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(DAY 377) The Dangers of Running or Cycling on Indian Roads

· 3 min read
Gaurav Parashar

When it comes to outdoor exercise, many of us tend to think of the road as a safe and comfortable place to run or cycle. However, the unfortunate reality is that road accidents can pose serious risks to those engaging in physical activity on Indian roads. While such accidents may be relatively rare, their impact can be devastating for individuals and their families.

Recent incidents, such as the deaths of Rajalakshmi Vijay and Avtar Singh Saini while running and cycling in Mumbai, as well as another cyclist in Gurgaon Shubhendu Chatterjee, serve as stark reminders of the dangers that lurk on our roads. While there may be various factors contributing to these accidents, the sobering truth remains that exercising on the road carries inherent risks that cannot be ignored.

As someone who has engaged in outdoor running in Gurgaon, near my own house, I understand the allure of hitting the pavement for a workout. However, after hearing about these tragic incidents, I can't help but feel a sense of unease. While running or cycling on the treadmill may lack the thrill of outdoor exercise, it certainly feels like a safer alternative in light of these unfortunate events.

That being said, it's important not to succumb to fear or paranoia. While we cannot eliminate all risks associated with outdoor exercise, we can take steps to minimize them. By being mindful of our surroundings, following safety guidelines, and wearing appropriate gear, we can greatly reduce the likelihood of accidents while running or cycling on the road.

Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Stay Visible: Wear bright, reflective clothing and use lights or reflective gear, especially when exercising during low-light conditions or at night.

  2. Follow Traffic Rules: Always run or cycle facing oncoming traffic and obey traffic signals and signs. Be predictable and alert to your surroundings.

  3. Use Sidewalks and Bike Lanes: Whenever possible, stick to designated pedestrian walkways and bike lanes to avoid sharing the road with vehicles.

  4. Wear Protective Gear: Invest in a well-fitted helmet for cycling and consider wearing protective gear such as knee and elbow pads for added safety.

  5. Stay Alert: Avoid distractions such as headphones and remain vigilant for hazards like potholes, uneven surfaces, or stray animals.

  6. Be Weather-Wise: Exercise caution in adverse weather conditions such as rain, fog, or extreme heat, which can affect visibility and road conditions.

While it's essential to stay vigilant and cautious, it's equally important not to let fear deter us from enjoying the benefits of outdoor exercise. By taking reasonable precautions and staying informed, we can continue to pursue our fitness goals while minimizing the risks associated with exercising on Indian roads.

In conclusion, while the thought of road accidents may be unsettling, it serves as a reminder to prioritize safety and mindfulness while engaging in outdoor exercise. By adopting a proactive approach to road safety and respecting the inherent risks, we can ensure that our fitness routines remain both enjoyable and safe. So, lace up your shoes, hop on your bike, and remember to exercise caution while hitting the road. Let's stay safe, stay mindful, and continue to embrace the joy of outdoor fitness in India.