Healthy Hints: Stay Safe While Running

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Emily Block | Blogger

Running is undoubtedly one of the best forms of exercise. Running keeps you in great cardiovascular shape, and a healthy amount of resistance helps build strong bones. However, there are important safety considerations to take into account while running. Here are a few tips to stay safe on your run:

1. Mix up your route

While there aren’t a huge number of running route options here in Storm Lake, it’s still important to mix up your route and/or the time of day you’re running. Running the same route at the same time every day makes it pretty easy for people to notice a pattern. While the chances of something happening may be slim, I still feel safer mixing up my runs on lighted trails near busy roads.

2. Wear reflective gear

This is a huge safety check if you’re an early morning or late night runner. I never realized just how easy it is to be overlooked by drivers until I almost overlooked a runner myself! (Note: do not wear all black…) For this reason, I always try to wear at least one reflective item of clothing. Luckily, most of my running clothes already have built in reflective designs. Better be seen than sorry! Check out this adorable option from Oiselle (The Gilman Vest):

gilman-vest-satellite-f

3. Carry a form of ID

If you’re running by yourself, you never know who will find you if you get sick or hurt. In a worst case scenario, I could be unconscious or at the point where I can’t provide important personal and health information. That’s why I always run with my Road ID [link: www.roadid.com]. It’s a piece of mind that if something happens, emergency personnel and medical professionals will know who I am and how to treat me.

4. Use the buddy system

Since training for 7th grade cross country, my mom has drilled into my head the importance of the buddy system. 10 years later, she still reprimands me for running alone. While running with a buddy is probably your best option, there are other ways to stay safe if you need to run by yourself. Mention your plans to a friend so they know when to expect you back, and alert them if anything changes. I run with my phone, where I’m able to utilize the Road ID app which informs concerned friends [aka my mom] exactly where I am and if I’ve stalled for longer than five minutes.

5. Be cautious of the weather

As winter approaches [brb crying] it’s important to pay attention to the weather conditions. Icy sidewalks + running= a formula for bruises and broken bones (experience speaks for itself). If you’re stubborn like me and must run outside, it may be a good idea to invest in traction cleats like Yaktrax. Additionally, as temperatures drop you’ll want to bundle up to avoid sore throats and frostbite.