Running is a great way to keep yourself in shape.
Not only does running have good physical benefits, but great mental advantages, too. It can help you clear your head, relieve stress and improve your mood.
But running can also be dangerous if you’re not careful.
That’s why it’s important to take precautions, making sure that you stay safe while you’re out on a run.
Here are some ways to stay safe while running:
- Stay alert and aware. Always be mindful of your surroundings. Staying alert can prevent an accident and help you be courteous to other runners.
- Run to the sounds of nature. Many of us love to listen to music when we run, but loud music can be a fatal distraction. Try running without headphones — or with the volume low enough so you can still hear what’s happening around you.
- Watch out for drivers. Yes, drivers must yield to pedestrians, but that doesn’t always happen. Make eye contact with the driver before you cross the street to make sure they see you.
- Venture out and run with a group to lessen your risk. There’s safety in numbers. Being in a group lets you keep track of one another.
- Sidewalks are safe. Stick to the sidewalks and trails. Running on the road can be extremely dangerous.
- Change up your scenery. Pick new trails and paths. When running alone, it’s better not to run the same route every time you go out. You don’t want your route to be predictable. Your running may also benefit from the change in environment.
- Have identification. Stick it in a pocket, the back of your phone or an armband. You never know what can happen; stay prepared.
- Learn self-defense. Unfortunately, people are not always nice. Be ready to defend yourself should someone attack you.
- Be kind and courteous. If you see someone hurt, try to help as best you can. Usually, the best way to help is to call 911.
- Know when to walk away. Pay no attention to catcalling or verbal harassment. It’s better to walk away than to confront the person.
- Trust yourself. If you feel that something isn’t right, trust your gut. Remove yourself from the situation as quickly as you can.
Though you may be running for health benefits, being safe should be your first priority when running in public.
Stay vigilant even when you seem to be alone on the trail, path or sidewalk.
You owe it to yourself to be healthy and safe at the same time.
For more running tips, visit our Healthy Library.