Fitness Articles

Important Safety Tips for Outdoor Runners and Walkers

Put Your Safety First with These 6 Strategies

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Carry Identification
Whether you carry your driver’s license in your pocket or wear a Road ID bracelet, make sure you carry some form of ID just in case you are injured or rendered unconscious. Your identification should include your name, emergency contacts, and other essential information, such as drug allergies or pre-existing medical conditions. You can also simply write your emergency contact information on a piece of paper in your pocket.

Run Against the Flow of Traffic
As I mentioned earlier, facing traffic helps you see when cars are coming. I would much rather see a car than risk an inattentive driver not seeing me. In an age where people do everything in their car except drive sometimes, you must be on the defensive if you are running or walking in the street. (On a related note, biking is a different story. Always go with the flow of traffic when cycling.)

Beware of Dogs
While I have yet to encounter any vicious dogs on my runs, the best thing to do if approached by one is to stop running or walking. A dog will be able to outrun a walker or runner any time, so it is best to slowly back up away from the dog. Try to put something between you and the dog. If you have access to a stick or rock, that may be a deterrent. (Throw the object away from you—not at the dog—so he or she will chase it instead of you.) And as a last resort, drop to the ground and curl up in a ball, making sure you cover your face and head.

Wear Reflective Gear
Wearing some form of reflective gear, whether a hat, jacket, shirt, or button, especially at night, dusk or dawn, allows others to see you more easily. Anytime you can become more visible allows for better safety. At the very least, avoid wearing dark colors like black, blue or brown during these dimly lit times. The brighter you are, the better off you'll be.

Remember, always put your safety first. This will allow you to continue running for a long time to come.
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About The Author

Nancy Howard Nancy Howard
Nancy is an avid runner and health enthusiast. A retired pediatric nurse, she received her bachelor's degree in nursing from Texas Woman's University and is also a certified running coach and ACE-certified personal trainer.

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