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Tips For Exercising in the Woods

Now that the weather is warming up, I'm sure many of you are excited to get back outside with your workouts. Walking, jogging, and riding your bike in the woods can be both physically challenging and emotionally releasing at the same time, so it's a favorite exercise spot for many. There are only a few things you need to consider when cruising along woodland trails.

  • Check your equipment before heading out. Make sure your laces are tied tight so they won't come undone or get caught on an errant stick or aggressive root. If you're biking, check your tire pressure, gears, and brakes.
  • If you can, exercise with a buddy. A dog is great, but a human is even better because unless you're exercising with Lassie, if you happen to trip and get hurt, you'll need your friend to go get help.

To see the other tips,


  • Keep a cell phone on you for emergencies. Also bring along an ID that has your name, address, and the phone number of an emergency contact.
  • Forget about listening to music while in the woods. You want to be extra alert to sounds around you so you can hear a strange dog or another person if they're coming close. Also, the peaceful sound of the birds and rustling leaves is really calming.
  • If the grass or shrubs are high, wear long pants and taller socks so that your skin is protected from ticks. Gaiters may be a good idea, especially if the ground is muddy or full of puddles.
  • Carry mace with you in case you're faced with a wild animal that attacks you. I know this may seem a little overkill, but depending on where you live, a bear, fox, wild dog, or mountain lion could be lurking anywhere.


Join The Conversation
Jess8902 Jess8902 8 years
Just another reason I'm grateful for my own 8 acres of woods. I never have to worry about strangers. The only wild animal i've ever encountered besides squirrels and birds was a fox and he was pissed i'd come across him and ran away. We have coyotes around but they don't come out in the day too often.
crayolasky crayolasky 8 years
There is a very popular trail near me (a lot of people walk/run but most bike) that is in the woods, but I refuse to go running there. There have been too many murders, kidnappings, and women being raped, especially recently. People really have to be careful. I wouldn't even go with a friend or my boyfriend, you just never know what could happen.
kia kia 8 years
I would think the mace would be more for wild humans than animals based on a probability game. When I work in wild places I am always more nervous about humans than animals.
Feesje Feesje 8 years
Having a small first-aid kit with you can also do wonders!
allthingsgrow allthingsgrow 8 years
in my neighborhood, a woman recently got raped for walking on a trail very early in the morning and was discovered 45 minutes after the fact. DEFINITELY go with a friend, and if a guy approaches you (this guy got her to stop by asking her for a cigarette) keep a safe distance away. scary things in the woods aren't just ticks and wild animals.
syako syako 8 years
I totally agree with the no-headphones one. I feel really sad for maced wild animals. :(
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
All very good tips. I love going for a run or walk on the trails, so relaxing! I sometimes go alone, but I always let a friend know or something and keep my phone with me, just in case.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
i agree with going with a friend, just in case.
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