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Tips to safely exercise outdoors this winter

Safely start building your summer body now – here's how.

Yes, winter is knocking at the door.

The daylight hours are getting shorter, and the weather is getting colder and wetter in some regions.

For those who still like their outdoor exercise sessions, here are a few simple steps to follow to stay safe while you work on your summer body.

“It doesn’t matter if you are just concentrating on basic fitness or if you have any long-term training goals in place, you can work out with ease if you remember a few basic personal safety tips,” says Charnel Hattingh, group head of communications and marketing at Fidelity Services Group.

A lot of people are still exercising outdoors despite the change in season, but Hattingh says sadly this also means that opportunistic criminal elements are also still out and about.

“Perhaps one of the best bits of advice we could give is to never train outdoors on your own, especially not if it is dark. Make sure that you use familiar routes and that there are other people around so that you are never alone,” said Hattingh.

She shared some top tips for any winter outdoors training enthusiast:

• Always tell someone where you are going and what time you will be back
• Try to vary your route so that your routine does not become obvious to criminals
• If you are carrying valuables they should be concealed. It is not advisable to head off without a cellphone
• Carry your ID, medical information, and emergency contact information
• Stay alert by not talking on your phone. Leave the headphones at home so that you can hear anyone approaching you from behind
• Wear brightly coloured clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night
• Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you notice someone suspicious on your route, take a detour to avoid them
• Don’t be distracted by strangers asking for help or directions. Even the most innocent of couples in a car could be armed robbers
• Be aware of being followed home. If you think you are being followed, call your private security company to report it and ask them to meet you at your gate

“Take heed of crime trends in your area which are shared on WhatsApp groups and always report any incidents or suspicious persons to the police or your security company. Good luck with your training efforts.”

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