Exercise Season

posted on June 24, 2013
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Now that the persistent chill has finally released it grip, more people are working to eliminate those extra pounds that developed over the winter through walking and running. While this is great for overall health, folks need to remember to keep themselves safe when out for cardio enjoyment.

When exercising outdoors, there are many external hazards in the world that can harm life or limb. These include vehicles, dogs and even two-legged predators. Many of these can be avoided by simply paying attention to surroundings, but I continue to see people listening to music via ear buds. While there is nothing wrong with music, and thank you for not forcing me to listen to whatever screeching you deem necessary to put one foot in front of the other, plugging both ears renders an important self-defense tool useless.

If you can’t hear, how are you going to know whether a car has veered off of the road behind you, a dog is growling around the next corner or a bad person is trailing along until you reach a secluded location before attacking? I’ve even seen bicycle riders using ear buds on busy northern Virginia streets. Not only is this against the law, it is amazingly stupid, and just continues the bogus mentality that people don’t have to be responsible for their own safety (we are from the government, and we are here to help you).

While personally, I’ve never needed music to work out, if you do try using only one ear bud. This allows one ear to be free to listen for potential problems. You could also work out in pairs, providing you with a partner if something happens and entertainment to help the workout feel less monotonous, eliminating ear buds. It also greatly decreases your chances of being attacked.

Lastly, always carry something with which you can fight back. While considered a fashion faux pas, there are numerous fanny packs designed to carry a handgun, along with your wallet, keys, etc. If you’re uncomfortable carrying a gun, you could always carry a Kimber Pepperblaster, expandable baton or even short walking stick. In the words of Captain Woodrow F. Call in one of my favorite books and movies: “It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”

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