Below is an article by author Ashley Arnold that she has asked me to share. Enjoy!
Running is an excellent way to promote your health and personal fitness. However, running is an intense physical activity that does set the scene for certain risks. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to decrease the likelihood that you will encounter any serious trouble during your run. 1. Take off your headphones: Listening to music while you run can be enjoyable, but the noise can actually put you in danger. The headphones impair your ability to hear approaching vehicles and people on foot, and distracted running is not safe running. Even one earbud can seriously hinder your ability to pay attention to your surroundings.
2. Carry an adequately charged phone: A phone can save your life if a medical emergency or some form of attack occurs. You need to have some way of contacting emergency services. Additionally, a phone can help you reach a friend if you sustain an injury that is not life threatening. Remember that a phone is useless if its battery is dead.
3. Do not assume that drivers will obey traffic laws: In a perfect world, every driver, pedestrian and cyclist would follow the rules. You might have the right-of-way, but some drivers will not acknowledge this. You should always exercise caution when you are interacting with traffic.
4. Run in pairs: Running with a partner can be a fun way to stay safe. If you don’t have a buddy who likes to run, a dog is an excellent alternative. This is a great way to stay safe and keep your beloved dog in good health.
5. Carry basic identification: No one wants to think about having a medical emergency, but running can truly test your body. If you are unable to respond for any reason, you want medical professionals to have your identification information and basic information about allergies and major medical conditions.
6. Add some variety to your route: You should avoid running the same route every single day. Being predictable can turn you into a target, and it is easy to zone out during a very familiar run. You can alter your route by reversing your course, adding or removing a section of your route, or selecting a completely new route. After you make the change, you need to alert a friend or family member to your new routine.
7. Make yourself more visible: If you run in the dark, you need to wear some form of reflective gear. This is particularly important if you run on roads instead of trails, tracks or sidewalks.
8. Look at other people: Most people who are running or walking in public are not even thinking about causing trouble, but you should still make an effort to look directly at other people. This practice promotes alertness and will discourage some potential troublemakers. You should also practice looking for identifying features.
9. Avoid remote locations: A brisk run through a quiet forest might seem like a great idea, but you should try to stick to areas that are frequented by people. You do not want to be in the middle of nowhere during an injury or attack.
10. Trust your gut: If something does not feel right, you should trust your instincts. A little bit of paranoia can actually save your life. Trusting your gut also applies to how your body feels, and you should listen to your body when it has had enough.
Running is a fun activity, but you should take precautions to ensure that your safety is not compromised. The safety steps listed above can help you deal with some of the risks associated with running.
Dr. Campitelli is a podiatrist in Akron, OH specializing in foot and ankle surgery with an interest and enthusiasm for running as well as helping runners with injuries. For the past several years he has been treating running injuries in patients by fixing their form and transitioning them to minimalist shoes. Having treated runners with all types of injuries through conservative measures with orthotics and shoe gear changes to reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, Dr. Campitelli has brought what works best and is most current to his practice as well as the Akron and Cleveland running communities.