How To Stay Safe While Exercising Outdoors

Rules and safety precautions.

All of us who have ever stepped into a fitness facility or have ever performed exercises know that there are always guidelines put into place to help you perform each motion safely and to minimize the risk of injury. As we continue to follow these necessary measures on a daily basis, it was brought to my attention from a local news story that many of us are unaware of some of the threats that we impose on ourselves without even knowing it. Some of our everyday routines or options of training gear, can leave us open to these possible dangers. I will be sharing with you a few simple ideas to help keep you safe and out of harm’s way while training outdoors. The news story that broke was about a female who was running outside on a cool day in the early morning. She was attacked from behind and never saw her assailant. The reason she never saw her attacker was because she was wearing a hooded sweatshirt. She also did not hear her attacker because she had her headphones turned up while running. She limited and weakened her two valuable senses and never even thought twice about it. We are all guilty of this to some degree, and probably never think about it until it is too late.

As we are all looking forward to enjoying the up and coming spring days outdoors, this freedom and relaxation can quickly turn to tragedy if we do not practice safety. We never want to think about the dangers we might come across, but it is something to always keep in the back of your mind. Just because you do not constantly hear about people being harassed or attacked while exercising outdoors doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. For the most part, unless a serious crime is committed, most encounters go unreported (Local Police Department Statement). Experienced runners understand that when running alone that the possibility of dangers increases. For safety reasons, running alone should be avoided if possible. There will always be times when you have no other choice than to run solo, but try your best to run with a partner. It has been reported that for females, the risk and dangers of running alone is higher than their male counterparts. Here are a few options to help everyone cut down on these situations.

Always run with a partner, the buddy system always works.

Friends, family members, co-workers, and even animals can be that added life-line to maintaining safety. Only choose neighborhoods, streets, and park trails that are well lit, and that you are familiar with. If possible, let your whereabouts be known by someone, and let them know when to expect you back. It is always in your best interest to run in well populated areas as well. When running or exercising outside, try your best to leave those headphones at home. If you must bring them along, lower the volume so that you can hear what is going on in the environment around you. You always want to make sure that you can hear when others are talking to you, when vehicles are passing or coming up from behind you, and even being aware of stray animals that might possibly cause a threat. If the weather is cool outside, try to avoid the hooded sweatshirt. Still layer up for warmth, but try to keep your field of vision clear at all times by keeping the hood off your head. You do not want to obscure your vision, or limit your peripheral vision. Keeping your senses aware is key to exercising safely outside. Try and keep a cell phone fully charged on you. One never knows when you might need to call for emergency help. This might save your life or someone else’s.

You should always pay attention to places that someone could hide.

Constantly be aware of who is in front of and behind you. Try to have an escape plan just in case you sense danger. Run around and keep your distance from parked cars, vans, bushes, or any other area an attacker could be lurking. Having a positive attitude while exercising outside can help minimize dangers as well. If you see a group of people acting oddly, or watching you, keep your head held high and appear strong and alert. Speed up if possible to remove yourself from the situation. Try not to look sluggish, weak, or tired. Don’t become easy prey, or appear as an easy target. Always mix up your routines and running schedules. Do not become predictable. Try not to run at night, and if you must, stay on a well-lit course. If you sense any danger at all, flee that area quickly and get to safety.

I will leave you all with one final thought.

NEVER second guess yourself or your instincts. I know that accidents can happen, but many accidents can be avoided as well. I hope that some of these ideas have helped you out, or at least have made you stop and think about your own bad habits while training outside. You may be in great shape, but you are definitely not a super-hero. We are all vulnerable to our surroundings. Choose wisely your avenue of training, and take the correct actions to enjoy your time outdoors. Until next time…

About the Author

Michael Klamut was the 2011 Lean Body Challenge Grand Champion. Mike is a United States Air Force veteran  (1997-2001) who works as a Radiologic Technologist (X-Ray Tech) during the day, and is a busy husband and father of two during the night. Mike entered his first bodybuilding competition and took 1st place in his Novice weight class (Middleweight) and Novice Overall. He takes great pride in helping others with their fitness goals and hopes to inspire and motivate everyone he comes into contact with. Mike is looking forward to helping all Labrada Nutrition fans reach their personal goal(s) and hopes to help them conquer any obstacle(s) that stands in their way. You can visit Mike Klamut’s website at: http://michaelklamut.wix.com/klamutfitness

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