Each January, we see a returned emphasis on personal fitness, thanks to New Year’s resolutions. If you have a fitness-related resolution, I applaud your dedication to health and wellness. However, with all of your thoughts focused on your fitness goals, you might be making some mistakes that could jeopardize your safety. Here are 5 common fitness mistakes, and how to fix them.
1. Blasting music in both ears.
When we thing of working out outdoors, we always picture white earbuds blasting pump-up music. However, this is a mistake. With music in both ears, you’ll have a harder timer hearing someone in your immediate vicinity. Attackers also tend to count on people with earbuds in both ears being unaware of their surroundings. What to do: Listen to music at a reasonable volume in one ear only.
2. Getting lost in your thoughts.
Power walkers, runners, cyclists, and other athletes often think of their workout as a time to reflect and daydream. However, getting lost in your thoughts decreases your awareness of what’s going on around you, and attackers can often tell whose head is in the clouds. What to do: Stay present. Always keep part of your mind on your surroundings. Scan the area around you, looking in different directions to show potential attackers that your alert.
3. Being too private about your plans.
If you live on your own or have a different schedule from your roommate, you might be in the habit of taking off for a run without checking in with anyone. However, if nobody knows where you are, and something does happen to you during your exercise session, it will likely take longer for your friends and family to realize something’s amiss. What to do: Choose one trusted person that you’ll text every time you leave for a workout. Tell them the route you’re taking and when you should be back. Then text them again when you arrive home safely. There are even some safety apps such as Companion that allow a friend or family member to keep track of your location with GPS technology.
4. Not thinking about visibility.
Many people choose black and dark colors for their workout gear – but this doesn’t do you much good at night or early in the morning. You don’t want to blend in with your surroundings too much; you want cars and fellow athletes to see you coming. What to do: Wear reflective gear or a running light when it’s not bright out.
5. Exercising outdoors without protection.
When you think of workout gear, you probably don’t picture personal safety items. This is a problem because personal safety should be on of your top exercise priorities. No matter how alert and visible you are, there’s no guarantee that someone with bad intentions won’t cross your path. What to do: Bring an athletic pepper gel or spray on your workout. You can even kill two birds with one stone by choosing an athletic pepper gel with reflective material. Also, wear SABRE’s Runner Personal Alarm – coming soon in 2016! At 130 dB, this alarm helps you call for attention and scare off attackers. Plus, the reflective logo helps you stay visible. Good luck with your New Year’s resolutions! Stay safe.