The health benefits of being active far outweigh any risk. For everyone or anyone just starting out on a fitness plan, physical activity does increase the risk of injury whether it is physically or environmentally related. One of my previous articles talked about ‘Common Injuries While Training’ so now let’s look at how to stay safe while you exercise.
Here are some simple common- sense precautions that can help keep you safe while you train:
- Choose the right equipment: If you are out for a walk or a run, pull on a good fitting pair of exercise shoes instead of your everyday casual flat shoes. Remember good quality training shoes will minimise blistering as well as reducing wear and tear on your leg muscles. You should also choose loose-fitting clothes designed for exercise and dress properly for cold weather training to avoid hypothermia. Depending on the temperature, wear layers - you can peel them off as you warm up.
- Find a safe place to work out: Seek out streets that have good paved footpaths, parks away from main road or any well-maintained indoor areas such as courts and gyms.
- Evaluate your surroundings: Safety is important when you train or run outdoors. A key consideration for outdoor training is traffic. Make sure you wear high visibility gear so approaching traffic can see you particularly if you are training at dusk or night-time. We are all guilty of wearing headphones and listening to music while we run, walk or jog. However, you will have a better chance of hearing a car barrelling down the road behind you or a dog chasing after you if you didn’t have headphones on!
Being more aware of your surroundings and your physical effort is a big plus too and you will be able to pay better attention on your breathing and the way your feet hit the pavement or grass.
The other benefit of not listening to music is that if you are training with your friend(s), you can chat without having to shout at each other!
- Let someone know when you are going for a run or walk: I am sure you’ve heard your parents say “it’s not YOU we don’t trust- it’s other people. So, drop someone a text, or leave a note to let them know when you are going for a run and also where you plan to go. Another fun way to stay safe is run or walk with a pal, that way you can keep each other safe.
- Wear or carry an ID: This is simply a way of identifying you in the unfortunate event of accident. This could be in the form of wristband or an Identity Card identifying your name, your home county and the details of people to be contacted when crisis occurs. If you have a severe medical condition, the wrist ID should hold vital medical information, which in turn helps medical professionals when they are treating you in an emergency.