By Samuetta Hill Drew
Safety Tips for outside Joggers, Walkers and Cyclists are timely topics for this season due to the almost perfect weather conditions in our region. The fall season ushers in lower temperatures in both the mornings and afternoons which coincide with the most popular times for outdoor exercise. Note, jogging and walking at night are not recommended. This safety series will be divided into two parts with the first article focusing on safety tips for outside joggers and walkers. The second article next week will focus on safety tips for cyclists. The City of Birmingham should be applauded for its recent addition of numerous cycling lanes throughout the city which itself is a safety initiative.
Safety Tips for Joggers/Walkers
- HOME PREPARATION:
- Map out your route and share your route information with a friend or family member. Note, it is recommended that you alter your routes periodically. Notify a family member or friend when you leave and when you return home especially if you live alone. The route should not be heavily wooded or have many bushes. These are prime locations predictors can use to hide prior to an attack. You may want to contact your local police periodically about any criminal activity in your route area.
- Wear brightly colored clothing (reflective materials suggested) so you can be easily seen by motorist.
- Jog or walk with a known companion or a dog.
- Carry your cell phone and a whistle or high decibel personal alarm device.
- Carry your driver license or other type of identification. You may also want to write your ID information, telephone number and blood type inside your sneaker.
- Don’t wear jewelry or carry cash.
- ACTUAL JOGGING OR WALKING:
- Stay alert at all times! Try not to get into a “zone” where you become oblivious to your surroundings. This can be dangerous by making you more vulnerable to potential attackers or motorist driving too fast or out of control.
- Don’t wear headphones or earphones. If you become bored by not having these electronic listening devices, try practicing identifying characteristics of strangers; count the number of cars you see of particular types, memorize license plates, etc.
- Beware of someone asking you for directions. Stay at least a full arm length away from the car.
- Have your door or vehicle key ready before you reach your home or vehicle.
- Trust you intuition! If you feel unsafe about a person or area, leave immediately. If you think you’re being followed, immediately change your route. Contact the police, if necessary.
- Jog or walk against the traffic.
You want to enjoy your exercise experience but, never forget to Keep an Eye on Safety.