Health and Safety
You are over age 60 and not accustomed to vigorous exercise;
You have a family history of premature coronary heart disease (under 55 years of age);
You frequently have pains or pressure in the left or mid chest area, left neck, shoulder or arm (as distinct from the "stitch") during or immediately after exercise;
You often feel faint or have spells of severe dizziness, or you experience extreme breathlessness after mild exertion;
Your doctor has said that your blood pressure is too high and is not under control, or you do not know that it is normal;
Your doctor has said that you have hearttrouble, that you have a heartmurmur, or that you have had a heartattack;
Your doctor has said that you have bone or joint problems, such as arthritis;
You have a medical condition that might need special attention in an exercise program (for example, insulin dependent diabetes).
Choose running routes with the minimum of traffic, good lighting and wide pavements; run facing oncoming traffic; run single file.
Wear bright, reflective clothes. They may not be trendy, but the key is to make yourself as visible as possible to motorists.
Keep the volume down on your headphones so that you can hear and be aware of what is going on around you be it cars, cyclists, dogs, roller-bladers or criminals.
Tell someone where you are running and when you expect to return. Make sure they know what to do if you don't return.
Carry identification together with any essential medical information (such as any allergies).
Carry some money in case you need to get a taxi, or buy some water.
Women should not run alone at night.
Advice to protecting your hearing
Take regular breaks from your headphones to give your ears a rest.
Turn down the volume a notch - even a small reduction in volume can make a big difference to the risk of damage to your hearing.
Do not increase the volume after you start listening. Your ears can adapt over time so that high volume sounds normal, but the high volume may still damage your hearing.
If you can't understand someone nearby speaking normally, turn down the volume. Sound that drowns out normal speech can damage your hearing. Even with sealed or noise canceling headphones, you should be able to hear nearby people speak.
Avoid using the volume to drown out background noise, for example the sound of the train or traffic (find out about additions to in-ear headphones that help with this problem).
If your MP3 player has a ‘smart volume’ feature, use it so you have control of the volume you are listening at.
What volume is safe to listen at when I use my mp3 player?
There is no simple answer to this question as it depends on the make and model of music player, the type of headphones you are using and on your susceptibility to hearing damage.
As a rule of thumb, if the music is uncomfortable for you to listen to then it's too loud, or if you can't hear external sounds when you've got your headphones on, again, it's probably too loud.
But that is not the complete picture, because noise damage is caused by two factors - the volume you listen at and how long you listen for. When you vary the volume, the length of time you can ‘safely’ listen for changes too. Simply put, the higher the volume the shorter time you should listen for.
Got an iPod nano, or a video-capable iPod?
Apple have volume limiting software which you can download onto your iPod. The software lets you set a maximum limit to prevent the volume exceeding the level you set.
Be aware of hearing loss symptoms and have your hearing checked if:
You experience any hearing loss.
You hear ringing in your ears.
Your speech sounds muffled.
Sound seems dull or flat.
It is a good idea to have your hearing checked regularly by an audiologist.
© AudioFuel 2012; "AudioFuel" is a registered trademark of AudioFuel Ltd.