— By Birgitt Haderlein Owner of To Fit You, Wellness coach/Fitness Consultant —
I got some really great feed back on my article in last month’s newsletter which focused on a walking program for all. Are we ready to let go of the dog days of summer? I know I am. Yet it has been amazing how many of you I have seen walking around the neighborhood this past month. This tells me we are committed to being a healthier and happier community in spite of this heat.
Now that you have some idea about how to start a walking program and have some idea of your technique, let’s talk about walking safely in and around the neighborhood.
Walking outside is a great way to enjoy some fresh air and get some exercise at the same time. Before you head out the door here are some safety tips you may want to consider.
Find a buddy. It can make the time more fun and motivating. But more importantly there is safety in numbers. If you cannot find a buddy that day let someone know what time you will be back and the route you are walking.
Wear clothes that are light colored if walking early morning or late evening. There are many clothes that have reflective materials built into them from shoes to shorts hats etc. This will help oncoming traffic see you and walk on well-lit streets as much as possible.
Walk facing traffic. Especially if there are no side walks the rules of the road say walk against the traffic. This way you can see the oncoming cars or any potential danger coming your way.
Vary your route. This is important for safety and enjoyment. It is much more interesting to experience different surroundings and a great way to meet your neighbors. This keeps anyone from memorizing your route.
Be aware of drivers. Do not assume that a driver can see you or that they know the rules of the road. Be cautious of driveways. Most drivers are looking for oncoming cars not walkers.
Be aware of your surrounding. Watch for cracks, holes, cars and bikers. You get the point, it can be very easy to trip and fall and especially dangerous if you are by yourself.
Here are a few things every walker should bring or not bring.
What to bring.
Carry pepper spray and a phone with an alarm. And walking stick of some sort in case you need to fend off a dog. Take muffin with you, she needs the exercise too and it keeps you safe. Always carry your I.D. in case of injury.
What not to bring. Do not wear any jewelry, expensive watches or headphones. They can prevent you from hearing oncoming traffic or someone behind you. Pay attention to your surroundings. Your safety deserves it.
So, have fun, get out and walk. This will make your experience fun and enjoyable and most of all safe.
Read more at the To Fit You blog. I will be posting tips, links, articles, and other items related to health and fitness.