For many runners, getting outside for some fresh air to exercise is only part of the appeal. Many runners do it for the alone time, as it gives them some uninterrupted time to reflect, mull over a problem, and improve their overall mood and mental health. Essentially, it’s a way to get in tune with yourself while keeping your body healthy at the same time.
It’s important to remember there are some considerations to make for your safety as a runner, however, both for your body and for your own peace of mind when you’re out alone. Whether you’re running for exercise or training for a marathon, taking care of yourself is the first step, as becoming dehydrated or exhausted will keep you benched for a while.
Here are some of the best tips for making the most of your time as a runner, and staying safe at the same time, presented to Ultra Pam 100.
Clear your mind
Running is a great way to clear your mind a bit and let off some steam after a long, stressful day. Exercise in general is good for your mental health, as it has been shown in studies to have a positive effect on depression and other mood disorders, but running specifically has the added benefit of allowing you to workout in a group or by yourself, and it’s one exercise that lets you choose your own pace.
It’s like yoga and meditation in that you can use it to help you focus; training your brain to concentrate on your breathing, your next step, and the movement of your muscles can help decrease anxiety and allow you to get in touch with your spiritual side. Make a running mix on your MP3 player and tune out the world for a little while; it just might help you beat the blues.
Feel free to travel
Another great benefit of running is that you can do it just about anywhere, so feel free to travel and see as much of the world as possible while getting in your daily run. There are so many gorgeous locations that host marathons, you can choose from any of them and know for sure you’ll have a blast. You can plan a trip with friends and run the marathons together, then hook up for sightseeing afterward.
It’s important to remember that different countries have different customs when it comes to public events like racing, and in some locales it may be considered inappropriate (or dangerous) for a female to be alone at night. Stay with friends and always let someone know where you’ll be and for how long.
Training can be hard on your body, so be sure to take chafing, blisters, and the sun into consideration before you go on a run. Always wear sunblock, even on cloudy days and in the winter, and consider a hat as well to keep the sun off your face. Wear cool, breathable fabrics and always carry your phone with you in case of an emergency. If your skin is sensitive, wear socks that are specially made for runners that won’t cause a blister, and get your feet fitted for running shoes by a professional to ensure maximum comfort.
Running at night and early in the morning can be tricky; many runners prefer these times because they are cooler and there are fewer people out, but it can also be a dangerous time. Wear reflective gear, stay away from busy roads, and always let someone know where you’ll be and what time you’ll be back. It’s a good idea not to wear headphones or earbuds so you can have all your senses available to you.
Don’t forget to add some cross-training into the mix. By adding in weight training, pilates, yoga, cycling or some other form of exercise, you are pushing your body and giving it a chance to recover from running. If you decide to decide to do some at-home workouts, make sure you have the perfect space to do so. Not only should this space be outfitted with the equipment you need to nail that workout, it should also be decluttered and clean so that you can enjoy your routine without any extra stress of anxiety — which is especially important when you’re into yoga.
Staying safe during a run is a top priority, but so is being happy and healthy. Enjoy this time and use it to provide self-care on days you really need it, as well as to boost your energy levels and mood.