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Working Out Outdoors: How to Stay Safe February 8, 2018

North Bethesda, North Bethesda
Working Out Outdoors: How to Stay Safe, North Bethesda, Maryland

Do you exercise outdoors? Learn how to be safe during your workouts.

I am excited to today to bring you a guest blog from Henry Moore of FitWellTraveler.com.  As a lover of travel, he does what he can to help others find ways to get out and explore the world.


Exercising outside can be a lot of fun, especially when you combine a workout with something you enjoy doing, such as skiing or bicycling. There are several things you need to consider when exercising outdoors, however, and your safety should be the top priority. Besides the danger of potential injury, there are also outside sources to think about, such as the heat, wild animals, and other people.

Worst-case scenarios include:

  • Getting lost
  • Suffering from heat exhaustion
  • Falling or suffering from an injury
  • Being mugged
  • Encountering a dangerous wild animal
  • Having physical issues, such as a drop in blood sugar or dehydration

It’s not easy to prepare for everything that could happen, so it’s important to do some research before heading outside so you won’t be caught off guard. Look online to see what the weather will be like during your workout, and check to see what sort of animals live nearby. Get a feel for what sort of traffic the area attracts and when the busiest times of day are; for instance, if you’re going to the beach for a run, you might want to go earlier in the morning before a lot of people show up and create obstacles in the sand.

Read on for tips on how to get started.

Do some research

Get knowledgeable about the area you’re going to be exercising in. Know what the terrain is like, what sort of animals live there and whether they’re tolerant of people, and how far away it is from the nearest house, gas station, or shopping center. If you’re going hiking, for instance, you need to know how to get help should an emergency occur, and how far you’ll need to walk to get there.

Even if you’re just going to be sticking close to home, it’s a good idea to know as much as possible about the animals that live in your area and what they typically do during the season you’re in. For instance, some creatures become aggressive during mating season or when they’ve just had babies or laid eggs. Take this into account and remember not to provoke any wild animals if you come across one.

For more tips on how to get to know the animals in your area, check out this handy guide by Redfin.

Prepare your body

No matter what type of activity you’ll be engaging in, it’s important to prepare your body by fueling up, getting hydrated, and making sure you have the right precautions as far as clothing and protective gear. Whole grains, peanut butter, fruit, dried fruit, nuts, and granola are great choices before you head out, as well as for snacks to bring if you’re going to be outside for a while. Remember to bring lots of water along, especially if you’re going on a prolonged bike trip or are planning to hike a long distance. Make sure you get plenty of rest the night before.

Sunblock and a hat to protect your face are good ideas, too. Wear light, layered clothing that can either keep you warm or can be taken off depending on the weather.

Know your way

Mark your route and know your surroundings well before beginning your routine. Whether you’re running, biking, hiking, or just taking a long walk, it’s imperative to figure out the logistics ahead of time. Bring your phone, and if you’re unfamiliar with the area, bring a map and a compass.

Depending on the area and how comfortable you are with it, you might consider leaving the headphones at home. Music is a great way to get pumped up for a workout, but it’s more important to know your surroundings and be aware of everything that’s going on for safety’s sake.

Knowing how to stay safe while you’re exercising outdoors will give you confidence and peace of mind, so be prepared before starting any new regimen. Pay attention to your body’s cues and allow yourself to rest when you need to, especially if you feel you’re getting overheated. Following these tips can help you have a safe--and fun--workout no matter where you are.

To learn how Fitness for Health can help you improve your exercise regimen and reach your full potential by utilizing state-of-the-art fitness technology, visit www.FitnessForHealth.org or call 301-231-7138.

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