Running outdoors is an excellent way to lose weight, reduce stress, stay physically fit, and enjoy nature. While running is not an overtly dangerous activity, one should use care and caution before hitting the pavement. Prior to lacing up your tennis shoes, grabbing your water bottle, and heading outside, be sure to consider these 3 helpful safety tips:
Know Your Surroundings
One way to stay safe while running is to not only know where you are going but to let others know where you’re headed and when to expect your return. If possible, run with a friend or with a dog; there is safety in numbers.
Whether you are exercising with Fido, jogging with a neighbor, or hitting the trail alone, pay attention to what is happening around you by mindfully watching your surroundings. Paying extra attention to the sights and sounds around you will ensure a safe run. Make sure that your glasses or contact lens prescription is up-to-date and that your eyewear fits well. You can even visit a vision center like All About Eyes and see if they have sports eyewear. Wear sunglasses when necessary. When listening to music, be sure to allow one ear free to hear what is occurring around you.
Make Certain You Are Seen
Running safely requires that you are seen by others. Wear bright clothing when running during the day and reflective clothing and a headlamp when running at night. Even when taking precautions to be visible, always assume that you are not seen. Routinely run towards oncoming traffic so that you can clearly view approaching vehicles.
While most of the time, heading out for a run is not a risky endeavor, staying safe involves being prepared for emergencies. Consider carrying pepper spray should you encounter unwanted company. Never run without your cell phone, especially if you are running in an area where you are less likely to be seen should you have a medical emergency. As long as you have your cell phone, choose to embrace technology. You can use your phone as a tracking device so that others know where you are at all times. Apps are available that allow you to press a button to activate a siren, capture a video, and notify emergency responders who are able to track your position via GPS.
For an avid runner, there are few feelings that satisfy quite like an invigorating excursion in the open air. Following these common sense tips will help ensure that you can continue to traverse the roads safely and securely.