Winter Safety

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By Kelly Mitchell

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 03: Runners make their way around the 13km course during Nike She Runs The Night at Centennial Park on May 3, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Even though winter will give way to spring on March 20, daylight is still shorter and the weather still cold. It’s dark when we drive to work and when we are on the commute home. Those of us who work out in the mornings or evenings are forced to be outside in the dark. This does not mean we have to stop exercising.

Exercising outside is a great way to get in shape, breathe fresh air and cut the gym costs. Here are some ways to stay safe, while still working toward our goals.

Carry a Road ID for personal information.

Road IDs are great for carrying important information around with you. They are rubber bracelets that contain information that would be important if something were to happen to you. The bracelet will have your name, address, emergency contact phone numbers, blood type, any medical precautions and more. It could save your life. Also, just carrying an ID is a great way to stay safe.

Don’t carry actual money.

Credit cards are convenient to carry with you in case of emergencies. This is an easy item to bring along to purchase food and water if needed.

Accessorize for visibility.

There are many great products available, including different flashlights, headlamps and highlighter vests, to help you stay visible to other people and cars. Headlamps are great, so you can see where you are running and what’s around you.

Travel in groups.

Local running and exercise groups meet throughout Prince William County. Meet up and keep each other accountable while staying safe. Others will know where you are, what you’re wearing and how to find you.

Don’t wear headphones.

This is a big one. You don’t want to be in a situation of not hearing someone behind you or a car coming because you had to have your music. It’s already dark out, so you need to be aware of your surroundings.

These are my top late winter must-haves for safety. Keep yourself safe, and you can exercise all year instead of hibernating through the colder months!

Kelly Mitchell is a marathon runner and blogger at milesto-go.org. She loves volunteering, fundraising and race directing for charitable organizations.

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