3 Tips to Stay Safe While Running Outdoors

We all know that running is a beneficial activity. Whether you’re trying to improve your health, lose weight, boost confidence, or relieve anxiety and depression, running is one of the best habits to build. There are many success stories one can find online about people having defeated severe addictions through running, or running to prevent disease. Running is a means of self-care, and self-care should always be encouraged. But are you staying safe while running?

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find a time a time and a place for self-care, especially when it comes to running. There are so many factors to consider, such as your schedule, the weather, the condition of your body, when to eat, the best area for running, and so on. All those things are enough to worry about on their own, but safety is a concern that people should consider first and foremost before diving into a running routine.

Gyms and treadmills work for some, but the joys and benefits of running outside can be preferable to others. While we should all be able to run wherever and whenever we want, it can be nerve-racking to put ourselves outside, especially at night, and for good reasons. We see stories all over the media of people getting mugged, kidnapped, and even killed on the streets when they least expect it. There is a culture of constant fear these stories of violence trigger, and however unpleasant that may make our lives, the fear is based on rational deduction. We should naturally have our guards up, but we shouldn't have to be afraid. There seems to be a battle going on, and that battle is between ever existing crime and ever increasing awareness.

The good news: violent crime rates in America have generally been decreasing. According to factcheck.org’s assessment in July of 2016, crime numbers have significantly dropped in several major cities compared to numbers recorded decades ago. Five years worth of more recent violent criminal offenses observed by the FBI's UCR were tallied up and revealed a significantly decreasing trend. Again, awesome news, but this doesn’t change the fact that violent crimes are still occurring on a large scale and we need to do everything we can to keep ourselves safe and secure.

Champion National Security is in the business of security, and we’re all about spreading awareness for the greater good, which is protection for all citizens. While awareness can sometimes be paralyzing, we hope that the awareness we spread and security solutions we offer will move people to a greater sense of safety and freedom.

Here are some pointers that we hope keep you alert and secure so that you can take care of yourself in confidence.

Stay Safe While Running Tips

Safety Tip 1: Time of Day

It’s always wise to run where you are visible to the public. That said, being discerning about the time of day you choose to run is a smart tactic to keep yourself secure. Avoid areas you are not familiar with, and areas like backroads that are not heavily populated or well-lit. If you are seen and surrounded by people, chances are you will not be targeted by someone who is plotting to attack.

If you prefer to be a night runner, running against the flow of traffic is advised. We busy roads, if lights of vehicles are shining on you, you’re noticed by others, thus less likely to be targeted by a predator. Wearing reflectors is highly recommended, as well. You need not only protect yourself from lurking predators, but from getting hit by vehicles! Wearing reflectors serves to avoid the risks of both.

Safety Tip 2: Stay Connected

Cover your bases. Always be sure to tell at least one person where you’re going if you decide to leave the house without telling at least one person where you’re going. Or, invite them to run with you! Two people are more difficult to control than one, so running with a friend will certainly decrease your chances of being targeted. Safety is greater in numbers.

If running with a buddy isn’t feasible for you, don’t lose hope! Technology is available to increase our awareness and add a greater level of security to our individual lives. There are many tracking apps out there that take advantage of GPS technology to respond quickly to emergency situations. The “Companion” app is a free, student-designed app that was built to Read this article by Babble to see more about how it works. The idea is to have a virtual friend walk with you who is monitoring your travels for times you’re walking alone and feel nervous. You can find the app here and here and download it for free!

Check out these other great apps, which are available for Android and iPhone.

Safety Tip 3: Remain Observant

Awareness is so important. Keep your eyes open and listen to your senses.

Music is such a great tool to keep the ball rolling, but it would be safer to ditch the headphones if you’re not in the gym or at home on a treadmill. In order to be aware, it is essential to decrease distractions. Music blaring in our ears puts a damper on our natural ability to pick up on unusual activity in our environment and react appropriately.

Being aware of our surroundings curtails vulnerability, but being aware of our own habits and routine gives us even more of a security advantage. If there is the possibility of an assailant spying on you and taking note of your route and schedule, you can outsmart them by changing things up.

Stay Safe Running at Night

Conclusion

The stress of staying safe should not keep you from enjoying the benefits of running. While there are always threats to our livelihood, fighting those threats by using our knowledge and tools to defend ourselves make the world a better place and empower our community. Stay out of harm’s way by being aware, alert, connected, and informed on valuable technology. As your leading expert in security services and solutions, we are confident that our tips will empower you to run freely and confidently, wherever and whenever you want.

7 Tips for Working the Night Shift

Security guards, firefighters, policemen, nurses, cleaning crews, and more, all experience working night shifts. It’s estimated that 6 million people work the night shift in the US. In our current bustling economy, many industries need help during off hours. This means more shifts need to be filled at all hours of the week.

But what is the impact of the night shift on your body and your daily life? Let's look at the history of the night shift and its impact on your health. We're also going to cover 7 tips to keep individuals on the night shift healthy.

