This article includes links I have been paid to include about exercising outside alone.
As the nights draw in and we get more and more to the winter months it can be harder to exercise alone outdoors. I have some tips which will hopefully help you to stay safe whilst still getting out and doing the exercise you love whether that be walking the dog, running, cycling or even skateboarding!
Be aware of your surroundings
Whilst it might seem a great idea to wear headphones be sure that they are set at a volume where you can still hear if someone is behind you and be aware of the traffic, maybe just have them in one ear.
Tell someone where you are going
Make sure someone knows your route or even better tracks you using an app such as Glimpse or Road ID. If you use an iPhone you can use the “find my friends” tool as an alternative. These are really easy to use and can really put a loved one at ease and also if anything was to happen it would be easier to find you.
Take any medication you may need
I always take my inhaler when I go out because I never know when I may need it, asthma is not the only condition that may require emergency medication so be safe and ensure you take it with you whatever it is.
Take some money with you
You do not need a lot of money, just enough to use a phone somewhere if your mobile has no battery or signal in an emergency. The money is also ideal if you need a bottle of water whilst you are out or have not eaten well before your exercise and feel unwell so need food.
The weight of the £5 note is so little and the help it could be is immense! Imagine doing a long run and suffering an injury and wanting to get the bus back maybe!
A note can usually fit easily in a phone case and can stay there every time you go out until you need to use it then replace it before next time! A loose pound coin is handy in a running bag too in case your phone is lost or stolen!
Invest in an attack alarm
You can buy a cheap attack alarm online for just a few pounds so when you think of how useful it could be sure this is a good spend.
The important thing is knowing how to use it though, not just owning it! I have a wrist-worn one that from a distance would look just like a watch!
Make emergency contacts easily accessible
Use trainer tags, your phone case, or the emergency information on your phone that can usually be seen without the phone being unlocked to ensure if necessary your next of kin can be contacted.
Ensure you have eaten and drank enough
Before you go out ensure you have left a reasonable gap since your last meal and that you have drunk enough to stay hydrated especially if you will be out a long time.
If you can don’t go alone
There are so many clubs out there for every interest you could join or maybe ask a friend or family member to join you. Being with someone is always much safer than being on your own!
Stick to well-lit and busy areas
Whilst you might be like me and not really like the idea of people seeing you out running, it is so much safer running in a busy area than in a remote park at night.
Be safe driving afterwards
Exercise can be physically and mentally exhausting, make sure that you are well-hydrated and recovered enough before driving home if you exercise away from the home. Imagine running 13.1 miles and then having a road accident, that would be no fun would so drive safely.
More you may find helpful
If you want to exercise at home instead you could consider a home gym. If you want to get out but fancy just walking then don’t worry that is still good for you. Whatever you do remember that exercising regularly is the best way to make it a habit.