By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Kelly Farris,  ACSM CPT

Park safety
By Kelly Farris, 
ACSM CPTOwner of Ladies Workout Snellville

I LOVE to run at my local park! We are lucky to have such an amazing parks system in Gwinnett and throughout the state. We should all be out taking advantage of them at every opportunity. 

Spring is a great time to start an exercise program! As with any physical endeavor, exercising outside at the park has safety considerations.

For example:
1. Walking or running with hand weights  - Can cause wrist, elbow & potential shoulder overuse injuries. In addition, the benefit of the extra weight (meaning the heavier you are the more calories you can burn) is lost due to the swinging motion of momentum used while carrying the weight.

2. Wearing plastic or rubber jog suits to keep the sweat in - While some large box retail stores still sell these products, they are useless. The water weight you lose will be regained as soon as you start drinking. Your body needs to breathe and cool off. So go ahead and sweat and wear sweat wicking clothing.

3. Running on pavement barefoot - The natives that inspired this fairly recent phenomena grew up not wearing shoes and do not run on pavement. You are setting yourself up for discomfort and injury. Even minimalist running shoe companies suggest you slowly build up to minimalist shoes.

4. Bike safety - Helmets are inexpensive and it is GA law for kids under 13 to wear a helmet while biking. Flip flops are not safe biking footwear. Proper bike etiquette is to announce you are passing someone on the left by saying “Biker on the left.”

5. Dogs in the park - Keep the long extension leashes at home. Keeping furry friends on a shorter leash will prevent them from accidentally getting run over by a biker or tripping an unsuspecting runner. A shorter leash keeps everyone safe.

Please use good sense and get out there to Gwinnett County’s fabulous parks!

Kelly Farris is the owner of Ladies Workout Snellville, Time4Results Personal Training and the President of KLF Fitness.

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