Stay Safe During Winter Training January often shows an increase in fitness goals and physical activity. It’s important that we know how to keep ourselves safe during the Winter months when training though, to protect you and other road users. Group workouts, such as boot camps, football and netball matches, are a great choice for working out, because you are safe in a group, and more often than not your trainer will find a well lit court or field for you to continue training, meaning nothing has to change. However, if you’re a keen runner, it is a good idea to take precautions to keep yourself safe throughout these darker nights. The most important thing to bear in mind when running in the dark is to ensure you are visible to others, whether road users or other runners. You also need to remain attentive and alert.
Lights Wearing a light is also a great idea, ensuring that you can see where you are going. This can help to avoid trips and falls on uneven ground. If you like to be hands-free, why not invest in a head torch to light the way.
Clothing Reflective clothing is a great starting point to make you more visible. Bright colours and reflective clothing means you will catch the eye of road users, making an accident less likely. You can also purchase reflective and high visibility accessories, such as straps, vests, and even reflective trainers. Flashing lights are another option, with many being available on the market to clip onto your laces or clothing. Check In Ensure someone knows that you are going out running and let them know your route. If you have to divert, let them know. Don’t take unnecessary risks by choosing to run through dark woods or parks if you can avoid it. The busier the area, the safer you will be. It’s also worth carrying your identity on you somewhere, with emergency contact details. If you do suffer a fall and you’re unable to communicate, you want the people who find you to be able to contact someone for you.
Be Alert As motivational as running with music is, it’s best to avoid wearing headphones when running in the dark. Your vision is already limited, so you don’t want to rid of another sense. Your hearing is vital to your safety in the dark, often you can hear people and cars approaching before you can see them. If you struggle to run without music, you could always play music on your phone loud enough for you to hear it, without it being a huge distraction.
Get A Buddy Running with a friend or in a small group is always a great way to ensure you are safe. Not only does it make you twice as visible, it also means that you have someone with you in the event of an emergency. If you don’t have a friend who runs, why not join your local jogging or running club? There are lots of options for keeping fit in Winter. Stay safe when out and about, or if that doesn’t work for you, change your running times to mornings or lunchtimes instead. If all else fails, there is always that trusted treadmill waiting at your local gym, or virtual gym training sessions.
Article written by Emma Baldwin (Editor)
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