What are Some Tips for Safety When Exercising Outdoors?

By Holly Glaubitz, health educator


Winter is upon us, meaning our daylight hours are less abundant. If you like to exercise outdoors during the winter months, please do so safely. Here are some safety tips:   


Be aware of your surroundings. Vehicles need to see you, but you also need to be aware of them. If you listen to music while exercising, keep the volume down so you can still hear traffic and other people around you. If you bike, you should not listen to any music. 


Carry ID. Make sure you have some form of ID on you in case of an accident. Some stores offer shoe tags that affix to the laces of tennis shoes where you can write your name, address and phone number. If you don't have a shoe tag, be sure you find someplace to carry your ID with you.    


Wear appropriate clothing. Remember it is cold, but you will still sweat, so wear something moisture-wicking as a base layer. Do not wear cotton next to your skin. Cotton does not allow for moisture to wick away from your skin -- it holds moisture next to your skin, which can make you feel colder once you sweat.


Make sure to wear reflective gear. Even if you are walking or jogging on a sidewalk, cars need to see you. You will eventually need to cross the street, and you will most definitely walk across someone's driveway. Cars cannot see you if you are wearing dark clothing. White clothing is not reflective enough. Think about investing in a tail light and reflective vest -- both are inexpensive and can help increase your visibility. A vest can be purchased at most big box stores. A reflective strip on your exercise shirt or pants is also not enough for you to be seen. If you bike, be sure you ride in the street and wear reflective gear.


Just because it's darker earlier in the winter doesn't mean your exercise routine has to come indoors. Just remember: Safety first.