Fit Tip: Stay Safe While Exercising Outside

Posted On Jan 13, 2021 By Tom Holland

A woman exercising outside

While the current COVID pandemic has brought about a number of challenges in our daily lives, it has also created positive changes as well. One of those is that many more people are now walking and running outdoors, some for the first time ever. The sidewalks and streets are now filled with those who are taking their workouts outside, including those exercising on their own, couples running together and entire families walking and enjoying the great outdoors.

While the increased popularity of walking and running outside is indeed a huge positive, there are a few safety concerns to consider and rules to follow when doing so.

  1. Use The Sidewalks: If there are sidewalks along your route, use them whenever possible. Most stares require that you avoid walking and running on the streets when sidewalks are an option. If someone is approaching and you need to social-distance by stepping out into the street, be sure to first check behind you for oncoming traffic before doing so and then get back on the sidewalk as soon as possible.
  2. Go Against The Traffic: When sidewalks are not available, be sure to walk and run with the traffic coming towards you, not from behind. This allows you to see the cars and trucks approaching and move out of the way when necessary. This has never been more important due to cellphones and the increasing number of distracted drivers on the road.
  3. Headphones: If you choose to listen to music, podcasts, or talk on the phone while outside be sure to keep the volume low enough so that you can still be aware of your environment and hear what is happening around you. This includes approaching vehicles, runners, cyclists and even dogs.
  4. Be Visible: Wear brightly colored clothing so that you can easily be seen by approaching vehicles. If you are going out early in the morning or later in the evening, wear reflective clothing and consider carrying (or wearing) a light as well.
  5. Never Assume They See You: Always err on the side of caution and never assume driver or cyclist sees you, even when they are looking right at you. When given a choice, always allow the vehicle to go first.

One of the most incredible "gyms" in the world is the great outdoors; There is nothing quite like exercising in the fresh air while surrounded by nature. If you haven’t done so yet try taking your workout outside, just being sure to be smart and control your environment so that you maximize your safety and enjoyment as well.