Personal Safety: Safety In The Sun


Summer's here!  Whether your biking, running, walking or just plain sun bathing, you have everything you need, right?  You have your bathing suit, your sun tan lotion, beach towel, sunglasses and all the other things that you might need to enjoy a day in the sun, but do you have your mental awareness with you?

Mental awareness is your best defense against attack.  When you are shopping, walking, running, biking or any of the other outdoor activities that you will be doing this summer stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings at all times.  This alertness, as well as your body language, gives off signals to a would-be attacker that you’re ready to take action and you’re not an easy target.

Getting physically fit is your next best defense.  A person who is physically fit will be better able to function defensively than one who is not.  Some degree of strength, flexibility, endurance, and agility is needed for all of the skills required in an effective personal defense system.  When you become physically fit, you will have more energy, tire less quickly, relax more completely, and maintain a better frame of mind.  And it really isn't that difficult to do if you are willing to invest a modest amount of time into it.

Constant practice of defensive skills is the next step in your personal defense system.  When you can execute a technique without thinking about it, you have reached a level of proficiency that will allow you to employ that technique effectively in defending yourself.  If you must think of the technique in response to an attack, you are reacting.  The time it takes your nervous system to perceive an attack and notify the parts of your body to act is called reaction time.  Contrast that with the time it takes to remove your hand from a hot surface; this movement requires no thought process - it is a reflex action.  Through practice you can improve your ability to move through a given motion faster and faster, until you can use that defensive skill through reflex action rather than by reaction.  Anticipation assists in reducing reaction time and in preparing the body for reflex action.  If you learn to anticipate possible aggressive moves on the part of another, you will find that you will be better prepared to cope with those actions by your faster reactions.

Here are a few additional precautions that you can use to stay safe this summer:

        Have a plan of action in case you are attacked.

        Develop a sense of knowing which situations to avoid.

        Walkmans and headsets can make you vulnerable to attack.

        Enjoy the outdoors with friends.

        Make sure someone knows your routines or where you are going and would notice if you were late or missing.

        Keep money and valuables hidden and well secured, or leave them at home.

●        Avoid being overconfident in your natural skills and abilities.  Remain open-minded and consider that if you ever are attacked,

           you will be under tremendous pressure and your body will act only in the manner in which it has been trained.

        Be prepared!