This time of the year runners and cyclists are out in full force, many of whom are preparing for competitive events. As you head outside to get your exercise, it is important to invest in essential items that will ensure your safety in the case of an emergency.
- Hydration – One of the necessary cautions that runners and cyclists should take when heading outdoors is making sure they are well hydrated and have plenty of water and/or electrolyte drinks at their disposal. A good rule of thumb is that if you plan to exercise for more than one hour, bring along a sports drink that has electrolytes to replace the sodium you lose when sweating. Runners and cyclists can invest in a variety of hydration packs including belts, vests, and backpacks to carry fluids and other necessary items.
- Fuel – Runners and cyclists who exercise for more than an hour need some kind of carbohydrates to replace their fuel stores and keep them from hitting the dreaded wall. Fuel can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes including energy gels, sports beans, energy chews, and even whole foods like pretzels and fruit.
- An Emergency ID – When you head outside, it is important to carry some form of identification in the case of an emergency. That way first responders and bystanders know who you are and can inform your family of what’s happening. Carrying some form of medical identification like a card or special jewelry is also helpful.
- Proper Clothing – Dressing for weather outside is tricky. The rule for runners is to dress for temperatures 15 to 20 degrees warmer than current conditions. Bicyclists have a harder time staying warm. They need more protection from the wind. Lightweight jackets that turn into vests are good for use year-round.
- Maps – It never hurts to carry a decent map or GPS with you when heading outside. Even if you are going to be exercising in familiar places, there is always the chance of getting lost or becoming disoriented. A good map or GPS application can help you find your way back to safety.
- An Exercise Buddy – There is safety in numbers, and it never hurts to recruit a friend or family member to exercise with you. At the very least, letting the people around you know where you are headed and how long you will be gone can go a long way to ensure your safety.