Out for a Run? 5 Tips to Keep You Safe
Running outdoors is a great way for women to improve their health, maintain their weight, and enjoy a little self-care. However, it can also be scary and frightening. In one study, 34% of participant’s said they felt scared when running alone outdoors. To give yourself a little comfort and help you reap the benefits of a good workout without fear, here are five tips to help you stay safe while on an outdoor run.
1. Run in Popular Areas
While paths up the canyon can make for great training courses, they are also easy places for predators to hide and attack. It is particularly important that you avoid these paths if you are alone. If you want to run on one of these courses, go with a small group of running buddies and hit the trail. Otherwise, choose more populated paths for your solo runs.
2. Tell Someone Where You Are Going … Even Use GPS
Before heading for a run — whether it is just one mile or 10 — it is crucial that someone knows your course. For many runners, if you feel good during a run, you continue pushing through. However, even if you extend your run, it is important that someone knows where you are going and has an approximate time of when you will be home. If you don’t like to set a route prior to your run, turn on the GPS on your phone and have someone track you.
3. Skip the Music
When running outdoors, regardless of the weather and even the time of day, it is important that you are constantly alert. You need to be aware of footsteps behind you, trees rustling, even cars driving up the road. You never want to be caught off guard or make yourself appear inattentive. If you must wear headphones to keep you going and for motivation, try keeping one earbud out of your ear or using low volumes.
4. Wear Bright Clothing
When running outside, many women think of wearing bright colors —neon yellows, pinks, and oranges — to prevent being hit by a car. However, this can also deter attackers as it makes you more visible to individuals nearby. What you do and how you act while wearing bright clothing will capture people’s attention more than black running pants and dark shirt will. You want to dress to be seen.
5. Keep an ID with You
You never know what can happen while out on a run. The most important thing is that you are prepared for any circumstance. One way to do this is by carrying ID with you. Stick it in your pocket, a small fanny pack, even in an armband with your smartphone. You may also want to purchase ID jewelry such as a bracelet or a necklace if you are a frequent outdoor runner. While you may never need it, it is just another step you can take to be prepared when alone on a run.
If you love running or are just getting into the sport, don’t stop because you are afraid. Instead, prepare yourself for any situation. If you are aware and well-prepared, your runs will be more calm, enjoyable, and safe.