Staying Safe While Exercising

by Angela Yorke | June 25th, 2012 | Exercises

Most people are aware of the need to start at a pace they find comfortable when exercising. The same goes for staying hydrated and applying sunscreen when the weather gets hotter. Despite these precautions, we tend to be guilty of a degree of complacency when it comes to personal safety while exercising outdoors.

When you’re going out, always inform someone of your destination/route, and the duration you intend to be out. All it takes is a simple note on the fridge or kitchen counter to notify those you live with. The same can be done if you exercise while traveling. It’s also advisable for those who live alone to text a friend who lives nearby with a similar message, and notify that friend when you’ve returned home safely.

Whether you plan to go on a long hike/run/bike, or just a quick jaunt around the block, always carry some form of identification with you. Having identification on your person ensures that, in a worst-case scenario, those who have to render assistance to you will know whom to contact even if you are unable to speak.

Wearing brightly colored clothes is another precaution to take when it comes to personal safety, as are reflective strips on your shoes and/or clothes, as is sticking to well-lit areas. The idea is to ensure that you are visible to motorists who might not otherwise notice that a person is running/walking/cycling down a road.

Aside from this, avoid gadgets that disconnect you from your surroundings. This means not playing your workout music at top volume even though it, understandably, helps you concentrate. It also means leaving that phone call for later because speaking breathlessly makes you sound incoherent anyway, and reduces your awareness of your surroundings besides. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings, so that you are able to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous situations.

It also pays to move confidently and vary the routes you take from time to time. Speaking from personal experience, it deters would-be “new friends” from initiating unwanted conversation.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.