Safety Tips Older Adults Must Follow for Exercising Outdoors
If you are an adult and plan to be more active, you are ready to go outside and get started. But one thing to keep in mind is that before you do, make sure that you exercise safely in your neighborhood.
Here are a few tips that can help you to stay safe as you get moving.
Safety is a must
Here are some of the safety things you must follow if you are an adult exercising outdoors
- Carry your ID with emergency contact information and bring a little cash and a cell phone along with you, especially if you are walking alone. Stay alert by not talking on the phone as you walk, and keep the volume low on your headphones.
- Let family members and neighbors know where you are going and when you plan to get back.
- Stick to well-lit places with other people around.
- Try to be seen as it ensures your safety. Wear bright or light-colored clothing during the day. Wear reflective material on your clothing and carry a flashlight during the night. You can put the lights on the back and front of your bike.
- Wear appropriate and sturdy shoes for your activity that gives you proper footing.
Walk safely in rural areas
- Try to walk during the daylight hours.
- You can choose routes that are well-used, safe, and well-lit. Choose the routes with places to sit if you want to rest and stop.
- Stay alert at every moment. If you are listening to music as you walk, turn down the volume so that you can still hear warnings and bike bells from other runners and walkers coming up behind you.
- Always walk facing oncoming traffic.
- Walk on a path or sidewalk whenever possible. Watch out for uneven sidewalks, which are tripping hazards.
- Look for a stable, smooth surface alongside the road.
Walk safely in urban areas
- If you find guardrails on the road, check if there’s a flat, smooth surface behind the barrier where you can walk. If you need to walk on a paved shoulder, stay as far away from traffic as possible.
- Watch for narrow shoulders and bridges
- Cross at intersections or crosswalks. Jaywalking increases the risk of an accident. You need to pay attention to the traffic signal. Try to cross when you need to have the pedestrian crossing signal.
- You must never assume if a driver has seen you crossing the street. Try to make eye contact with the driver as he approaches. Before you start to cross the street, make sure you have plenty of time to get across. If you rush, it will increase your risk of falling.
- Look across all the lanes you cross and make sure each lane is clear before you proceed. Look left, right, and left again before you cross. Just because one driver stops, don’t presume that the drivers in other lanes will stop for you.
- Check out the city parks. Many parks have jogging or walking trails away from the traffic.
Tips to exercise during hot weather
Most people enjoy exercising in warm-weather conditions. They enjoy the activities like playing tennis, gardening or walking. You need to make sure to play it safe in hot weather. If you find too much heat, it can turn out to be a bit risky for older adults and people with health problems. If you are exposed to heat for a long duration, it can cause heat-related illnesses like hyperthermia that includes heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
- If you want to be exercised when it’s hot outside, follow these tips:
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes in natural fabrics.
- Drink plenty of liquids. Fruit juices and water are good options. Try to avoid the consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Ask for other tips from your doctor if you are asked to consume limited liquids.
- Before you step out, always check the weather forecast. If it is humid or hot, exercise inside like in places with proper air-conditioners like shopping malls.
Tips for exercising in cold weather
You can exercise outdoors in the winter, but you need to take a few extra steps to stay safe before braving the cold. Exposure to cold may cause health problems such as hypothermia, a dangerous drop in the body temperature.
- If you want to shovel show, ice skate, walk, or do other activities when it is cold outside:
- Pick the right clothes. You can wear several layers of loose clothing as the layers will trap the warm air. Avoid tight clothes as it will keep the blood from flowing freely and lead to loss of body heat.
- Always remember to warm up your muscles. Try light arm pumping or walking before you go out.
- Watch out for icy sidewalks and snow.
- Check the weather forecast. If it is cold or windy, exercise inside with videos online and go out another time.
- Do not forget to learn about the signs of hypothermia.
Do not try to over-exert yourself. If you do not feel safe to exercise outdoors, it is always preferable to be active indoors. You can also ride a bicycle with your family members as it will be a fun family activity and a great way to exercise.
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