The White House is right in telling us to #MoveInMay, considering that “less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day,” and just a third of adults “receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.” We can combat these alarming statistics by getting out more often, especially this time of year when the weather is so conducive to exercising. Here are some ways to stay safe while walking, running or cycling outdoors:
- Work out during daylight hours
Stanford University recently found that murder and rape decreased by 43% and 56%, respectively, in that extra hour of sun you get each night during Daylight Savings Time. So, get out there when the sun is shining and potential attackers don’t have the cover of darkness to rely upon. “...better lighting increases the likelihood of being seen by witnesses or police, which in turn discourages criminal activity,” explains the University of Virginia’s Katie Welter.
- Plan your route ahead of time
Use the statistics in your favor. Check police blotters before heading out in your area, so that you can avoid neighborhoods with higher crime rates.
- Exercise with a buddy if possible
Not only is it more fun to have someone with you, it’s also safer! Remember that criminals are looking for the path of least resistance from their victims, and a companion is a built-in witness. This arrangement reduces the odds that a predator will see you as a vulnerable target. “The person at greatest risk to become a victim is someone who is alone at night and also under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” explains Karen J. Terry, PhD and criminal justice professor. If you don’t have a friend or relative to work out with, bring your dog along.
- Don't blast music with earbuds in
The louder your music is blasting in both ears, the less aware you are of things going on around you. What if a criminal approached you from behind, but you never heard them coming? Reduce your risk of being taken by surprise by keeping your volume low and leaving one ear headphone-free.
- Carry a personal safety product
SABRE has an extensive series of athletic pepper sprays, pepper gels and personal alarms.
Learn why we’re so excited about switching our Runner and Duathlete models to gel.
You might also be interested in our brand new Runner Personal Alarm with Adjustable Wrist Strap. This state-of-the-art device is weatherproof and our loudest personal alarm yet is designed to protect consumers while exercising outdoors. Users need simply pull the metal ring to activate this 130 dB alarm, which is audible up to 1,000’ (300M) away. This versatile, customizable and user-friendly personal alarm also provides enhanced visibility thanks to its reflective logo.
Exercising at a gym? Practice parking lot safety.