Thousands of people across the country are taking advantage of our warmer months to train outdoors. This includes getting ready for that next Park Run, to getting into gear for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, Old Mutual Two Oceans or the Comrades marathons.
“Staying safe while exercising outdoors is easy; just follow this step-by-step guide,” says Fidelity ADT’s Peter Kruger, District Manager for Coastal Outlying.
Step 1: Tell someone
Ensure someone you trust knows that you are headed out for a run or cycle; has an idea of the route you plan to take and when you expect you will return. In this way, they can quickly raise the alarm if you do not return as planned.
Step 2: Be visible
“Visibility is another very important aspect. Wear reflective clothing to make sure you are visible to other road users,” says Kruger.
Step 3: Safety in numbers
He strongly discourages running or cycling alone. “Rather join a group of people who can look out for your safety and also offer encouragement along the way when muscle pain or cramps set in.”
Step 4: Vary your routine
Changing up your route and training time makes it difficult for any would-be criminal to anticipate your movements. The change in scenery can also make the physical exertion more bearable.
Step 5: Charge your phone battery
“Make sure your cell phone battery is fully charged so that you are able to call for help in case of an emergency. It is also important to save the correct emergency contact numbers on your phone so that you can quickly contact the police, your security company or your neighbourhood watch when you need them,” says Kruger.
Step 6: Mobile tracking
Find out from your security company if they offer a mobile tracking app which can be downloaded on your cell phone. “This is an effective way of alerting emergency service providers when you need them while also giving them your accurate location.”
Author: Mariska du Plessis
Mariska is the editor of Fitness Magazine, Bootcamp Instructor, Writer, Photographer and Wellness Blogger.
Follow her on Instagram: @justmariska_