Once you get a hold of it, running can become one of the most rewarding and beneficial activities you can possibly undertake. Consistent running can reduce your body fat percentage and result in better cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol, and even boost your immunity — not to mention its positive effects on mental health.
Whether you are already a veteran runner or have only started building your stamina, staying safe at all times is vital, especially if you prefer running outside. In the article below, we will share several important safety tips you should stick to avoid injuring yourself or becoming a victim.
Apart from getting proper sportswear and ensuring you are visible, you should always carry your ID, money, and cell phone, minimize distractions, watch for other traffic, avoid running alone at night, and trust your instincts.
Get the Right Sportswear
The first thing you need to do to stay safe when running outside is to get the proper sportswear. It includes comfortable shoes that provide good support and are appropriate for the type of surface you will be running on, as well as a pair of running sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays and glare.
You should also invest in some quality running clothes that are breathable and will not cause you to overheat. In colder weather, dress in layers to easily take off or put on clothing as needed.
Make Yourself Visible
If you plan on running outside, you must make yourself as visible as possible. This factor is especially crucial if you will be running in low-light conditions, such as early in the morning or at night.
You can make yourself more visible to drivers and other people in a few different ways. Wearing bright or reflective clothing is always a good idea. You can also purchase special running gear such as reflective vests, arm bands, or headlamps.
Carry Your ID, Money, and Phone
It is also a good idea to carry your ID, some money, and your cell phone with you whenever you go for a run. This way, if you get lost or run into trouble, you will have a way to call for help.
If you do not want to carry your ID and money in your pockets, several running belts and waist packs are available to hold these items and your phone, enabling you to run freely.
When you are out and about, it is vital to be aware of your surroundings and not let yourself get too distracted. It means no texting, no listening to music with headphones in, and no running with your head down.
If you must listen to music, only do so with one earbud in so you can still hear what is happening around you. And if you bring your phone with you, keep it in a secure place where you can quickly grab it if you need it.
Watch for Other Traffic
Another safety tip when running outside is to be aware of other traffic. Whether running at night or during the day, you will likely share the road with a car at some point.
To stay safe, pay attention to your surroundings and plan your path to avoid any potential dangers in advance. Also, try to avoid running on high-traffic roads and, if you do, stay close to the curb and make sure you can see oncoming traffic from a distance. Watch for cars, bikes, pedestrians, and fellow runners.
Avoid Running Alone at Night
Running long distances at night can be unsafe, even if you are familiar with the area. If you do not have a way of communicating with someone, then you should be extra careful.
When running at nighttime, keep to well-lit areas. Avoid running on roads that are empty and devoid of traffic, as this increases your risk of being attacked or assaulted by an attacker. Keep a good pace, but avoid sprinting at all times. Also, always wear a reflective or bright running vest or shirt, as this will make you more visible to traffic and passersby.
Finding a partner to go with you for a run is a good idea. If you do not have a running partner, many running apps and websites can help you find someone in your area to run with. Alternatively, you can opt for running at the gym if you must do so during late hours.
Always Trust Your Instincts
Finally, it is crucial to trust your instincts. If you feel an area is unsafe to run, do not do it. Even if you have been running that route for months and nothing has ever happened to you, you should always be aware of your surroundings.
If something feels off, trust your gut and either change the route or postpone your run. It is always better to be safe than sorry. So, if you have any doubts or concerns, make the necessary changes to feel comfortable while running.
As you can see, you can do several different things to stay safe when running outside. By following the tips in this article, you can ensure that all of your runs are safe and enjoyable.
If you do not know the route well or something feels off, do not be afraid to postpone your running session or go for a short jog at the gym instead. Additionally, make yourself visible while running at night and watch for other traffic on the road.
If you ever feel unsafe, it is best to trust your instincts and find a safer alternative. Running is a fantastic way to improve your health and fitness. Sticking to these simple rules will allow you to make the most out of this activity. Happy running!
Freelance Content Writer
Lisa Hunchenko has her master’s degree in Marketing Management, but it’s creative writing that fascinates her the most. For this reason, she works as a freelance writer now, and If not at her desk, you’ll find her urban hiking or exploring the newly-opened third-wave coffee shops across the city.
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