6 Tips To Stay Safe When Exercising Alone

A key aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is incorporating regular physical activity and exercise, especially as we age. While trying to establish a consistent exercise routine, it may not always be feasible to find a reliable workout partner or attend group fitness classes. Consequently, exercising alone often feels like a more convenient option. However, when working out alone, it is particularly important to adopt a set of additional safety measures. In this post, we will share several helpful safety tips tailored specifically for individuals who choose to exercise independently. 

Tips to Safely Exercise Alone!

  1. Don't Wear Headphones or Earbuds

    There's a lot to love about exercising alone. You can go at your own pace, listen to music or audiobooks without disturbing others, and take in the scenery without having to make small talk. But there are also some dangers to exercising alone, regardless of your age. One of the most important safety tips for exercising alone is not to wear headphones or earbuds.

    Wearing headphones or earbuds can be dangerous because you're not paying as close attention to your surroundings. For example, if you're walking or running on a busy street, you might not hear a car coming up behind you. Or, if you're hiking in the woods, you might not hear an animal approaching. Therefore, it's important to always be aware of your surroundings when exercising, which means taking off your headphones.

    As an alternative, consider these "open-ear headphones", which help keep you aware of your surroundings while being able to hear your favorite music. 
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  2. Bring A Fully Charged Phone

    If you're exercising alone, it's always a good idea to bring a fully charged phone with you. That way, if anything happens, you can easily call for help. Most smartphones also have GPS location services pre-installed, so your family and friends can easily track your location and find you in an emergency.

  3. Work Out During Daylight Hours

    One of the best safety tips for older people exercising alone is to work out during daylight hours. This will help you stay visible and avoid any potential hazards. If you can't get outside during the day, try to find a well-lit indoor space to exercise. And be sure to let someone know when you're going out for a workout so they can check in on you.

  4. Let Someone Know Where You Are Going to Be

    If you are going to be exercising alone, it is important to let someone else know where you will be and when you expect to return. This way, if something happens and you don't come back when you said you would, someone will know to come looking for you. It is also a good idea to carry a cell phone with you so that you can call for help if needed.

  5. Choose A Public Spot Where Other People Are

    When you're exercising alone, it's important to choose a public spot where other people are. This will help you stay safe in case of an emergency.

    Some good places to exercise alone include:

    • Your local park

    • Gym/fitness center

    • Public swimming pool

    • A safe neighborhood street

    • A public track or trail

  6. Know Your Limits and Choose Safe Exercises

    Older people often want to stay active and exercise to maintain their health and independence. However, it's important to know your limits and choose safe exercises when working out alone.

    Start by talking to your doctor about what types of exercise are safe for you. If you have any chronic health conditions, there may be certain activities that you should avoid. Then, once you have the green light from your doctor, it's time to get moving!

    There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing exercises:

    • Choose exercises that are low impact. Impactful activities like running or jumping can put too much stress on your joints and muscles. Swimming, walking, and biking are all great options. Click here to read about more low-impact exercises

    • Don't push yourself too hard. You should feel challenged by your workout, but it shouldn't be so difficult that you can't complete it. If you find yourself getting too winded or feeling pain, stop and take a break.

    • Pay attention to your form. Proper form is important for all exercises, especially when lifting weights. Make sure you have good posture and focus on using the right muscles. If you're not sure how to do an exercise correctly, ask a personal trainer or another fitness professional for help.

    • Stay hydrated. Dehydration can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded, which can lead to falls. So drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.

    • Know your limits and listen to your body. If something doesn't feel right, stop doing it. Don't try to push through the pain.

    • Choose exercises that you enjoy. If you don't like the activity, you're not likely to stick with it. Find something you look forward to doing so that you'll be more likely to stick with it in the long run.

    • Consider working with a personal trainer. A certified personal trainer can design a safe and effective workout program specifically for you. They can also help you with your form and offer motivation and support.

    • If you want to work out at home, there are plenty of online resources that can help you get started, including videos and apps. Just be sure to choose exercises appropriate for your fitness level and health conditions.

If you are an older adult and live alone, don't let that stop you from being physically active! Just be sure to take extra safety precautions, like letting someone know where you'll be and when you expect to return. And always bring a fully charged cell phone with you in case of an emergency. Most importantly, choose exercises that are safe for you and that you enjoy. That way, you're more likely to stick with it and reap the many benefits of exercise.

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