Getting outside is a great thing. After being cooped up inside working all day, you just want to get out for a breath of fresh air. But don’t settle for just a drink on the porch. While it’s relaxing, you’re not making the most of the great outdoors. To truly enjoy the outdoors, you should go out for a run or walk.
Going for a walk or run outdoors is especially great for your health. Whether helping you shed extra weight, improve your heart health or relieve stress, walking and running outdoors can do a lot for your overall well-being.
But is it safe to run or walk outdoors? It can be, but it does pose its own health risks. If you have a pre-existing health condition like diabetes or heart disease, long periods of running and walking could lead to medical emergencies. But even if you’re as fit as a fiddle, outdoor exercise could pose some health risks.
You can protect yourself with just a little preparation. From bringing along hydration to carrying a headlamp, you can stay safe while exercising outside. But there’s an easier way to stay safe for your run outdoors: wearing a medical alert bracelet.
What makes medical ID bracelets so helpful? It’s worth knowing so you can protect yourself prior to heading outside for your next walk or run.
The most important thing you can do while exercising is prioritize your safety. Remember that your safety always comes first. No matter how hyped you are to go out for a workout, you need to take necessary precautions to ensure you remain safe. You should never take risks, especially if you’re heading out on nearby trails.
But what dangers do you need to worry about?
The dangers that come with exercising outdoors involve physical and internal health. There are a few particular things you need to worry about:
How do these break down?
Depending on where you live, wildlife might be cause for concern. Maybe it’s a mountain lion, a bear or a rattlesnake. Whatever it is, you need to be aware of the wildlife around you. While they’re bound to be as scared of you as you are of them, you never know when a hungry animal will become interested in you.
Vehicles and other people provide concern to both careless and intended actions. If you’re out walking or running on the roads, you need to keep your eyes and ears open for surrounding vehicles. People are texting and driving more and more — or recording TikTok videos while driving — and that carelessness can lead to serious accidents. Moreover, while we should think highly of strangers in our lives, we also need to be wary and listen to our instincts. If a stranger is giving you a bad feeling, following you on your walk, it might be cause for concern.
Weather and obstacles pose other dangers, as they are natural elements out of our control. A sudden downpour can leave you soaking wet, which can lead to medical concerns if you’re far from your vehicle and dry clothing. Moreover, tripping over a rock or root can lead to serious medical worries, as it could result in a broken arm, dislocated shoulder, sprained ankle or broken leg.
Lastly, medical conditions pose a serious risk. If you have a medical condition like diabetes, heart disease, seizures, asthma, high blood pressure or early signs of dementia, you could be putting yourself at risk by running or walking outdoors. You never know when symptoms of your disease will show up, and you never want to be without help.
When it comes to injuries and medical emergencies, ID bracelets are your best friend. Medical alert bracelets prepare and protect you by helping you carry your relevant medical information with you everywhere you go. Worn right around the wrist, they allow you to bring your personal info with you on every run, walk and hike.
Deep in the woods? It’s there on your wrist.
Out on the road? It’s right on your wrist.
Walking on a nearby trail? You can carry it right around your neck with our dog tag ID, too.
In the event of an accident, injury, attack or medical emergency, your bracelet will help others identify you, especially if you are in a state where you cannot respond to questioning.
Let’s consider a few scenarios:
You’re out on a walk. You reach an intersection and decide to cross. You have the signal and, thus, the right of way. But a car runs a red light. You get hit. You’re knocked unconscious in the accident. You can’t tell EMTs and police your personal information; however, they can use your medical alert bracelet to identify your body. Moreover, they can use your ID tag to inform themselves of any relevant medical information — for instance, that you’re allergic to latex.
Another instance includes you going for a trail run. It’s a populated trail, so you feel safe. However, you haven’t eaten enough today. You were in a rush, diabetes be damned. You begin feeling lightheaded. Then *black*. You don’t remember anything, but you’re found unconscious by a group of millennial hikers. You’re not responding and you don’t look good. With no medical information, they can only call emergency services and tell them, “We found them unconscious and they look bad.” But with a medical alert bracelet, they can tell emergency services that you have diabetes. Now, EMTs can act accordingly when they arrive, knowing you have diabetes.
