When Not to Go Running
While runners like to run in the same conditions, there are plenty of times when it is just not safe to run. Extreme runners might still try to brave some of the conditions that are listed below, but I personally recommend against it. You are running to stay in shape or to get in shape. This means you are doing it to be healthy, and anything you do that puts you in danger is not healthy. If you have an indoor treadmill, or access to one at a local gym, any of the conditions below are reason to put it to use.
It’s not just your safety you need to consider when these things occur, but also the safety of your family and those around you. Some conditions could be so bad that it could put you in someone else’s way and create problems for more than just yourself. You may not want to miss a day running, let alone a week, but if it means being safe rather than fit, then you need to find another way. Here are some examples of when it might not be a god idea to go running.
There are certain weather conditions that you need to consider before you start running. Paying attention to the weather is incremental in keeping safe. While a light rain is not a problem to run in (at least for some people), it can still pose a problem if the sun is not out. There is even less visibility with low light and the rain makes it worse. The harder the rain, the less likely drivers can see you, or other people on the sidewalk.
Fog is another reason you want to be careful running in. Stick to the sidewalks and don’t run in the street if you choose to run in the rain or fog. Drivers tend to have low visibility and it might not give them enough time to stop when they finally see you.
Heavy Winds could be a cause to not run, especially if the wind is so strong it can knock you off your feet. Be mindful of these times as it can be dangerous to run in heavy winds.
Extreme Heat or Cold
Having difficult weather is bad enough, but having extreme heat or cold is even worse. Summer time can be torture in certain parts of the world where the heat can reach triple digits. It’s best to make runs in this kind of weather in the early morning hours before the temperature is at its max. You could easily dehydrate and suffer from heat stroke from running when it is hottest out.
The opposite is true in the extreme cold. Runners tend to wear little clothing to free up their movement. Doing this outside in snowy weather or very cold weather can result in you getting sick, or worse. You can even suffer from frost bite in your fingers or toes. On either of these types of weather days you might want to keep your run to a treadmill or elliptical machine, or skip it altogether.
Anytime a runner has an injury, especially if it affects the feet, or legs, they should not be running. The injury could appear to be minor, or even feel minor but it can get worse if you continue to aggravate it. If you keep running while you are sore or injured, you could just prolong your body’s time of healing. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to stop running every time you get a hangnail or blister, but for sprains, bad cuts or bruises you need to consider whether it is worth the risk.
I fall into this and am one of the believers that if you work out and build up a sweat, you can help cure your illness such as the cold or flu. While it works a little, it can also make you worse. As your body heats up the illness can multiple and create more problems for you. A flu or cold could turn into bronchitis or pneumonia and put you in the hospital. While you might feel better after working out and trying to burn it out, you could also tire yourself out faster, and cause yourself to pass out. It’s best to be running when you are healthy, or at least have only minor symptoms.
Now if it is the beginning of the cold or flu and except for a runny nose and minor cough, you can still function normally, running could kick the bug out of you before it turns into something worse. Be sure you do it indoors so that nothing else can aggravate your symptoms though.
Pollution / Smog
There are some parts of the world that are filled with pollution and bad air. In Los Angeles California and parts of Orange County there are times of the year that they put out alerts because the air quality is bad. It can hurt to breathe the air, and more so when you are taking bigger breathes due to running. This pollution can hurt your breathing, making it feel like you are climbing a mountain.