Safety First...

scene safety running gym personal safety mace self defense women pregnant women protect yourself being alone walking to car safety

written by runnergirl training

It is important to always be safe everywhere you go. Watching out for your personal safety is priority number one. In a busy world it is easy to forget to watch your surroundings.

After a few recent personal safety situations have happened to me I decided to write this blog piece. I had been going about my daily life (driving up to a stop sign or walking from a parking lot to a running path) and suddenly someone with bad intentions came along. It has made me once again more aware and cautious. It is unnerving how over time you can forget past unsafe situations and get caught up in your own world again.

When I previously worked as a paramedic and firefighter they taught that scene safety is number one. Before rushing into an area to help victims first make sure the scene is safe otherwise you could be the next victim. The same holds true for everyday life. Always know your surroundings and pay attention to red flags.

Here are some safety tips for common exercise related situations.

When running outside:
Be alert - watch for who is around your path
Run with others - if you don't have a running partner run in a highly populated area.
Take mace - take a hand held mace or a bracelet mace when going out alone
ID - bring ID or a RoadID bracelet
Headphones - only use 1 or no headphones when running outside
Reflective gear - wear reflective gear to be easily seen by traffic
Being followed - Find somewhere populated or go inside of a store and call the police
Potential harassment - if someone on the street looks out of place or is standing where you'll be passing then alter your route to not go near them
Tell someone - let someone know when & where you are going

When going to the gym:
Be alert - watch for who is around the front door, your car and your path to get inside
Park in the front - parking where visible to the front of the building & surrounded by people
Take mace - especially at night have mace in hand, not in your bag
Car keys - make sure keys are in hand before leaving the gym & walking to the car
Doors & windows - Lock doors immediately when inside & keep windows up

When inside the gym:
When I was personal training in my 20's I encountered a fair amount of harassment inside the gym. Make sure not to be in a secluded area alone (like a locker room, elevator, or office area). Also do not leave the gym with anyone who makes you nervous or who you simply do not know.

Once a gym goer who I regularly chatted with while working as a personal trainer actually tried to push me outside through the gym doors as I was yelling for help. A situation can quickly escalate from simply let's walk over here to the door while we chat to suddenly being forced outside the front doors. I was able to get away but was shocked at how quickly the situation went from normal to terrifying. I was discussing workouts and suddenly was being attacked. Always be alert of your surroundings.

It is helpful to take a self defense class. You can take a simple self defense class or get into more advanced martial arts classes. I have done both and always try to refresh my knowledge to continue to stay safe.

Like many people, I have experienced many unsafe circumstances that I somehow unbeknownst walked into or didn't recognize as unsafe until too late. I have even seen a young women attacked right in front of me while at work. I am writing this article to help increase awareness of staying safe and hopefully prevent others from being in a dangerous situation.

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