I love a good workout outdoors. There’s just something about the fresh air, sunshine, a nice breeze (on a not too hot day) and a good sweat. However, as much as I enjoy working out at a park or going for a run outside, there are a few things to be aware of outdoor exercise. First of all, it’s important to wear the proper clothing as well as sun lotion to protect your body from the heat and sun. In addition, being aware of your surroundings is equally as important. Women can be targets for abuse, so knowing how to keep safe before, during, and after your workout is essential.
Put on training clothing that fits you properly, and make sure you don’t have anything loose that someone could use to grab. Rather than placing your hair in a ponytail, consider tucking it under a baseball cap. Both of these measures, as well as not wearing loose clothing, will help to decrease the possibility of someone grabbing you. It might sound ridiculous and far fetched, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
I also always make sure I have a friend to workout with when exercising outdoors. Not only for the safety aspect, but also for the accountability. Plus having someone else with you makes you less likely to be a target.
If you’re going to be outside alone, plan your route ahead of time and estimate how long it takes you to get home. Plan your route so that you are always in a busy and well-lit area. Avoid regions that are calm or dark. Before you go, text or contact someone to let them know your route, when you’ll be leaving for your workout, and when you anticipate returning. It’s kind of like being aware of your surroundings when you go grocery shopping or run errands. It’s just common sense to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
In extreme running/working out conditions, change up your routine. Don’t always run at the same time or on the same route on the same day. Someone could observe your routine and use it to track you down. If you must maintain the same time due to other obligations, at least vary your route.
This may sound crazy insane, but again, we live in a dangerous world and it’s vital to use some common sense. But if you’d rather skip exercising outdoors all together, then head to one of the best gyms instead.
During Your Workout
Maintain your hearing. If you prefer to work out while listening to music, make sure you can still hear what’s going on around you. Either don’t wear headphones and instead, use an external speaker or if you must, keep the level low or leave one headphone out. Check to see if anyone is approaching you from behind. This is critical. It is very easy to get kidnapped, or injured by not paying attention to your external surroundings. Sure, the vibe you get from blasting music is fire, but you have to be cautious and look around multiple times.
Exercise in well-lit, populated places at all times. If you’re running on a bigger route, stay in the middle of the path, away from bushes or plants that could be used as cover. Keep your phone with you and stay alert.
You don’t have to be fearful exercising outdoors, just aware as with everything else nowadays. It’s not about being scared, but staying informed and keeping your eyes engaged and always ready to defend yourself.