As the weather warms we tend hit the outdoors to enjoy our evening walk, bike ride, or daytime run. Here are some safety tips to make sure your workout is a safe one.
1) Do not workout alone
It's so simple, but it works.Two people are harder to control than one, so attackers are less likely to strike and if they do, you've just doubled your chance of survival. If you don't have someone to run with, get a dog. Or borrow a dog. Not only does it make you a less attractive target, dogs can sometimes sense danger before we can. Please note: the dog factor only works if your dog is bigger than a bread box, otherwise, you might as well have a small child with you.
If you absolutely have to work out alone let someone know where you are going, the route you are taking and when you anticipate you will return, and stick to it. Don’t be independent minded in this situation, it’s ok to lean on people for your safety.
2) Do not work out with earphones
As tempting as it may be when you have loud music blaring in your ears, you can't hear a potential attacker come up behind you and it also slows your reaction time. Most runners have the bad habit of tuning everything out while they run. When we dull our senses, we are less effective in the case of a surprise attack.
If you must workout with music, only use one earpiece, and switch ears during your workout.
3) Alter your walking, running or biking route
When we run, walk, or bike the same route, or the same two routes, day after day, at the same time of day, it not only makes us easy targets for stalkers, we also have a big tendency to zone out. Altering your route makes you harder to track and keeps you more alert during your workout because you are navigating unfamiliar surroundings. The more alert you are, the more likely you are to escape an attack. If mapping new routes is too time consuming, use websites and apps like mapmyrun.com to find ready-made running, walking and biking routes in your area.
If someone tries to abduct you while you are on your bike do the same thing they teach kids to do: DON"T LET GO OF YOUR BIKE. It's virtually impossible for an abductor to get a person attached to a bike into a car door.
4) Run/Bike/Walk against traffic and wear bright clothing
It makes it harder for someone to abduct you into a vehicle if you see them coming, literally a mile away. This also helps prevent traffic related accidents, especially by wearing bright or reflective clothing, if you like to workout in the early morning or at dusk.
5) Trust your instincts
If something feels off it probably is. Get to a populated area or go into a building. Immediately report anything suspicious or out of place.
Find more workout safety tips at www.active.com