Safety Tips for the Winter Workout Season

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by Maureen Chapdelaine

Cooler days call for a change in wardrobe, especially if you're planning on taking your workout outside. With fewer hours of daylight and mixed weather conditions, this change in season is the perfect time to think about how to keep safe during outdoor activities. Do you run, jog, walk or ride a bike? Here are some safety tips to review before heading out the door.

Watch your footing. Early morning or evening workouts can cause injuries due to poor visibility. Stepping off uneven surfaces, slipping on ice or twisting an ankle on fallen branches is all too common. If unable to run in a well-lit area, consider purchasing a clip-on safety light. They are inexpensive and provide a great light source up to a mile away. The clip is adjustable, allowing you to aim the light where you need it. Small flashlights attached to a headband, miner style, are also easy to wear and offer great visibility.

Wear reflective gear. Help those around you by making yourself as easy to see as possible. Most workout gear is available with reflective striping or panels. From reflective bike helmets, running shoes and vests to reflective Velcro bands that can attach to ankles and arms, there are a number of accessories that offer protection against approaching traffic.

Consider your personal safety. For safety's sake, run in familiar, and preferably populated areas. When this is not possible, be sure to run with a friend. When running on roads, run single file. Make it your responsibility to watch out for cars. Never assume a driver can see you. When exercising in a wooded area, bring a companion and self-defense spray for added protection.