I am not a fitness expert. Not even close. But I am an outdoor runner. An outdoor runner that usually runs by herself for long(ish) periods of time. Even if you don’t run, I hope you’re walking, hiking, biking, or something. Inactivity is an epidemic in this country, but more on that later. Anyways, there are 10 things, in my opinion, that you should consider when out and about.
1. DON’T wear your headphones. I hear the whining now “but I need music to run” No you dont. But I need to use mapmyrun”. That one I understand. But while your headphones are in, you aren’t as aware of your surroundings. You cant hear runners, or creepers, behind you. You cant hear the car that doesn’t see you as you run across a crosswalk. You cant hear the dog that’s decided to chase you out of his yard/your sidewalk. Please, reconsider headphones.
2. DO carry a cellphone. I know what you’re thinking, carry a cell phone, but dont listen to my music, girl, you crazy. No I’m not. Getone of those cell phone holder/strappy things for your arm and keep it there.
3. LEARN some self defense moves. Take a 1 hour self-defense class from a gym or something. Learn what to do if someone tries to be rude or nasty.
4. DO run where there are people. Stay away from trails that don’t get much traffic.
5. DON’T run at night. Or if you do run at night, cover yourself with reflective gear so you can be seen a mile away. Seriously. I’ve seen people almost get hit by cars because the car just couldnt see them.
6. DO file a running plan with someone. A friend, family member, neighbor, something. If you’re running for a half hour, hour, whatever, someone needs to know whether you get home ok. Even if its just a text to say hey mom I’m going to work on my fitness, if you dont hear from me in an hour, i might be dead.
7. DO run with your dog. Brown dog LOVES to run, he loves it. Or really, just take your dog for a nice long walk. He will love it, and you will strengthen your dog/person bond. Sound crazy? Well, it isnt. Don’t have a dog? Go play with the dogs at your local shelter! Borrow a dog from a friend!
8. DO invest in a good pair of shoes. Do NOT skimp on this. DO NOT! I get my running shoes when the store i like has a clearance sale of last year’s models. I end up paying around $70-$80 for a $150 shoe. They last over a year if you treat them right. Plus employees at a specialty running store can totally help you out with finding the perfect shoe for your exercise needs.
9. DON’T run in the road. This should go without saying, but people seem to think that running in the road is totally cool. It isn’t. Even if the sidewalks aren’t shoveled (there’s over a foot of snow in Michigan now) or whatever, stay out of the road. If you run down a rural road where there isn’t a sidewalk, at least get off the road when a car comes by. (Also don’t cross the road when there’s a car coming. You aren’t faster than it is. Sorry)
10. DO find a running group/club in your area. Chances are that where you get your running shoes, has some kind of running club. The one near me has four different clubs that incorporate four levels of running. Plus you’ll meet other runners and make some friends! Bonus.
Even if you aren’t training for a race, as long as you’re moving, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch!
Peace, love, and sweaty shorts
P.S. Brown doesn’t give a crap about any of these things. As long as there’s food afterwards, he’s good.