Running is one of the best exercises for cardiovascular health and weight loss. So, if you have either one of these things as your goal, running might be the exercise for you.
But we’ve all heard the horror stories on the news. It seems like we hear about a jogger who was victimized nightly on the news. It almost seems like running is a dangerous thing.
But on the contrary, if you can increase your speed and endurance, you’ll be better equipped to remove yourself from danger (should it arise).
So, why are runners so often victims?
Because they aren’t taking the appropriate safety precautions. There are a few things that make runners attractive to criminals. First, they’re often alone. And while they’re alone, they’re covering a lot of ground, so no one is certain of their whereabouts at the time. Runners also tend to get into a zone where they block out outside distractions and put their focus within.
It’s a combination of all these things that make runners a target for crime.
And it’s exactly these things we must address in order to remain safe while running alone. Here are some safety tips to follow while running solo.
Avoid wearing headphones
Most of us love listening to music while we run. It helps us get into the zone and break up the monotony. But the music can separate us from the outside world. Headphones, specifically, can block out noise from the environment. And it could be blocking noises you need to be hearing, like someone running up behind you.
Stay away from secluded areas
Here’s another thing most of those stories have in common: Secluded areas. If you want to run through a park, just be sure you’re running at peak times. You don’t have to have someone around you at all times, but there must be a strong possibility that someone will emerge at any time. This is enough of a deterrent for most criminals. Also, as a general rule, avoid running through any park at night.
Wear bright and reflective clothing
If you’re planning to run along the road, always wear bright and reflective clothing. Many runners embark on their journey early enough to beat the morning heat. And this is a good idea, but it could be dangerous if you’re not wearing reflective clothing.
And here’s a bonus tip for anyone running along the road: Avoid windy roads if at all possible. When you run along a road with blind curves, you’re putting your life at risk. No one wants to need a pedestrian accident lawyer because these cases never end well for the pedestrian (even when there’s a large settlement). The money is definitely not worth the injury.
Bring plenty of water
You already know the importance of proper hydration. And that’s why it’s important to keep enough water on hand during a run. Hydration is an important part of any exercise, but it’s especially crucial on a run outdoors. Not only are you susceptible to solar radiation from the sun, but you may not have many other options for hydration.
When you’re on a run, you can’t always opt out when you start feeling tired or thirsty. Once you’ve gone halfway, you have to continue the loop. Turning back is useless because it’s the same distance. So be sure to hydrate before you leave and bring enough water for your journey. When you start getting dehydrated, you will feel fatigued, and this will make it more difficult to finish your run.
Don’t forget your mobile phone
You never know what could happen on a run. With any luck, you’re going to cover a lot of ground. And you may witness an accident or a crime. You may encounter a lost child who needs to call his parents. Or you may have an emergency of your own. What if you sprain your ankle and need support to get back on your feet? You can’t exactly get back to the car on your own, so you’ll need to call for help. Make sure you have your mobile phone in your bag before you set out on your run.
In truth, there are a lot of variables that can make you more vulnerable on a solo run. But you can safely run solo for a lifetime if you follow the right precautions.