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Drew: Returning Home Safely After Daily Walk or Jog

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

Exercise has multiple benefits to one’s mental and physical health. Millions of Americans get their daily exercise by either walking or jogging. Major insurance companies have begun placing emphasis on preventive healthcare which includes regularly exercising, especially for their aging customers. Many have even started offering various types of rewards for customers with a regular exercise routine.

 Making it home safely after a vigorous daily walk or jog was the focus in last week’s safety article and continues this week. There are some key safety tips walkers and joggers should follow to help ensure their safe return home each day.

Walk Defensively – Do not get into any altercation with the driver. Do not challenge a vehicle or ever assume the driver knows when you have the right of way. The size of a car or truck greatly outweighs your rights as a pedestrian.

Always Carry Identification – It is important to adhere to a popular credit card company’s commercial phrase “Never leave home without it.” You should carry your personal ID along with important medical information.

Do Not Wear Lots of Jewelry or Carry Cash – Avoid wearing any types of expensive or flashy jewelry or a great deal of noticeable cash.

Keep your Dog on a Short Leash – If you walk with your dog, it is best to keep your dog on a short leash. This prevents your dog from darting out unexpectedly into traffic or trip a runner.

Beware of Strangers – You would be surprised to know how many individuals watch you when you are jogging or walking. Individuals that see you, but you never see them. It is unfortunate to even write about this topic but yes, there is always a possibility that you may draw unwanted attention from the criminal element. Be prepared. Walk in areas that have other walkers, joggers, foot traffic, and cars (yes, cars). Acting alert and aware can convince a bad guy that they should move on. For added peace of mind, carry pepper spray or other legal protection devices.

Do Not Walk Alone at Night – It is best that you do not walk alone, if possible, at night. Working a full-time job, then getting home after the sun sets is very common, especially in the winter. If you must walk at night, please take the following precautions:

  • Wear a Reflective Vest. Think about how many times you have driven at night only to see a pedestrian at the very last moment. Put yourself in the driver’s seat. What will make it easier for you to be seen?
  • Carry and use a flashlight. This increases your visibility to the driver.

Walking and jogging are great ways to get in shape and stay in shape, but Keeping an Eye on Safety while engaging in either of these fitness activities is also important for one’s health.