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9 Tips for Running When You Live in a Major City

Living in a big city means you have a lot of space for urban running. Between city parks, sidewalks, boardwalks, and trails, you’ll find all sorts of wonderful places to go for your daily run.

But, city running can be a bit more dangerous than running in rural or mountain areas. With all the traffic, pedestrians, and city street layouts, you’ve got to learn the tricks of city running. Below, we’ve got a few of the best tips to help you do it right:

Be Visible

Wear brightly colored clothing that is immediately visible to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. If you’re going to be running before dawn or after sunset, it’s important that your clothing has reflective elements that make you visible even in the dark.

Find Pedestrian-Friendly Areas

Try to plan your running routes around local parks or boardwalks, anywhere that there is more pedestrian than vehicle traffic. Look for areas that are pedestrian-friendly.

Get the Right Shoes

Running on asphalt puts a lot more wear and tear on your joints than running on dirt or grass. That means you need to find a good pair of running shoes that is designed with added cushioning. More cushioning means better impact-reduction when you run.

Watch for Danger Spots

This means areas of town that don’t have ample sidewalks, or where there are few crosswalks to allow you to safely cross the road. And, of course, this also includes the sketchier parts of your city, places where you could be assaulted, anywhere with low population and visibility.

Stay Away From Busy Roads

Busy roads aren’t just more dangerous (thanks to more vehicles), but they’re also more likely to cause breathing problems. All that vehicle exhaust can be terrible for your lungs, not to mention stop you from getting enough oxygen to run comfortably. For this reason, try to find places where there are fewer cars on the road.

Keep your eyes on the road

There may be potholes, speed bumps, cracks in the sidewalk, or construction barricades, not to mention all the bikes, cars, and people you encounter on the road. Keep your eyes focused on the road ahead of you and watch for any hazards.

Get out of Town

At least once every week or two, go for a run outside of your city, someplace that has clean air free of vehicle exhaust. Your lungs will thank you! And, if you can hit up some mountain or forest trails with dirt and grass, you’ll give your knees a break from all that hard pavement.

Pack Smart

Always have these essential items on you: ID, medical information (if needed), a few dollars for a bus or train ride in case of emergency (stick it in your shoe), water, something to defend yourself with (knife, key, etc.).

Turn Down the Music

If you’re blasting your music too loud, you won’t be able to hear the sound of approaching vehicles, construction workers’ instructions, or cyclist or pedestrian voices. Make sure to turn down the music so you can hear what’s going on around you!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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