Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Safety First

I am all about strong, independent women, but I am also all about caution and safety too.

Women are as a rule, more vulnerable than men. Why? Because women, as a rule, are weaker than men. (weaker doesn't mean weak.)  That's fact. A man is more likely to attack a woman than another man. The advantages are in his favor. The disadvantages lean towards the women.

This doesn't mean that women are helpless or that we should feel helpless. It means we should be smart. We need to realize this vulnerability and to put our safety as top priority when we are engaging in any form of fitness outside.

Whether running, walking, roller-blading, biking or whatever else there is. Safety should always come first.

Here are my top 10 safety tips...

-Exercise in daylight or in well lighted areas.

-Exercise in the morning. It's the way of the world-creepy people tend to be out more at night than in the morning. At least, in Gotham City and Batman, they are.

-Exercise without earbuds, or use only one. I mentioned this last week, but it bears repeating. Last week I was biking and there was a girl ahead of me roller blading. She was wearing earbuds and didn't see or hear me approaching. I hollered at her twice, letting her know I was going to pass. She didn't hear me. I had innocent intentions. Not everyone does. If you are drowning out the noises around you, you are leaving yourself vulnerable.

Also a safe music alternative is an exterior speaker. Play those tunes, loud and proud for everyone to hear. (Well, actually not too loud or you'll get to the drowning out level again.) Run with an 80's giddio-blaster. Or not...

-Exercise with your phone and even with pepper spray. Or a whistle. (that gets attention) And have them readily accessible.

-Exercise with a partner or exercise in a well trafficked area. I run with my husband about 50% of the time. For my other runs and bike rides, I choose my routes through areas that are highly visible to pedestrian and vehicle traffic. I don't use obscure trails-even in the middle of the day.

-Let someone else know your route and when you should be back.

-Alter your routines and routes. This way someone can't set a clock (or any other devious plans) by the regularity of your route and schedule.

-Exercise with some form of identification on you. That way, if something happens, people know who you are.

-Keep moving. If harassed, keep moving. Get to the nearest safe place-a store, business, restaurant.

-Stay on high alert. Be aware of people around you. Be aware of the terrain. Be aware of vehicles.

What are your safety tips for outdoor fitness?