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Tips on Exercise Safety in Your Neighborhood

Stay safe outside while getting in shape

By NIH/National Institute on Aging

You've made a plan to be more active, and you're ready to go outside and get started. But before you do, make sure that you can exercise safely in your neighborhood. Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe as you get moving.

close up of light and reflectors on bicycle
Credit: Hemera | Thinkstock

Think ahead about safety.

  • Take an ID and cell phone with you, but stay alert by not talking on the phone as you walk.
  • Let others know where you’re going and when you plan to be back.
  • Stick to well-lit places with other people around.
  • Take a flashlight and be sure you have reflective material on your jacket or walking shoes if you walk in the early morning or evening.
  • Put lights on the front and back of your bike.

Walk safely in rural areas.

  • Be sure drivers can see you.
  • Always walk facing oncoming traffic.
  • Look for a smooth, stable surface alongside the road.
  • If the road has guardrails, see if there’s a good walking space behind the barrier.

If you don't feel safe exercising outdoors, be active inside.

  • Find local stores or malls large enough for you to walk around.
  • Walk up and down your stairs a few times in a row. Be sure the stairwell is well lit and has railings for safety.
  • At home, do the strength, balance, and flexibility exercises in Exercise and Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging.
  • Work out with an exercise DVD such as the Go4Life DVD.

Quick Tip

Be alert to outdoor safety and enjoy your exercise!

NIH/National Institute on Aging
By NIH/National Institute on Aging 
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