I’ve been on a kick with a few friends to get more exercise. It’s been great to have someone to be with while working out. We change up our routine and do swimming and walking to use different muscles and get some more work outs in. But walking can be unsafe so I wanted to give you 5 ways to Stay safe while walking.
- Be aware of your surroundings. This sounds like an easy, no nonsense, who could forget rule but think about it. How many times have you been walking and you have your headphones in and you’re favorite song comes on, you pic up the pace and the volume. Guess what now you can no longer hear what’s truly going on around you. So while it’s great that you’re into your walking, remember that you need to be able to hear that car coming behind you or the person walking behind you or the cyclist that wants to pass on the left.It’s another way of saying keep your guard up, but it’s not about being hyper vigilant or paranoid. Think of it like a low-level hum of mental activity, like when you look both ways before crossing the street.
- Know where you’re going and how to get back. We were just talking about this the other day. I went on a walk while training for the 3 Day a few years ago. I got so lost and I was within 3 miles of my own home. But it was a route I had never taken before, I was exploring and at the time my smart phone didn’t have navigation. (Remember when you still had to pay extra for that??) Needless to say I had to call Steve and he had to mapquest directions to get to me and how to get home. Sounds really funny until you’re the one lost in the middle of nowhere! Being familiar with your route will help you identify abnormalities or deviations in what should be expected. Every environment, and every person, has what is known as a baseline of what is normal noise and behavior. Note any changes, such as a car repeatedly driving by or an unknown person or a hazard along your route. Stay alert and don’t be taken by surprise when there is a change.
- Keep hydrated. Its difficult to go on a long walk with a water bottle because it weighs you down. The problem is especially in the summer, you will get dehydrated much faster. Take the extra ounces to make sure you’re safe and not dehydrated. Drink consistently while walking and you won’t have to worry about passing out from heat exhaustion or dehydration.
- Shoes. Sounds silly right. How are shoes going to keep you safe? Well when you’re walking for new distances and/or on new terrain and you get a blister because you wore you’re old shoes this is definitely a safety issue. Make sure you have shoes that are fitted for your feet. I love getting special fitted inserts from Road Runner Sports. I use the one in Elkridge and they are super helpful and its an amazing difference to have shoes that fit for my feet. They will also talk you through what type of sneaker is best for you. Yep sneakers are different for every foot.
- Walk with someone. Skip the headphones and enjoy having an actual conversation with someone. Like I said I’ve taken to walking with a couple of friends. We’ve consistently been doing at least 1 mile walks each time and the whole time we talk. We get to learn more about each other, our families and its great to have someone that wants to just listen to what’s going on with me.
What tips do you have to stay safe while walking?