Daylight savings time is coming to an end soon, and with it goes our extended hours of daylight. Safety when walking is more than just having a buddy or carry pepper spray. There are several things that you can do to ensure you are safe while walking, any time of the day.
Wear a headlamp or carry a small hand light to signal oncoming traffic that you are in front of them. This also applies for shared bike/walking trails that do not permit cars.
Four-legged friends need color, too. This might be a flashing red light on their collar, a bright jacket or reflective saddle.
Protect your back side. The reflective tabs on your shoes are not enough to keep you visible, particularly from a distance. Wear a reflective vest or belt, or you can put reflective tape on your back and your calves.
Channel the ‘80s. Invest in bright colored (neon) tops and/or hats so that you do not blend in during daylight walks.
Be a defensive walker. A sidewalk is not always a safe zone. Remember to stay alert to your surroundings and walk facing traffic at all times. Not every driver is aware of the “pedestrian right-of-way”. Stay alert at intersections and when crossing the road.
Leave the jewels at home. All you need is a watch or your preferred fitness tracking mechanism.
Be one with nature. As tempting as it is, leave the music at home—especially when walking on the street. You can miss footsteps coming up behind you, a dog on the run or other obstacles that might come into your path. Plus, some of the world's best leaders say that long walks are where they find their best ideas.
Always carry ID. A RoadID® bracelet is an easy, convenient way to make sure you are easily identified in the case of an emergency.
Wear sunscreen. While some sun exposure if good for Vitamin D levels, the Vitamin D Council suggests that as little as 15 minutes can be enough. Stay on the safe side and lather on a layer if you are going to be out in the elements for longer than that. No matter what time of year.
Vary your route. Elevation and scenery changes are promote cardiovascular health and can keep boredom at bay. Changing your route can also deter any would-be muggers who might be looking for a regular routine, which can also cause the walker to let their guard down—making them an easy target.
Let someone know where you are going. If you aren't going with a friend, let one know where you will be and your expected timeframe for exercise.
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