Recommendations for staying safe and getting the most of your workout when you're on the run in the city.
- Run on grass or dirt trails in the city's parks whenever possible. These surfaces put the least strain on your joints. But stay clear of uneven terrain. Rocks, holes, tree roots, and other obstacles increase the risk of falls and ankle sprains.
- Don't stop. To keep your heart rate up, try not to pause at red lights. Instead, turn the corner and head back down the block.
- Jog against traffic so you can see the cars headed toward you. Make sure to wear reflective gear after the sun goes down.
- Avoid highly congested streets. You'll breathe in too much car exhaust. When possible, run first thing in the morning or after evening rush hour when the air is clear and the traffic is less heavy.
Source: Jennifer Solomon, MD, a physiatrist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, August 2006.