If you or someone you know works a night shift - read on to learn how to help!

The History of the Night Shift

The idea of working nights is not an new one. We’ve had a need for work at night long ago in history. Watchmen of ancient kingdoms would guard the grounds at night. Their job was protecting their master from any threat.

Is wasn’t until the late 1800’s that the concept of the night shift really changed. The invention of the lightbulb allowed workers to work longer by illuminating the dark. Manufactures in metal and textile mills jumped at the chance for increased production and higher profits. They introduced the concept of shift work. This meant they could split crews into groups and rotate when they worked. This allowed more goods without the added pay of extra crew.

The concept of shift work continued to grow into every industry. Today it is still relevant. Many companies and workers enjoy the benefit of shift work. They get time off during the day, atypical weekends, or flexibility for other responsibilities.

Some of the most common shift work is found in the transportation sector. Construction, railroads, freights, all need night shifts. They need to be able to work without distractions from daily traffic or pedestrians.

More increasingly the service industry is becoming a big night shift provider. More retail centers and convenience stores are operating on a 24 hour system. This means they need workers for shifts around the clock.

Shift work is also common in public safety and health care. EMS, Police, Security, Fire Fighting, and Hospitals are just some examples of industries that have the need for staff 24/7 to keep the public safe.

Working on Laptop for Night Shift

The Impact of the Night Shift

Working the night shift can be a big change for you, your family, and your health. It’s important to take care of yourself during this unusual schedule. Taking care of yourself helps make sure you don’t suffer from a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders are no joke and can cause workers to have absences and accidents.

What is a sleep disorder? Its definition is a ‘medical disorder of your sleep patterns’. Basically meaning you aren’t getting enough sleep, aren’t staying asleep, or having excessive sleep. Having disruptive sleep patterns can result in serious mental and physical issues. The body needs sleep to restore and rejuvenate. Certain body processes like growing muscle, repairing tissue, and synthesizing hormones all happen while we sleep.

Sleep disorders are linked to many serious mental and physical issues. They’re associated with hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, and heart attacks. It also impacts your memory and learning. It weakens your immune system, making you more vulnerable to germs and diseases.

For your long term health, it’s important to recognize the risk of sleep disorders due to working the night shift. Once you have the information you can start to adapt healthy patterns to reduce the risk.

7 Tips for Working the Night Shift

Here are some tips to help you adjust to the night shift schedule:

  1. Make sure you drink lots of water and eat! Dehydration will make sleep deprivation so much worse, so remember to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle if you can. And make sure you eat something before you go to sleep.
  2. Be aware of your caffeine intake. Most people will rely on caffeine (energy drinks or coffee) to keep them alert, but it’s important to know that with any caffeine drink you will experience a crash! Also if you drink your caffeine too late into your shift it will affect your ability to sleep when you do get home
  3. Set a sleeping goal. Make sure you’re keeping track of when you fall asleep and wake up. You ideally want 8 hours every time to stay fresh, alert, and functional.
  4. Keep your workspace bright and your sleep space dark. Sure it may not always be possible but do your best to keep your bedroom very dark by blocking windows with curtains, keeping electronics off, and closing the door if possible. If possible try to keep your workstation bright to stay alert and focused while on the job. The circadian rhythm is what the body uses to keep track of a 24 hour cycle. It is susceptible to light, temperature, and certain medications. So do you best to keep that cycle intact!
  5. Try to keep a schedule. If possible try not to work doubles or rotating shifts. Your body can adjust to a night shift schedule much easier if it is a regularly occurring cycle. By disrupting the schedule with working various shifts or taking days on and off, you never adjust to a normal schedule and your body doesn’t know what to expect.
  6. Be wary of bright light on the way home. The sunlight will keep you up longer, so if you are planning on going home and straight to bed, keep that in mind! Wear sunglasses on the way home and don’t do any errands. The longer you stay out in the sun the harder it will be to go to sleep.
  7. Get support from your family and friends. One of the hardest parts of working the night shift is feeling isolated from your friends and family. you may not be able to join in the late night parties or the midday lunches anymore, but that doesn't mean you’ll never get to see them again. Ask for their support and let them know of your new schedule. Ask them not to reach out to you and wake you up when they know you’ll be asleep. And let them know when you are available and they will understand. You’ll still be able to have a social life, it will just need a little bit of flexibility!

Sleeping during the day before night shift

Conclusion

Hopefully these tips make you feel more confident about working the night shift. Your health doesn’t have to suffer from working the night shift. Pay attention to your body's current needs. Some small changes and you can make sure the transition to night shift is smooth!

While it will be a big change to your lifestyle, it’s not impossible. Jobs that help you provide for your family or further your career are important. We want to help you achieve your goals in a healthy, safe way.

Like this post? Be sure to check out 7 Saying a Security Guard Should't Use and Why Security is Good Employment.