Many people love to exercise outdoors, and running has become extremely popular lately. There is something about the freedom running gives you that appeals to a wide range of people, and since it is not a competitive sport, you can set your own goals and work at your own pace (literally), gradually getting better and better.
There is only one problem with running outdoors, using roads and tracks, and that is the safety aspect. This is even more of an issue now that winter is on its way and the days are darker and the nights start earlier. With that in mind, here are some great tips for staying safe while running outdoors.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
When you’re caught up in the pleasure of running, it can become all too easy to stop paying close attention to what is going on around you. Make sure you’re always on the lookout for potholes, obstacles, other road users (people, animals, and vehicles), or anything else that might cause you to fall and hurt yourself after which you could need the help of world-class personal injury attorneys.
Face Oncoming Traffic
It’s best to run facing oncoming traffic rather than away from it. Although at night this can be uncomfortable due to the headlamps that are coming towards you, it’s far safer. The cars will be able to see you if you’re heading for them, whereas they might not if you’re facing away (particularly on bends). Plus you will be able to react more quickly and get out of the way if need be if you see them rather than just rely on your sense of hearing to let you know something’s behind you.
Wear Bright Clothing
Although it might be more fashionable to wear darker clothes, or it could just be your taste, when you’re out running on the roads it’s a terrible idea. Wearing bright-colored clothing that can be seen from a distance is much safer. Alternatively, invest in a high visibility band you can wear across your chest and around your waist. Even when wearing dark clothes, you’ll be spotted.
In the same vein, having a headtorch can save you a lot of trouble. Your hands will be left free (useful if you have a fall and need to stop yourself from getting too badly hurt) but you’ll have a clear view of the ground ahead of you, and you’ll be easier to see.
Take A Phone
One of the benefits of running is that you can get away from everyone and everything and just enjoy the routine of putting one foot in front of the other. Because of this, you might not be too keen to take a phone with you. Not only would it be distracting if someone called or texted, but you might even be tempted to stop running and check your social media or emails if you’ve got it with you, and that would defeat the object of running.
Yet having a phone with you in case of emergencies is a good idea. If you’re anxious about being able to be contacted, have a pay as you go phone that you use just for running. If it’s one that has no internet connectivity and you can only use it for calls, just program in your in case of emergency numbers and know that you have help at hand should something go wrong.
Photo by composita