Running is fun and is great exercise, but just like with any activity, safety should be your first priority. So before you head out the door to get in your run, pay attention to these 8 important tips to help keep you safe from injury and harm.

Pay Attention To Your Surroundings

It’s important to be aware of everything around you. Don’t wear headphones or just keep one ear bud in so you can also hear nearby sounds. Scan the area for people who make you feel uncomfortable. And keep your eyes in front of you to avoid potential tripping hazards.

Run Against Traffic

If you’re running on the road, run facing oncoming traffic so you can see what’s coming towards you and can react more quickly if needed.

Be Extra Cautious At Crossings

You may be in your groove and don’t want to slow down, but when you get to a crossing, make sure you do what’s needed to stay safe. Wait for the light to turn green, look both ways before crossing and make sure that any vehicles you’re crossing in front of acknowledge your right of way.

Make Yourself Visible

When running near traffic or in densely populated areas, make sure others can easily see you. Wear bright-colored highly-visible clothing. If you run in the dark, wear reflective clothing, reflectors or flashing lights to make you more visible. A headlamp or handheld light also helps you see where you’re going. Always assume others can’t see you and behave accordingly.

Don’t Run Alone

Many people love the solitude of running, but it’s safer to run with a partner or a group. Running with your dog is another way to stay safer. If you prefer to run solo, be extra vigilant about your surroundings and avoid unpopulated areas.

Carry ID And A Cell Phone

Never go out alone without some form of identification on you, including your name, emergency contact info and medical information. Carrying a cell phone is also helpful in case of emergency.

Let Others Know Your Route

If you’re out alone, let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Or let someone track your run via GPS.

Trust Your Instincts

If something doesn’t feel right when you’re out running, trust your gut. Cross the street to get away from someone following you, get to a well-populated area as quickly as possible or call for help if necessary. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.