Thinking of participating in a walk or run for a charity? Charities like the National Diabetes Association and Susan B. Komen Foundation regularly hold events like the "Step Out For Diabetes Walk" and the "Race for the Cure" that thousands attend annually. This week, Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell gives advice for staying safe while participating in these fun opportunities to help a good cause.
Long-distance races and walks have increasingly become a popular way for charities to raise money and awareness for their causes. These events can be a great opportunity for families and individuals to connect with the needs of their community.
However, as with any physical activity, certain procedures should be followed to stay safe.
: Before the event, find out what kind of terrain you will be walking or running on. Different types of shoes are available for streets, hills and other types of ground.
: It is important that drivers not participating in the event can see you. For ultimate visibility, choose neon colors during daytime events and reflective materials for events occurring at dusk and at night. If an event-issued t-shirt does is not optimized for visibility, consider adding neon and reflective accessories or tape so that drivers will see you.
: While participating in a walk for a foundation, it is important that you don't become a victim yourself. Protect yourself by wearing sunscreen – even in cloudy weather. The rainfall we've had on the South Plains has also brought on more mosquitos, which may potentially carry the West Nile Virus. Find an insect repellent containing DEET. These products must be re-applied regularly to maintain their effectiveness, so read the instructions for application before the event.
: Running or even walking a long distance takes careful training and preparation. Consult a doctor for advice on participating in an upcoming walk or race. Start an exercise regimen plenty of time before the event to slowly acclimate yourself to longer distances.