senior out for a walk

How to Make Walking Outdoors Safer

Walking outdoors is good for you. Different terrain along with different slopes and inclines makes walking outdoors beneficial for people of all ages. But when walking outdoors, there’s a greater risk of danger and potential falls.

If you want to learn how to make walking outdoors safer, you can use the following tips.

Avoiding Walking in Bad Weather Conditions

Rain and snow make walking a hazard. If you plan on taking a walk outside, it’s best to do so when the weather conditions are ideal. You don’t want to slip and fall when you’re walking outside.

Watch weather reports and avoid any weather that may make it difficult to walk, including high wind conditions.

Wear the Right Shoes

Dress shoes and shoes that don’t have nonskid soles are not the right shoes. You need to wear shoes that are designed for walking. The ideal shoes will provide support for the ankle, and there should also be non-skid material to ensure a person doesn’t slip and fall.

If your shoes have worn soles, it’s time to replace the shoes.

Walking shoes are available at most shoe outlets with many different appropriate options to choose from. Walking shoes allow you to traverse a variety of terrain and offer the strong, nonskid soles that you need to walk confidently.

Examine Your Walking Aids Often

Walking aids are very common, especially in older people. A walking aid can be anything, from a walker to crutches and a cane. Walking aids are rather maintenance-free, but they all contain grips that allow them to grip a surface confidently.

Worn grips make it much easier for a person to slip and fall, especially on a slippery surface, such as a tile floor.

I recommend examining your walking aid every few weeks and replacing grips as you see fit. The goal is to keep your grips in good condition at all times. Once you notice wear, replace it. A good grip is important to avoid potential slips and falls.

Limit Your Walking to Familiar Paths

Walking on different terrain is great, and this does allow you to support and maintain different muscles. But when it comes to paths that you don’t know, this can also spell danger. Tree roots, broken pavement and terrain that’s too sloppy may lead to an unexpected fall.

No one wants to fall because of walking on a new path.

Walk with friends or family when exploring a new space, and also don’t be afraid to take your time. If you see an obstacle in your way that may pose a risk of tripping you, avoid it. This means avoiding stepping over tree roots and possibly turning back.

Over 80% of all seniors that are admitted to the hospital for injuries are a result of unexpected falls.

Eat Beforehand and Bring Water with You

Dizzy spells and feeling weak when walking can happen to anyone. When the sun is beating down on you, it’s important that you have water with you to stay hydrated. As you sweat, your body loses more water.

Experts recommend making sure that you drink water before you begin your walk.

The added water will help you stay hydrated for longer. But you’ll also want to drink water during your walk as needed. When you’ve finished your walk, make sure to drink a glass of water to help replenish your body’s water lost during your outing.

You may be in need of water if you have the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Wear Visors When Waling

There’s no shame in wearing visors. If the sun gets in your eyes and you can’t see, you’re at a much higher risk of tripping and falling. Maintaining good visibility is a must for anyone that plans on walking on trails or around the neighborhood.

Visors allow you to remain protected from the harsh rays of the sun, and they also keep the sun out of your eyes as an added bonus.

Wear Sunscreen

The final tip is to wear some sunscreen when you’re outside. It’s not uncommon to spend an hour or more walking in the sun’s harmful rays. Even at parks, a lot of pedestrians will sit down for a 10 ? 20-minute break while the sun is beating down on them.

Sunscreen prevents potential burns and allows you to stay out in the sun for a much longer period of time. It will also reduce the risk of heat stroke or exhaustion.

About the author

Tim Brewer

Tim is a professional caregiver who has helped hundreds of seniors gain back their freedom and independence. He has been actively helping the senior community for 20+ years.

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