If you prefer fresh air to the aircon at the gym, here are some tips to help keep you safe while exercising outdoors…

With less than two months to go before the Cape Town Cycle Tour and Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, thousands of people are exercising outdoors.

“Staying safe while exercising outdoors is, however, a priority. Just follow this step-by-step guide and sore muscles will be the only thing you need to worry about over the next six weeks,” says Fidelity ADT’s Managing Executive, Stuart Clarkson.

1. Tell someone

A very good place to start, he says, is to ensure that someone you trust knows you are headed out for a run or cycle, has an idea of the route you plan to take, and when you expect to return. In this way, they can quickly raise the alarm if you do not return as planned.

2. Be visible

“Visibility is another very important aspect. Wear reflective clothing to make sure you are visible to other road users,” says Clarkson.

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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.”

4. Vary your routine

Changing 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!

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 Clarkson.

6. Mobile tracking

Find out from your security company if they offer a mobile tracking app which can be downloaded to your cell phone.

“This is an effective way of alerting emergency service providers when you need them, while also giving them your accurate location.”

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.