Get exercise walking, but get it safely

Walkingwalk-safe is one of the easiest ways to get a good cardio workout, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the safest.

Threats come in all forms, including being accosted or getting dehydrated from the summer sun.

Keep yourself safe while walking with these four tips:

1. Carry a personal alarm 

A personal alarm will help alert others that you need help in the event that you are aggressively approached or attacked by someone, or if you experience medical complications and need assistance. You can buy a keychain alarm, which will make a piercing alert noise and attract attention. You can also download an app to press to alert authorities.

2. Carry personal defense

Personal defense items come in all shapes and forms, and it’s up to you to figure out what you’re most comfortable with. You may prefer a can a pepper spray that fits in the palm of your hand, or a Kubotan or taser. Find something that you’re comfortable with using and keep it accessible when you go for your walks.

3. Start slow and stay hydrated

Keep your physical limits in mind when you head out walking. If you’re just starting out, you’re going to want to avoid overdoing it and risking injury. Start slow and increase your distance or speed as you learn what your personal limits are. Keep water with you to help you stay hydrated, especially as the summer heat picks up. Consult your physician before starting a new exercise routine.

4. Plan ahead

Take time to look into the area that you’re going to be walking in. Search the internet to see what safety issues may be common in a particular area, and adjust your route accordingly. Check the weather for the temperature and any warnings, as well.

As with starting any workout plan, you may wish to consult your medical professional before you start walking.