One major benefit of medical ID bracelets is that they come in numerous styles. Whether it’s a medical dog tag ID or a traditional ROAD iD bracelet, you can carry your medical information with you at all times. Have an Apple Watch? No worries! You can get an Apple Watch medical alert to have your medical alert bracelet at the ready.
But what should you have engraved on your medical ID? The basics should involve all of your personal information, including:
You want to make sure that someone knows all they need to know in the event of an emergency. They should be able to identify you, contact someone close to you and act accordingly based on your medical history.
Personal safety doesn’t stop at wearing a medical alert bracelet, though. While it’s essential you wear one, you should follow these other steps to ensure you remain safe while hiking and running outdoors.
First and foremost, you need to know where you plan on going. What’s the trail you’re taking? How populated is it? Does it have a history of danger? Is the trail in good condition? Is the nearby traffic aggressive throughout the day?
You need to do your research before — both to ensure you know where you’re going and so that you don’t get lost along the way. While you might not mind going for a wandering walk, it could prove dangerous on an especially hot day where you’re without water.
You also need to remain aware of what the weather will be like while you plan on being outside. Forecast of heavy downpours? Wear a rain jacket and consider bringing an umbrella for extra protection. Signs of lightning and thunderstorms to come? Maybe leave your workout for another time. Freezing temperatures and snowfall? Wear extra layers, an insulated jacket and a beanie and gloves.
Along with knowing where you’re going, you should also inform others of where you’ll be. This is a great way to keep someone in your corner, where they can check in on you in case they haven’t heard from you by a specific time.
A great way to cover this while out walking, hiking on trails or in the mountains is to wear a GPS watch. GPS watches can be used to allow others to track your location. This is a great way to allow family and friends to track your location throughout the day, ensuring you’re safe and moving on schedule.
Don’t travel without a form of connection to the rest of the world. In the event of an accident, you should have a tool nearby that allows you to call for help – rather than waiting for a stranger to find you and do the same. Your phone is your best option. Thankfully, service is greater in most areas nowadays, so you should be able to call for help if you’re ever in need, such as feeling especially dehydrated or spraining an ankle.
A big mistake many people make, especially in the summertime, is to not hydrate enough before and during exercise. You should always bring a bottle of water with you, even if you plan on going for a short walk or run — especially when the weather ishot.
Exercising in the heat is going to cause you to sweat, and enough sweating and exertion will eventually lead to dehydration, which could even lead to heat stroke and worse. That’s why it’s important you know how to hydrate. There are many handheld water bottles available on the market, all of which make it easy to stay hydrated while exercising.
This is an essential for anyone heading out on the trails. It’s very easy to take a wrong turn while transitioning from one trail to another. While you might catch it eventually, you might catch it too late. Quite literally, too. Suddenly, you don’t know where you are and the sun is going down.
Don’t take your chances with the dark. The right flashlight or headlamp can provide you with light when you need it most.
It’s common for runners and walkers to listen to music. Either you’ve done it or you’ve seen someone out moving around, unaware of their surroundings while wearing their airpods. Don’t take your chances. It’s safer to immerse yourself in your environment. It will help you remain mindful of mountain bikers, oncoming cars, strangers and wild animals.
If you have a lot to carry, you should do so comfortably. The easiest way to carry some food, an extra jacket, a headlamp and a water bottle is a running backpack. Lightweight and form-fitting, running packs move with you, allowing you to exercise with ease, all while carrying your essentials.
Planning on spending a longer day outside? You should opt for hiking backpacks, which tend to have a greater carrying capacity than running packs. Some are reinforced to even provide better back support, making for comfortable hikes and walks.
Don’t take any risks this summer. Put on your Apple Watch medical alert band prior to heading out for your outdoors run or walk. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to bring water, your phone and directions. Staying safe is all about preparation. With a little forethought, you can protect yourself while getting in some outdoor exercise.