Many of us will be kicking off 2022 with a fitness or health based New Year’s resolution – just over half of all resolutions we make relate to fitness, with 53% of UK adults declaring their intention to get fit and 48% wanting to lose weight (according to polling carried out by YouGov). At a time of year when many gyms are offering discounted membership and there are sales on fitness equipment and clothing it’s easy to get started with a fitness goal, the hard part is actually sticking with it. Setting yourself weekly targets can help keep you on track, while using fitness apps also provides some additional motivation and reward for achieving your goals.
It’s important not to overlook the security aspect of starting a new exercise programme. We might be delighted to post about our gym session on social media (and encouragement from friends and family can be a real boost) but if we post this publicly we run the risk of alerting burglars to the fact our home is empty. If you have a new regime you want to stick to, avoid posting the exact days and times you’re out for a run, a swim or a gym session.
Your mobile phone can be an essential piece of security equipment for when you’re exercising. If you have a video doorbell you’ll be alerted to any activity outside; while a security system with CCTV allows you to check in on your home while you’re out pounding the pavements. Fitness tracking apps are incredibly useful for exercise and safety, as you can share your real time location with a friend or family member. They’re then able to see exactly where you are and if you’re not moving, or you haven’t arrived at a certain place when you should they can come and find you. You might just have stopped because of cramp, but if you’ve been attacked or are in danger then the tracking aspect is really useful, especially for lone female runners.
If you’re out running or cycling in the dark you must make sure you can be seen by road users and other pedestrians. Brightly coloured clothing with reflective strips are a must-have for runners, and you can get personal lights that you can wear, these alert road users to your presence (some are worn on the body, but a head torch will do). If you’re wearing all black for a sleek look you run the risk of being run over, so be as bright as you can when running in low light.
Listening to music while running can definitely keep you going, but ensure that you’re not unaware of what’s happening around you because you can’t hear it. Save the music for running in the park on a sunny day, and keep your ears open when running in low light or unpopulated areas.
You might consider having a personal alarm as a precaution against being attacked. The loud noise is enough to scare off a potential assailant and will alert others nearby that something is wrong. Many personal alarms are small enough to tuck in a pocket or attach to clothing and they should become part of your essential running kit if you pass through any dangerous spots.
Before you set off for your run, ensure you are wearing reflective clothing and/or lighting and that you have your house keys in an accessible but secure pocket. Start your run tracking app and alert a friend or family member to the fact you are off out for some exercise. Check that you have a personal alarm on you, or choose a route that has good lighting and is populated. When you get back from your run you can post about it on social media, but ensure your post is not public and that it doesn’t betray a regular routine that alerts thieves to the fact your home is empty every Tuesday night. Most of all, good luck with your fitness resolutions for 2022.