can help lower your chance of injury and lessen later muscle soreness.

And take the time to cool down.

Equally important is your post-workout cool down. Gradually slow your walking, jogging or running pace for the last few minutes of your workout, rather than stopping abruptly. This helps your heart rate and blood pressure settle back to their normal levels.

Avoid busy streets and always stay alert.

Walk on sidewalks, not in the street. And run on designated trails or paths – or even a local track, if open to the public. If you need to cross a street at any point, be fully aware of your surroundings and check all directions before crossing.

Make sure to stay visible.

Wear clothes and gear that make you visible to cars, bikes and other people. Pick white or brightly-colored clothing. Always wear reflective gear – and stay extra watchful of your surroundings – if you’re out at dawn, dusk or nighttime.

Limit those distractions.

Don’t do your workout with earbuds in and music blaring. You need to be able to hear what’s going on around you, especially near roads. Be smart – the music can wait for the dance floor.

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