Exercising outdoors and engaging in activities like running, walking, or cycling has numerous benefits like improved mood, increased self esteem, and low cost. As the temperature heats up as the summer months continue, you might need to make some adjustments to your outdoor workout times.
Here are a few outdoor exercise safety tips from our Kansas personal injury lawyers to make sure that your pre-dawn or post-sunset workout can be done safely. After all, whether a pedestrian hits a car or the car hits a runner or bicyclist, it’s likely going to be much worse for the pedestrian than for the driver or the car.
Just because you’re working out without the sun doesn’t mean you can forgo hydration. You will still be sweating and losing fluid. When it’s hot outside, never wait until you are thirsty to drink. When exercising outdoors in the warmer months, we sweat more anyway. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water two to three hours before exercise and an additional 8 ounces after exercise. Drinking enough water and getting the proper amount of electrolytes prevents dehydration, injuries, and heat illness.
#2. Wear Bright Clothing to Increase Visibility
Visibility is important, whether you are riding a bicycle or running. When exercising outdoors either pre-dusk or pre-dawn, you should wear bright clothing that does not blend in with your surroundings. This will lower your chances of a pedestrian accident by helping increase your visibility to motorists. Some workout clothes, like running shoes or shorts, have reflective strips included to improve visibility. You can also purchase reflective strips to add to clothing and shoes.
#3. Use Lights
Specialty light attachments can boost nighttime and early morning visibility. Try carrying a small flashlight when walking or running, or just your cell phone–just make sure it’s fully charged. Headlights and string lights are also available for bicycles for extra light and to make sure vehicles can see you. A simple light can greatly increase your safety and lower your chances of a bicycle accident.
A flashing red light on the runner’s belt also promotes outside exercise safety. Many runners’ belts have water bottle holders so you can stay both hydrated and illuminated. Additionally, an LED vest is another gadget that increases visibility when exercising outdoors. These vests with reflective strips and powerful LEDs are hard to overlook.
#4. Follow the Rules of the Road
Knowing your surroundings and following the rules of the road are as important as wearing appropriate apparel and accessories. For example, anytime a sidewalk is available, always use it if you are running or walking. Always run or walk against the flow of traffic rather than beside it if there isn’t a sidewalk available.
Many towns forbid bicycles from riding on sidewalks unless they are wide enough to be deemed bike routes. Always follow the flow of traffic on the far right side of the road when a bike path is not available.
#5. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
This is the key to outdoor exercise safety. When on the road, be extra cautious while approaching intersections where cars might be turning in front of you. Slow down when you see a car that might not see you.
It is best practice to assume that a driver is not aware of your presence unless you make eye contact with them or can otherwise tell they are aware of you. Giving a driver a friendly wave as you pass them is a thoughtful way to express your appreciation for their attention and helping keep you safe.
What to Do If You’re Injured While Exercising Outdoors
Don’t let the possibility of injury keep you from exercising outdoors, enjoying nature, and maintaining your fitness. The above tips are just a few things you can do to practice outdoor exercise safety. As usual, if you or a loved one have questions about your case after being hurt while riding a bicycle or as a pedestrian in an auto accident, the Kansas personal injury attorneys at Patterson Legal Group can help. Our attorneys have years of expertise negotiating with auto insurance companies and have the skills to obtain the best possible settlements for our clients.
Patterson Legal Group is available to serve clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can call us (888) 687-2400, connect with a LiveChat representative, or complete our secure contact form for a free consultation. Remember that our team operates on a “no win, no fee” basis and winning your case is our top goal.