With June but a day away, the weather is such that many people will be leaving their gyms and opting instead to run outside. But doing so brings its share of safety hazards that runners don’t necessarily have to contend with when they run around a track or on a treadmill. If you’re going to be running outside this summer, you might check out a few tips provided by the NYPD in a report out of New York.
At no point do you want to run somewhere that a person with criminal intentions would be able to get the best of you. You should have a distinct plan in mind for your route, and you should cover every inch of ground in a vehicle or with a running partner before you start running in earnest. That way, you can identify any problem areas and alter your path accordingly.
When you’re doing a check of the route, be sure to make note of where the closest lifelines would be in the event of an emergency. If a dog is improperly chained or an unscrupulous individual attempts something untoward, you’ll want to know exactly where to go for assistance. Know what public areas you can seek out, police stations you can flee to, and emergency phones you can grab ahold of.
Of course, being able to make contact yourself will also be important. You might carry a cellphone on you at all times to call for help, as well as something like a whistle or an air horn to alert others in the area to your need for aid. You should carry identification at all times, as well as a Medic Alert bracelet if you require such a thing.
Avoid running at night if you can, but if you absolutely must run when it’s dark outside, be smart. Don’t go near places without ample lighting, and stick to well-traveled thoroughfares where it’ll be impossible for you to be cornered. You’re also going to want to enhance your visibility with reflectors and bright clothes so that vehicles can see you and you’re not in danger of being run over. You can also protect yourself by moving against the flow of traffic if you have to run on the street, which is actually the opposite of what you should do if you’re on a bicycle.
Finally, be aware of your surroundings at every juncture. Although you might prefer listening to music, this takes your ears and mind from your environment. You can’t react properly with such tunnel vision. Protect yourself further by running with a friend or a group of people, and let a trusted acquaintance know where you’ll be going so that they can contact authorities if you don’t turn up on time.