Sometimes the biggest challenge of going for a run is just getting yourself out the door, but while the “get up and go” approach may be great for motivation, you may be leaving a few simple safety precautions on the backburner.
The next time you’re ready to hit the pavement, take a couple extra minutes to prep yourself for these simple safety do’s and don’ts:
Get in the habit of wearing brightly coloured clothing, especially if you’re heading out in the dark. Look to buy clothes with reflective lining and zippered pockets.
You may also want to look into getting a flashing clip-on light that can be seen from further away.
Pack the Necessities
Always bring along photo ID, your cell phone and cash or ATM card. For good measure, be sure to have your In Case of Emergency contact numbers programmed into your phone. You may also want to invest in a personal alarm system that emits a high-pitched sound in case something ever does go wrong.
No matter what time of day it is or how comfortable you feel on your own, there’s always more safety in numbers. Finding a running partner or joining a running group not only significantly reduces your risk of danger, it’s also a great way to keep yourself accountable and motivated.
Plan Your Route
When it comes to running outside, the road less travelled isn’t always the best option. Stay away from unpopulated, unfamiliar areas; especially locations and trails surrounded by heavy brush. Be sure to let a friend or family member know where you’re going but don’t share your route on social media.
Limit Your Distractions
Okay, we know this one is tough, but save the iPod for your treadmill runs. While running with music can be extremely motivating, cramming both ears full of a new Spotify playlist really isn’t a great idea when you’re running outside. Pay attention to oncoming traffic, passing cyclists, unleashed dogs and numerous other potential threats…and if you do add music to your run, try to use only one ear bud.
Be Aware of Traffic
Drivers inevitably get distracted so be cautious when running near the road. Don’t ever make assumptions just because you have the right of way, run against traffic, always make eye contact with the driver before crossing the street and remember: if in doubt, the car always wins.
Trust Your Instincts
If something or someone along your route feels off, it’s probably because there’s something wrong. Always listen to your gut and get yourself to a safe place immediately.