Guest Author - Elizabeth Brennan
Walking comes so naturally to us that we sometimes do not think that there are safety considerations attached to it. While it is a natural activity we can over time develop bad habits. There are many mistakes we can make when we are walking in our gait, posture etc so before you start check out this article on walking mistakes . Here are some suggestions to help you walk safely and consequently enjoy your walking more.
1. Be appropriately dressed for the weather. Walking in warm weather or cold weather need completely different clothing. Know the vagaries of climate in your walking area and try and be prepared for unexpected changes of temperature or conditions such as rain.
2. Wear appropriate footwear for the terrain. Walking shoes should always have good cleated soles to give a grip in case of slipping. If walking in snow or ice use ice grips over your shoes.
3. If you are walking alone keep to well frequented routes. Keep your cell phone, fully charged with you.
4. Many of us like to listen to music as we walk. However do not allow the music to distract you as you walk. If you are in traffic or on a busy road only use one ear phone. That way you can also hear the external sounds around you and be alert.
5. If you are walking on a roadway without a footpath that also allows vehicular traffic walk towards the traffic. If you do this you can see traffic approaching and take appropriate action if necessary.
6. Always use a high visibility vest if you walk early morning or at dusk. In fact wearing a high visibility vest every time you go walking is a good habit to get into.
7. If you walk with your dog always keep him on a lead. Sometimes pet owners are tempted to allow them to go free for a short time. This could cause an accident, frighten a child or adult unnecessarily or result in your dog biting or mauling another person with disastrous consequences.
8. If you like hill walking and walk alone be sure to tell someone where you are going and at what time you expect to return. Have good maps with you and know what kind of weather is forecast before you set out. If hill walking is your passion learn to use a compass. That way you will never get lost.
9. Carry some form of identity with you. You can photocopy your passport or driving licence and add any special medical requirements such as blood group, allergies etc. Keep it all in a small plastic bag and bring it with you when you walk.
10. There is safety in numbers so when you can, walk with a friend or a group.
Taking some or all of the above basic precautions means that you can walk in comfort and security. It only takes a little pre- planning and the effort is well worth it.
Enjoy your walk and keep safe!