To be perfectly honest, running is something that can be rather dangerous. It does wonders for fitness, sanity, and overall health, and if you run outdoors then you do great things for your vitamin D levels and your lungs. However, running is far from perfect. You get exposed to nature’s elements when you run outdoors, as well as risking bad experiences with lousy drivers, bad people, and other unexpected situations and conditions.
Apply the tips listed below to become a safer runner than you are now. A number of them might seem pretty obvious, but it only takes one second of boredom or inattention for an incident to take place. The primary thing you need to keep in mind when running is to be vigilant, alert, and always aware of your momentary surroundings.
Avoid going with the flow, and choose to run the direction opposite of current traffic.
Carry some cash with you. If you want to get a sports drink or even a ride home, having some money or a plastic card in your shoe, sock, or pocket can save your day.
Car drivers assume that the road belongs to them. You need to make the assumption that every single driver is chatting on their phone with one hand want while sipping a soda with the other and somehow fussing with the radio at the same time. Give cars a wide berth.
Whenever you can, choose sidewalks or bike paths for your running.
Give someone a heads up before you head out. Let a person you live with know you are heading out for a run and when you should be back.
Illuminate yourself like you’re a disco ball in the middle of the night. If you choose to run in the darkness, then take a flashlight with you, put on reflective clothing, and wear any headlamp you have. These shoes from getlitshoes.com could be the perfect solution – nobody will miss you!
Be honest with yourself about your sense of direction. Have a route planned out before you leave. Fewer things stink worse than running nine miles away from your car only to see it get dark and you have no clue how to return to your vehicle. Keep some phone numbers memorized just in case.
Never let yourself turn into a Jane Doe or a John Smith. Wear or carry id if you run by yourself. A road ID is a good idea too; these cheap shoe tags and bracelets can be engraved with emergency contact information and pertinent medical data.
Love the sun, but don’t worship it too much. Protect yourself with the right sunscreen and clothing. Extending your life with running is rather pointless if all you do is live long enough to get skin cancer.
Enjoy crowds, and run in areas that are populated. Having other runners around increases your safety factor tremendously, and often indicates that an area is safe as is.
Keep your ears open. If you wear earphones or buds, keep the volume low enough to know what’s going on around you. Wearing them in only a single ear is a good choice.
Enjoy safety in numbers by running with a dog or even a friend. If you don’t have a pet of your own, offer to give a friend’s dog some outdoor time with you.
Don’t do the same run all the time. Alternate your route and running time occasionally. Getting too used to a route can make you lower your guard and invite danger. If you are too routine, potential assailants know when and where to find you.
When crossing any street, look both ways. The most dangerous spots for runners are usually street crossing, particularly when spots are regulated with stop signs. Drivers often pull right in front of such signs; they’ll be on the lookout for other cars, but not runners. Never assume anything about a driver unless you make eye contact with them; stay safe on the curb otherwise.