Going outdoors for physical exercise offers a lot of advantages like finding more interesting places to see, having more room to exercise and getting fresh air. However, it is important to stay safe while exercising outdoors. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has a Go4Life site that has some important tips to keep you safe in the great outdoors:
Tips to Stay Safe while Exercising Outdoors
Carry your ID and Emergency Contact Information
You should carry your ID with you at all times, as well as emergency contact information even if you do not go out alone.
Bring Cell Phone, Small Amount of Money and Bottle of Water
Bring your cell phone and a small amount of money with you. Also, always bring a small bottle of drinking water. Never ignore thirst. These things can be carried in a small lightweight waist pouch strapped on your body. This allows you for freedom to exercise without worrying about things falling out of your pockets while walking or jogging.
Let Family Members Know
Let family members know where you are headed and when you expect to be back.
Walk by Day
It is best to go out walking during the day rather than at night.
Stick to Places with other People Around and Well-lit
Stick to places with other people around rather than going off totally alone. If you are going out at night, make sure to stay in places that are well-lit.
Brightly Colored Clothing with Reflective Material and Carry a Flashlight
Wear brightly colored clothing so that you can easily be seen during the day. If you are going out at night wear clothing with reflective material and carry a flashlight. If you are going on your bike, make sure there are lights on the front as well as the back.
Wear Sturdy Shoes with Non-slip Soles
Wear sturdy shoes, with non-slip soles. Don’t go hiking in brand new shoes that you never have worn. Best to get used to new shoes little by little.
Stay Alert and Do not Talk on Phone While Walking
Do not talk on your cell phone while walking, as you must stay alert. The same goes for listening to music. It is a distraction that can keep you from hearing bike bells and the sounds of other walkers, joggers, runners or bikers coming up behind you. If you must listen to music while walking, keep the volume low. However, listening to music or talking on the phone are best done when you stop along the way to sit down and rest.
Choose Routes Commonly in Use, Well-lit and Safe
Choose routes that are commonly in use, well-lit and safe. Also, it is best to choose a route that has resting places to sit down if you get tired.
Walk through a City Park to Avoid Traffic
Walking through a city park is a good way to avoid traffic, and many parks have walking and jogging paths.
Walk Down the Side of Road Facing Oncoming Traffic
If you are walking down the side of the road always walk facing oncoming traffic. It is best to walk only on a path or sidewalk if possible. Be careful about tripping over uneven sidewalks. If the road has guardrails, it is best to walk behind the barrier on a smooth surface along the road. If there are no guard rails, keep away from traffic as far as possible. Keep alert to watch out for narrow shoulders and bridges.
Do not Jaywalk
Do not jaywalk, as this raises your risk to get into a severe accident. Cross only at intersections and cross with the pedestrian crossing.
Be Extra Careful Crossing Roads
Be extra careful crossing roads. When you are crossing a road never rush to go across in front of an oncoming car. You could fall. Never assume that the driver sees you, but wait until he or she waves at you to cross after they have stopped at the traffic light. Also, never assume that no one will drive through a red light. Wait until they stop before crossing even if you have a green light. Even if a driver stops for you in his/her lane, do not rush to cross without making sure that a driver in the next lane also sees you and also stops for you.
Exercising at Large Indoor Shopping Centers and Malls
In spite of all these tips, if you do not feel safe to go outside to exercise, then choose indoor places like large shopping centers and malls. It is best to go during morning hours when there are less people in the malls.
Exercising at Home
If you want to exercise only at home, check out the Go4Life website that has all kinds of exercises with instructions and videos and instructions to teach you how to exercise safely at home. They offer:
- Balance exercises
- Endurance exercises,
- Flexibility exercises
- Strength exercises
Make sure you also eat well and follow a nutritious diet. Also, see our blog post from November 16, 2018 about how Vitamin D can help improve your ability to exercise.
Royal Suites Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Galloway Township, New Jersey
If you or your loved one like the outdoors and nature, choose a rehab like the Royal Suites Healthcare and Rehabilitation in scenic Galloway Township, New Jersey. Royal Suites is a beautiful 5-star facility surrounded by eight acres of woods and landscaped gardens. Even though this is like a country campus setting, Royal Suites is also close to health care centers and hospitals, shopping, places of worship and major roads. Royal Suites also has a state-of-the-art gym.
If you prefer to exercise outdoors, then you must follow safety guidelines.