Sunday, 13 July 2014

Important things to remember when exercising alone...

Unfortunately our beautiful world isn't always safe. I don’t have the words to express my profound sadness the recent news of the women attacked in Melbournes Kings Domain. It’s shocking and heart breaking that there is such ugliness in the world. As a frequent Tan runner it hit quite close to home and I wanted to remind everybody to stay safe if you do choose to exercise outdoors, especially in winter when it's dark so early.

Sometimes we do feel vulnerable and a bit nervous when we’re on our own and there aren't many people around. Although being out running makes me feel strong and empowered, I’m guilty of staring people down suspiciously and planning my attack/ escape tactic in my head until I realize that they are another completely harmless jogger. We do make ourselves more vulnerable when we are out running by already being fatigued and distracted by our own thoughts and our music if we wear headphones. It’s so important to stay safe and be aware, whether you’re the only one in the gym, walking back to your car after a spin class or running in the evening.  
Here are some things to keep in mind

Turn it down- I love running to music, but having headphones in takes away one of your senses.  If your music is drowning out what is going on around you, it’s easy to be distracted and not fully aware of your surroundings. Try having the volume low enough so you can still hear your footsteps and remain alert.

Tell a friend- If you are running on your own ALWAYS make sure somebody knows where you’ll be, especially if it is dark. I’ll always let my roomie know roughly how long I’ll be. It’s often as a half joking ‘send out a search party if I’m not back in an hour’ as I’m heading out the door, but if that hour was to pass and I wasn’t back she’d be worried and come looking for me. Even a quick text to a mate or family member ‘Running along the beach, will text you when I’m home in 30mins' will give you and your loved ones peace of mind. 
Be seen, be safe- Especially when running along a road at night or early morning! If you’re wearing dark clothes you are almost invisibly to passing cars which is dangerous if you need to cross the road or are running close to the edge. You can get lights for night running and it’s always good to wear something bright or hi vis.

Get a dog. A really really big one- Ok, so my little mutt won’t exactly scare anybody off but it’s nice to have the company and I do always feel a bit safer when he’s by my side.

Self Defense Classes- It’s so important for women (and men for that matter) to know how to protect themselves if, god forbid, anything did actually happen. I hate even talking about the possibility but unfortunately these things do happen and you need to know how to fight back.