Warm weather and long days make spring and summer the perfect time to get active outdoors. As with any new venture, there are a number of safety precautions that should be addressed before heading outdoors to exercise — especially for those with diabetes.
Here are safety tips to consider before getting active outdoors:
Medical alert bracelet. For those with diabetes, medication allergies or other medical conditions, having a bracelet or necklace with that information can be critical in emergency situations. Many online retailers sell medical alert jewelry that can be customized to your specific condition.
ID and contact information. Whenever you leave your house, remember to carry some form of identification along with emergency contact information. That way in case of an accident, responders will know who you are and who to contact.
Fruit, juice, or candy. It’s important for those with diabetes to carry a small snack with them while exercising in case their blood sugar gets low — especially if you’re going for a longer walk and will be away for an extended period.
Glucose monitor and medication. Those with diabetes should speak with their doctor before starting a new exercise routine. For some, it may be important to check their blood sugar numbers before, during, or after exercise. Remember to take your glucose monitor and any medication you might need with you.
Proper footwear. Be kind to your feet when you go outside by investing in proper footwear. There are certain shoes made for running and walking, and owning the correct pair will help keep your feet healthy and happy.
Stay in public places or go with a group. Avoid going outdoors alone if possible, and steer clear of areas where there are not a lot of people. Exercising in groups is safer and more motivating if you have others encouraging and counting on you.
Take a cell phone. If you’re going outdoors, it’s important to have a cell phone available to call for help if you get lost or have an accident. Be sure to program your emergency contact numbers into the phone before you leave.
Stay visible. Avoid walking late at night or early in the morning when the sun isn't out. Wear bright reflective clothing and always walk on the sidewalk if possible.
Leave the headphones at home. It’s tempting to tune out the world and listen to music while outdoors, but it can be dangerous. Loud music may block out approaching vehicles and other hazards. If you must wear headphones, try wearing an ear bud in just one ear, and keep the music turned low so you can hear your surroundings.
It doesn’t matter if you’re walking, running, hiking, or biking - exercising outdoors will help you shed those winter pounds and improve your mood. Just remember to take safety precautions before heading out and enjoying the warm weather.