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Besides being a personal trainer and running coach, I’ve also been a runner myself for my entire adult life. Through time, experience, and hard lessons learned, I’ve created my own arsenal of gear to keep myself safe whenever I’m out running, fitness-walking, hiking, and biking, too. In this video, James and I do a show & tell of some of our safety cardio gear, and we also share strategies we use to stay safe no matter where we find ourselves “cardio-ing”:
This becomes even more important for RVers, since when traveling we find ourselves in unknown areas. While we like to think throwing open the RV door and heading out for a fitness walk is as simple as just that, it shouldn’t be. Before heading out, it’s important to take a few precautions and even carry a little gear… because gang, you just never know.
I really hope you’ll watch this video! I cannot stress enough how strongly I feel about staying safe when doing your outside cardio. And by the way, after you watch if you have more safety tips to add, please do so by leaving a comment below! I always love hearing from you, comments are most welcomed here.
Here’s the list of gear you saw in the video:
- Road ID Bracelets: I firmly believe this is essential for every outdoor enthusiast. On mine, you’ll find 2 phone numbers, my health insurance number, and my birthdate. Well that, and a little “Suck it up, Buttercup” reminder.
- Stef’s Hydration belt: While Amazon doesn’t sell the version of mine anymore, the link is to the upgraded version, and it does have the same elastic belt strip that I use to hold my pepper spray. A hydration belt isn’t only handy for carrying water, it’s also a place to carry your cellphone. Having your phone with you is another important tool in your safety-fitness arsenal, so don’t leave home without it.
- Portable Pepper Spray: After James and I had a run-in with an off-leash pit bull at a park (where leashes were required), I started carrying pepper spray. While I truly believe I’d be dead or mauled if James hadn’t been with me that day, he was able to keep our deaths from happening (by puffing himself out, facing the dog head on, and keeping between me and the dog as they circled like wrestlers in a ring… the dog lunging, snarling, and barking viciously the entire time), so in the end the owner finally got control and we walked away fine. Well, after a few sleepless nights we were fine, that is. So, moral of this story is, if you can’t run with a “James”, run with pepper spray.
- Sabre Personal Wrist Alarm: In the video I said this was a 120dB alarm; it’s actually 130dBs! That’s a big difference and it’s uncomfortably loud… but in an emergency if you need to draw attention to yourself, uncomfortably loud is good. Sabre claims it has a range of 1,000 feet; I haven’t tested it, but if it’s true that’s fantastic. Just do make sure you test the battery every once in awhile, mine recently went dead.
- Bone Conduction Headphones: While the best solution for staying safe is no headphones, using bone conduction headphones is a good compromise. Since they rest on your cheekbones and do not cover your ears at all, you’re still able to hear sounds around you. James and I each have a pair of Trekz Titaniums and we’ve been happily using them for just over two years. One caution though; even with bone conduction headphones, if you crank the music, you’re going to compromise your ability to hear your surroundings. Same as being at a party with the music cranked… your ears aren’t covered, but you still can’t hear. So when you’re using these outside for cardio, keep the volume down (WAY down)!
- James’ “Quad Lock” Arm Band: James and I are fans of Quad Lock. If you’re not familiar, Quad Lock is a smart-phone mounting system useful for an active lifestyle. So, both our phones are always in the Quad Lock case with the female end of the mounting system. Having their case on our phones means we can conveniently snap our phones into any of their mounts depending on what we’re doing. We’ve got a bunch of their mounts: one for the bike handlebars, one for the car or RV windshield, and this here armband as well. If you don’t want to run with a hydration belt, this is a good alternative for carrying your phone when out walking or jogging.
- GPS Tracker App (Road ID): We use a few different GPS tracker apps, depending on the situation… Glympse for RVing and sharing our location socially, Garmin when using our Garmins (usually on the bikes), and the Road ID app when jogging. The Road ID app is totally free, and I especially love how it sends an alert to the runner’s chosen contact if the runner has been still for 5 minutes. I’ve received that alert multiple times when James has been out doing cardio and he’s stopped. Super useful, and again, great peace of mind.
So now let’s hear what you’re doing and/or gear you’re using for your own outdoor cardio practices! Comments below!