Most runners might not have to watch out for lions, tigers and bears (oh, my!), but there are hazards when you’re out pounding the pavement.

Being outside versus on a treadmill exposes you to several factors that can put you at risk for injury.
Even an environment that appears very safe and easy to navigate could present risk, so keeping safety in mind can allow you to enjoy your run to the fullest.
Need a few pointers? Start with these:

  • Be smart.

    Before you even begin your run, do safety checks for your route and clothing. Tie your shoes and wear bright-colored clothes or reflective gear so that drivers can see you. Check in with yourself while running too — if something doesn’t feel right, change course to a more comfortable location.

  • Limit distractions.

    Wearing headphones to listen to music is fine indoors, but limiting your ability to hear outside is dangerous. You need to know if drivers, cyclists, or other runners are communicating with you, and you need to stay focused on where you are. Keep your tunes on low and keep one ear unplugged.

  • Carry essentials.

    Keep ID, emergency contacts and money with you. Always carry identification with you, along with emergency contact information, in case you become injured. Having cash, an ATM card, or credit card with you can also be helpful in case you need food or water or hit an obstacle while running and need transportation to return to your starting point. Don’t want to carry a bulky ID? Consider a wearable such as roadID.

  • Buddy up.

    Find a running group if you want to go for a run at night. Even if you feel safe by
    yourself, you’re less visible in the dark and less able to detect a threat. Having
    other runners with you can discourage someone from disturbing you and your
    running buddies can call for help if you get hurt or sick. Also, don’t forget a
    flashlight and/or lighted vest.

  • Car cautions.

    There are many distractions that can be present for drivers, so don’t assume that
    they can see you when you run near them. Run facing traffic and make eye
    contact with drivers when crossing the street.

Whether you’re running on a protected path or near traffic, you should always practice good
running habits.

Content by Lockton Dunning Benefits with info from